Aquatic Life Acclimation Guide
Fish are sensitive to rapid changes in their environment. The water that your fish are packaged in most likely has different water parameters than that of your home aquarium. For this reason, proper acclimation is vital when introducing new fish into your aquarium. Acclimation helps your aquatic life adjust to the new chemistry of your tank, thereby helping ensure the health of your new addition. The acclimation process of aquatic life must begin immediately upon arriving home.
Following are the steps to acclimate your new fish:
- Turn off all aquarium lights to reduce stress on aquatic life.
- Don’t feed them until next day.
- Thoroughly wash your hands to remove perfumes, lotions, etc.
- Float the sealed bag in your aquarium for at least 15 minutes but no longer than one hour to allow for temperature acclimation. The water in the bag should be the same temperature as that of your tank prior to proceeding to the next step.
- After floating the bag for 15 minutes, carefully cut it open as close to the top as possible and fold the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket within the lip of the bag. This air pocket will allow the bag to float on the surface of the water. Or, if possible, secure the bag to the aquarium side with an algae clip.
Otherwise for the small fish like Guppy, after 15 minutes of floating, cut the bag and put them all into the Togo cup and then put the cup into your tank, and then start adding water like step 6.
- Slowly add ¼ to ½ cup of aquarium water to the bag. It may be easiest to use ¼ cup for small bags and ½ cup for large bags.
- Repeat step 5 every five minutes until the bag is full.
- Once the bag is full, remove the bag from the aquarium and discard half of the water in the bag into a bucket, being careful not to harm your aquatic life.
- Re-float the bag in the aquarium and slowly add ¼ to ½ cup of aquarium water to the bag every five minutes until the bag is full (see steps 4-6). This will further acclimate the new aquatic life to your system and will eliminate most of the water originally in the bag.
- Once the bag is full, remove it from the aquarium and slowly pour off as much water as possible into a bucket without harming your aquatic life (see step 7).
- Grasp the bottom corner of the bag and lower it into the aquarium.
- Lift the bottom corner of the bag and allow your fish to swim out of the bag. If you have an invertebrate, submerse the bag, and carefully remove the invertebrate (remember to only handle corals by the base).