ACCLIMATING FISH AND INVERTEBRATES


Now that you chosen the aquatic species that you’d like to introduce to your home or office aquarium, it is of vital importance that they are acclimated to their new environment in the proper way.  By following the procedure outlined below, you can ensure that you will protect your recent purchase.

WHY YOU SHOULD ACCLIMATE YOUR FISH AND CORAL:

After purchasing your aquatic wildlife, they will be placed in bags.  During transit from the place of purchase to your home, water parameters within the bag will change.  By the time the aquatic wildlife reaches your aquarium, the water inside the bag will be of a different pH, temperature, and possibly salinity than what is currently in your home aquarium.  Fish, corals and invertebrates are extremely sensitive to minute changes in these parameters.  For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that they are acclimated properly to their new environment.

The following procedure will explain in detail proper acclimation procedure.

1.       Take the bagged fish to the room where you will be doing the acclimation process.

2.       Dim the lights in the room if possible and turn off the aquarium lights.

3.       Without opening the bag, check the temperature of the water in the bag by touching the outside of the bag.  If the bag seems more or less than 5 degrees F, let the bag sit out for a while to let the temperature adjust. 

4.       Next, float the bag in the aquarium for 20 minutes to equalize the temperature in the bag to the temperature of the aquarium water.

5.       Once the temperatures have equalized, open the bag.  If you are acclimating freshwater fish, simply pour the bag of water and fish into a net over an empty bucket.  With the fish in the net, place them into their new aquarium.  If you are acclimating saltwater fish, fill the bag with water from the aquarium.  Wait 5 minutes more and then repeat the same procedure as with freshwater fish.  This extra step is to ensure that the fish are properly acclimated to any difference there may be in salinity.  If you are acclimating corals, repeat the same procedure, except at a slower pace.  Only fill the bag ¼ full of aquarium water, wait 5 minutes and repeat until the bag is completely full.  This time instead of netting the specimen, keep the bag submerged and gently pull the invertebrates out of the bag and place them in the aquarium.

6.       Keep the lights dim for the first 24 hours to allow your specimen to settle into the new environment.

Please keep in mind, never rush the acclimation process.  Also, although it is not absolutely necessary, we highly recommend quarantining all aquatic animals in a separate aquarium for two weeks to ensure that you will not introduce a disease into your display tank.  This will ensure that the new and existing specimens will be at optimal health.