Properly acclimating fishBy: Jbeing75
Well folks I feel like writing today as I am sick and can't sleep. I am off sick so now I will write a post on properly acclimating your fish to your new tank. In this post I will discuss the two most common methods of acclimating your new fish to your tank. Ideally when you are adding new fish you will be adding them to a quarantine tank. Most new hobbyist don’t have a quarantine tank so I will discuss both quarantine tanks and none quarantine tanks…..
It is highly recommended that you never dump the water from the fish store straight into your tank. It can harbor parasites and increase the chance of infections and parasitic transfer from the fish store to your tank.
The most common method is floating bag method in your tank. This is easily achieved but allows a broken bag to leak water from the fish store into your tank. The best method of floating bag is to float the bag for 15 minutes to allow for the temperature to adjust. At the end of that 15 minutes cut the top of the bag open and dump out around 25% of the water in the bag into the drain. Replace the water you just dumped with the same amount from the tank you plan on putting the fish into. Wait 10 minutes for the ph to adjust and the levels to stabilize. Dump 50% of the water out of the bag into the drain and refill the bag with water from the tank you plan on placing your fish in. Wait 10 more minutes and dump the entire bag down the drain net the fish and gently place the fish in your new tank. It is always best to add new fish at feeding time or lights out to allow the fish to combat an aggression he might receive when being placed in the tank.
The second method which is much safer but takes a little longer is drip acclimation. In drip acclimation you need two pieces of air tubing and a gang valve or airflow valve placed in the middle to control flow of the water. Place the outgoing side of the siphon in the tank that you plan to place the fish in. Take the bag of water including the fish from the fish store and dump it out in a clean plastic bowl or cup. Start the siphon by sucking on the incoming end of the siphon. Adjust the gang valve or airflow restrictor to allow the water to drip slowly into the cup. If you use a larger enough bucket also use an airstone to keep the water completely aerated. The slower water addition will allow the water perimeters to move slower and give the fish more time to adjust to the water. When I am drip acclimating my fish I will place a cup in the bucket and slowly remove water as the siphon slowly drips the tank water into the bucket. Normal drip acclimation is around an hour or so. The only problem with drip acclimation is that a heater will be needed to heat the water to desired temperature as the room temperature will adjust the temperature of the water in the bucket and it will differ from the tank temperature.
Both of these methods are useful and work great. The floating bag is more practical for most members. I would suggest when floating the bag though float it in a quarantine tank and leave the new fish in a quarantine tank for 5-7 days to allow for proper acclimation and disease prevention.
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