Acclimation

To give your Quarantined Marine fish the best chance of success, please follow these acclimation guidelines.  Note that these guidelines differ from the common recommendation to "drip acclimate" your new fish.  The reason for this is that the ammonium built up in the shipping water during transit becomes extremely toxic to the fish when it is exposed to air and may result in irreversible gill damage.  Thus, it important to remove your fish from the shipping water as soon as the bag is opened.

If your fish was shipped to you, follow these simple procedures to acclimate your new fish:

1) Ensure your aquarium water salinity matches the salinity of the shipping water.  Unless otherwise directed, all Quarantined Marine fish are shipped in water at 35 ppt or 1.026 specific gravity at 76-78 degrees.

2) Float the sealed shipping bag into the aquarium in which the fish will go in order to equilibrate the temperature in the bag with the temperature of the aquarium.  This should only take approximately 15-20 minutes.  

3) Open the shipping bag and remove the fish and place the fish directly into your aquarium.  Do not pour the shipping water into your aquarium.

*The stress your new fish will experience in following this protocol is minimal compared to the physical damage your fish may sustain from ammonia burns if you were to drip acclimate.

If you pick your fish up locally, follow these simple procedures to acclimate you new fish:

1) Ensure your aquarium water salinity matches the salinity of the shipping water.  Unless otherwise directed, all Quarantined Marine fish are shipped in water at 35 ppt or 1.026 specific gravity at 76-78 degrees.

2) Open the bag and pour the water and fish into a small bucket or appropriately sized container given the volume of water that came in the bag.  

3) Take a small amount of aquarium water (equal to about 1/4 of the water that came in the bag) and add it to the container with the fish.

4) Wait 5 minutes and then repeat step 2 three times every 5 minutes until you have doubled the amount of water that initially came in the bag.  

5) Remove half of the water from the container and repeat step 2 two more times.

5) Remove fish from container and place in aquarium.  Do not pour any of the bag water or acclimation water into your aquarium.

Things to keep in mind whenever adding a new fish to your aquarium:

1) Acclimation boxes are extremely useful tools when introducing new fish to your display.  The acclimation box will allow the new fish to get used to the layout of the display and interact with the existing fish safely before being introduced fully to the aquarium.

2) It is best to add the new fish during a time when the aquarium lights are not on as your fish will be less active and less likely to bother the new addition.

3) If you have territorial fish, it may be beneficial to move some rockwork around prior to adding a new fish such that the fish will have to reestablish territories. 

4) Make sure your aquarium is well-fed in the days leading up to introducing a new fish.  Much of the aggression we see in our aquariums is due to competition for food.  If your fish are well-fed, they are less likely to feel threatened by a new fish that might compete with them for food.  

5) Exercise good husbandry practices when selecting which fish to keep in your aquarium.  Understand that if you wish to push the boundaries and test the limits, you may encounter aggression that will have to be dealt with.