How Long Does It Take To Defrost Fish In Water? [Solved!]

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You’ve just bought yourself a new fish tank. Congrats! But now comes the hard part—introducing fish to a home environment where they can’t feel comfortable. Whether you’ve just acquired an adult finned friend or you’re planning on starting a baby tank with your newly captured jiggy fishes, you’ll need to make sure their water is the proper temperature to ensure their health. Below we answer some frequently asked questions about defrosting fish in water.

How Long Does It Take To Defrost Fish In Water?

Depending on many factors, from the size of the tank to the temperature of the water, defrosting fish in water can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. The general rule of thumb is that the smaller the tank, the shorter the defrost period. Bigger tanks and warmer water will keep your fish frozen for longer.

Should I Defrost Fish In The Tank Or Out Of The Water?

The best way to defrost fish in fresh water is in the tank. When you remove the fish from the tank, their body heat will still keep the water at the right temperature for your fishes. However, if your water is already at room temperature, then you can defrost the fish either in the tank or out of the water. In this case, leave the fish in the ice chest for about 10 minutes to let the ice subside before transferring them to your tank. This is crucial because too much time spent in one place prevents the proper functioning of their immune system and increases the likelihood of suffering from diseases.

Should I Use Hot Or Cold Water To Defrost Fish?

When defrosting fish in water, you generally need to use cold water. The best temperature for fish is between 8–12ºF. Below that and they will become sluggish and sickly. Hot water above 14ºF will cause the flesh to contract and toughen, making it inedible. Using loonie bins or other types of coolers to store your fish in will keep them healthy and happy, regardless of whether or not the outdoor temperature is above freezing. Avoid using ice chests or freezers as they will quickly become too hot, causing the fish to suffer and possibly even lose their lives.

Am I Protected From Parasites By Cooking The Fish?

Boil your fish for 10 minutes before eating them to destroy any parasites which may have been introduced by either of your previous owners. These can cause your fish to become infested with swimmer sores or other types of skin irritations. While there are treatments for the parasites, it is best to be safe than sorry and prepare your catch for consumption.

What Should I Do About Waste Produced By Fish?

Fish are known to be efficient at converting their food into energy, which is mostly used for their own survival. This means that less food is wasted overall, making this type of aquarium worth the effort. One of the major downsides to having fish in your tank, however, is all the waste they produce. The waste contains undigested food which will accumulate quickly and begin to stink, attracting all types of vermin and ruining any attempts at maintaining a clean tank. To prevent this, make sure your tank is cleaned at least once a month with a good 10% of the total amount of water being replaced.

As you can see, defrosting fish in water is not as easy as simply putting the fish in a tank and letting them swim around. First you need to consider the size of your tank as well as the temperature of the water. The smaller the tank, the shorter the defrost time. Bigger tanks and warmer water will keep your fish frozen for longer. Once you’ve determined the length of time it’ll take to thaw your fish, you can begin preparing them for their new home by following the guidelines discussed above.

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