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Old 11/28/2010, 09:41 AM   #1
Sk8r
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***Acclimation: Any NEW FISH or INVERT: NEW: CHECK THIS OUT

1. FOR A FISH: Ask your dealer what his Salinity is, and set your quarantine tank to that, precisely. The minute you open your bag, test the water to be sure he's right, and that you are, within .001 of a salinity-match; and a quick ph check is not a bad thing either---(if your ph should be bad (remember bag-water ph starts shifting the second the bag is opened) or if the salinity is not what you were told it was, a drip acclimation may be your only resort, especially if you have an especially fragile species at issue. Be sure and be done within 30 minutes!) If all ok, however, and salinity matches and ph is within acceptable range, put your new fish straight over into the qt tank with no drip, no delay at all. You may now adjust his salinity slowly over the next day or so to match the salinity of your display. PH will tend to take care of itself, but with fragile specimens, test and, once your fish is in qt, just go slowly with water-matching: the emergency is all about getting him out of that bag. Once in qt everything can proceed safely and slowly.

2. Keep your new fish in that quarantine for 4 weeks before putting him into your tank, and this applies to your very first fish---for the sake of that tank you so laboriously cycled. Because the ich parasite burrows under the skin and into the gills, this is not 100% guaranteed, but it's the best precaution you can take; and the stress of transport will likely cause it to break out in the next few weeks if it is going to do so.

3. do not buy from a tank that has ich. Do not pity-buy. A sick fish is not for a beginner.

4. never trade nets or wet hands or instruments between quarantine tank and your regular tank.

A) Setting up a quarantine tank: a completely bare tank with no sand, rock, or strong light, just a pvc elbow and an air-driven carbon floss filter, thermometer and heater. Mark your proper water level on the glass with tape, and keep the water there with freshwater topoff. Test daily for nitrate/ammonia, and do a 20% saltwater change once weekly, or sooner if you spot ammonia. Put a square of plastic lighting grid (Lowe's) or a finer mesh over the top to prevent your fish jumping out. [Some like to play in the bubbles---or spook and jump.]

B) IF YOU SEE DISEASE and need to treat: first identify the disease/parasite. Go to the "Fish Disease" forum and ask. Photos help. REMOVE THE CARBON IF YOU ARE GOING TO MEDICATE. Continue filtration. Medicate or use hyposalinity. "Fish Disease" has precise instructions for you, and help in identifying the pest. If you spot ich in your main tank, you need to withdraw all FISH to treatment immediately and leave the tank 8 weeks without fish. Inverts are ok. Part of the ich life cycle is in sand, but after 8 weeks, it dies out due to no fish for it to live on.

C) INVERTS: corals of any sort should be dipped. Ask your dealer, and prepare a dip. Use it. You may then put your coral into an observation tank (safer) for a week. Other inverts should be drip-acclimated (small amounts of your tank water mixed with the bag water until .001 match) but the process should be completed within 30 minutes. Ammonia starts to build the instant the bag is open. You want your new critter out of there in a balance between salinity match and speed. On no account leave any critter in an opened bag longer than 30 minutes.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis

Last edited by Sk8r; 03/11/2011 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 11/28/2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Can you give me a link to a more detailed instruction to coral dipping (I been searching on google and not finding good sources)? I have never done and and would like to learn (not just the method but also the science behind it).


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Old 11/28/2010, 11:48 AM   #3
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If you look up CoralRx you will find some pretty good information. I use it and I am really happy with it.


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Old 11/28/2010, 11:57 AM   #4
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I would rather not read from the manufacture because conflict of interest issues.


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Old 11/28/2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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This is relative to Coral Rx, a well-reputed dip: and you can modify this according to size, brand, etc. While corals are not as fussy about salinity as some creatures, be sure your salinity matches within .001. It's nicer and more polite.
When you receive your new coral, before you open the bag: have two 1 gallon buckets of salt water of the proper salinity. Plus have a Maxijet 400 pump ready in the bucket you will use for the dip; plus latex examination gloves, and a magnifying glass.
Shake the bottle of dip thoroughly. In the case of Coral RX, add 20ml or 4 capfuls of liquid to one of your 1 gallons (3.8 liters) of saltwater and mix thoroughly: follow directions on whatever dip you are using and mix well using the pump. Keep the water moving.
Open the bag and place the new coral fully submerged in the coral dip. Do NOT blast it with the pump output. If you cannot avoid that, then cut the pump off and just wave and rotate the coral in the water for the whole time, holding it in your hand, to be sure the dip reaches all areas of the coral for long enough to work.
Keep the coral submerged in the dip for 5 to 10 minutes depending on size and complexity of coral.
Then remove coral and put in bucket #2, with just the plain salt water.
IMPORTANT: Discard the coral dip. [Do not reuse the coral dip even immediately: a dead parasite may release toxins. Make a new bucket for your next coral, if you have more than one.] Rinse the dipped coral with clean salt water in the second, plain salt water bucket before moving the coral to your observation tank, which should be within .001 salinity of the water you have been using. Look your coral over very carefully with the magnifying glass. Do not worry about having a coral out of water: they survive this handily. But if you have an lps that is partly extended, turn it upside down and gently rotate it to encourage it to retract before removing it from the water.
Never, ever, ever add any coral dip to your tank.
Leave your coral in observation for a week, and examine it from time to time using the magnifying glass. A coral does not critically need light for that period---4 days without light is no big deal---but place it low in your tank when introducing it back to a high-light tank and move it up gradually.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis

Last edited by Sk8r; 11/28/2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 11/28/2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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So can you not dip multiple corals at 1 time? Say you have 10 frags of sps about 1 inch each can you not just dip them all together?


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Old 11/28/2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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SK8R, are you recommending straight to QT even on animals that "require" drip acclimation?
I realize if you match salinity you should be fairly ok, but I thought drip also helped with temp and trace?


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Old 11/28/2010, 12:15 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for this post! I was looking for something like this.


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Old 11/28/2010, 12:18 PM   #9
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Also I am just curious. What about live rock. Is it possible to have coral eating parasite on live rock that make it though 3 month curing period? What if you have some live rock that carry some mushroom or zoa?


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Old 11/28/2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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Re multiples at once, yes, you can. Just make sure you can pay adequate attention to their safety: plastic grid can help steady them.

Spieszak, yes, I am, for this reason: ammonia builds in an open bag, and ammonia kills. I feel so bad answering a post from somebody who has just lost a beautiful, expensive, healthy fish---"I acclimated it for 2 hours! What happened?"---and there is just no danger in fast-tracking to quarantine that remotely matches the hazard of a too-long acclimation. The biggest deal is salinity match, distantly followed by temperature; and a floated bag has done its adjusting in about 15 minutes, at the temperatures usually involved, by what I am told. The death clock starts ticking the minute the travel or shipping bag is opened, and from that moment you have between 15 and 30 minutes to get your fish out of it and into good water. You have situations where a fish arrives in a punctured bag, still with some water left---and that fish would survive; but the rules say drip acclimate, and that's exactly the wrong thing to do, because in that little water left---it's going to be bad fast. And the wonderful specimen that somebody takes mega-time acclimating is actually under the worst threat of all.

Basically, get the creature out of that bag as fast as possible, once you have matched salinity and temperature, and a short float in the still-sealed bag, then open the bag and straight to identical salinity is far, far better than what we're doing to specimens under the current procedure, imho.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis
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Old 11/28/2010, 12:23 PM   #11
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With the rock to which a coral is attached---you're right, it could. And your dip is killing things that might be neat hitchhikers. As for your live rock---you add it once at the START of your tank, hoping for neat hitchhikers (I don't believe in 'cooking' rock: what can survive the cycle isn't going to be a parasite, hopefully, because it's been weeks without a fish to nosh on. Which is ANOTHER reason for never using a fish to cycle!) You set up once, ideally for a 4-8 week cycle that will do for any fish parasites in your rock, and then don't go on adding random live rock. It's a trueism that 'parasites travel on what they eat' and they don't hang about on rocks that have no food for them. So by treating your specimen rocks what you lose at least will be things you'll WANT to lose, along with a few you'd regret.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis

Last edited by Sk8r; 11/28/2010 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 11/28/2010, 12:26 PM   #12
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Thanks for the clarification.. I see your point. I come from the freshwater world, where temp was really all your were acclimating for in most cases (with the cichlids there was an issue with ph/semi-brackish water depending which you had) and I have probably been over acclimating according to what you were saying, trying to be "extra safe". Thanks for the post!!


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Old 11/28/2010, 12:34 PM   #13
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So what do you do if you have live rock which coral attached (isnt this the ultimate bonus hitchhiker that we hope for? lol) ? Just watch it carefully or do you think they should be dipped too (I was a little confused by what you said, but I think you recommend dipping)?



Last edited by Spiker101; 11/28/2010 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 11/28/2010, 12:40 PM   #14
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Frankly, Spiker, you have to figure: you can dip it, losing the tiny hitchhikers, but keeping the coral safe---'travel on what they eat'---so if there's any rock in your lot likely to have a predator for this particular coral, it's this particular rock! Dip this one, and the rest of your rock is likely safe. Don't dip ALL your rock. You want the rest of the random surprises. Just not the ones associated with THIS rock, because that little bit of coral (where predators will home in) is what you want to protect. You can also set up a tank with only one small piece of live rock, and all the rest base rock: takes 8 weeks to cycle, usually, and has much less variety once it does, but boy! is it cheaper!


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis
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Old 11/28/2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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Good info in this thread thanks! Do you QT inverts like shrimp also?


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Old 11/28/2010, 02:29 PM   #16
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Yes. Let me explain about salinity so it makes sense.
If the salinity outside a living cell is different than that inside, it disrupts the cell wall, like a balloon popping: it's more complicated, as most things in biology are, and here is a more detailed explanation: http://www.oilgae.com/ref/glos/osmotic_shock.html ---but think of cells in the affected creature exploding or collapsing under the assault of one salinity outside, another inside. This is WHY a salinity change should be done slowly, and if the cells involved are not skin cells, but, say, cells in the animal's organs, the damage is going to be slower to show up, as the animal dies of organ failure. So just because the creature doesn't roll over and die immediately, it can still be made fatally ill, and die about 3 days further on, if cells of its internal organs are damaged to the extent that they suffer organ failure. A shrimp has some organs that are susceptible to this, dependent on a lot of things, (including, oddly enough, what it's been eating)---and so, yes. You don't have to quarantine it, but you do have to acclimate it and protect it from ammonia in the bag. This is true of all creatures that crawl or swim. If you've just invested 30-50 dollars in a cleanup crew, just have a nice equal-salinity place waiting for them, be it only a small container: put them straight into it, and bring the salinity of the container in line with your tank over several hours, and you won't be losing cleanup crew. If your tank happens to be within .001 salinity of the bag, you can put them straight over into your tank---but! I like to 'wash off' my inverts in a small dip into a bowl of clean saltwater to be sure I'm not bringing any concentrated bag water over into my tank. It's a small precaution, but I just figure to tilt the odds in my favor.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis

Last edited by Sk8r; 11/28/2010 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 11/29/2010, 07:59 AM   #17
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"I come from the freshwater world, where temp was really all your were acclimating for in most cases (with the cichlids there was an issue with ph/semi-brackish water depending which you had) and I have probably been over acclimating according to what you were saying, trying to be "extra safe". "
This is worth an extra comment, because most of us start in freshwater tanks, and the situation with marine is different in one notable item: we use ro/di. Stores use ro/di. We use salt mixes. Stores use the same range of salt mixes. And while salt mixes are not all the same [some are high calcium, for corals, some not], they ARE the same in the essential elements that you would be adjusting for. So you and your store or source should not be that far apart.

One should also stress that before buying or ordering a fish, you always test your tank to make sure your water is what it needs to be. For convenience, I carry decent water parameters for lps stony coral in my sig, which will make any ordinary fish or invert quite happy.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis
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Old 11/29/2010, 09:19 AM   #18
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What causes the ammonia to spike when the bag is opened. I assume that there is a time interval where the fish is in the bag that comes into play here. For instance. I live two miles from Phishy Business (RC Sponsor) so the time from when my new purchase goes in the bag til I open the bag to start dripping is no more than 15 min.
Would you still recommend this method of transfer as opposed to dripping?
Thanks.


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Old 11/29/2010, 09:28 AM   #19
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Great information from Sk8r. Hope everyone reads the information above carefully.


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Old 11/29/2010, 10:33 AM   #20
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Death Clock

I have also read of the death clock starting when the bag is opened but admit that I don't fully understand why. If a fish was flown across the country it may have been in that bag for 12+ hours. Why would the ammonia build up not start until I open the bag?


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Old 11/29/2010, 11:17 AM   #21
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Sealed bag: the fish respires co2 into the water. This drops the ph. The fish poos. But the low ph keeps the pollution in the form of harmless ammonium.

Open bag: co2, trapped in the water and held there by the pressure, gasses off quickly and leaves the water. PH then rises fast, causing non-toxic ammonium to become toxic ammonia.

This assumes non-chemist me has got the rises and falls the right way around: but this is what happens. It was ammonium, which doesn't smell and is harmless, and mutates rapidly to stinky, highly toxic ammonia.


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis

Last edited by Sk8r; 11/29/2010 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11/29/2010, 11:33 AM   #22
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First, thanks Sk8r for the great info.

I just want to double check on the filter media. I will be running a canister filter (eheim). So all I need is carbon and filter floss and I will be good?

I'm pretty sure I already know the answer but I will be getting my first fishes soon (pair of baby onyx) and I don't want anything bad to happen.

thanks for all your help




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Old 11/29/2010, 11:58 AM   #23
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I would say yes. Just keep track of the ammonia, and don't let that huge filter (mine is such a wimp by comparison!) go unscrutinized. Open it up and doublecheck; I change stained floss, figuring what the heck, it's less grief than the alternative!

Just as a note, you can tell how a system (any tank) is responding by testing often during its early stage and logging the results...you can have a dozen 'good' results, but if the trend is toward 'not-good' and the rate of change is accelerating or decelerating, you can head it off before it gets any worse at all. (And if your memory is like mine, it's "Was 9 am a .7 or a .6?"---I have trouble with "Did I just read a .6?"]


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"Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale, not meq/l; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp abt 78 up to 80, nitrate/ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal will not rise if mg is low

Current Tank Info: 105g, hermits, snails, mandy, 3 black axilchromis, azure damsel, starry/tailspot blennies, 2 firefish, royal gramma, 2 redstripe goby, YWG pair, 2 pearl jawfsh; blue star damsel; 3 stripe damsel; blue devil damsel; 2 lemon chromis
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Old 11/29/2010, 02:47 PM   #24
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Sk8r, thanks for the great thread. Info that defo needs to be shared. I've got a concern about what you are suggesting though on the salinity. Are you suggesting 1/1000th of a 0/00 or SG? Regardless, I think that is too fine of a line to draw. Salinities can change more than that when it rains, in drought periods or even with depth, so I don't think fish would be affected by salinity differences that you suggest. I agree not to dump a fish from 25ppt to 35ppt water because of osmotic shock, but going from 34 to 35 would have no effect.

Just my .02 worth, but again thanks for the great thread. Very helpful.

Wes


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Old 11/29/2010, 04:53 PM   #25
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So as a total newbie, let me recap to make sure I'm following.

Figure out what the salinity of your dealer is, then match your QT tank to it before you get your new creature. Doesn't sound too hard, unless you're dealing with an online dealer, but I would think even then they would be able to tell you with a phone call. Upon arrival, as soon as you open the bag, toss your newest specimen into the QT tank.

Is the temperature difference between the bag water and the QT tank an issue? Should you float the bag for a half hour or so to get the temperatures matched before you open the bag?

Over the next day or so adjust the salinity of the QT tank so it matches your display tank. QT your critter for a month.

Am I following this all correctly? I'm going to go search it right now, but could I please get a little more details on what really constitutes a good Qt tank setup? Specific recommended filters would be amazing. Also you mention an observation tank for coral... could you please elaborate?

Thank you so much, this site is absolutely invaluable, and I don't even have a tank yet!


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