Marine Aquarium Livestock Acclimatization Guide
This method is useful for most fish and invertebrates. Switch off quarantine tank or aquarium lighting. Dim the lights in the room. Float bags in aquarium for 20-25 minutes to allow temperature to equilibrate. DO NOT open bag at this time. After the 25 minutes, open the bag and roll down the edges 1-2 inches to make the bag stable, and to keep it afloat. You may also use a clip or a clothespeg to anchor the bag firmly against the edge of the aquarium. Add about a quarter cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag. Make sure to keep water from the bag from spilling over into the aquarium. Repeat every 3-7 minutes until the bag is full of water. Discard half of the water and continue to repeat the previous step until the bag is full once again. This should take around 30-45 minutes. Remove the animal from bag and place them into the aquarium. For hardy fish and motile invertebrates, use a net to do so. For tangs, or other sensitive animals, capture them with a cup, pouring as little of the bag’s water into your tank as possible. For sessile invertebrates, such as corals or anemones, you may remove them by hand. Discard the remaining water.
This is the best method to acclimatise sensitive animals to the aquarium. Please follow this method when introducing clams, shrimp, snails, cucumbers, urchins, starfish, or animals sensitive to pH and salinity shock, to your aquarium. As we have many separate holding systems, we cannot ensure that the water contained in each bag is from the same source. All animals from separate bags must be drip acclimated in separate containers. If you are going to be using this method, please be present during the entire procedure to prevent spillage. Switch off quarantine tank or aquarium lighting. Dim the lights in the room. Float bags in aquarium for 20-25 minutes to allow temperature to equilibrate. DO NOT open bag at this time. At the end of the 25 minutes, gently pour the specimen into a holding container. Sterile plastic tubs or buckets work well in this application. Use airline tubing, or similar to set up a siphon from your main tank to the holding container. Start siphon by sucking on the free end of the airline tubing, or by forcing water into the tube using any existing pump or powerhead in the aquarium. Adjust flow to 1-3 drips/second. This will depend on water volume. You want the water volume to double in the container. Once the volume has doubled, discard half of the container’s water, and resume dripping until the water volume doubles once again; this process should take around 45-60 minutes. Remove the animal from container and place them into the aquarium. For motile invertebrates, use a net to do so. For sessile invertebrates, such as corals or anemones, you may remove them by hand. Discard the remaining water.
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