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Acclimation Process


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Acclimation Process Acclimation Process
Proper acclimation of your new animals to your established aquarium is extremely important to their livelihood. Everything you order from needs to be properly acclimated because a healthy vibrant aquarium depends on it. Fish and especially invertebrates are very sensitive to even minor changes in temperature, pH and salinity, so it is critical that these procedures are followed properly and never rushed.

The following method is the easiest way to acclimate new specimens:

  1. Turn off aquarium lights.
  2. Dim the room lights and then open the box. Sudden bright light will cause stress and trauma to a new fish who has just spent the last day in total darkness.
  3. Float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 -20 minutes, so that the temperature of the water in the bag adjusts to the temperature of the aquarium.
  4. Next, cut open the bag just under the metal clip and roll the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket at the lip of the bag. This allows the bag to float while still keeping the bag water and tank water separated (very important). For heavy pieces of live coral that might submerge the bag, place the bag containing the coral in a plastic bowl.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of aquarium water into the shipping bag.
  6. Repeat step 5 every 5 minutes until the shipping bag is full.
  7. Carefully lift the shipping bag from the aquarium and discard half the water from the bag.
  8. Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and repeat steps 5 and 6.
  9. Once the bag is full again, carefully release the specimen(s) into your aquarium using a net. DO NOT pour the contents of the bag directly into the aquarium!
  10. Remove the filled shipping bag from the aquarium and discard. Never release shipping water into the aquarium.
  11. Leave the aquarium lights off for four hours or overnight to give your new specimens and existing tank mates time to slowly adjust to each other.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Most invertebrates and marine plants are more sensitive than fish to changes in specific gravity. It is imperative to acclimate invertebrates to a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025 or severe stress or trauma may occur.
  • Sponges, clams, and gorgonias should never be directly exposed to air. When introducing them to the tank after acclimation, submerge the entire bag and gently remove the specimen from the bag. Next, seal off the bag underwater by twisting the opening, and remove it from the aquarium. A tiny amount of the diluted water will escape into the aquarium; this is O.K.
  • Because they are very delicate, never to touch the "fleshy" part of live coral when handling.
  • Never place an airstone into the shipping bag when acclimating your new arrival. This will increase the pH of the water too quickly and expose the animal to lethal levels of ammonia.
  • Some live corals produce excess slime when shipped. To get rid of it, hold the coral by the rock or skeletal base and shake the coral in the shipping bag after acclimation and before placing into the aquarium. Remember to avoid touching the "fleshy" part of a live coral.
  • It may take several days for some species of coral to adapt to their new home. Do not panic if your coral does not open. Just give it some time.
  • If your new fish is harassed by its tank mates, separate the aggressor(s) temporarily with an aquarium divider or simply a plastic strainer/colander (just float it). This lets the new fish explore and get used to its accommodations in peace.
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