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KEEPING FISH HAPPY: HOW WE DO IT AT KENYA MARINE CENTER

A happy fish is a healthy fish.  And keeping fish healthy is our number one priority at Kenya marine center. Are you curious to know the reason behind our high quality fish at Kenya marine center and how we have achieved that? I will share with you our secret. Having Over a decade of experience in the fish industry we have gained informative skills and strategies that have played a great role in improving our fish health.

The key thing we avoid in order to keep our fish happy is stress. A stressed fish is susceptible to diseases that jeopardize their health. At Kenya Marine center we go out of our way to ensure our fish are in a relaxed environment. We enjoy seeing our fish swimming freely and radiant in our holding facility before export.

 

Below are some tips to make your fish happy

Fish Acclimation

Acclimation is the process of accustoming the aquatic species to your aquarium water. At Kenya Marine Center we acclimate fish brought in from the wild before introducing them to our system as we prepare them for export. This process is important because fish from the wild are adapted to ocean water which has a slight difference in parameters from the one in our holding facility. Introducing fish in your aquarium water abruptly might lead to stress or PH shock. That’s why we must acclimate our fish at Kenya Marine Center.

How we acclimate our fish at KMC

Drip line Method

In this method we float the fish bag for about15 minutes in our aquarium water to equalize the water temperature. Then we pour the contents in a bucket and set up a drip line from the aquarium to the bucket. We ensure the water slowly flows into the bucket. Once the water level in the bucket is double that of actual fish bag water, we dispose half of the water without harming the fish and repeat the process. When the process is over, the fish is now ready for its new environment.

Water quality.

Water entails the whole fish environment and thus plays the main role in fish health.  Fish put in poor condition get easily stressed. At Kenya Marine Center, we avoid this by ensuring all water parameters necessary for fish are observed in the holding facility and during transportation. We test our water frequently and this keeps us alert on what’s happening in our holding facility at any given time. It enables us monitor our fish and detect any suspicious behavior or fish discomfort and hence take corrective measures with immediate effect. We ensure to keep our water safe and suitable for our fish to keep them happy and healthy

Here are the major water parameters we observe, on a daily basis.

PH: 7.6-8.4

Temperature: Optimal range 24° C to 27° C

Salinity: Specific Gravity:  Broad range 1.025

Ammonia (NH3): Zero

Nitrite (NO2): Zero

Nitrate (NO3): Ideally Zero to 25ppm

Dissolved Oxygen: >6.90 mg/L

 

Good Nutrition

Fish should be fed healthy, that you can read in every book. But what is healthy feeding? It’s ensuring your fish eat good quality food which is a must if you want them healthy. Good nutrition boosts fish immunity making them resistible to diseases. At Kenya Marine Center we are careful on selecting fish feeds as we understand that every fish has its own demands and needs, for instance, Doctor and tangs like vegetable based food while lions are predators. This strong opposition on feeding behavior force us to act on it.

We are also very careful on the amount of food we provide for our fish. We ensure to provide just enough. Feeding too much can be risky. The leftover food decomposes in water altering the water parameters hence creating an uncomfortable environment for fish which causes stress. Underfeeding on the other hand will result to emaciated fish.

Fishes who go in export are exempted from feeding for 24 – 48 HRS.

Our Biological department watch the feeding 7 days a week as it is a daily task.

 

 

 

 

Regular Treatment

A fish holding facility works different from a home aquarium and we as exporters have to react on it.

In mass animal keeping, sanitation is a very important point. Out of this reason we have to do a regular treatment program for the whole facility.

We have been practicing this over the past ten years which has played a big role in keeping our fish parasites free and healthy. Ensuring our fish are in a safe and suitable environment has increased their quality as well.

 

 

Generally, we have been kin in observing all of the above and that’s how we have managed to have the best quality fish over the ten years. Our commitment to making our fish happy and healthy has resulted to us having the most admirable and happy fish. To sum it up keeping your fish happy is ensuring they are in a comfortable environment and knowing the right way to treat them. It is important to take care of your fish if you want them to stay healthy and of good quality.

 

 

 

acclimatization

The right way to acclimate incoming Fish

On a biological perspective, different species have different body settings which are highly dependent on its environment. This is the reason why a certain type of species can only be found in a specific area. The same goes with marine life.

Fish cannot simply adapt and survive in a new environment. However, if you wish to migrate your fish without the risk of them dying, you need to learn the right way to acclimate incoming fish into a new ecosystem.

What is acclimation?

For you to be able to transfer fish into a new environment without compromising it, you first need to learn about acclimation. Acclimation, or acclimatization, is getting certain species accustomed to its environment.

Several factors affect the health of fish in their environment, such as the water temperature, pH level, water quality, sedimentation, and ocean conditions.

Acclimation is necessary especially if fish are to be transferred from their natural habitat to an artificial environment. This is most common when fish are taken from the lake or ocean and transferred to an aquarium.

Naturally, fish are not easily affected by environmental changes when they are in their natural habitat and can always opt to migrate once a sudden disruption occurs. An artificial environment cannot originally meet the fish’s physical needs and need to be supplied with chemicals and adjust its oxidation level which can stress the fish and cause them to have illnesses and die.

Different types of acclimation methods

Entering your fish into a new environment abruptly can cause stress and illness. The right way to acclimate incoming fish comes in several methods. As simple as they may sound, several factors are also considered for these to be done properly.

Floating method

  • One way to acclimate incoming fish is through the floating bag method. The right way to acclimate incoming fish with his method is by allowing the bag the fish comes in with to float in the aquarium water. In its first fifteen minutes, the bag should be floated with its lid closed.
  • Open the bag afterward and roll the lid outwards to allow oxygen to come in and disperse the carbon dioxide accumulated.
  • Gradually put a small amount of aquarium water in the bag and continue to do so every five minutes. Once the fish bag is full of aquarium water, you need to scoop the fish out of the bag and transfer him/her/them to the aquarium. The idea of this method is to gradually adjust the fish’s body to the temperature of the water. At first the bag is floated with the lid closed to slowly adjust the bag’s temperature to the aquarium water.
  • Take note that you shouldn’t spill the water from the bag when transferring the fish already to the aquarium as this may disrupt the pH level of the mixed waters in the bag with the aquarium.

This method is best used for fresh water fish as they are less sensitive to pH level changes. Out of the two acclimatization methods, this is the easiest one with no other apparatus needed and can be done at home.

Drip method

 

If floating method is suited for freshwater fish, drip method is the only acclimatization method for saltwater fish. This method is more tedious and would require a five-gallon bucket and two air tubes and gang valves.

  • The right way to acclimate incoming fish through the drip method is by allowing the fish bag to float in the aquarium water with closed lids for the first fifteen minutes and opening the lid afterward. Gradually transfer small amounts of aquarium water as well in the fish bag every five minutes as well.
  • After conducting the first three steps of the floating method, transfer the fish to the bucket by spilling it together with the water in the bag. Make sure that the fish will not be exposed to the air during the transfer and must be completely submerged in water once in the bucket.
  • Attach one end of the air tube to the siphon drip line of the aquarium and place one end of the tube to the bucket. You can regulate the drip flow by using an airline control valve or simply tying knots on the tube.
  • Turn on the siphon drip, with four to five drips going to the bucket per second. Once the amount of water doubles, throw half of its volume and continue dripping until the water reaches the same level.
  • Afterward, scoop the fish into the bag, close the lid, submerge it in the aquarium, and finally open the bag to free the fish to their new environment.

The entire process takes a minimum of one hour. In this method, patience is really needed and monitoring is necessary.

Acclimate the fish the right way from one water to another

Acclimating fish is a tedious process. Simple as these methods may sound, the actual demonstration would require patience and careful handling of the fish. Several factors are considered when transferring them to a new environment, mainly the water temperature and the water quality.

Another factor to be considered when acclimating is light. During the acclimatization process, keep the lights off for at least four hours as this also affects the temperature and the entire adjustment process of the fish to its new environment.

Transferring fish to another habitat could bring them stress and cause illnesses and even death, the reason why the right way to acclimate incoming fish is given. Allow the fish to stay in their new habitat for at least week to fully adjust.

Guest blogger:

Toby Sanders has more than 15 years of experience in aquarium sector, he is totally passionate about creating Aquarist Guide blogspot. He enjoys sharing all of his knowledge to help you guys effectively build your own tank. He believes that when you find the easiest way to raise your lovely fish successfully throughout his blog, you will definitely fall in love with fish keeping more than a popular hobby.