Acclimating New Saltwater Fish
Here is the acclimation procedure for newly arrived animals. These easy steps should take no longer than one hour.
Turn off the aquarium lights. Bright lights will cause severe stress to new arrivals. Float the unopened bag in the display or quarantine tank for fifteen minutes to equalize the water temperature in the shipping bag. Open the bag by cutting it just below the metal staple and add 1/2 cup of aquarium water into the shipping bag. Wait five minutes then add another 1/2 cup of aquarium water. Repeat every five minutes until the shipping bag is filled. Discard half of the water in the shipping bag into a waste container. Repeat the previous step until the shipping bag is filled a second time. Net the fish and release it into your aquarium. Discard both the shipping water and the water in the waste container. Do not add it back to your aquarium. Leave the aquarium lights off for the rest of the day to allow the fish to settle into their new environment. The acclimation period is critical for the health and survival of new animals. Acclimation should never be rushed. Sometimes new arrivals will be stressed, laying down in the bag, or may even appear deceased. Following the correct acclimation procedure should revive the animal. Keep in mind laying down to rest or in an attempt to hide is the natural behavior of several species, most commonly seen in hippo tangs and wrasses. Color changes and blotching is also a common stress indicator and will go away as the fish settles in. Never add an airstone to the shipping water. This will quickly increase the pH of the shipping water and expose your new arrivals to lethal ammonia.
Acclimating New Clams or Corals
To reduce additional stress on your newly arrived corals you should turn off all aquarium lights so it can slowly acclimate to your lighting environment. Lighting acclimation is very important for any new coral or clam. We recommend that you place the coral in the bottom part of the tank (be careful that it doesn’t become covered with sand) and over the next two weeks slowly raise it to the desired position. You may follow the same acclimation procedures above or use the following drip method. Some corals may produce slime during shipping which is a natural protection mechanism. The following easy steps need to be followed and completed within one hour.
Float the unopened bag in the display or quarantine tank for fifteen minutes to equalize the water temperature in the shipping bag. Open the bag by cutting a small hole in it just below the metal staple. Take an airline hose and attach an airline control valve at one end. If no valve is available, simply tie a loose knot in the tubing. Start the siphon. Place the other end in the display or quarantine tank and adjust the valve or tightness of the knot until you get one drop per three seconds. When the bag is filled you should close the valve, remove the hose from the shipping container and discard half of the water in a waste container. Place the airline hose back in the bag and continue to drip the aquarium water into the bag. When the bag is filled a second time, discard both the shipping water and the water in the waste container. Place the coral in the lower part of the tank and leave the lights off for at least three hours.