Adding fish: acclimatioin methods

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by azbev, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. azbev

    azbevValued MemberMember

    I just read that the "floating bag" method of acclimation for new fish is now "widely discouraged" by experienced fish keepers. Say what??!! Question: so what IS the method now recommended? Thank you
  2. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    It's not necessarily discouraged but should be used with another method, so not just the floating bag method but combine it with something like drip acclimation. The floating bag method just gets them use to the water temperature, which is good, but they also need to get use to the actual water for example if ph is different from store water versus your tank.

    I do floating bag method along with every five mins, taking water out of bag, and putting in tank water with a turkey baster. It depends on the fish, but for my betta I did that every five mins for half an hour so a total of six times.
  3. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    "Floating the bag" only acclimates the fish to the temp of the tank, not to the other parameters (pH, GH, KH, nitrates).

    Put the fish bag in a bucket and add a cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes. After 1-2 hours, I net the fish out and put them in the tank.

    For shrimp, I add smaller amounts of water over a longer period of time.

    Many people also use drip acclimation.

    EDIT: Ninja'ed!

  4. BerettaNew MemberMember

    Floating the bag allows the temperature in the bag to match the temperature in the tank. I like the plop and drop. Plop the bag in the tank to regulate the temperature, after 20 minutes, drop the fish in the tank.

    Drip acclimation and other slower acclimating forms are unnecessary. If you have bought the fish locally, then the water they have come from and the water they are going into is going to be the same, or close enough that a slow acclimation is pointless. If you have had the fish shipped to you, then getting them out of the bag quickly is more beneficial than slowly acclimating them in the bag they were shipped in. Slowly acclimating fish that have been shipped in the bag they came in can also lead to an ammonia spike in the bag.

  5. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I don't recommend the "plop and drop" method. Even in the same city, water can vary, and you risk shocking your fish. I don't know about you, but I don't want to risk the fish themselves or the money I just paid for them.
  6. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    That's not always true though Beretta my local petco has a different PH then I have. I wouldn't just assume all local pet stores will have the same water parameters as one tanks does.
  7. BerettaNew MemberMember

    Forums tend to perpetuate things that are unnecessary. Especially when an individual reads something on a forum and takes it as the gospel.


    The amount of fish I import, as well as others I know who import fish from across the country and the world, know that slow acclimation although not always harmful, is certainly not necessary.
  8. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    So every fish tank in your area has the same pH and hardness (in spite of wood, leaves, rocks, chemical buffers, etc that alter the pH, and in a low KH area the pH of these tanks miraculously doesn't vary at all), and also the same level of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?

    The floating bag method means float the bag for 5 minutes to equalise the temperatures, then add a little tank water to the bag periodically until the pH (and hardness) of the tank and the bag are the same, then put the fish into the tank. The length of time and number of water-additions required depends on the starting difference between the water in the bag and the water in the tank. There's nothing wrong with this method at all.
  9. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Good luck with that.
  10. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    Even that article saids one should still do the drip method except in rare cases where the water in the bag is harmful to the fish (dirty bag water). Anyhow we shall simply have to agree to disagree. Everything I have read, not just from others on forums, has said to acclimate with more then just floating bag.
  11. aliray

    alirayFishlore VIPMember

    I float the opened bag just clipped to the top of the tank or held on by the tank lid for 30 min with the lights off, then add about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 15 min times 4 or 5 and then 15 min after the last addition of water I either net them or let them swim out, water and all depending on the fish. I continue to leave the tank lights off for another couple of hours. Then I feed everybody. Alison:;hi2
  12. OP

    azbevValued MemberMember

    Thank you all for your suggestions and comments. I appreciate your taking the time to post. ~~Bev
  13. Cef

    CefValued MemberMember

    This is from your article mentioned, yes I do agree that it is better for fish to have the plop and drop method if they have been in the bag more than 24hours. As the shock of them being subjected to new water is better than being in their bag water much more longer than required. As for fish from lfs, acclimation wont hurt either you and your fish.
  14. BerettaNew MemberMember

    I have had nothing but success with doing this. People who do this on a small scale like to do things the hard and unnecessary way. Good luck with that :)
  15. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Early days. Somehow I doubt my experiences in importing fish have been on a smaller scale than yours. People used to keep goldfish in bowls and also swear it wasn't harmful, but you can only ride your luck so far. Even the link you posted to support your argument disagreed with you.
  16. BerettaNew MemberMember

    You need to bone up on your reading comprehension. I only provided one link. Seems as if you are suddenly an importer. Or is it you just can't admit you're wrong? Anyway, I'm done with this thread.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2016
  17. boxtopValued MemberMember

    I always drip acclimate.

    It may be unnecessary but I do it anyway because I want my animals to have as easy and stress free a transition as possible.

    I use a small bucket and airline with a knot tied in it. I empty the fish and water from the bag to the bucket and then start a siphon on the airline. With a knot in the line the water comes out in a trickle. I do this for about 6-8 hours and every 30 minutes or so I remove some of the water from the bucket.

    Once complete, I net the fish out of the bucket and place them in the aquarium. Finally I complete the water change by adding clean treated water.

    I have had near flawless success. The couple of fish I have lost were all in my tank for at least several months.

    It might be overkill but to me it is worth it.
  18. bizaliz3

    bizaliz3Fishlore LegendMember

    What I do to avoid leaving them in the bag longer than necessary is when I get home with a new fish, I plop the bag in the new tank. While it is floating there, I put some water from their new tank in a bucket and then I put them in that bucket along with all the water from their bag. I try and get the water in the bucket to be approx. half new tank water, half water from the bag. And then I leave the fish in there for about 10 minutes and maybe add a cup of water from the new tank another couple times during that 10 minutes.

    I consider it my lazy way acclimating. I personally have never done the drip method. But I figure my way is better than only adapting them to the temperature. It's a lot less lazy than just floating the bag and dropping them in the tank.

    While the "floating bag method" is nice because it allows the fish to adjust to the temp, there are so many more elements that can differ. (as everyone has already mentioned)

    I will agree that further acclimation is HARDER....but certainly not UNNECESSARY! It will make the transition a LOT easier for the fish. And it can even mean the difference between life and death.

    Using that excuse that it "unnecessary" is just trying to justify laziness in my opinion.
  19. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    Yup that is pretty much why I do it too. I'm cautious with my fish. I am a beginner myself who gave up as a kid due to dying fish in a ten gallon. I've done a lot of research now on forums, articles, ebooks and so forth and tend to go on the cautious side of advice. :)
  20. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    The float and mix method is good enough for most fish. The drip method is an alternative way of doing the same thing. For very delicate fish, or when the parameters are very different, a prolonged drip method is best, but then it becomes a compromise between mixing waters and not leaving the fish stressed for too long.

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