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NaturallyKait

How long do you acclimate for?

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NaturallyKait

Tomorrow we’re going to the LFS to get the first fish for our son’s tank. I’ve read around and found a lot of variance in how long people recommend drip acclimating for, I’ve seen everything from people saying they never do to people saying an hour or more. 

 

How long would you recommend? 

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Jrill

About an hour if I drip, but I usually only float and drop after 20 mins.

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Neb

An hour and I drip acclimated, occasionally removing some water from the bag. 

If it's a coral I make sure there's at least 1 litre of water left and use it to dip. 

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pokerdobe

However long it takes me to open the bag and pull the fish out. 

 

Acclimation is overrated except under extreme circumstances. 

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NaturallyKait
1 hour ago, pokerdobe said:

However long it takes me to open the bag and pull the fish out. 

 

Acclimation is overrated except under extreme circumstances. 

Why do you think it’s overrated? I’ve read about the concern of ammonia in the bag with fish who have been shipped but that’s not the case in this place. Other than that I’ve yet to read a valid reason no to acclimate. 

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pokerdobe
38 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

Why do you think it’s overrated? I’ve read about the concern of ammonia in the bag with fish who have been shipped but that’s not the case in this place. Other than that I’ve yet to read a valid reason no to acclimate. 

 

Because it makes no sense. Healthy coral and healthy fish can take the difference of a few salinity points or differing ph without hours of slow dripping. People cry the virtues of drip acclimation in one sentence, then in the second, tell you to freshwater dip your fish for 5 minutes to help with ich, flukes, etc. The fish is ok going from 35ish ppt to 0 ppt water, but 35 to 34 or 36 is somehow harmful? Doesn't track. 

 

I've eliminated drip acclimating out of my routine entirely unless salinity is drastically off. At best, I'll float the bag if it's winter time. If I picked up the fish locally, then it goes straight in. I've done this for everything from $20 anthias to most recently, a $1,200 wrasse.  None of the LFS here drip acclimate either from what I observe. 

 

Take it for what it's worth - just one person's opinion. 

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Mike P

First I float for about 15 mins then I drip for an hour

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Ratvan

Salinity matched so 15 minute float and catch and release

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MrObscura

Acclimation is pointless and can only do harm. Youre more likely to lose a fish acclimating it. 

 

Ammonia builds up the second the fish is baged and becomes toxic the second its opened. All acclimation does is prolong the fish's stress and subject it to harmful chemicals. The quicker its out the bag, and shipping water, and into the tank the better. 

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NaturallyKait
3 minutes ago, MrObscura said:

Acclimation is pointless and can only do harm. Youre more likely to lose a fish acclimating it. 

 

Ammonia builds up the second the fish is baged and becomes toxic the second its opened. All acclimation does is prolong the fish's stress and subject it to harmful chemicals. The quicker its out the bag, and shipping water, and into the tank the better. 

There’s no shipping water in this case, the LFS is only 10 mins away from my house. 

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MrObscura

Still shipping water. Fish constantly produce ammonia and as I said it starts building up the second they're in the bag. It remains harmless while the bags sealed but becomes toxic the second its opened. 

 

While the amount of a ammonia will be less in your case acclimation will still serve no purpose other than to further stress the fish. Simply get it out of the bag asap and into the tank. 

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Humblefish

I wrote this a while back:

 

How to Acclimate
 
The purpose of this article is to discuss proper acclimation procedures for saltwater fish, corals and invertebrates. Improper acclimation is probably one of the leading reasons why livestock suddenly die after being introduced into an aquarium. This inevitable death can take days or even weeks, depending upon the severity of the damage done.
 
Acclimating fish - When acclimating a new fish into your aquarium, there are only two parameters you need to match: temperature (temp) and salinity (SG). Fish are generally not affected by fluctuating pH, unless it drops below 7.5 for an extended period of time. SG of the “source water” can be determined by asking the LFS or online vendor the fish was purchased from, and then double checked using a refractometer after opening the bag. Temp of the “source water” is less important since it will change by the time you get the fish home, but it’s still a good idea to set your quarantine tank (QT) temp to match. Once you have this information do one of the following:
 
Preferred acclimation: Float the bag for 20-30 minutes, to slowly bring the temperature of the bag’s water to match that of the receiving tank. Once that is done, open the bag and double check the SG. So long as the SG is within .001 (up or down) of the receiving tank, you can release the fish without further acclimation. Only add the fish; DO NOT add any of his bag water. However, if the difference in SG is greater than .001 (up or down), you must drip acclimate or bag acclimate as outlined below:
 
Drip acclimation: The downside to this method is exposure to ammonia, which must be avoided at all costs. Even brief exposure to the slightest trace of ammonia can harm a fish’s gills. Prolonged exposure can permanently damage a fish’s liver and kidneys, usually resulting in death within a few days. How much potential ammonia can build up in a bag is directly correlated to how long the fish has been in the bag. A 30 minute drive home from your LFS isn’t going to be a problem, whereas a 12+ hour transit time from an online vendor is. However, it’s important to note that so long as the fish is still inside a sealed bag he’s safe from ammonia. It’s not until the bag is opened that non-toxic ammonium gets converted into toxic ammonia (takes about 30 minutes). As a general rule for drip acclimation, always use ammonia reducer (ex. Amquel or Prime) if a fish has been in transit for more than a couple of hours. It doesn’t hurt anything to add it.
 
To drip acclimate you’ll need the following: small bucket or similar, airline tubing and a couple of airline suction cups. I suggest keeping the room warm while drip acclimating, or using a heater in the bucket. Place the fish in the bucket with a small amount of bag water. Use the airline tubing as a drip line, tying a simple knot at the bucket end until desired speed of the drip is achieved. You can use the suction cups to adhere the tubing inside the tank and bucket. Drip acclimate until the water in the bucket is within .001 SG of the receiving tank. Ideally, this should only take around 30 minutes. Remember, you can lower SG with a fish much faster than you can safely raise it. Only add fish to the aquarium; DO NOT add any of the bag water.
 
Bag acclimation: Ammonia precautions are the same as drip acclimation (see above.) Drain bag water until only a small amount remains. Affix bag inside tank, but take precautions to ensure bag water does not cross contaminate tank water. Using a cup, periodically gently pour tank water into the bag until .001 SG match is achieved. Only add fish to the aquarium; DO NOT add any of the bag water.
 
Acclimating corals/inverts - For corals, acclimation is pretty much the same as it is for fish, except corals do not expel as much waste as fish do, so ammonia is less of a concern. Using a coral dip such as Coral Rx is highly recommended prior to placing them in your tank.
 
Other inverts such as anemones, shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. are much more sensitive to changing water chemistry and should be drip acclimated. You should slow drip these for 45-60 minutes. Starfish are particularly sensitive and should be drip acclimated very slowly - at least 2 hours. Bag acclimation (see above) is an acceptable alternative for most corals/inverts but not with starfish.
 
Corals, anemones and clams should all be “light acclimated” once placed in your aquarium. This means getting them adjusted to the type/intensity of light you are using, which can be accomplished in a number of ways. You can place light sensitive corals & clams in a shaded area of your tank, and then move up/out into more intensive light over a period of a couple of weeks. Another option is to use layers of dark screen mesh (in conjunction with an egg crate top) over the aquarium, gradually removing one layer at a time. Hardier corals & anemones do fine with just running less intensive lighting (ex. actinic) for a day or two, and/or reducing your photo period at first. LEDS that are dimmable/adjustable are ideal for light acclimation purposes (some even have a “coral acclimation mode” built-in.)
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NaturallyKait
4 minutes ago, Humblefish said:

I wrote this a while back:

 

How to Acclimate
 
The purpose of this article is to discuss proper acclimation procedures for saltwater fish, corals and invertebrates. Improper acclimation is probably one of the leading reasons why livestock suddenly die after being introduced into an aquarium. This inevitable death can take days or even weeks, depending upon the severity of the damage done.
 
Acclimating fish - When acclimating a new fish into your aquarium, there are only two parameters you need to match: temperature (temp) and salinity (SG). Fish are generally not affected by fluctuating pH, unless it drops below 7.5 for an extended period of time. SG of the “source water” can be determined by asking the LFS or online vendor the fish was purchased from, and then double checked using a refractometer after opening the bag. Temp of the “source water” is less important since it will change by the time you get the fish home, but it’s still a good idea to set your quarantine tank (QT) temp to match. Once you have this information do one of the following:
 
Preferred acclimation: Float the bag for 20-30 minutes, to slowly bring the temperature of the bag’s water to match that of the receiving tank. Once that is done, open the bag and double check the SG. So long as the SG is within .001 (up or down) of the receiving tank, you can release the fish without further acclimation. Only add the fish; DO NOT add any of his bag water. However, if the difference in SG is greater than .001 (up or down), you must drip acclimate or bag acclimate as outlined below:
 
Drip acclimation: The downside to this method is exposure to ammonia, which must be avoided at all costs. Even brief exposure to the slightest trace of ammonia can harm a fish’s gills. Prolonged exposure can permanently damage a fish’s liver and kidneys, usually resulting in death within a few days. How much potential ammonia can build up in a bag is directly correlated to how long the fish has been in the bag. A 30 minute drive home from your LFS isn’t going to be a problem, whereas a 12+ hour transit time from an online vendor is. However, it’s important to note that so long as the fish is still inside a sealed bag he’s safe from ammonia. It’s not until the bag is opened that non-toxic ammonium gets converted into toxic ammonia (takes about 30 minutes). As a general rule for drip acclimation, always use ammonia reducer (ex. Amquel or Prime) if a fish has been in transit for more than a couple of hours. It doesn’t hurt anything to add it.
 
To drip acclimate you’ll need the following: small bucket or similar, airline tubing and a couple of airline suction cups. I suggest keeping the room warm while drip acclimating, or using a heater in the bucket. Place the fish in the bucket with a small amount of bag water. Use the airline tubing as a drip line, tying a simple knot at the bucket end until desired speed of the drip is achieved. You can use the suction cups to adhere the tubing inside the tank and bucket. Drip acclimate until the water in the bucket is within .001 SG of the receiving tank. Ideally, this should only take around 30 minutes. Remember, you can lower SG with a fish much faster than you can safely raise it. Only add fish to the aquarium; DO NOT add any of the bag water.
 
Bag acclimation: Ammonia precautions are the same as drip acclimation (see above.) Drain bag water until only a small amount remains. Affix bag inside tank, but take precautions to ensure bag water does not cross contaminate tank water. Using a cup, periodically gently pour tank water into the bag until .001 SG match is achieved. Only add fish to the aquarium; DO NOT add any of the bag water.
 
Acclimating corals/inverts - For corals, acclimation is pretty much the same as it is for fish, except corals do not expel as much waste as fish do, so ammonia is less of a concern. Using a coral dip such as Coral Rx is highly recommended prior to placing them in your tank.
 
Other inverts such as anemones, shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. are much more sensitive to changing water chemistry and should be drip acclimated. You should slow drip these for 45-60 minutes. Starfish are particularly sensitive and should be drip acclimated very slowly - at least 2 hours. Bag acclimation (see above) is an acceptable alternative for most corals/inverts but not with starfish.
 
Corals, anemones and clams should all be “light acclimated” once placed in your aquarium. This means getting them adjusted to the type/intensity of light you are using, which can be accomplished in a number of ways. You can place light sensitive corals & clams in a shaded area of your tank, and then move up/out into more intensive light over a period of a couple of weeks. Another option is to use layers of dark screen mesh (in conjunction with an egg crate top) over the aquarium, gradually removing one layer at a time. Hardier corals & anemones do fine with just running less intensive lighting (ex. actinic) for a day or two, and/or reducing your photo period at first. LEDS that are dimmable/adjustable are ideal for light acclimation purposes (some even have a “coral acclimation mode” built-in.)

This is super helpful, thank you so much! 

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Tamberav
5 hours ago, pokerdobe said:

However long it takes me to open the bag and pull the fish out. 

 

Acclimation is overrated except under extreme circumstances. 

This

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ninjamyst

About 15 mins, in the car from the lfs back to my house.  Then straight into the tank.

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748S911

I dont acclimate at all, I just make sure I don't mix bag water with my water.  Had an old school lfs that had tons of fish and open for decades (reef greenhouse setup) told me that it was ok to fresh water dip my fish in tap water from time to time to make sure they dont get sick... lol. He was right!  5 min of straight tap kills alot of reef parasites quick. I use tap to dip my fish now.  been doing that for 20 years now. 

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Natereef

I dont acclimate. Fish nor corals, not even temp 😨 Prob a good idea to temp acclimate though. In my opinion drip is a waste of time.

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billygoat

I used to acclimate for about 45 minutes, but after reading this I think I will just not do that anymore. 😂

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748S911

Now dont get me wrong, If you have a healthy reef and introduce flat worms or some other reef pest because you didnt quarantine your fish or coral thats another story. 

 

Sure you can just throw them in there but you run the risk of infecting other coral and fish.  

 

You can wipe out a whole population of fish from marine velvet introduced by a coral plug or frag.  

 

So I highly recommend a quarantine set up for all new coral and fish. 

 

Don't learn hard way, small quarantine set up for newly purchased fish and coral.  If they die in 2 months oh well, but they didnt take out your whole reef. Just saying, we all need a reason to add more tanks always have a QT set up.  

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748S911

Starfish I would acclimate, and anthias hate fresh water dips lol

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Clown79

I don't drip acclimate fish. I simply float bag for temp acclimation, then into the tank the fish goes.

 

I only drip acclimate sensitive items like shrimp

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