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Old 09-25-2008, 08:12 AM   #1
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Drip Acclimation...

okay... yeah... I have a lot of questions apparently...

Saw a thread earlier mentioning Drip Acclimation as a better way to prep fish for move from bag to tank. I took a look on google for instructions and found the following: The Drip Method of Acclimation! :: FishGeeks :: Tropical fish - Marine Fish - Aquarium Fish - Pond Fish - Aquatic Plants

My problem is that this seems somewhat cruel as with a 5Gal bucket, there does not seem to be enough water in the bag initially to keep the fish swimming. am I wrong in this? Are these directions incorrect?

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:37 AM   #2
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I tend to agree with you. I bought and use a kitchen pitcher, like you'd make iced tea or kool-aid in. With the smaller water volume though, I'll let it fill up, then using a small cup dip out half of the water and let it fill up again before I add them in.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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That's actually the first time that I've seen that large of a container recommended for drip acclimation. I think that it would be appropriate for a larger fish where the volume of water in the bag is much larger. Personally I use a small plastic container (probably about 2 quarts) for drip acclimation since I'm working with smaller fish and water quantities. This is placed inside of a larger bucket (1.5-2 gallons) so that I can pour off water as necessary to continue acclimating the new arrivals.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:30 AM   #4
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I use either a 2g or 5g bucket for drip acclimations with a reduced steady stream of water. I no longer technically drip unless specific sensitivites are involved. You can tip the bucket so there is more water, initially, for them to maneuver into, but as long as it is barely covering them you should be fine.

*Many fish are purposely shipped in low water volumes where they are lying on their side to limit aggression and excessive movements.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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Sounds like my red flag was right then... I like the idea of the kitchen pitcher. How many times should I fill? 2?

Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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2 is what I typically do for FW fish.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:01 AM   #7
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What is this person talking about in that article when they say not to float the bag in the water? That is a fine way to do it. In fact, I cut the bag open and drip acclimate (or how I like to call it, Driplimate right into the bag. By keeping the fish in the bag in the water you not only keep the temperature consistent, but you don't have to move the fish twice. Simply double the volume of the water in the bag via driplimating, then take out a cup or two and continue this until you have replaced the water in the bag with the tank water. This process should take a couple hours. By the time the water has changed over completely, you can let the fish swim free right from the bag.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:07 PM   #8
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There are some reasons that you might not want to use the bag for drip acclimation. If there are contaminates on the outside of the bag, they are more likely to get in the tank if the bag is used for acclimation than if the contents are dumped into another container. Similiar if the fish are not from a trusted source, it's generally the goal to avoid adding any water from the bag to the destination aquarium. Allowing the fish to swim out of the bag would not allow for this, which is why netting the fish might be favored.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:28 AM   #9
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Purrbox-

I agree with the outside of the bag as possibly being dirty, and how that could potentially get into the tank water. I guess you could always wipe down the outside of the bag, but I really don't think this is too big of a concern. In terms of letting water from the bag into your aquarium, you won't. Like I said in my last post, you double the volume of the bag by driplimating. Then, you take a cup out periodically as you continue to driplimate. As you repeatedly take out water from the bag, you will eventually be left with only the water from your tank, and can therefore let the fish swim from the tank water in the bag into the tank itself. I don't like having to move the fish from the bag into a container and then into the tank, as double-handling puts added stress onto and already stressed fish.

This process should really take a couple hours, if not longer.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:53 AM   #10
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I agree that less stress is always a good thing. Just a matter of weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each method and determining which works best for a given situation and person. If you double the volume of the water twice there is still going to be 25% of the original water in the bag. For some this is an acceptible risk, but for others it is not. A lot depends on how well you know the seller and whether you trust their water.

I've taken anywhere from 30mins to 2hrs to drip acclimate a new arrival. It all depends on how sensitive they are and how far they've traveled to reach me. The closer the water parameters are to mine and the less sensitive the new arrival, the less time that is necessary for drip acclimation. With shorter acclimation period I just set the drip rate faster so that the water volume is still doubled in less time.
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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Purrbox-

Your math is right if you only do this ritual for a certain period of time. However, if you do it long enough, there won't be 25% of the original bag water left. This is because the rate at which you remove water is far greater than the pace of the driplimation. By doubling the original water first, it cuts down on the shock of removing the cups of water so you have the freedom to remove larger amounts of water from the bag afterwards. Basically, if you do this long enough and keep cutting things in half, it is impossible to be left with anything other than your tank water.

But you're right in that each method works better for each person, and how long you have to actually acclimate depends on many variables. I was only responding to that article that was posted up top, and how you 'should not float the bag in the water,' like it was dire to do so. I just disagree. There are many other practices far more detrimental to do in this hobby than floating your fish bag.
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