Friday, September 25, 2009

Acclimating fish and coral

Acclimating fish and coral to your fish tank is a very important process of owning an aquarium. Just like any other animal, if you try to change their surroundings very quickly, the fish and coral can become ill or even die. You need to go through a slow process to get them used to the water conditions before you try to plunge them right in there. In this article I will be going through a few of the various steps you will need to take when acclimating new fish to your aquarium. So without further introduction, lets get into how to properly acclimate fish and coral.

First you will need to get the proper materials for acclimation. You will need a clean bucket, a net, a bucket with water at the exact conditions of your aquarium, and a cup. You should always have these materials on hand before you order the new fish to your aquarium. Once you get your fish home, you will want to start the acclimation process as quickly as possible and avoid leaving the fish in the bag it came in for an extended period of time. There are different methods for acclimation, but I will go with the more simple straight forward method.

First you want to empty the bag and the fish into the clean bucket, being very careful not to drop the fish too roughly. Now you need to condition the water in your second bucket the same condition as the water in your aquarium. At this point you want to take a cup of water out of the aquarium and add it to the bucket with the fish in it. You will continue to add a cup of water every 5 minutes for 45 minutes. At the end of the 45 minute period, you can scoop your fish out and place them in the aquarium. Now with the treated water in the non-fish bucket, you will fill up the water level in your aquarium. Be careful to not pour it too fast and cause too much of a disturbance in the aquarium.

With corals, you can place them directly in the aquarium. Live rock is another story. When you receive the live rock you should place it in a new garbage can of around 30 gallons. Completely submerge your live rock in saltwater with a specific level of 1.021 to 1.025. Place a heater in the trash can and set it to 80 degrees to speed up the process. You should provide constant water flow with a pump in the garbage can. Also during this process you should do 100% water changes twice a week to keep the water from festering. Gently use the brush to remove any dead particles from the rock during these water changes. Your live rock will be ready and able to place in the aquarium once the ammonia levels in the trash can are non-existent.

I hope you found this guide helpful for the acclimating fish and live rock to your aquarium. Just remember to take your time and get the process down and do not rush.