The last thing anyone wants after buying a fish is to see their new pal
sick or, even worse, floating at the top of the aquarium. Protect your
investment by ensuring the health of new arrivals. The first step in this
process begins with acclimation. The purpose of acclimation is simple; the
water that the fish are packaged in has different temperature, pH, and
salinity parameters than the water in your aquarium. Fish are very
sensitive to the slightest changes in these parameters, making acclimation
a key step in the introductory period.
This process should never be rushed; also, aquarium lights should be left
off for about four hours after new fish are introduced to ease the stress
of relocation and make a smoother transition. Acclimation can be conducted
in either one of two manners.
The Floating Method:
. Turn off the aquarium lights
. Dim the lights of the room before opening the shipping box; never
expose the packaged fish to bright lights right out of the box due to
the possible stress.
. Leave the sealed bag float in the water of the main aquarium; this
will give a chance for the water in the sealed bag to slowly match
that of the aquarium, which will help the fish with adjustment.
. Cut a small hole just under the metal clip, causing an air pocket to
form, which makes the bag continue to float.
. Add ½ a cup of water to that bag; repeat this step every five minutes
until the shipping bag is full.
. Lift the bag and discard half of the water.
. Repeat the process of adding ½ cup to the shipping bag.
. Once full, secure the fish with a net and release it into the main
. Discard the shipping bag and water.
The Drip Method: - this process is generally reserved for invertebreates.
. Start with the first 3 steps of the Floating Method process.
. Carefully place each organism into a bucket, making sure that you do
not expose them to open air.
. Use tubing to set up a siphon drip; use separate tubing for each
bucket. Tie knots in the tubing or use a non-metal air control valve
to regulate flow from the aquarium.
. Siphon the water and let it drip slowly. You can adjust the control
system (knots) to regulate the flow; ideally, 2 to 4 drips per second.
. When the water volume in the bucket doubles, discard half and begin
the drip again until the volume doubles once more - about one hour.
. At this point, you can add the organisms to the aquarium; gently scoop
them out of the drip bucket and add them to a bag. Submerge the bag
before opening it to ensure that the invertebrate is completely
covered by water.