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Acclimation Guide

Acclimation Guide

Acclimation Guide

Acclimation Procedures

You've invested valuable time and money researching the habitat requirements of your new Angelfish. Naturally, you want to protect this investment by executing a proper acclimation process once the Angelfish arrive at your door. The purpose of acclimation is simple: the water that the Angelfish are packaged in has different temperature and pH parameters than your aquarium. Tropical fish are very sensitive to even minor changes in these parameters, so proper acclimation is the key to ensuring their successful relocation.

There are two acclimation methods explained below, we recommend the Drip Method and wish to remind you the acclimation process should never be rushed. Also, remember to keep your aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the Angelfish are introduced into the aquarium to help them further adjust. And do not feed your new fish for at least 24 hours after receiving them. They will beg you for food but it is best for them not to eat for 1 day after they are placed in their new home.


Floating Method

     
1. Turn off aquarium lights.  
     
2. Dim the lights in the room where the shipping box will be opened. Never open the box in bright light - severe stress or trauma may result from sudden exposure to bright light.  
     
3. Float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 minutes (Fig. A). Never open the shipping bag at this time. This step allows the water in the shipping bag to adjust slowly to the temperature in the aquarium, while maintaining a high level of dissolved oxygen.
4. After floating the sealed shipping bag for 15 minutes, cut open the bag just under knot or rubberband (Fig. B) and roll the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket within the lip of the bag. This will enable the bag to float on the surface of the water (Fig. C). For heavy pieces bags that will submerge the shipping bag, place the bag containing the Angelfish in a plastic bowl or specimen container.
5. Add 1/4 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag (Fig. D).
6. Repeat step 5 every four minutes until the shipping bag is full.  
     
7. Lift the shipping bag from the aquarium and discard half the water from the bag (Fig. E).
8. Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and proceed to add 1/4 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag every four minutes until the bag is full.  
     
9. Use a very soft net to gently catch the Angelfish form the bag and release them into your aquarium (Fig. F)
10. Remove the filled shipping bag from the aquarium and discard the water. Never release shipping water directly into the aquarium.  
     
Drip Method
     
This method is considered more advanced. You will need airline tubing and must be willing to monitor the entire process. Gather a clean 1 gallon bucket designated for aquarium use only that has never been used with any kind of cleaning agent or chemicals of any kind. If acclimating your new Angelfish from different bags, use a separate bucket for each.
     
1. Start with Steps 1-3 of the floating method to acclimate water temperature.  
     
2. Carefully empty the contents of the bags (including the water) into the buckets (Fig. G). Depending on the amount of water in each bag, this may require tilting the bucket at a 45 degree angle to make sure the animals are fully submerged (Fig. H). You may need a prop or wedge to help hold the bucket in this position until there is enough liquid in the bucket to put it back to a level position.
3. Using airline tubing, set up and run a siphon drip line from the main aquarium to each bucket. You'll need separate airline tubing for each bucket used. Tie several loose knots in the airline tubing, or use a plastic or other non-metal airline control valve, (Fig. I), to regulate flow from the aquarium. It is also a good idea to secure the airline tubing in place with an airline holder.
4. Begin a siphon by sucking on the end of the airline tubing you'll be placing into each of the buckets. When water begins flowing through the tubing, adjust the drip (by tightening one of the knots or adjusting the control valve) to a rate of about 2-4 drips per second (Fig. J).
5. When the water volume in the bucket doubles, discard half and begin the drip again until the volume doubles once more in about one hour.  
     
6. At this point, the Angelfish can be transferred to the aquarium. Gently scoop them out of the drip bucket with the specimen bag, making sure they're fully covered in water. Submerge the bag underwater in the aquarium and gently remove the specimen from the bag. Next, seal off the bag underwater by twisting the opening, and remove it from the aquarium. Discard both the bag and the enclosed water. A tiny amount of the diluted water will escape into the aquarium; this is O.K.  
     
Important Facts
     
  • Be patient - never rush the acclimation procedure. The total acclimation time for your new arrival should take no longer than one hour.
  • Never place an airstone into the shipping bag when acclimating your new arrival. This will increase the pH of the shipping water too quickly and expose your new arrival to lethal ammonia.
  • Keep aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the new arrival is introduced into the aquarium.
  • Do not feed your fish right away. We suggest waiting at least 24 hours for them to settle down before feeding them. They will look like they hungry, but it is best for them to wait a full day before their first feeding.
  • Never pour the bag water into your aquarium. We use "bag buddies" when shipping. NEVER ADD ANY OF THE BAG WATER TO YOUR TANK!