View Full Version : Fish acclimation

Trevor W
01-13-2015, 04:51 PM
How many of you use something like an acclimation box so that the new fish can be seen but not picked on?

If you do, did you purchase an "acclimation box" or did you diy something?

Do you see it as an essential and highly effective part of new fish additions or do you rather put the fish in and let them sort out the pecking order?

01-13-2015, 06:33 PM
An acclimation box is an essential and effective tool for me. The box provides the new fish with an isolated evnironment to be acclimated to the new tank life. Even though all of my fish went through a QT process but it's still a good idea to acclimate them in the DT. They will get used to the light, the feeding schedule, the water chemistry and their new buddies.
The only thing that won't guarantee is the bullying after they are being released out of the acclimation box. I found that fish are smarter than we think. They don't actually try to attack a fish they can't attack. They know they can't get inside the box. So the best I can do is to fatten up the new fish and hope it is strong enough to withstand the bullying. If I find that the bullying is going to cause casualty I scoop up one of the fish (either the one being bullied or the one bullying) and put that one into another tank.
I tried different material for my acclimation box. I tried acrylic first but it is getting coralline algae quick. So the current box is built out of egg-crate.

Trevor W
01-13-2015, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the input!
With the egg crate box do you have it hooked over the rim of the tank?

01-13-2015, 07:26 PM
yeah...hook over the rim or use a magnet pressing against the glass.

01-13-2015, 07:32 PM
Built mine out of egg crate & zap straps. After I cut the zap straps short, then I use a lighter to melt the sharp edges so the fish don't cut themselves. Same procedure with an sharp edges on the egg crate. Rinse off and you're good to go. I found that it worked well cause my fish would get a chance to see, smell, "taste" and otherwise get to know the new fish for several days before being released. This very much cut down on aggression towards the new fish. It sometimes didn't completely eliminate aggression, but I'm sure that it was less. Sometimes though, the old fish would relentlessly attack the box and so I knew I couldn't add that new fish in without starting a war. Better to be able to scoop out the fish from an isolation chamber (my name for it) than have to tear down my display aquascape to catch it out.


01-13-2015, 07:45 PM
seriously? you guys use an acclimation box???

01-13-2015, 07:57 PM
seriously? you guys use an acclimation box???

Seriously, why not?

01-13-2015, 09:23 PM
Ive just never heard of that, I always just put fish in with the lights off and let them find their way. I cant see the box making any difference with aggression...

01-13-2015, 09:55 PM
Its usually the first couple days of being introduced into a new tank that the old fish are most aggressive. I found in the past that when introducing new tangs into a tank full of tangs, the isolation chamber helped get the old fish "used" to the new fish. I've also had to return some new fish to the LFS if the old fish remained relentlessly aggressive, even several days later. Saved a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the new fish (important if you expect the LFS to take it back). It also saved me having to tear down my tank to catch out the victim.

I admittedly haven't used it in a few years, but now I have a big Sohal so my urge to add a lot of tangs into the tank is very much tempered.

01-13-2015, 10:12 PM
I have always had a little chasing the next day, but nothing crazy bad. I always thought of acclimation boxes and drip acclimation as old school. Reminds me of the crazies on reef central lol. But I guess under certain situations it might help...