Best Way To Acclimate Fish/snails?

Nicole B
  • #1
If you were to purchase a fish how would you acclimate them?


Also same for a snail? Would you acclimate them the same or differently?


Would like to hear how everyone does it!
 
AquaticJ
  • #2
With freshwater, floating them in the bag for 20 minutes is usually perfectly fine. However, if it's a more sensitive fish like Discus, it might be a good idea to drip acclimate. (Slowly adding your water to the old water the fish is in).
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
With freshwater, floating them in the bag for 20 minutes is usually perfectly fine. However, if it's a more sensitive fish like Discus, it might be a good idea to drip acclimate. (Slowly adding your water to the old water the fish is in).
Do you take the bag they are in and put a net over a bucket and dump them into the net and then into the tank? Or just take them out of the bag and put them in?
 
AquaticJ
  • #4
Yes, the net and bucket is a good idea. NEVER add your lfs water to your tank, you never know what they might have.
 
DuaneV
  • #5
99% of freshwater fish you're going to buy at the store can be dumped right in. No acclimation necessary. Drop & Plop is the only method I use. I take a bucket, put my aquarium net over it, dump the bag into it and take the net full of fish to the tank. Super simple.
 
Mifuluhu
  • #6
I put new fish in Tupperware floating in the tank and use a syringe to add tank water slowly just in case water parameters are different.

Of course we should be doing quarantines before adding fish to tanks in a perfect world
 
Gone
  • #7
99% of freshwater fish you're going to buy at the store can be dumped right in. No acclimation necessary. Drop & Plop is the only method I use. I take a bucket, put my aquarium net over it, dump the bag into it and take the net full of fish to the tank. Super simple.

Wow. I have to disagree with the Drop and Plop method. Unless your temperature, pH, and hardness are identical to the fish store, it's going to stress your fish if you just dump them in.

I roll up the top of the bag kind of like a shirtsleeve, and it forms a little balloon rim. I let if float for a half hour, then add little bits of tank water every five or ten minutes for the next half hour. I do use the net over the bucket so I'm not adding a bunch of LFS water to my tanks.
 
DuaneV
  • #8
Id wager the majority of people handling massive amounts of fish do it this way. Ive been doing it my whole life, never had an issue. If the temp & ph is close I think its far less stressful for the fish. And most fish aren't as delicate as most people think. Personally, I want them in my clean QT water asap.
 
AquaticJ
  • #9
Whenever we get a fish shipment in at the store, we float them. Last year we decided to try and save time by just dropping them in, and we lost a lot more fish that way. So in a large scale example, I've seen it personally. We receive around 500-1000 tropical fish a week.
 
Hunter1
  • #10
Whenever we get a fish shipment in at the store, we float them. Last year we decided to try and save time by just dropping them in, and we lost a lot more fish that way. So in a large scale example, I've seen it personally. We receive around 500-1000 tropical fish a week.
If it’s a short trip from the fish store, less than 30 minutes, I float for 20 minutes and drain bag into net over bucket.

If longer I drop acclimate after the 20 minutes. Just add about 1/2 of cup, 3 or 4 times over 15-20 minutes.
 
Lunnietic
  • #11
If I am getting it shipped in amd they have been in transit for over 12 hours, I do the drop and plop.

Anything less I do the float method.
 
Gone
  • #12
If I am getting it shipped in amd they have been in transit for over 12 hours, I do the drop and plop.

Anything less I do the float method.

I'm trying to learn. Why would you do the Drop and Plop only when fish have been in transit for over 12 hours?
 
Nicole B
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Do any of you treat the pet stores water with prime too?

Id wager the majority of people handling massive amounts of fish do it this way. Ive been doing it my whole life, never had an issue. If the temp & ph is close I think its far less stressful for the fish. And most fish aren't as delicate as most people think. Personally, I want them in my clean QT water asap.
See our angels died from the drop and plop.
 
Ms rose
  • #14
I put new fish in Tupperware floating in the tank and use a syringe to add tank water slowly just in case water parameters are different.

Of course we should be doing quarantines before adding fish to tanks in a perfect world
this is what I do as well

Whenever we get a fish shipment in at the store, we float them. Last year we decided to try and save time by just dropping them in, and we lost a lot more fish that way. So in a large scale example, I've seen it personally. We receive around 500-1000 tropical fish a week.
oh wow hats rally cool, you have a fish store! do you ship fish? just curious
 
dwarfpufferlover
  • #15
If I am getting it shipped in amd they have been in transit for over 12 hours, I do the drop and plop.

Anything less I do the float method.


+1 on that, I use this drip for anything local
 
Blitzar
  • #16
Wow. I have to disagree with the Drop and Plop method. Unless your temperature, pH, and hardness are identical to the fish store, it's going to stress your fish if you just dump them in.

I roll up the top of the bag kind of like a shirtsleeve, and it forms a little balloon rim. I let if float for a half hour, then add little bits of tank water every five or ten minutes for the next half hour. I do use the net over the bucket so I'm not adding a bunch of LFS water to my tanks.

I use plop n' drop when shipping, because I do not want my fish to be exposed to that much ammonia in such a short amount of time. For more delicate species, I would drip acclimate, but for almost every fish I have, the plop n' drop has gone perfectly for me. It might be different if I were, say, importing for Thailand, but I'm not.
 
DuaneV
  • #17
I'm trying to learn. Why would you do the Drop and Plop only when fish have been in transit for over 12 hours?

Because the longer the fish are in the bag, a massive chemical swing takes place:

As the fish breath and poop theyre littering the water with ammonia and reducing oxygen. This causes the ammonia to convert to ammonium and the PH starts taking a massive dive. As soon as you open up that bag and introduce new oxygen, the PH shoots up and the ammonium converts back to ammonia. Leaving them in the bag to "acclimate" them will almost surely kill them. This is why most pet shops use the drop and plop method. Its way more safe for the fish. And again, most fish at the pet shop are WAY more hardy than people give them credit for and a small PH or temp swing isn't going to hurt them, especially when it means getting out of toxic water.
 
Gone
  • #18
Because the longer the fish are in the bag, a massive chemical swing takes place:

As the fish breath and poop theyre littering the water with ammonia and reducing oxygen. This causes the ammonia to convert to ammonium and the PH starts taking a massive dive. As soon as you open up that bag and introduce new oxygen, the PH shoots up and the ammonium converts back to ammonia. Leaving them in the bag to "acclimate" them will almost surely kill them. This is why most pet shops use the drop and plop method. Its way more safe for the fish. And again, most fish at the pet shop are WAY more hardy than people give them credit for and a small PH or temp swing isn't going to hurt them, especially when it means getting out of toxic water.

Before I started shipping fish, I did an experiment where I bagged up some fish, and just let them sit for three days, hoping to simulate what would happen with some kind of delay in shipping. I also coordinated with another person in a different part of the country where we traded fish, shipped them back and forth, and tested the water when the fish arrived.

The fish that were boxed for three days were fine (I was actually kind of surprised). I acclimated them, and they jumped right back into their healthy community with no visible signs of stress. The water tests both ways on the shipped fish showed a little ammonia buildup, but nothing drastic. Both sets were acclimated and the fish were great.

I just have a completely different experience with shipping fish in and out. I don't know how to account for your experience that "Leaving them in the bag to 'acclimate' them will almost surely kill them."

Have you done testing to confirm the rapid ammonia conversions and reconversions and the drastic pH shocks?
 
AquaticQueen
  • #19
I am getting some new fish tomorrow and I was wondering what the best way to acclimate them is other than the floating bag method (which I used last time I got fish).
Thanks!
 
MrBryan723
  • #20
The drip method is the other main one they use. Basically put your fish into a bucket with the bag water, let the tank water drip into the bucket over the course of an hour or so, then net the fish out and drop it into the tank. Some people only use this method, others use this method only for delicate fish. I add fish to a bucket and then add a cup of water at a time to it every 15 min or so for anout an hour and then net them amd drop them in.
 
AquaCaitlin
  • #21
Floating the bag is (IMO) the best way. There’s lots of threads on fishlore about all the methods: the pros and cons.

Drip is usually done to adjust fish to ph but fish take days or weeks to adjust to ph- not hours- so it’s not very useful. Just my personal opinion though. I float the bag, than dump the fish into a net after 15-20 minutes, than plop him/her in the aquarium.
 
StarGirl
  • #22
Plop and drop here too.
 
Noroomforshoe
  • #23
I Open the bag right away, add a small amount of tank water, 10% or less of what is in the bagThen i close the tank lid over the bag so they dont get out, and I add more tank water every 15 minutes, witch often means that I have to dump some of the water out very carefully. when there is more tank water then store water in the bag, i usueally let them swim out. It is best not to add a lot of petstore water to your tank, but if the tank at the store had anything serios in it, your fish are going to get no matter how much dirty water you toss out.
 
StarGirl
  • #24
How does everyone open the bag and it doesn't sink? What am I missing here....lol ...May be a blond moment?
 
FinalFins
  • #25
How does everyone open the bag and it doesn't sink? What am I missing here....lol ...May be a blond moment?
I roll the sides down a bit..

I am also an advocate of plop and drop.
 
flyinGourami
  • #26
How does everyone open the bag and it doesn't sink? What am I missing here....lol ...May be a blond moment?
Very tight grip (as a swimmer thats easy lol), or I leave the bag closed and when I open it I dump it into a bucket.
 
Fisheye
  • #27
Are you getting them from a local fish store or are they being shipped to you.

You'll still get differing opinions, but the above does play into things.
 
flyinGourami
  • #28
I feel like a lot of people recommend the drip acclimation but after seeing a few hobbyists experience, people seem to have success(no issues, smooth acclimation) with the plop and drop method.
 
Gone
  • #29
I used drip my whole life until a couple years ago after I saw a video from prominent fish keepers who use plop and drop. I've had fish die not long after I introduced them in the past, but haven't had any problems since I started using plop and drop. That doesn't prove that previous fish died because of drip acclimation or they would have done fine if I used plop and drop, it's just my experience.

How does everyone open the bag and it doesn't sink? What am I missing here....lol ...May be a blond moment?

Roll up the top of the bag like you're rolling up your shirtsleeves. Once you have two or three rolls, just set it in the tank and it will float. It creates an air pocket around the rim of the bag, kind of like an inflatable kiddie pool.
 
AquaticQueen
  • #30
What is plop and drop acclimation?
 
flyinGourami
  • #31
What does plop and drop mean?
Basically you temp acclimate(some people don't I think) and you scoop them out of the bag and plop em right into the tank. This way you don't have to mess with adding tank water and all that stuff.
 
AquaticQueen
  • #32
Basically you temp acclimate(some people don't I think) and you scoop them out of the bag and plop em right into the tank. This way you don't have to mess with adding tank water and all that stuff.
Do basically the same as the floating bag method? I have just never seen it referred to as "plop and drop".
 
flyinGourami
  • #33
Do basically the same as the floating bag method? I have just never seen it referred to as "plop and drop".
Yup! Haha the phrase "plop and drop" scared me... I had to think about it for a few seconds.
 
Rcslade124
  • #34
I float bag closed for around 30mins the open bag poor water into a net over bucket and put them in.
 
Gone
  • #35
The argument in favor of plop and drop is that ammonia builds up in a bag that fish were shipped in. As the ammonia builds up, the pH drops, turning the ammonia into less toxic ammonium. When you open the bag and start drip acclimation, that sends the pH higher turning the ammonium back into ammonia, harming the fish.

 
flyinGourami
  • #36
The argument in favor of plop and drop is that ammonia builds up in a bag that fish were shipped in. As the ammonia builds up, the pH drops, turning the ammonia into less toxic ammonium. When you open the bag and start drip acclimation, that sends the pH higher turning the ammonium back into ammonia, harming the fish.

Haha watched that video too. For me the ph rise makes the drip acclimation kinda pointless; it'll just be another "stage" of stress.
 
AvalancheDave
  • #37
The argument in favor of plop and drop is that ammonia builds up in a bag that fish were shipped in. As the ammonia builds up, the pH drops, turning the ammonia into less toxic ammonium. When you open the bag and start drip acclimation, that sends the pH higher turning the ammonium back into ammonia, harming the fish.

That's plop or drop 2. Plop or drop 1 assumed that CO2 escapes rapidly from the water when the bag is opened. That was disproven, plop or drop 1 died a fiery death, and plop or drop 2 was rolled out.

Plop or drop 2 assumes that pH rises due to drip acclimation. I would like to see some evidence that ammonia reaches dangerous levels for enough time to harm fish.
 
Gone
  • #38
Plop or drop 2 assumes that pH rises due to drip acclimation. I would like to see some evidence that ammonia reaches dangerous levels for enough time to harm fish.

I agree 100%. I see fish guys and gals talk about plop and drop and they're believable. But I've always kind of been waiting for them to talk about test readings. I haven't seen any data.

Maybe that would be a good experiment.
 

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