View Full Version : Acclimating fish

06-22-2012, 02:57 AM
Hello everyone,

This is my first post over here and I guess I will have to start with a question that can either be stupid to some people or thoughtful to others :P

Anyway, so the basic procedure to introduce a fish a tank is through acclimating it first. As far as I have seen, the most common is to perform temperature acclimation and then slowing drip water into the water that the fish is in.

Now it is suppose to be done so that the fish adjusts to the water IN THE TANK.

Now my question is, when the water from the tank is dripping into the bag of the fish, the salinity is OBVIOUS to be changed unless the salinity of the bag and the water from the tank is same! Because mixing water of different salinity will increase the net salinity in the bag and will keep on changing too since in a small volume of water, new water is being poured and the concentration of salt will keep on increasing. And then when the fish is introduced to the tank, it again gets a whole new salinity to get adjusted to.

This thought actually made me confused a little bit. So what I have decided is, I am maintaining a 1.022 salinity in my tank since most of the stores (what I have heard) maintains that salinity and hence, I am expecting the salinity difference can be overlooked.

Anyway, I am new to saltwater world and is starting my first FOWLR tank. I would love to hear what other got to say on my thought.

Thanks :D

06-22-2012, 03:40 AM
I keep my tank at 1.026
After you have the bag with the new fish at the same temp as your tank, get rid of half of the water and drip into that. Then when nearly full, get rid of half the water again and drip again. introduce fish to your tank.
This has worked for me.

06-22-2012, 03:45 AM
depends where I get the fish from.....if the fish has traveled a long distance and has spent some time in the bag, I drip acclimate the fish over aprox an hour.....if the fish has come form a LFS and spent relatively little time in a bag then I just temperature acclimate it and then put it in.....

06-22-2012, 03:59 AM
The idea is bring the bag water parameters, including salinity, to as close to your tank as possible. You can remove water from the bag and dump it as you're adding water and it will eventually be the same. It just depends on how anal you are about getting things perfect. Also certain livestock can be more sensitive than others. I always measure the salinity of the bagged water and if it's much lower then I spend more time but pretty much everything I've purchased from Calgary stores has measured 1.025 which is what my tank sits at so it's usually a quick process. I wouldn't maintain your tank to match store conditions, set them to ideal levels and adjust new livestock to that.

06-22-2012, 04:20 AM
Thanks for the replies :D

Actually I am having a very hard time getting the salinity around 1.025. I started doing some experiment few hours ago to see how the 1/2cup per gallon rule works and it showed around 1.020. With 1cup in 1.5gallon, the salinity goes to somewhere between 1.024 to 1.025. So I guess I will be following that rule. What do you people think? Or is there any better way to get the salinity to this level?

Currently I don't have anything in my tank other than 2 aquaclear 20 filters running (one with active carbon and the other one with nothing since I will be putting some live rocks in it for biological filtration), substrate and water with SG between 1.023 to 1.024. My liverock is currently on its way to my home and hopefully I will be getting it in this week and will start cycling the tank once it gets here. I am currently maintaining my tank at 78F.

I am actually thinking of putting these in my 20long:
1. A clown
2. A yellow goby
3. A firefish
4. A cardinal
5. Feather duster worm
6. Cleaning crews

Will the above species be happy with my current water condition?

I am a newby to saltwater and hence so many words because of my excitement. Sorry for that :(

06-22-2012, 10:52 PM
Lots of calculators here, as well as the salinity calc.


06-23-2012, 12:30 AM
Thanks :D

BTW what would you suggest for the cleaning crew in my 20L?

07-01-2012, 08:59 PM
I have a 20L and my current cleaning crew is
2 nassarius snails
6 ceriths
6 astreas

I personally don't like hermits because my last couple killed all of my snails and then one hermit took the other out, so I have one sniper hermit. The ones I got were electric blue hermits. I've heard scarlett hermits are more peaceful, but I can't attest to that, so take that with a grain of salt.

07-02-2012, 04:40 PM
Another parameter to keep an eye on when acclimating livestock, especially inverts & coral is pH. Knowing the pH in the bag compared to your tank will provide a better idea of how long you may need to drip before introducing the critter. From what I understand a large pH swing can be more harmful than a few points of salinity.

07-02-2012, 04:58 PM
depends where I get the fish from.....if the fish has traveled a long distance and has spent some time in the bag, I drip acclimate the fish over aprox an hour.....if the fish has come form a LFS and spent relatively little time in a bag then I just temperature acclimate it and then put it in.....

my acclimation process has gone down the drain lol if its not from this city i acclimate slowly if its from the city i barely acclimate at all.....my last fish a yellow tang was just thrown in straight from the bag....laziness towards my tank has got the best of me lately..... yellow did just fine:)

if you do not use an ato then keeping your salinity slightly lower isnt a bad idea then evaporation will not bring it so high.....higer salinity levels are harder on livestock than lower salinity.

my tank when the return section is topped off sits at 1.022-1.023 corals seem to not be affected at all.

07-02-2012, 05:37 PM
I just got a CPR Acclimation center from JL. http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/store_pages/product-info.php?product_ID=mc-faid02

Awesome little unit. It works well. Put fish and little shipping water in it, open drip valve and set on bracket in tank. Container slowly sinks into tank, letting water into it from tank. Acclimatizing to salinity, and temp. Once its full, Close valve at bottom, and drain water, remove fish and put in display tank, Worked great, easiest acclimation I have ever done. I used to do the drip in a bucket method, But you can't get temp right as water in bucket cools as it's dripping over the 2-3 hrs. The CPR is in the tank, so is kept warm

07-05-2012, 06:31 PM
Hello Everyone,

Thanks for the helpful tips :D

I got a chocolate chip star yesterday and dripped acclimated it for like 2 hours. It's doing great. I have put a flake near its tubes and it ate it too. Alongside, its busy exploring the new tank but I guess my clown is a bit unhappy with it since it was also taking the clown's spot and the clown kept on changing its host spot. Fun animals :D