Introducing a New Fish to a Saltwater Reef Tank
The overwhelming majority of saltwater reef tank enthusiasts understand the importance of carefully selecting the tank inhabitants that will be added to an existing and enclosed ecosystem, yet there are very few that are able to claim that they have not acted on impulse and brought home a fish without thoughtfully evaluating how a new addition might influence the rest of the tank. Dr. Sid Solomon, a Los Angeles-area dentist familiar with saltwater reef tank care, notes that there are almost always unintended consequences that arise due to this kind of impulsive behavior on the part of aquarists.
Even though saltwater aquarists know that a new fish will have an effect on the balance of the tank’s ecosystem, it is not at all uncommon for tank owners to convince themselves that whatever resulting imbalance can be easily fixed or that it will be so minor that there will be no need to address the issue at all. While this is certainly possible, it is not exactly the best way to go about introducing a new fish into a saltwater reef tank since all of the inhabitants will be forced to adjust to changes in the tank’s ecosystem.
It is important to clarify that there is absolutely nothing wrong with adding a new fish to a tank. It is simply the manner in which the new fish is added that is most critical to address, and just a little bit of planning will make all the difference in ensuring that a saltwater reef tank can continue to thrive. With proper preparation, the only member of the tank that should have to adjust to a new ecosystem is the new addition. This is best for the health and wellness of the tank as a whole.