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ThatReefGirl

The Great Acclimation Debate

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1 hour ago, Floundering_Around said:

 

Generally, my livestock has been in the bag for barely an hour. But I went to reefapalooza and they were in the bag for days. When I opened the bag, I immediately added ammo lock to detoxify the ammonia, then 'dripped' them since the salinity was way off, fish and coral got dipped (this dip can work on fish, I got it as a sample), then fish went into QT (bucket method for me). The same thing happened for my tailspot blenny when I got him from an LFS; the shock from  would have been too much IMO as the LFS keeps their tanks at 1.020 and mine is at 1.025

 

When I 'drip' acclimate them, I use a turkey baster to add water from my tank to the bag/bin they're in. I try to add enough to completely replace the water at least one time. I do this over a couple of hours. Fish are completely calm as I keep the container dark while I'm doing this. They have full coloration, normal swimming, normal breathing, etc. They usually get fed and accept food the next day.  I try to get food in them before I start any meds.

Freshwater is the same thing but doesn't take as long and I don't QT my fw fish (probably should). 

This is a good point.

 

If a LFS is 1.018 and my tank is 1.026. I don't dump them in the DT. I match a QT tank and dump there and it is brought up naturally over days.

 

Second is type of fish....clowns and others are going to be a lot more calmer in a drip bucket vs some more fragile sensitive travelers like leopard wrasse and butterfly's. It's not fun to watch a leopard try and smash into the bottom of the bag in an attempt to bury themselves.

 

I doubt anyone would notice a difference drip vs dump with clowns... Most nano fish are actually pretty hardy vs some of the more difficult butterflies and anthias and leopards...ect one can buy for bigger tanks.

 

If you are buying a typical nano fish and salinity is way off and you don't plan to add it to a QT.. I can totally understand the reason to drip. 

 

I definitely believe if you are dripping and salinity matches close enough it a waste of time though. 

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One thing I try to get at the stores before I bring home livestock- be they fresh or saltwater- is a sample of the water so that I can do my own testing as soon as I get home and decide from there how I'm going about acclimating and for how long. More often than not I'll do the drip until the water doubles in the container (usually about 20 to 30 minutes depending) for my saltwater crew and 30 minutes of floating for my freshwater stock. Even if the parameters are the same as mine for any reason I do the drip just in case. Better safe than silly. The next time though if everything is good then I'll do the floating trick.

 

My qt usually is sitting at 1.026, though I don't keep it that high for long unless the situation calls for it. But at the same time I'd rather have it higher and be able to bring it down with freshwater than to have it too low and be scrambling to raise it up (and pulling out my hair because salinity and I always end up fighting.).

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My clowns came from 1.019 and went right into my tank at 1.025.

 

Now, if I had a large tank that I added fish to regularly(the 2 clowns added to my tank at the start are the only fish I'll have) I'd be more worried about what they could introduce to my DT than anything, so I'd definitly have a quarantine. And would probly run it at lfs fish level salinity most of the time bringing it up to DT salinity over the course of the quarantine. 

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As long as salinity is in an acceptable range, I pull out the fish and drop it in. No ph matching, no salinity matching (to a degree). I do this for everything that goes into my tank (corals get dipped). Doesn't matter if it's a $10 dollar zoa or a $1500 CSB.  I've yet to run into problems. 

 

I will float the bag for 10 or 15 minutes if I feel if the temperature difference is great enough. I use my finger to determine temperature lol. 

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