WHY IS ACCLIMATION IMPORTANT?
Proper acclimation is probably the single most important thing you can do for your new marine animal.
All fish, coral and invertebrates are sensitive to water temperature, pH, and salinity.
Acclimation will help your animal adjust to its new environment and water chemistry.
It will also help prevent diseases like saltwater ich from affecting your new animal or even the animals you already have in your aquarium.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER ABOUT ACCLIMATION
- NEVER RUSH the acclimation process! If done properly, it will take at least 30-40 minutes.
- Keep your aquarium lights off for at least four hours after acclimating.
- Dim the lights in the room the tank is in. Bright lights will stress out your animal.
- If acclimating coral: Place the animal at mid-tank or lower, away from direct light for the first couple of days. Make sure the entire specimen is getting plenty of water flow.
- If acclimating fish: Don’t worry if the animal is not moving, or at the bottom of the plastic bag. Most likely it is only sleeping or stressed out. If properly acclimated it will take about 1-2 days for it to start swimming around the aquarium.
- Dim the lights in the room your aquarium is in.
- Turn off your aquarium lights.
- Remove sealed bag from box, and float it in your aquarium for at least 15 minutes. This will help the water temperature in the bag adjust to the water temperature in your aquarium.
- Snip off the top of the plastic bag, and roll the top edge down an inch. You may need to secure the bag to the edge of the tank so it won’t sink. Continue to float the bag.
- Add 1/2 cup of aquarium water to the bag every 5 minutes, until bag is almost full.
- Remove bag from aquarium, and dump about half of the water (be careful not to dump out your fish!). DO NOT POUR THE WATER FROM THE BAG INTO THE AQUARIUM!
- Continue floating the bag in the aquarium, and add 1/2 cup of aquarium water every 5 minutes until bag is nearly full
- Net the animal carefully and release it into the aquarium.
For fish with spines, such as Lionfish: It is safe to carefully dump most of the water in the bag into a bucket, and then empty the fish into the aquarium. It is okay if some of the water in the bag gets released into your aquarium. This will not harm your tank.
This is a more advanced, but HIGHLY reccomended process. You will need to be present the ENTIRE time to monitor the process.
You will need a clean 3-5 gallon bucket (if acclimating more than one animal, use seperate buckets for each)
- Dim the lights in the room your aquarium is in
- Turn off aquarium lights
- Float sealed bag in aquarium for 15 minutes.
- Snip off top of bag and carfully empty contents into clean bucket. Be sure to fully submerge animal under water. This may require you to prop the bucket at an angle.
- Remove airline tubing from shipping box.
- Prepare siphon by dropping one end of tube into your aquarium, and sucking on the other end, as you would a straw, until you feel the water being pulled through.
- Run the siphon drip line from your aquarium into the bucket.
- Tie loose knots in the tubing, in order to allow one drip per second.
- Monitor the dripping, until the level of water in the bucket doubles.
- Discard half the water, and continue dripping into the bucket until the water level doubles again.
- Carefully transfer animal to aquarium
SPECIAL NOTE: Sponges, clams, yellow leathers and gorgonians should NEVER be exposed to air. After acclimation, don’t take these animals out of the shipping bag, rather submerge the bag into your aquarium, and remove the animal from the bag. It’s okay if a little of the bag water gets into the tank. While still holding the bag underwater, twist the top of the bag to seal it, and remove it from the aquarium. Discard both the bag and the water.