How to acclimate your fish: Drip method
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:06 PM   #1
dekstr
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How to acclimate your fish: Drip method


There are many ways to acclimate your fish. This is just one I found to be quite effective--zero out of 30+ fish losses reported so far for a beginner fish keeper.

Click to see video on youtube:



It's not solely my idea, but a culmination of knowledge learned from other fish keepers.

Required: airline tubing, bucket, chair

Ask the fish store to add more water in the bag when you first buy the fish.

When you get home, pour the store water and fish into a bucket. Put bucket on chair beside the tank

Tie a knot on the airline tubing--adjust the tightness to control the water flow.

Suck some water through the tubing, let water drip onto holding bucket. It's better to have a dark coloured bucket and lots of shading--fish feel more comfortable that way. I didn't do this.

Water should drip 1-2 drops per second.
After 1 to 2 hours, when the tank water is 2-3 times the initial amount, net the fish into the quarantine or main tank.

I got free stress coat bottle, so I added some into the holding tank. You can do this too, it seems to lower fish stress.

Note: Never add store water into your tank water.

You can put your own variation to this method.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
rmc
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Many folks use the drip method and have had good luck with it but I would not recommend it as the only way to acclimate fish. Acclimation to different water parameters takes longer than just a few minutes in a bucket. Sometimes it can take weeks. Fish will succumb to shock and in my opinion the two most perilous are temperature shock and ammonia burns. If you are just bringing fish home from the LFS then dripping is fine. If your fish are shipped in and they've been in bags for an extended period of time then dripping can prove to be certain death for them as there is sure to be ammonia in that water. If the water in the bag is cloudy and/or there's dead fish in the bag then getting the survivors out of that water ASAP is very important. Once the bag is opened and fresh air gets in the toxic effects of ammonia increases and can permanently damage the fish in a few seconds although death may not occur for days.

When I get a shipment of fish I float the bags in the tank the fish are going in to equalize the temperature. After about 15 minutes I get the fish out of the bagged water as fast as possible. On average it takes about 5-10 seconds to open the bag, dump the fish into a net, and then into the tank. Of course I look at each individual bag and determine if the fish should go directly into the tank or if some type of treatment is needed beforehand.

I've never killed a fish with ph shock but I have had healthy looking fish in an unopened bag only to see them go belly up after opening the bag. I don't think that the drip method is bad but there are other options and valid reasons to employ different techniques depending on circumstances. YMMV
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Old 12-10-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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A drop of two or prime should detox the bag water while you acclimate the fish, shouldn't it?
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmc View Post
Many folks use the drip method and have had good luck with it but I would not recommend it as the only way to acclimate fish. Acclimation to different water parameters takes longer than just a few minutes in a bucket. Sometimes it can take weeks. Fish will succumb to shock and in my opinion the two most perilous are temperature shock and ammonia burns. If you are just bringing fish home from the LFS then dripping is fine. If your fish are shipped in and they've been in bags for an extended period of time then dripping can prove to be certain death for them as there is sure to be ammonia in that water. If the water in the bag is cloudy and/or there's dead fish in the bag then getting the survivors out of that water ASAP is very important. Once the bag is opened and fresh air gets in the toxic effects of ammonia increases and can permanently damage the fish in a few seconds although death may not occur for days.

When I get a shipment of fish I float the bags in the tank the fish are going in to equalize the temperature. After about 15 minutes I get the fish out of the bagged water as fast as possible. On average it takes about 5-10 seconds to open the bag, dump the fish into a net, and then into the tank. Of course I look at each individual bag and determine if the fish should go directly into the tank or if some type of treatment is needed beforehand.

I've never killed a fish with ph shock but I have had healthy looking fish in an unopened bag only to see them go belly up after opening the bag. I don't think that the drip method is bad but there are other options and valid reasons to employ different techniques depending on circumstances. YMMV
Wow I never knew opening a bag will cause such ammonium problems. I'm assuming you net them into the quarantine tank.

I totally agree with you, drip is not the only way, but it's basically useful for short distance trips to the LFS.

BTW what's YMMV? lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrh View Post
A drop of two or prime should detox the bag water while you acclimate the fish, shouldn't it?
I never used prime before, so I wouldn't know. I guess follow the instructions and prime should do what it says.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:01 AM   #5
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your mileage may vary YMMV
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:22 AM   #6
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i belive that after shippping it is best just to net a fish out into whever they are going no acclimation. lower temps cause ph drop, and makes ammonia not harmful (well not as bad) then when u bring temp up it will kill the fish. thus you shud just net and dump
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:31 AM   #7
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I always dump the fish into a bucket with the LFS water they are in. I do a faster drip, 5 drips a second maybe. After 10 minutes I take half the water out of the bucket and continue to drip. I like to repeat this 3 or four times. I never loose fish. This gets them temp acclimated and gets fresh water to them failry quickly. This method is better IMHO then the open the bag and after 15 minutes floating and dump. I have heard that for SW the float acclimation then dump method is better becasue it avoind the ammonia issue when the O2 hits the water when you open the bag. But for FW the drip method is the best, I would think most would agree.
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:12 AM   #8
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I net/dunk fish, FW shrimp and corals. I only drip SW inverts, for at least an hour.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:15 PM   #9
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When I used the float and then net-out method I lost far many more fish than using the drip method-this includes fish shipped throught the mail.
just my 2 cents
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