How do I acclimate a new fish into my aquarium?

When acclimating a new fish into an aquarium there are several things to take into consideration. As a precursor, you will always want to gather as much information as you can about how the fish has been previously housed. What were they eating? What was the feeding schedule like? What was the overall water chemistry? What was the temperature of the aquarium? What was their temperament as an individual? What else were they in the aquarium with? That seems like a lot to ask but the more you know the easier it will be. 

So we have made our selection at the local fish shop and we now have a fish in a bag and bag in hand. Generally speaking moving a fish can be stressful. We will want to minimize stress as much as possible. This means when leaving the store our next stop should be our aquarium where the animal will live. 

It is important to understand when Acclimating a fish we are acclimating two things. Chemistry and temperature. To acclimate the temperature we will float the bag in our aquarium. Allow at least 15 to 20 minutes so that the water in the bag is the same temperature as the water in our aquarium. Now it’s time to adjust the chemistry in the bag to correlate with the chemistry in the fish tank. This can be done by him doing the rubber band or untying the bag and slowly adding small amounts of aquarium water into the bag. This is done gradually over time. Take about a shot glass worth of aquarium water and add it to the bag every 10 to 15 minutes for about an hour. After this is completed it is now time to add the fish into the aquarium. Play some fishnet over a bucket or container and dump the bag with the fish into the net. What we want to accomplish is straining the water so that we can dispose of all the water in the bag. Take the net and let the fish go in your aquarium. Dispose of the water in the container or bucket.

Should I quarantine my fish?

Yes! If at all possible you should always quarantine a fish before adding it to your main display tank. You will proceed through the acclamation process into your quarantine tank so that you can observe the fish one on one. You will get to know what the fish likes and doesn’t like to eat. But probably the most important part of quarantining Fish is to visually inspect them for any bacterial or parasitic diseases. You’ve invested time and money into your aquarium and it is tragic when one sick fish is added and upsets the entire ecosystem of your tank. The duration of quarantining a fish should be roughly a month long.

How do I acclimate new coral to my aquarium?

The process to acclimate a coral into your aquarium is very similar to acclimating a fish to your aquarium. We have to keep in mind that coral is an animal. You will want to in some way shape or form acclimate both chemistry and temperature. Typically we begin with floating the bag in which the coral came in. Then a different type of acclamation as far as chemistry goes, is referred to as the drip method. Place the coral (and water from the bag)  into a Tupperware container. Take a piece of airline tubing and place one end in the aquarium and the other end to drain into the Tupperware container. Create a siphon between the aquarium and the container. The flow rate should be minimal. To accomplish this either put a small valve in line or tie a loose knot in the airline tubing. The drip rate should be approximately one drip per every two seconds. This is the slowest way to acclimate chemistry. After this has been done for about an hour or an hour and a half the coral has been acclimated.

How do I “dip” coral?

Dipping coral is relatively simple and a very effective way to ensure that no hitchhikers make their way into your aquarium. Dipping coral can prevent Flatworms, Nudibranchs, Bristleworms and many others. First, place the coral into a small container with an air stone in it. Add whatever medication you are using as a coral dip. It is very important that you follow all of the directions found on the label of the specific coral dip you are using. Add the appropriate amount of coral dip and wait the appropriate amount of time and you’re done! When the dip is done a nice visual inspection is recommended. Use tweezers to remove any weak pests from the coral or plug. After removing from the dip, bathe the coral in a separate container full of regular tank water for a nice rinse. Place the coral in your aquarium and enjoy!