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Unread 07/19/2007, 08:37 AM   #1
Sk8r
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how much acclimation is enough? some info.

Why do we acclimate?
Mostly salinity. If your incoming specimen has been living at 1.020 salinity and you drop him into a tank with 1.025, you may be killing him. Why?

Because his cells/tissues are all adjusted to the 1.020, and the pressure inside his cells is adjusted to that. Give him something higher or lower and the cell membranes start exchanging water to balance that out, as fast as it can---but it is a biological process, and like all biology---it takes time. Think of having way too much water in your body and needing to get rid of it. Well, you know you can sweat it out or excrete it---and that's pretty well what your critter is trying to do, and you know how you'd be if you had somebody pressuring you to move that process along. Don't rush him. The pressure builds up and it's not pleasant.

Shrimp, crabs and snails can't sweat. If you had a shell, you couldn't sweat either. Give them extra patience.

How do you know how much acclimation? Get a refractometer: one of the most valuable instruments a saltwater hobbyist can have. Test your water; test the water your new specimen is in. The farther they are apart, the longer it will take to acclimate. If they're only .001 apart, the acclimation will go very fast, maybe 20 minutes. If they're .005 apart, plan on a lengthy acclimation, and if you've got a PH meter, test that, too, as the acclimation proceeds. [Once that bag is open, ph may go slightly off, and it can get worse: watch that parameter as you proceed, and measure the distance to go with the salinity balance vs. the things going on with ph in order to protect the health of your new specimen.

Does this apply to corals and anemones and mushrooms? If your tissue is at one salinity and the ocean is another, you need time to adjust.

And in the case of fish, they should go into quarantine, not straight into your tank: this experience is, for one thing, rough on them. If they're carrying anything, they may break out within a day or so. A week of observation can prove your fish is clean: two is even better, because you can be sure he's eating, and that he's overcome his nervousness about you. Call it the 'making friends' stage. Remember you're protecting your tank from having to undergo a fishless 8 weeks to cure what you could bring in; and you're protecting your other fish from catching what could come in.

In the case of corals, rather than quarantine, there are dips that can protect your tank against pests that may come in with them, and they're a good idea. Remember that hitchhikers ride in on what they eat. And while your rare fish won't breed in your tank---hitchhikers almost always will, because they've got their favorite food source right there, and what more could they want? You can be hipdeep in flatworms before you know it.

HTH.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/19/2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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Sk8r, I am going to sticky this thread. Good information. Thanks.


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Unread 07/19/2007, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thank you, Griss.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/19/2007, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sk8r
Thank you, Griss.
De nada my friend.


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Unread 07/19/2007, 09:52 AM   #5
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For those who have fish shipped to them, you should also be checking ammonia in addition to salinity and pH. Fish do all of their biological processes in the water; breathing off CO2 (lowers pH) and eliminating waste (increased ammonia). High ammonia in a lower pH environment is less detrimental to the fish because more of the ammonia exist in the ionized form (ammonium) which is not as toxic to the fish. If the ammonia is not neutralized prior to acclimation, the pH will begin to climb and the ammonia will shift back to the toxic unionized form.


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Unread 07/19/2007, 10:16 AM   #6
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Thank you, fishyvet! A very good point. To put that in really basic chemistry, Ammonia is a) toxic and b) affects ph. A ph spike is bad. And if a fish has been overnight in a bag, ammonia builds up. The more 'delicate' the fish, or the bigger the fish relative to the water volume [more waste] the worse problem. I'm not sure, but I'd about suspect carnivores may be particularly at risk from this process.

Just to reassure you: companies do pack with this in mind. Testing the incoming bag water with your available tests will make it so you're not dealing with 'mystery water' and you have a good picture of the two water zones you're trying to match up.

Just occurs to me, [a lightbulb moment here], it might be a good idea, if you've dealt with a shipper before and know what their salinity is, to have your quarantine tank start closer to that figure, so that when a fish is the most stressed, the path to abundant clean water is easier and faster. You can gradually bring up the salinity of the quarantine water by 'topping off' evaporation with salt water instead of fresh water [the normal topoff.]


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.

Last edited by Sk8r; 07/19/2007 at 10:22 AM.
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Unread 07/19/2007, 10:22 AM   #7
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Very good post! Thanks!


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Unread 07/19/2007, 11:02 AM   #8
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Excellent Post.. Thanks Sk8tr!

Im very interesting in learning about these dips you place your corals in before adding them to the tank.

Being a Discus fan and keeper I do keep a QT tank and have always aclimated my fish but coral is something entirely new to me as is invertibrates.


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Unread 07/19/2007, 11:39 AM   #9
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Dips for corals: look up Lugols, Interceptor, and there is one my lfs prefers, and sells, that may be from Coralife or Kent---not sure which. Some sellers also take measures to be sure their corals are clean. It's a brief dip, done in a bucket. Go to the sps forum and have a look, notably, for these words: acropora coral is particularly vulnerable to little hitchhikers, and there's a lot of discussion on pests of various sorts.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/19/2007, 11:59 AM   #10
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Excellent information.

I would also like to hear more about the coral acclimation process. What do I do when I get home with my recently purchased soft coral? I've heard people recommending RODI rinse. What do you do with your leather, mushroom, monties, etc?


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Unread 07/19/2007, 01:42 PM   #11
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First make sure that they can adjust to the salinity. I'm not sure about the ro/di [freshwater] rinse---likely fatal to some hitchhikers and enough to startle them loose, perhaps, but not 'pleasant' to the specimen at all, even fatal, if the dip lasted too long or were applied to the wrong specimen. Montipora is actually an sps stony, though fragile as chalk---I'd just use the standard coral dip. If I were buying softies these days [my last tank was softie, but we didn't have the proliferation of pests we do now] I'd acclimate in a well lit glass tank where you can really get a good look, and scan it very thoroughly for small crawlers and other pests. I'd be interested in hearing from a expert practitioner of the freshwater dip as to what it gets, and what the procedure and duration is. I'd also like to know how they tolerate the same dip used for stony coral.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/20/2007, 08:08 PM   #12
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Not an expert, but learned by trial and error that mushrooms don't like RODI dips--they melted on me when I tried it.
I RODI dip all of my new zoos--have managed to head off a couple of zoo spiders that way.


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Unread 07/20/2007, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rackyrane
Not an expert, but learned by trial and error that mushrooms don't like RODI dips--they melted on me when I tried it.
I RODI dip all of my new zoos--have managed to head off a couple of zoo spiders that way.
For the zoos, how long do you dip for?


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Unread 07/22/2007, 04:47 AM   #14
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Thanks Sk8r, for posting this thread, and to those who have added information. I think this info will keep me (and hopefully others) from becoming complacent at acclimation time.


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Unread 07/22/2007, 06:02 PM   #15
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yea salinity is not the only thing ammnia is high in the bag. ph is low in the bag since they were shipped. also do not have any lights on while do ing the process or u will add not needed stress to fishes expecialy if they have been in a bag for a while and had no light.


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Unread 07/25/2007, 04:21 PM   #16
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so that is what is behind that acclimation I do. Most reefers do not quarantine, I do not , but now the paranoya has set in. I dont want to loose any fish.


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Unread 07/25/2007, 06:04 PM   #17
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I'll also add it to the First Timers references.


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Unread 07/25/2007, 06:05 PM   #18
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i dont quarintine but i try to make sure i have the best fish.


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Unread 07/25/2007, 06:07 PM   #19
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Thanks, Waterkeeper!


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/25/2007, 06:18 PM   #20
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You're up there in the limelight now.


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Unread 07/26/2007, 01:19 AM   #21
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I got to admit It is nice to live in So cal I do not have to order fish on line, there are many fish stores around.


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Current Tank Info: 150g acrylic tall true reeftank 45g sump/fuge, jbj1/3 hp arctica, 2x korelia 4, T5 lights 48 ich 54 watt x8, skimmer , uv, little giant 3 external pump. CoraLife LED 29g Biocube Reef.
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Unread 07/26/2007, 09:04 AM   #22
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From being a transhipper, I have found that most fish are shipped in @ around 016 to .017 in salinity. They do this to help push off any parasites on or in the fish. It is a 2 day trip for them in most cases. My brokers then reox them in LA for the short trip to Florida. My quarantine tanks start them there. I have used the fwd method to cleans the fish and have seen first hand how the worms jump off the body of the fish.
I will take 2 to 3 days to acclimate before releasing them into population tanks. There art a variety of meds that do work but this is best used right from the shipping box. So if your LFS does this you will probably have good luck if not who knows.
In most cases the fish do not like and can not tolerate such a radical method as a fwd. I find it does more harm than good.
A hypo salinity holding tank allows you to remove most of the parasites without hurting the fish. Acclimation up from there happens due to evaporative raising in the salinity. Ph change does have some affect on the fish as well, although it seems to me that temp and salinity changes are the main causes for stress
This is why you float the bag and drip or small dose from your tank 2 or 3 times before introducing the fish to your tank.
Corals respond in basically the same manner but are more sensitive to a Ph change as well. In most cases an acclimation of 20 to 30 min should allow for the changes taking place.
Be sure to always check the bag water for a starting point.


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Unread 07/26/2007, 09:09 AM   #23
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In most cases a 2 to 3 min dip should ward off most parasites.
An Iodine dip like flugals is commonly used. Be sure you have less than 10% Iodine solution for this dip. To much iodine can kill too.
This works for corals and fish too. Don't forget that they are sitting in an unnatural solution so to much time can be devastating for them both.


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Unread 07/27/2007, 10:47 AM   #24
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Interesting info, coralreefer, a view from inside the industry.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Unread 07/27/2007, 06:14 PM   #25
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So how do you stop the ammonia rising and the ph lowering? Do you put a little bit of prime in the bag or a buffer while acclimating?


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