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Old 01-13-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
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Acclimitization and Chemistry

I try to slowly acclimate my fish before they go into the tank and only buy fish that the references tell me will be happy with my chemistry but am beginning to question how much it matters.

I was at the fish store when they got a shipment of fish in and they emptied the bags into empty buckets and the buckets immediately into tanks. I asked about acclimatization and was told they were all tank raised fish so didn't need it.

And when I walk through the store the water from one tank goes into the overflow tube ind down to the tank beneath it and all the water goes into the same filter.

So what does it matter?
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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I've always wondered about the 'acclimitisation' rule. They say when you have fish in the bag just leave them an hour to let the temperatures acclimatise, but the temperatures are probably nearly near enough and I would be more worried about a sudden change of PH or water quality for them. You'd almost need to syringe some tank water into the bag to help it mix and bit first.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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That's what I was recommended about 15 minutes floating in the bag then open it and put some tank water in about 1/4 then Leave for 15 and repeat until the last 1/4 is putting the fish in the tank
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shetland James
I've always wondered about the 'acclimitisation' rule. They say when you have fish in the bag just leave them an hour to let the temperatures acclimatise, but the temperatures are probably nearly near enough and I would be more worried about a sudden change of PH or water quality for them. You'd almost need to syringe some tank water into the bag to help it mix and bit first.
I was reading about drip acclimatization where you drip 3 drops per second into a bucket with the fish in store water until you have x amount of water in the bucket then net the fish into the tank and top it off with new water. I got out Excel to crunch the numbers and figured it would take over 24 hours to acclimate a bag of fish.

I float my bag for 15-30 minutes depending on how impatient I am, then add 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 5 minutes for the next 20-30 minutes before spilling them into the tank.

I don't have space for a quarantine tank so everything goes straight into my tank.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Acclimating your fish is important in order to give them the best chance to survive. The water in the shipping bags at your LFS has a pretty high ammonia content from the fish waste. It's important to get those fish out of that water quickly, but it's still a good idea to acclimate the fish. My good LFSs at least float their fish.

I'm a fan of the drip method. I've had a lower mortality rate after I started the drip method. I put my fish in a bucket with the bag water, then I start a siphon in a piece of air line and tie a knot in the end to regulate the drips. I usually aim to add 3-5 times the bag water volume depending on the fish.

Cheap hardy fish like guppies - 3x volume over 15-30 minutes
GBRs that I talked myself into paying $13 a piece for - 5x volume over an hour or so.

Saltwater fish are often acclimated for hours at very slow drip rates. I haven't found that necessary for freshwater fish. My water parameters are fairly close to my LFSs though.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #6
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One thing about drip acclimation is temperate problems. My house stays at 68F in winter and my tanks are ~78F, so the temp in the bucket drops rapidly. That's why I float the bag and add water with a cup now. I also add a dash of prime to the bag incase the LFS' water had ammonia.

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