View Full Version : How to: Make and use the method of drip acclimation!

08-31-2009, 05:51 PM
How to: Make and use the method of drip acclimation.

Written and posted August 31, 2009

This method is used very frequently for adding new fish to a tank without floating a bag and having to release their old water into the new tank.

Always cycle the tank before adding fish. There are a few great ways to cycle a tank without having to put the lives of your fish at risk!

Please check out the following links for info on fishless-cycling.


Pictures are included for items you may not be familiar with.
I do not own these pictures unless otherwise stated.


Bucket with your fish of choice, as little water as possible and a plant or two for them to hide in.
Strong, clear tape. Packing tape works well.
Gang valve http://i30.tinypic.com/2lwadmq.jpg
Aquarium Airline Tubing http://i31.tinypic.com/2ep8136.jpg
Your cycled tank filled with dechlorinated water.
Test kit
A source of entertainment for the next hour or two.

First you want to put your bucket o' fish on the ground, under the tank they will be going in.

Take your aquarium airline tubing and unravel as much as you need that will go from 2 inches inside the bucket all the way up to your tank, over the edge and down about 10 inches. It depends how large your tank is.. is it a 2.5 gallon bucket and a 10 gallon aquarium? Do the math.. thats 1/4 of the tank and you will almost fill the bucket, so the tubing will need to be atleast 1/4 of the way down.

Now cut the tubing and then tape one end 2 inches or so to the inside of the bucket. Tape the other end on the rim of the tank so the tubing ends underwater.

Cut the tubing where you would like. If you cut it at the top, you can hang your gang valve on the rim of the tank.

Now take your gang valve and connect one end of the cut tubing to the main valve on the side, making sure it goes on all of the way. Take your other cut end of the tubing and connect it to one of the valves.

Now.. this is the worst part of it all... suck on the end of the tubing that is going into the bucket until the water comes through, and aim at the bucket. Quickly adjust the gang valve so that you have a constant water speed of 1-3 drops per second.

Now set your timer for 15 minutes.. and go watch tv or read a book.. or do waterchanges on your other tank(s)... maybe you have some hungry fry...

After 15 minutes check on the fish and the rate of the water falling. Are they still alive? (Hopefully!) You may want to compare the water temperature to see how it's going...

You can continue this pattern for as long as it takes to fill the bucket. It may take 1 hour, 2.. it depends on your bucket size and the rate of the water.

**You can acclimate many more fish at a time by using more than one bucket. You will need a gang valve that has more valves and some more aquarium airline tubing to attach to the gang valve.**

Once the water has risen to near the top, you can test the temperature one final time and any other paramaters to make sure the water is the same.

The final step is to carefully net the fish and add them to the tank. Watch for signs of stress and check over your fish for diseases and injuries.

Here is a picture THAT I TOOK that shows how it should be set up.
If you have ANY questions or need step-by-step pictures feel free to ask.


08-31-2009, 06:36 PM
Good post!

08-31-2009, 07:00 PM
Very nice write up!

08-31-2009, 07:29 PM
Awesome write-up! thumbs2:

Wild Turkey
08-31-2009, 07:38 PM
Great write up!! thumbs2: I advocate drip acclimation across the board and never use any other method. It works wonders and I recommend it to all parties! The gang valve is a great idea for multiple drips

I actually did one of these in march, but its been buried :hmm3grin2orange: I will post the link to this one on that thread so the info from both threads is "together"

Im so glad to see people advocating this method, biiig smile :D

08-17-2011, 12:33 PM
While adding water for the first time to bucket to keep the fish ho much water should one use ? 1 gal? And should dechlorinated fresh tap water be safe t use?

Lady Hobbs
08-17-2011, 04:03 PM
I actually did one of these in march, but its been buried :hmm3grin2orange: I will post the

Not buried! It's a stickie we already have here.

Drip Acclimation Methods (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=62211)