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Old 01-10-2007, 05:16 PM   #1
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Drip Acclimation and Temperature

Well, my salt water tank is underway. Thanks for the advice from everyone so far, most recently with my goby. I actually coaxed him out into plain view for about 30 seconds today so hopefully with another week of routine and clever feeding he should feel more comfortable in the tank.

Anyway, onto the topic at hand. My tank is a 24gal aquapod. My plan is to have primarily coral and a few inverts. I will probably have no more than 3 fish (all at or around 1 inch). The aquapod sits at 80degrees during the day with the heater off. It seems the proximity to the lights is keeping the tank warm. The heater is still present to prevent major drops at night with the lights off.

I have heard 80 isn't a problem for corals and inverts but can cause problems with oxygen content for fish, but with the low fish load I don't believe this will be a problem.

However, acclimation is interesting. I have tweaked my tank to be similar to the water conditions of my lfs and did a 1.5hour drip acclimation with the goby. The salinity/ph/etc all matched up nicely after that point, but the temperature was completely off. The warmth of the tank water is no match for the heat capacity of the water the fish arrives in and the amount of time it takes to drip.

What I did with the goby was, after I had matched chemicals with a drip, was to do a series of 1cup water exchanges into the acclimation water from the tank to slowly bring the water temperature up.

Does anyone have a tactic that will work more effectively? I am new to drip acclimation and seem to be doing ok with it but it has been awkward every time I have tried.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2007, 06:10 PM   #2
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Long post on drip acclimation that should be helpful.

Once the fish/invert/coral is acclimated adding additional water from the main to bring the temp up by adding a cup or two every 5-10 minutes will work but the shock of the temp swing i.e. 70 to 80 could cause quite a bit of stress.

You never want to add lfs water to your main and preferably you should add all stock to a cycled QT that matches the lfs temp/ph/sg/ak and slowly bring the qt up to the mains temp/ph/sg/ak over the 4-6 weeks of quarantine.

If adding to the main directly without a QT you place your new stock in a smaller plastic bowl and float it in a 5 gal bucket or larger tub and use a heater under it to bring your acclimation water up to temp. You can also add a heater directly but if below it's easier to control temps.
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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Also to get the temp right I would float the bag first for a half hour or 1 hour and then go through the drip acclimation. I do drip acclimation for corals and inverts but I dont on fish. I add 1/2 cups of water every 30 mins and do it for a couple hours. Here is a good article on acclimation

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=18
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58
Also to get the temp right I would float the bag first for a half hour or 1 hour and then go through the drip acclimation.
Good point, I personally don't like to do this because my good lfs is almost an hour away and I worry about ph/oxygen dropping but if your lfs is fairly close then floating the bag (without opening) works well but keep in mind if drip acclimating for more then an hour you will still need a heater since the temps typically will drop 4+ degrees in an hour.

I like to drip acclimate everything including fish and the time is relative to what I'm acclimating i.e. fish usually for just an hour, most inverts for 2-3 hours and sea stars for 3+ hours.

Also the change in ph/sg should really dictate how long you acclimate IMO. Most lfs/online vendors keep their tanks around 1.019 sg and if you keep your tank at the same sg you won't have to acclimate that long. If you keep it at 1.025 sg then a longer acclimation is needed.

That's why I just keep my QT the same as my lfs and adjust slowly up over time per first & second articles in advancedaquarist.com.
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:49 AM   #5
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In a hour or so of drip acclimation, isn't the drip container slowly getting a lot closer to the main's temp? I have MH lighting and noticed for the first time with 2 small (purple and yellow bellied) CBS that the temp was an issue. The water from the main was so much warmer with me getting the acclimation water from the top of the main. Their little pincher claws fell off when inoticed how warm the acclimation container was. One didn't make it past 2 hours in the new tank after adding them. The other is doing fine 4 months later now.

My drips @ about a drop per second has worked well with fish and coral but I've learned to drip either a few hours before the lights come on at noon or a couple hours after they
are off for the temperature issues.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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I keep my house at 69 degrees year round and IME if I don't use a heater during a slow drip acclimation it does nothing to increase temps in the acclimation container. No idea what happens if you keep your house warmer though.

Sorry to hear about your CBS, it's not too uncommon for them to drop off their arms and mine has done it twice now. As I'm sure you are aware they grow back by the 2nd or 3rd molt.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:53 PM   #7
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The one that lived is picture perfect now. Too bad I only have one now. I want a pair, but if I do, I'm sure my existing one will get whacked. Oh well - won't chance it.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the tips! Reading through the other post actually gave me an idea to get around the issue. The lfs doesn't really give you enough water to work with in the bag, but I didn't think about asking for a separate bag of water. This would give me enough to just use my small QT tank for the drip acclimation. It is only 2 gal, but that is far too much for 1 bag of water, maybe not for fish but certainly for corals. Spread out over the larger area I always run the risk of exposing parts. That should help the process quite a bit. With a larger water volume I can more gently bring the temperature up over time because I will have more volume to offset rapid temperature changes. I keep my apartment at right around 70 which is low enough compared to my CF-heated tank to be a problem with only a few cups of water. Floating the bag first actually causes me more problems than good since it brings the temperature up and then lets it fall again over the hour+ drip acclimation.
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