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Old 09-08-2004, 04:18 AM   #1
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Aclimating fish into high salinity...

I was wondering how people aclimate their fish into a high salinity situation. I bought a yellow tang tonight and the poor thing died so quickly from the shock. First I let the bag float to get the temp situated and then I dripped it for approx an hour or so. The thing still went into shock and died after it was added later. How is it possible to aclimate this fish? My water is fine but it is at 1.23 for the LR. My fish are healthy but they were slowly aclimated to the higher salinity at a rate of .01 or so a day (I added the LR after the fish so the salinity didn't have to be high when they were first introduced). I really want to get another yellow tang but I am scared it will die quickly. What should I do? I can't really leave the fish in the bucket for a day or so can I? Even still that is like a .05 jump from what most FO tanks are. The only thing I could think is to set my QT up to a mild salinity like 1.21 or something so that I can gradually step it up.
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Old 09-08-2004, 05:54 AM   #2
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I put a heater in a bucket. Then drip for 4 hrs. Longer for corals
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The only thing I could think is to set my QT up to a mild salinity like 1.21 or something so that I can gradually step it up.
If you start your qt at the same as the lfs. Move it up slowly. Like you said.
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:28 AM   #3
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I'm guessing your water is at 1.023 and not 1.23? Personally I've always done a fairly fast acclimation, and haven't had any problems.
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:22 AM   #4
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Ya it is 1.023. When I first started the tank I made the mistake of just temp aclimating and then added the fish and they all came out 100%. Funny how when you try to do it the correct way it gets screwed up.
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Old 09-08-2004, 09:59 AM   #5
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I'm not sure I understand the question.. why do you refer to it as high salinity? 1.023 is actually lower than NSW. Do you happen to know what salinity the LFS water in the bag was?
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:05 AM   #6
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Well maybe lower than NSW but higher than the fish was most likely held in. I was told by my LFS that they keep their tanks rather low. Apparently they believe that low (but tolerable) salinity keeps certain diseases at bay. I refer to it as high because I am used to my tank being in the 1.09 range or so. I only recently (two weeks or so) upped the salinity to 1.23 over a few days. I didn't check the bag because I never had this problem so obviously it is something to consider for next time.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:26 AM   #7
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Sheesh, the LFS should know better than that.. I wonder how many fish bought from them make it through the usual hour of acclimation.

I think your QT plan is good.. start it out at the same salinity as the water in the bag and take several days to bring it up to normal levels and you should be fine.
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:53 AM   #8
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When acclimating fish you should check the salinity/SG of the LFS water and then check yours. Then you acclimate your fish slow until the bowl/bag the fish is in matches your tank water.
I use a drip line and have my fish in a large tupperware bowl, I drip my fish until the LFS water/the water in the bowl is the same as my tank, this process can take 2-5 hours depending on how much of a difference there is. Once the water in the bowl is the same as my tank I let it go another 30- 60 min then introduce the fish. IMO a drip line is the best way to go. You will have to dump out the bowl several times during the process.
I have a LFS that has a SG of 1.014-.018 and my tank is .025 so it takes at least 3 hours to acclimate his fish.
The just add water/acclimate for 1 hour is a standard for Fresh water not salt......
I have not lost a fish while following this process........ (knock on wood)
good luck with the next fish....
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Old 09-09-2004, 07:31 AM   #9
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I am personally amazed that fish live to get to our houses. I've seen almost every fish store I've ever been to do nothing but temperature aclimation and then dump the fish into the tanks. Then, like you said, you do it the right way and the fish dies.
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Old 09-09-2004, 03:58 PM   #10
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I refer to it as high because I am used to my tank being in the 1.09 range or so.
This is far to low for any saltwater livestock to live in full term. This is more along the lines of a temporary treatment known as hyposalinity.

Most LFS keep the specific gravity of their fish holding tanks low for several reasons (it's cheaper, fish handle it o.k., may reduce chances of parasites, etc.). It is important as mentioned to not acclimate for a given time period, but rather to acclimate until the specific gravity in your bag (or other holding container) matches that of the display or better yet, quarantine tank.

As a general rule, fish can enter an environment of lower salinity much more easily than entering one much higher. This is because their osmoregulatory system (removes salt from their bodies) is not taxed as much (and why fish at LFS can go right into the tanks, they are normally lower SG). A jump of more than .02-.03 immediately or even within a few hours can be quite dangerous. Without knowing what the SG was after dripping for an hour, one can only assume that the water did not closely match, or something else killed the fish.
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