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
- 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.