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Acclimating fish and Invertebrates to the home aquarium

The purpose of acclimation is simple: the water that the fish or corals are packaged in has different temperature, pH, and salinity parameters than your aquarium. Fish, and especially invertebrates, are very sensitive to even minor changes in these parameters, so proper acclimation is the key to ensuring their successful relocation.

We recommend either of the two acclimation methods explained below, and wish to remind you the acclimation process should never be rushed. Also, remember to keep your aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the specimens are introduced into the aquarium to help them further adjust.

Though not a requirement of our acclimation procedures, we highly recommend that all aquatic life be quarantined in a separate aquarium for a period of two weeks to reduce the possibility of introducing diseases and parasites into your aquarium and to ensure they are accepting food, eating properly, and are in optimum health before their final transition to your main display.

Floating Method

Turn off aquarium lights.

  1. Dim the lights in the room where the shipping box will be opened. Never open the box in bright light - severe stress or trauma may result from sudden exposure to bright light.
  2. Float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 minutes. Never open the shipping bag at this time. This step allows the water in the shipping bag to adjust slowly to the temperature in the aquarium, while maintaining a high level of dissolved oxygen.
  3. After floating the sealed shipping bag for 15 minutes, cut open the bag just under the rubber band and roll the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket within the lip of the bag. This will enable the bag to float on the surface of the water.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag.
  5. Repeat step 4 every four minutes until the shipping bag is full.
  6. Lift the shipping bag from the aquarium and discard half the water from the bag.
  7. Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and proceed to add 1/2 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag every four minutes until the bag is full.
  8. Remove the fish from the filled shipping bag into their tank and then remove the bag from the aquarium and discard bag.
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