View Full Version : Acclimitzation Procedures

07/18/2016, 10:09 AM
I am a LFS owner in a small Canadian city and I was looking to get some suggestions or opinions from people who are much more experienced at landing large fish orders. I want to treat my fish in the best possible way and I sadly think my last order had much room for improvement on my techniques since there was a high mortality rate on fish and inverts that looked like they should have made it and I think I was to blame. Here are the procedures and the assumptions used last time I had a fish order.

1. Getting fish from a LFS a few hours away and getting a order shipped from another country are 2 different situations so what you would do is a little different.
2. Speed is everything for delicate inverts and fish since ammonia level can build up to toxic levels once the bag is exposed to fresh oxygen.
3. Some things are not sensitive to the water chemistry changes between the transit water and tank water and would rather be in the tank right away then suffer more ammonia damage.
4. Don't feed your fish 24 hours after arrival

This lead me to use a technique similar to the one I was shown from a LFS I had previous experience in. I dumped quite a bit of transit water from the bag if the bag was really full. I generally like the bag 1/3 full maybe a bit less, for larger fish they would always have enough room to turn around comfortably. Then I would add water to the bags with a measuring cup every few minutes until the bag filled. I then dumped all the transit water out and popped it into the display tank somewhat like the method described on Live Aquaria and this whole process would never last more then an hour and 20 minutes.

For certain critters like hermits and corals I have been told they won't be positively effected from acclimatization. I just drain the transit water or remove them from the bag, give the corals a quick dip then into the display. That seemed to work out fine as they all made it. I am now wondering if there are other things that could benefit from this method or am I just playing Russian roulette with the possibility of nuking an entire coral order from not acclimatizing at all. I should also add i never really order in acros, or delicate SPS. Always LPS, softies, and the occasional hardy SPS.

After initial acclimatization losses I also had many fish refuse to eat or would just eat a bit but never enough to get a full belly then slowly waste away. I am thinking this may have been compounded from my other belief that fish should not be fed for 24 hours after going into an aquarium, but then I realized I think that is just what I learned at pet stores and has no real reasoning behind it. Especially in the case of fish being shipped from one country to another. I think its perfectly reasonable that could be a 48 hour or longer starving period I exposed the fish to unnecessarily.

The first procedure change I will make is adding ammonia detoxifier to the bag after opening. But I am not sure of the exact details.
How much should I use per bag? (I use prime)
Should I use more if there is a strong ammonia smell from the bag?
Can it be used safely and effectively on inverts and corals?

The second change is feeding will be happening from the instant they are in the display.

The third change I am making is I will have a second person helping me unbag and acclimatize the fish. Then I can control everything better.

I am torn on to continuing with my current method of adding a few cups at a time, doing drip lines, or others have suggested doing several tanks (3 or 4 with a variety of lower PH levels then the display test the bag water and dump the fish in the closest PH tank after the ammonia detox. If you use the correct chemicals they PH will naturally return over a day with aeration then you can return the fish to the display went the PH matches.)

Any suggestions or comments would be fantastic. I am having a hard time finding answer for this specific situation so hopefully I get some of the right peoples attention here. If you need some pictures or clarification let me know and I would be happy to explain.

07/18/2016, 10:30 AM
Match the salinity of the water in the incoming bags. Then all you have to do is temp acclimate, net the fish out and they can go straight into the tank. You can acclimate temp without opening the bags.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk