How to Acclimate New Koi and Other Fish to your Pond

Pond Fish

Acclimating your new koi and other fish to your pond is very important! 

When acclimating your new fish, the goal is to decrease the stress as much as possible. We do this by gradually allowing them to get used to your pond water’s temperature, pH level and water chemistry. The acclimation process should take 15 to 60 minutes. 

STEP 1.) It is best if the acclimation process begins within 1 hour of purchasing fish. Be sure to keep the bag out of direct sunlight during transportation. If it is going to be more than an hour before you can start acclimating your fish, let your sales person know so they can prepare your fish for a longer trip. 

STEP 2.) When you arrive at your pond or quarantine tank, open the bag and add some of your pond water into the bag – a few cups to start with. Now, float the bag for 5 minutes, while securing the bag to the ponds edge. The bag should be left open, but do not allow your new fish to swim out of the bag yet. 

STEP 3.) Repeat Step 2 by adding some more pond water into the bag; add about 10 to 20% of the amount in bag. Again, float the bag for 5 minutes, while securing the bag to the ponds edge. The bag should be left open, but do not allow your new fish to swim out of the bag yet. 

STEP 4.) Then repeat Step 3 by adding some more pond water into the bag every 5 minutes for at least 15 minutes, but preferably longer. 

STEP 5.) When fish have been acclimated for 15 to 60 minutes, it is time to release them into your pond or quarantine tank. 


  • Stock your new Pond with no more than one inch of fish per one square foot of water surface area during the first year. 

    • Add fish over a period of time. Adding too many fish at one time can upset the ecosystem, particularly in smaller ponds. 
    • It takes 4 to 6 weeks for nitrifying bacteria (good bacteria) to multiply to levels large enough to handle new fish waste. 
    • Fish Grow and Multiply! 
  • For continued fish health, test your water regularly. Specifically, for pH and Ammonia levels.
  • A fish’s diet depends on the weather and water temperature. Feed accordingly. 

Feeding your Fish when your Water Temperature is:

80° or higher……..…….……Reduce or Stop Feeding Your Fish

70-80° …...……….…….…...Warm Weather Food (high protein)

50-70° ……….…………………Cold Weather Food (low protein)

50° or lower....……..……………......DO NOT FEED YOUR FISH

[Remember, water and air temperatures will always be different!]

Besides pond fish food varieties to keep your koi and other pond fish happy and healthy, Hoffman's Water X Scapes carries an excellent array of fish and pond supplies for the beginner and the advanced pond enthusiast. Please check-out our large selection of koi and pond fish for sale at our Uniontown locale, including Black MoorsShubunkinsButterfly KoiComets (gold fish) and many more colorful denizens of the underwater world. We also carry necessary and essential fish pond accessories like Blue Heron decoys and pond protector nets to keep your fish safe from predators, pond water testing kitsammonia neutralizer and pond water conditioner for pond water treatments, and submersible pond thermometers so you can monitor your fishes' home to determine what kind of seasonal food to keep them properly fed. 

Hoffman's is proud of our extensive collection of pond fish and fish pond supplies for our many customers across Ohio, the Midwest, and everywhere else online. Thanks for reading!