OK, i am about to cause a huge controversy. The following is a quote from Bruce Davidson, owner of Sandy's Pet Shop in Louisville KY:
mix, just a quick catch and release with the aquarium lights off. I feel that acclamation is one of those things that "we" have been doing forever and has never been questioned, until now. When I started in the pet shop business several years ago I floated fish bags for 10-15 minutes and then put the fish through a slow acclamation process. Bothered by the rate of fish losses in the first few days after a shipment I looked for a better way. Initially I tried every method suggested to me. I kept notes and found little improvement with the different methods. Finally I tried the no float no mix technique and had wonderful results. It has been several years with 4 shipments of fish a week and I still think this is best for the fish. Invertebrates like shrimp, crabs and starfish do need salinity acclamation. The only reason we can bag fish is that CO2
from respiration lowers the pH. At a low pH ammonia is non-toxic. When you open the bag you allow CO2
to escape, the pH will start to rise and this will allow the ammonia to become toxic. The longer the acclamation the longer the fish will be exposed to high ammonia. When transferring fish, temperature and salinity acclamation in my opinion is simply not needed. Water temperature and salinity on the reef will change twice daily with the tide. The temperature swing can be over 10Âº with the tide change. Fish are routinely exposed to temperature changes as they ascend and descend."
Bruce has been doing this for over 10 years now, as have his customers. I have personally done so this entier time of over 10 years with wonderful results. Bottom line is, do not acclimate at all. Everything you think is common sence is not supported by the chemistry which takes place inside the bag of water during acclimation.
This movement was supported by several huge names in the hobby in all the major aquarium magazines in the early 1990's. For some reason, it was widely ignored by the general public, probably because it sounds drastic. Try it! You will be very glad you did!