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Dearth
09-05-2015, 05:01 AM
This is a hot button topic with many reefers on most forums but when your LFS gets in a fish order do you prefer to grab the fish while still bagged from the shipper or wait until the fish has acclimated to the LFS

Myka
09-05-2015, 05:21 AM
You need to know what you're doing when you pick up fish straight from the shipper's box. Lots of people kill fish doing this from ammonia burn and pH shock.

When a fish travels a long way in a bag it poops in the bag and it also respires CO2. The CO2 builds up in the bag which drops the pH and converts the ammonia from the fish poop from toxic NH3 to much less toxic NH4. Eventually the bag runs out of oxygen, but in the meantime the CO2 helps the fish. Then when the bag is opened and the CO2 is released and new air is introduced the pH rises very quickly. As soon as this happens the ammonia reverts back to toxic NH3. On top of this, the fish may suffer from pH shock if the swing is too great too quickly which can also kill the fish. So people need to be wise to this. These issues are a bigger problem with overseas shipments rather than shipments coming from elsewhere in Canada or the USA.

For me it depends what kind of fish it is. I recently picked up a small herd of Anthias and because they are finicky, stress easily, and often difficult to get eating I felt it was in the fishes' best interest if I took them straight from the box. Generally though, if I special order a fish I will try to grab it straight out of the shipper's box.

If I don't get the fish from the shipper's box then I don't really care if I pick it up the next day or a week later, but I will never buy a fish on the same day it arrived. That's really tough on the fish.

hillegom
09-05-2015, 05:58 AM
Mindy, I have never picked up a fish from the shippers box.
What is the best method to acclimate these fish to prevent ammonia shock
Sorry for the hyjack.

Aquattro
09-05-2015, 05:59 AM
As Mindy stated, as long as you know how to deal with fish in a bag, I would prefer to get mine from the box. My fish guy brings the fish from the airport to my door, so I get to do this often. I have had good results with it, vs getting fish from the LFS

Myka
09-05-2015, 06:19 AM
Mindy, I have never picked up a fish from the shippers box.
What is the best method to acclimate these fish to prevent ammonia shock
Sorry for the hyjack.

Ammonia burn is easy to deal with - just use an ammonia detoxifier like AmQuel, ClorAm-X, or Prime in the bag as soon as you open it.

It's the pH shock that's a bit trickier, and a good reason to have a QT if you want to buy fish straight from the shipper's box. You can lower the pH (I use API pH Down because it's easy and cheap) in the QT to match that of the fish bag, and the pH will rise back to normal all by itself over the course of the night and next morning which slowly acclimates the fish. You can't drip acclimate if you're doing the pH acclimation because if you drip the pH will rise fast in the drip container. You have to float the fish bag for temperature (keep tank lights off) open the bag, measure pH (with a pH meter not a test kit) and salinity, adjust the pH and salinity of the QT, add the fish (toss the bag water). Leave the lights off until the next day.

Aquattro
09-05-2015, 06:26 AM
I do similar, but quicker. I set up the large styrofoam box as a holding tank with a heater and powerhead, lower pH and add fish right from bag (temp matched). I then let the water circulate for about 6 hours and add fish to tank. No losses doing this so far. Also how my LFS does (did) it.

Myka
09-05-2015, 06:32 AM
I do similar, but quicker. I set up the large styrofoam box as a holding tank with a heater and powerhead, lower pH and add fish right from bag (temp matched). I then let the water circulate for about 6 hours and add fish to tank. No losses doing this so far. Also how my LFS does (did) it.

What's the lowest pH you've done this with? Your way would increase the pH quite quickly. I find it's easiest to do it in the QT because then I can just walk away from it (and go to bed lol), plus it's one less transfer for the fish.

Dearth
09-05-2015, 06:36 AM
I have only gotten a handful of my fish straight from the shipping box the first two times I did similar methods as Mindy and Brad however both times my fish died whether it was from stress or illness I know not however the other times was straight into the tank from the bag after a heat acclimation without any loss of life.

It is important to note that while I haven't lost any fish through what I do I also am rolling the dice per se every time I do so as I don't run a QT nor do I medicate any of my fish so I also run the risk of introducing unwanted illness into my tank.

xenon
09-05-2015, 06:37 AM
Very solid advice given so far. :biggrin:

When we bring in a fish shipment, we prep our incoming system in advance.

Depending on what supplier we use, we know what salinity to expect. We also have a rough idea what temp they come in at (depending on the time of year) so we set our chiller on that system to match the fish shipment.

We then use a CO2 tank to drop the system PH. We have a controller set to increase PH 0.1 for every hour that passes until 8.0 is reached.

Once all the fish are properly acclimated and looking good, they get transferred over to the fish system for sale.

Aquattro
09-05-2015, 07:31 AM
What's the lowest pH you've done this with? Your way would increase the pH quite quickly. I find it's easiest to do it in the QT because then I can just walk away from it (and go to bed lol), plus it's one less transfer for the fish.

I lower to about 6/6.5, which renders the NH4 less toxic, and close enough to most bags. I don't use QT, and prefer not to leave a box of fish on the floor with a kid and house full of dogs :) Mostly just match temp and slowly add O2 via small pump to raise pH. Longer would likely be better, but this works. I adopted it from the LFS which needed to get this done between arrival and closing, and it worked for them, so..

FitoPharmer
09-28-2015, 07:26 PM
Ammonia burn is easy to deal with - just use an ammonia detoxifier like AmQuel, ClorAm-X, or Prime in the bag as soon as you open it.

It's the pH shock that's a bit trickier, and a good reason to have a QT if you want to buy fish straight from the shipper's box. You can lower the pH (I use API pH Down because it's easy and cheap) in the QT to match that of the fish bag, and the pH will rise back to normal all by itself over the course of the night and next morning which slowly acclimates the fish. You can't drip acclimate if you're doing the pH acclimation because if you drip the pH will rise fast in the drip container. You have to float the fish bag for temperature (keep tank lights off) open the bag, measure pH (with a pH meter not a test kit) and salinity, adjust the pH and salinity of the QT, add the fish (toss the bag water). Leave the lights off until the next day.
How much per bag of ammonia detoxifier?

and something like this to lower the PH?
http://www.jlaquatics.com/dry-goods/aquarium-supplies/additives-media/seachem-acid-buffer-600-gram.html

Myka
09-28-2015, 08:18 PM
It depends which ammonia detoxifier you use - they vary in strength, but it's not much, a few drops really.

I use API pH Down but that Seachem product looks like it would do the trick.

FitoPharmer
10-02-2015, 12:44 AM
is this your procedure for inverts as well?

theokie
10-02-2015, 04:05 PM
Very solid advice given so far. :biggrin:

When we bring in a fish shipment, we prep our incoming system in advance.

Depending on what supplier we use, we know what salinity to expect. We also have a rough idea what temp they come in at (depending on the time of year) so we set our chiller on that system to match the fish shipment.

We then use a CO2 tank to drop the system PH. We have a controller set to increase PH 0.1 for every hour that passes until 8.0 is reached.

Once all the fish are properly acclimated and looking good, they get transferred over to the fish system for sale.

I really like this method of lowering ph, since I have lots of CO2 equipment from my planted high tech days, I will be incorporating this into my acclimation and quarantine procedure

Trigger Man
10-05-2015, 02:30 AM
For the more rare higher end fish I prefer to pick up the fish fresh from the shipper. For all others I prefer to put them on hold and pick them up a week after when they are eating.