I have a couple more questions, if you don't mind.
In your directions above, you said to take a 45 minute break after the water has finished dripping into the bucket, but the only measurement you gave of how long it takes to drip the water in the bucket was in reference to the amount of water being dripped. There's no time given. The time can vary greatly, depending on how fast or slow you make the drip. So about how long would you say it takes for you to drip the water into the bucket before your 45 minute break?
Also, I have large tanks running CO2 (75g and 90g). I've always been concerned about adding fish in these tanks because of the CO2. Both tanks have a high CO2 saturation (drop checkers are yellow). What I've been doing is performing a 50% water change to cut the CO2 saturation in the tank before adding new fish. However, I have not been turning the CO2 off after that. Is doing the 50% water change first the best idea or do you have a better suggestion? Also, if I did keep the CO2 off for the remainder of the day, will the fish be okay when the CO2 jumps back to its normal high saturation level the next day? Just how much will the CO2 affect new fish? (It might be helpful to note that I also have a high oxygen level in the tanks based on the amount of pearling seen in the tanks.)
Thank you so much for offering to help answer these questions! I've actually been wondering about some of these things, especially since I just added 50 new amanos and a couple new plecos to my tanks.
You can do a 50% water change before hand to increase oxygen levels and decrease co2 concentrations for sure - however, is typically unnecessary. Just as long as you turn off Co2 and raise your filtration output so that the water is becoming oxygenated.
Over time fish can become adapted to higher Co2 concentrations, however initially I tend to lower my Co2 output into the aquarium, as in most cases, we are using more Co2 than is necessary when there are no fish in the aquarium. Then slowly over time I increase the Co2 level going into the aquarium. Especially with a plant such as Riccia, you can get to quite a high level of Co2 over time.
In a 75 gal, stick to about 5-6 BPS depending on where the diffuser is located in the aquarium. Though in such a large aquarium you typically can get away with 9-10 BPS.
In Nano's, 2-3 is good. In a 20 gallon 3-5 is good. The best method is to make slow changes over time.
Keeping the Co2 off for the remainder of the day they're acclimated gives them time to settle and rest from the stresses of transportation - by the next day, when Co2 normally comes on and begins to saturate the water, it's a much less jarring experience. If you choose to do it same day, wait about 4 hours.
As for the volume of water into the bucket - you want to roughly double the amount of water that the fish originally came in. In a Nano it's super simple since you merely drain the tank water about 1.5" down (or in an ADA tank w/lily pipes, to where the outflow begins).
This should be done over about a 20-30 minute interval at least - so make those knots tight!
Hey Frank, I've read this whole thread over the past few days and I feel like I've learned a lot. I'm a reef keeper about to attempt my first planted aquaria. Recently I've decided that I am going to wait a little while before starting my tank though so that I can more thoroughly study "the method"
and really have a good plan laid out of what I need to do. I also have a lot of materials to obtain. I have the tank and an HOB filter and that's about it.
Maybe I missed something, but is the current M supposed to be the "challenge" tank that was discussed earlier in the thread?
Finally, nice write up on drip acclimation. I used a similar method for acclimating marine fish as well. I would maybe mention that if the tank water is heated that a temperature acclimation procedure would also be required which could be putting the fish into a tupperware or a bag and floating it in the tank for the last portion of the procedure.
On the temperature bit - that's a great piece of additive advice. Fortunately, most planted aquariums are kept at room temperature, and if you allow the fish in the bag's water to sit for about 10-15 minutes it'll get to room temperature as well.
Temperature is one of the biggest shocks to fish acclimating - so either float the bag for 10-15 or let em sit alone for 10-15 minutes if your planted aquarium is kept at room temperature (really, the only need for a heater ever for a planted aquarium is if you live in an extreme cold temperature state - and don't keep a kind of heater on during the winter. Room temps of roughly 60 degrees often net a water temperature of about 70-74 in my experience, and water will stay at about 76-78 even if room temperature is around 85).
This layout isn't the challenge aquarium - I've gotten caught up in a lot of tasks in the day, but it'll come sooner or later. Probably after my next move in September.
Great write-up Frank. That's how I added my Boraras brigittae the other day, and they are doing great. The one thing I would add is that it does seem to make the fish more comfortable if you place something in the bucket. In your photos, the dark airline tubing can be that "something". I placed a stone in my bucket, and they instantly grouped around that. Fish like structure. Even though the bucket is a very temporary part of their stressful journey, and it's relatively trivial, I think everything we can do to reduce stress is a plus. For the dip net, the Fluval shrimp net works very well for nano fish. It doesn't collapse around them but remains open, so less contact with their delicate fins. I could coax them into the net without aggressively chasing them, and then simply placed the net in the tank and allowed them to swim out when ready --a very gentle process.
I've really enjoyed my Petco bookshelf experiment, but I'm about ready to get on with my ADA tank. You post too much eye-candy! Cannot...resist....can...not...resist.
I'll be contacting you soon.
Absolutely! An object helps the fish - if I have trimmings available or if the fish have to sit in a bucket for long periods of time for whatever reason, I'll typically throw some trimmings from stem plants or the like into the bucket for them. This does a lot to provide shade and some natural filtration (albeit small scale) in the bucket temporarily.