FRESHWATER ACCLIMATION

Freshwater Acclimation Procedure

  • Prepare your fish quarantine/fish holding system for acclimation. If using a fish quarantine

system (HIGHLY recommended), the water chemistry and parameters in the quarantine

system should match your holding system as closely as possible. Make sure that the

water volume in the system you are using is low enough that it won’t overflow once bags

are floated in the tanks.

  • Turn off or dim the lights in the room. Red lights can be used to illuminate.
  • Equalize the temperature in the shipping bags with your quarantine/holding system by

floating the bags in the water. DO NOT CUT THE BAGS OPEN YET. Float the bags for at

least 10-15 minutes. If your bags feel excessively warm or cold when you receive them,

float them for up to 30 minutes or until the bag temperatures measure close to your tank

temperature.

  • Cut the bags open below the metal clips/rubber bands. Do not allow the water inside the bags to escape into your system.
  • Pour off about one half the water to waste, leaving enough water for the fish to swim.
  • Fold the sides of the bags to form a float collar.
  • VERY IMPORTANT – add an ammonia reducing agent like Amquel or Chloramx to either

the tubs or into each bag. Ammonia is relatively non-toxic in its ionic form (ammonium) at

lower pH. As soon as the pH rises the ammonia changes to toxic ammonia. For this

reason it is 100% essential to get rid of as much ammonia as possible prior to any further

acclimation steps. FAILURE TO EXERCISE THIS IMPORTANT STEP CAN CAUSE

SEVERE AND IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO YOUR MARINE ANIMALS, VERY OFTEN

RESULTING IN IMMEDIATE OR DELAYED DEATH. Let stand fifteen minutes.

  • Add about one cup of water to each bag every fifteen or twenty minutes.
  • Continue to pour off water (this is waste water and doesn’t go into your tank).
  • Continue this process for one and one half to two hours.
  • At the end of this period carefully net the fish and dip them in a tub/bucket

containing a prepared commercial fish dip. Choose a dip that has broad

spectrum medicating properties and, preferably a stress coat. Follow the

manufacturer’s directions on the dip bottle carefully – do not expose your fish to

the dip for longer than is advised as some dips can be dangerous to fish health

after long exposure.