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Vivid Aquariums Livestock Acclimation Guide
How to Acclimate Livestock From Vivid Aquariums:
(Only necessary when working with fish and inverts, otherwise move to step 2.)
Turn off aquarium lights and dim ambient room lighting to just enough to work safely.
Carefully unpack livestock bags, DO NOT open the bags yet!
Float sealed bags in the aquarium to begin temperature acclimation, take note of the difference in temperature between the bag and the tank water by how they feel to the touch.
Wait 30 minutes and compare temperature by touch.
If the bag and tank feel similar in temperature, confirm the aquarium salinity using a calibrated refractometer. In the rare event that the bag still feels warmer or colder than the aquarium, repeat step 5.
If the aquarium salinity is within 1.023-1.026, simply cut open and empty the bag contents into a suitable plastic or glass container, and carefully net or move just the animal into the aquarium without taking shipping water with it, completing the acclimation process. If salinity is outside the standard range, please read below.
If salinity is below 1.023 or up to 1.028:
Any salinity outside our normal range is considered unsuitable and therefore our guarantee no longer applies.
The only exception is for the quarantine of fish, which is a recommended practice and losses at lower salinity levels for the sake of quarantine would be handled on a case by case basis.
A basic acclimation duration would be recommended for every 0.002s.g difference in either direction. The goal of the acclimation process is to have at least 4x the water volume at the end of the duration.
Basic Parameter Acclimation
- After temperature acclimating the livestock, empty bag contents into a container large enough to hold at least 4x the volume of water that the animal came with, a 5 gallon bucket is typically recommended.
- Set up a drip line from the aquarium to steadily fill the container and adjust it so that it would fill about 1/2 the starting volume every 5 minutes. If a drip line is not available, manually add about 1/2 the starting volume of water to the container every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.
- Carefully net or move livestock into the aquarium
Why Our Instructions Are Different From What is Commonly Read Online:
One of the most important things to consider is livestock acclimation when bringing home a new fish or coral. Here at Vivid Aquariums, we make sure our livestock is maintained at standard reef parameters of 1.023-1.026 and do all the major acclimation for you so that when we send out fish, inverts or coral, extended acclimation periods are NOT necessary upon arrival and actually typically detrimental to the health of the animals.
The reason why most other online vendors recommend an extended acclimation period for their fish is because they are typically maintained at or near 'hyposalinity.' This is a specific salinity range that is approximately 1.009-1.011s.g, this is good for the fish because the overall salinity of fish's body matches the salinity of their tank environment, allowing them to conserve energy and body mass and have an easier time adapting to captive life. Hyposalinity is also a range that kills off a wide variety of common parasites such as marine ich and most flukes.
In our experience, most fish we bring in from distributors come from salinity levels anywhere between 1.011-1.017s.g
The difficulty of acclimation comes from going from such low salinity to natural levels between 1.023-1.026s within the short time frame of 3 hours. But this is also where a lot of misinformation about acclimation comes from, it is not necessary when parameters do not vary greatly from one another to acclimate for this long because there is almost no difference in parameters from our tanks to yours.
After a fish is bagged and shipped, the bag environment begins to fill with large amounts of ammonia and CO2 from the fish's respiration. The CO2 lowers the Ph of the water and renders the ammonia mostly nontoxic during transit and the fish is safe as long as the bag remains sealed. The biggest risk comes from the acclimation process where the bag is normally opened and processed. The biggest goal of acclimation is to get the fish safely out of the shipping bag as fast as possible and our process minimizes stress related to ammonia poisoning and parameter shock as best as we can, while allowing our customers to simply float and release their new pets.