Proper Aclimation of fish

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Sean J, May 24, 2011.

  1. Sean J

    Sean J

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    Me again... :p

    Ok, so most of us buy our fish from the LFS and take them home, float them in the bag for a few minutes and then dump them into the tank. This is Wrong. Why? Well, because the water parameters in the LFS and in your tank are probably 2 different things. Ever seen your fish go into stress colouration when you add them to your tank? Most of us have, so there is probably a reason for this. Also, do you dump the water from the lfs into your tank too? I used to be guilty of this as well, so don't feel too bad. But now, let's rectify the situation. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3...

    Firstly, get a separate recieving vessel, like a cleaned and sterilized 5l Ice Cream tub. It's easy to sterilize. Put a little water in the bottom, stick the lid on(not too tight) and pop in the microwave for 1min 30sec. Sterilized, just like I sterilize my baby son's bottles. Don't use the remaining water in the container, throw it away. Let the container cool for a minute or 2, it wont take long at all.

    Secondly, get a piece of airline tubing that can reach from inside your tank, to the vessel on the floor.

    Thirdly, get a air closing valve on the one end of the tube. Those little green things with a valve you can adjust to alternate flow.

    Now, take the bag that the fish have been in, after having floated them for about 10 - 15 minutes and pour them into the vessel with about 50% of the water from the LFS. There should be enough water in the container to cover them and a little bit.

    Place the airline tube into the tank. Take the end with the control valve and suck the tube to begin the syphon out of your tank. Adjust the control valve, so that there are 2 -3 drops coming out the tube every second.

    Put the lid on the container. Not to seal it, just to prevent the fish jumping out and going for a carpet surf.

    Let the water double in volume in the vessel. Remove 50% of the water in the container and allow it to double in volume again. For very sensitive fish, you should repeat the process a third time. Make sure you throw the waste water away! Do not return it to the tank! The whole point of this exercise is not to introduce any of the LFS water to your tank. Have some top up water ready in case you lose too much water.

    This process should take you approximately 45 minutes to an hour. It reduces the stress on the fish, and reduces the risk of fish going into shock once added to the Display tank.

    Easy peasy.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
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  3. Firefly

    Firefly Pleco

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    Vince likes this.
  4. Wes

    Wes

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    Make sure to let the water cool after coming out the microwave...

    What I do is take the fish in their LFS bag into the bath room, chop the top off the bag off with a scissors after nipping it with the scissors to relieve the pressure, grab my fish net on the way through to the bathroom. Take said fish net hold it over the bath tub, and slowly pour the contents of the bag into the net, take the net to my fish tank hold the fish in for a bit and angle the net so they can swim out freely, take the remnants and give the net a good shake in the bath tub again to get rid of the goggo's, done. I'm confident enough that my fish water is 100%, never, ever lost a new fish, ever. :) Each to his own i suppose.
     
  5. OP
    Sean J

    Sean J

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    Once the sterilization of the bucket/vessel/container is done, you chuck that water away! Don't use that water at all.
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Just a stupid question... isn't placing the container on the floor defeating the object of acclimatising the temp? Shouldn't you do that last? The water will cool on the floor, and the water coming from the tank into the container will cool too?
     
  7. OP
    Sean J

    Sean J

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    It will only cool by a degree or so. Unless it's the middle of winter. Then just wrap the container in a blanket or something. temp differences of a degree or 2 should still be safe. Differences of 5 - 10 degrees would cause shock.
     
  8. Toby

    Toby

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    Great explanation thanx
     
  9. Big G

    Big G Apisto Nutz!!!

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    Haha, I'd have thought that the correct 'acclimatisation' technique would be....

    Bring fish home from LFS....

    Place in Quarantine tank containing water from main aquarium for two weeks...... Do water changes to same percentage as main tank......

    Keep Temp of quarantine tank at same temp as main aquarium.....

    After two weeks, assuming no signs of sickness are noted, transfer with net to main aquarium, making sure lights are off for first hour or two from introduction to reduce stress?

    Regards
    G!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  10. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    lets be real here... Who does this?

    Sent from my Tablet using Tapatalk
     
  11. Big G

    Big G Apisto Nutz!!!

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    I'm actually doing this for the first time really, at the moment. And I'm glad I did!! I bought three algae eaters last Friday, and put them into a seperate tank from the others (I had bought these others a few days earlier from another LFS) and then noticed yesterday, they have white spot! Looked nice and healthy in the shop (Albeit a little thin) but clearly the stress of moving has had an adverse effect!

    I actually am only able to do this, as I still have my breeding setup running (minus the breeding), so have a good few tanks available to place them in. There are four different tanks with different fish that I've recently bought, all awaiting the final setup of my community.

    My old method was to float the bag for 30mins to an hour, having added a little aquarium water to the bag at some point. Then I would scoop them out the bag with a net, so that none of the water within the bag gets into the main tank. This method made a huge impact to my community, and I had far less problems with disease outbreaks in the tank since I started doing it that way.

    In terms of them getting used to the parameters of the aquarium water, then this takes a lot longer than a few minutes or hours, so thats not going to be something we can realistically prepare them for, before they go into the tank. Thats why sometimes, you can loose some healthy fish when adding them to the community, as there may be a large difference in parameters like pH when comparing the LFS water, and your community tank water. Generally though most fish can handle this 'shock', but more sensitive fish like Otocinclus, Kuhli loaches and similar relatively sensitive species can struggle to acclimatise well, so losses can be high!

    Regards
    G!

    Regards
    G!
     
  12. Jenn

    Jenn Retired Moderator

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    OR tie a knot in the tube & tighten/loosen to adjust flow.

    I do.
     
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  13. TroyFish

    TroyFish

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    Not me.

    Just add the fish in a bucket with a drip for about 30min
     
  14. Good_Times

    Good_Times Kalahari Sandhaai

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    I always used the float method when I was a novice and I lost 4 healthy juvi angels in succession due to this method.
    Back then I was baffled why thy died cuz the tank was under stocked and perfect quality.
    Since then I've never lost any fish using drip, even fish bought 580km from home.

    Anyway, I came across this page on Altum angels the other day http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_altum.php and was thrown off track by this guys comment.

    Heres an extract from the page from Aquahobby.com

    "The Altum is becoming a common import since the last couple of years. They have a huge mortality rate if acclimated by the wrong procedure. The old procedure of slowly adding tank water to the bag is completely wrong for the following reason. Due to ammonia in the bag, and the presence of CO2 (therefore lowering the pH) the ammonia is kept mostly in the ammonium form, not in the more toxic form. Upon opening the bag, CO2 escapes and the pH rises to the true pH of the water, converting the ammonia to the toxic form. As temp increases, so does ammonia toxicity. The fins get burned, as do the gills. You see shortening of the fins within days, and columnaris attaches to the gills, resulting in death between 6 hours to a few days later. The fish have not been exposed to this organism, and they have not got an immune response ready, so they drop. A pH of 6 will prevent the columnaris attachment, and the damage will heal without medication. Better is to open the bag, and net the fish straight to the tank. A temp of 32°C for 2 weeks will also protect the fish from infection. Other than that, a problem-free fish! Breeding is becoming less rare. Happy Altum Keeping!
    [SIZE=-1]Contributed by Dave Best"[/SIZE]
     
  15. firemanmuzz

    firemanmuzz

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    i also do this its more or less straight out of chris andrews book ,it also eliminates putting all that petshop water in your tank ,who knows whats in it,the less of it the better.i use a mini bucket but i float for 15 min and then add a bit of tank water every 5 min for twenty min then net them out and away they go.thanks @SeanJ good post ,

    @Good_Times i think Altums have a high mortality rate period!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2016
  16. oscar freak

    oscar freak

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    me
     
  17. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    I bought this device from my LFS called a "Fintro".

    Basically it's a square plastic box with a hole/valve at the bottom. You float it at the top of the tank, and then poor the bag of water with the new fish into it. It fills up with water from the tank through the valve and eventually, when it gets full, it sinks. Have never lost a fish using it.
     
  18. Good_Times

    Good_Times Kalahari Sandhaai

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    I know their very delicate species even more than Discus, but I thought that for best survival the drip method would still work best.
     
  19. Super Sywurm

    Super Sywurm

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    I do number 1.
     
  20. Super Sywurm

    Super Sywurm

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    I don't have a spare tank. All my 'spare tanks' have fish in it.
     
  21. Dolphin

    Dolphin

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    Super Sywurm and MariaS like this.

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