How to acclimate with more success

Qasimja

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Stop acclimating and just put your fish in right away. Thats what I do, I have the highest survival rate this way. When I acclimated like you did with cups, i had a much lower survival rate... I just open the bags now and drop the fish right in. Havent had any losses until today. Did this with many tangs as wel, yellow tang, regal tang etc...
this is the method i use i dont have a long drawn out acclimation process anymore for fish i temp acclimate then check the salinity if its close i just net them in
 
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Qasimja

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I bought a few fish and I had a very low survival rate. I’m blaming it to my acclimation technique.

This is what I did: I took the fish, opened the bag and put them in a bucket. I then added about a cup of tank water every 5-8 minutes until 30 minutes or so, then put the fish in the tank.

(Please try not to suggest putting the fish in quarantine tanks)
did you notice any odd behavior from the fish before they died? like gasping for air or anything?
 

ca1ore

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I disagree about an hour or two being fine especially if the fish produces waste while in the container, however if you have evidence that ammonia does not rise or cause problems in 1 to 2 hours I am happy to change my view.
LOL, do you have evidence that it does? I've tested LFS bag water on many occasions ….. blissfully ammonia free.
 

SDK

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(Please try not to suggest putting the fish in quarantine tanks)
Put the fish in a quarantine tank.

In 40+ years of doing this I can't recall a single acclimation process issue causing me to lose a fish, and I have done every one of the suggested methods on this thread. It barely seems to make a difference as far as I have experienced.

Put a healthy fish into a healthy tank with a quick temp acclimation and a few minutes exchanging water *while watching for a reaction or lack thereof* and you are good to go. I've just dropped plenty in as well depending on the situation with no issues.

What I have seen is resident fish getting all over new arrivals and stressing them to death in short order.

I'm not saying you have to medicate, do the 40 day thing, or even do this every time. However, if you are adding a fish to a tank with plucky residents, a quarantine tank can be your best friend.

Give new arrivals some time alone, get them eating and make sure the fish has fully recovered from transit. I can then pick a time, at my leisure, when I am going to be home to watch the tank for a few hours. I will then observe how it's going, and have time to react if things go south.


I keep an acclimation box handy as well, and will start the new arrival out in one if I feel it's needed. The acclimation box and spare tank also give me two options ready to go if the introduction is not going well...

This, more than anything else I have done, has made quick losses of new fish almost nonexistent for me.
 
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Thales

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This is what I do, except that I limit the drip acclimation to 30 minutes. Has worked well for me.
Nice. I put 30 min to an hour because there is always a judgement call. I don't like recipes becuase they often teach people not to think, and thinking is so important to reef keeping. YMMV
 

Flippers4pups

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Always temp acclimate in the unopened bag for around 20 mins. Then into a bucket. A dixie cup of water is taken out of the bucket and discarded. A dixie cup of water it's going into is added to the bucket. This process is repeated every 5 mins or so for a Max time of 30 mins. Then in it goes.

I've done this method for decades with no fish loss.

Do not add amquel or prime to the bucket of water it came in. These products will toxify the water the fish is in if the fish was kept in a tank with copper.
 
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ca1ore

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Thales

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Always temp acclimate in the unopened bag for around 20 mins. Then into a bucket. A dixie cup of water is taken out of the bucket and discarded. A dixie cup of water it's going into is added to the bucket. This process is repeated every 5 mins or so for a Max time of 30 mins. Then in it goes.

I've done this method for decades with no fish loss.

Do not add amquel or prime to the bucket of water it came in. These products will toxify the water the fish is in if the fish was kept in a tank with copper.

I balk at the word 'always', but that may just be me.
 

ca1ore

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I'm going based off one of the most experienced posters around... Read the thread if you have the time.
That's OK, you believe what you believe. That posters actually been in the hobby for about 3 years ….. quite knowledgable certainly, but perhaps not the most experienced …..
 

Thales

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I don't wish to belabor the point, but the post you cited (ands bolded) says 18-24 hours. OK, yes, if you are 18-24 hours from your LFS then ammonia may well have built up. I'll stick with the approach that has worked well for me for almost 20 years.
If I am bringing fish home that I picked from LFS, usually just open the bag, put two cups of water from the tank in wait a few minutes, then move the fish over.
 
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Thales

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You "squint" a lot too, Rich! :p

Just joking around in fun.
I know right? I can't help myself after seeing so much crazy in the hobby. There is a post today where someone is using the word 'anthia' for a single anthias. I am trying to not say anything. :D
 

Flippers4pups

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I know right? I can't help myself after seeing so much crazy in the hobby. There is a post today where someone is using the word 'anthia' for a single anthias. I am trying to not say anything. :D
I know you know that doing things a little differently isn't all bad. It's how the hobby has, through failures at times, progressed the hobby. I use the word "experiment" loosely.

Grammar gets me at times too.
 

Nanoreefer4ever

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I just float for 10 mintues, dump haft water in bag out and put in same amount from the DT in and float again for 15 minutes. Corals just float and dump in. Drip acclimation is a waste of time and effort, it will stress them more. All livestocks will be shock at first but eventually they will adjust to the new environment, the important here is if they eat or not.
 

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I also catch the fish out of the bag by hand, literally, and put it in a clear container filled with tank water. Then I hold that container in the tank and let the fish have a look around. Then I'll feed, wait a few, then feed again, and during that second feeding I slowly and gently tip the container sideways so the fish can swim out when it is comfortable, and point the opening to a place I think that fish will want to go. Sometimes they swim out immediately, sometimes minutes. Once I had to pour a fish out out because I had to pee, so it can be rushed, but that is sub optimal. I also had one just decide it didn't want to swim out and after 20 minutes or so, I poured it out. The fish seem calm and seem to adjust to tank life very quickly.


Of course, don't hand catch a fish that is venomous, or can cut or bite you. And if you somehow ignore that advice, please be filming yourself.


EDIT - even better would be to use a clear cup to catch the fish out of the bag, and then pour that into a small bucket of tank water. Let the fish chill for a minute, calmly catch that fish in the bucket again, lowering the water level if necessary and then same as above.
 
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