Drip Vs Plop

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by MossBall, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. MossBallValued MemberMember

    So I would like the veteran aquarists to give me some feed back on which method they use to acclimate their fish. I will be getting some shipped overnight, some taking 2-3 days and some I will be picking up 40mins away. Based on my research, it shows that drip acclamation is best if you have picked up the animal locally or if it has been in the bag under 24 hours. Further research shows if the animal has been in the bag more than 36 hours plop and drop works the best.

    Which method would work the best for me? I have no heater(so I can aclimate room temp very easily), my PH is 8.3 (so pretty darn high), and my hardness is way off the charts. My gut says plop and drop is best however I am just worried about the shock from the high PH change and Hardness change.

    Does anyone know the time it takes to turn the bag water into NH from the second you cut the bag?(assuming it has been sealed for 60 hours with 3 guppy size fish or similar.)
  2. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    I just got through stressing over this intensely over three days while I was ordering and getting my first Discus shipped in. Mine are domestics and used to neutral water, but mine is pretty high at PH 8.3 so I was concerned with the plop and drop method.

    From what I have gathered as long as your tank PH is higher than the PH of the source/bag water (and the PH in the bag drops as the fish exhales and poops in it) you should be fine to plop. A rise in PH is much easier (I am not sure the reason) than a drop in PH for them to deal with.

    Now, here is the thing about dripping. The bag water is getting more and more ammonia in it the longer the fish is in the bag. Luckily for us and them their is a relationship between ammonia vs ammonium concentrations and PH, the lower the PH the less ammonia and more ammonium. The fish breathing saturates the water with more CO2, dropping the PH. Once you open the bag the PH will slowly start to rise. Add high PH water and the bag water will rise in PH even faster. Both making the ammonium convert to ammonia, burning and poisoning the fish.

    SO! the following is IMO

    • If you drip or add water to the bag, add Prime or something similar that will bind the ammonia into ammonium regardless of the PH, protecting the fish.
    • If your PH is higher in the tank than the water (which unless you are below like 6.5 I dont think your tank would be lower than the bag) you should be fine to plop them right in as long as the temp is the same
    • A final method I was thinking of trying was use a bucket of RO (bottled) water, 50/50 with tank water and plop the fish (NO BAG WATER) into this, then drip acclimate the bucket, getting rid of the ammonia issue.

    With my Discus I went with adding tank water + Prime (a few drops) directly to the bag (temp was already very similar) everyone seemed OK (I monitored them for gasping or stress, no signs) and the plopped after 10-15 min.

    I tested one of the bags of water after I offloaded the fish and it was reading 0.5ppm, two 3" discus in that bag for 12-16 hours.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  3. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

  4. HerkimurWell Known MemberMember

    You know I never thought of the ammonia in the bag becoming toxic as soon as I add my drip water. Very insightful.
    With that being mentioned I think I'll add Prime + Poly Filter piece into the bag/bucket when I do my fish.
  5. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Us Idaho ppl are smarter than we look :p
    Whats the purpose of the poly?
  6. HerkimurWell Known MemberMember

    LOL. True dat.
    The Poly Filter absorbs ammonia (and heavy metals and meds such as tranquilizers etc).
    Some fish breeders/sellers put a small amount of it in the shipping bag for safer transit.
  7. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    OH! interesting, I thought you were putting like the poly fill stuff you use for mechanical filtration in there...was very confused :p

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