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The Proper Way to Acclimate Fish
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Cyradia
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)7:59    Post subject: The Proper Way to Acclimate Fish Reply with quote

Here's a fun weekend topic...

The bag floaters, the drippers, the partial water changers...have we all been doing it all wrong? I came across this article:

http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/acclimatizing.html

It has a piece on it by William Vannerson (a few posts down...double spaced and hard to read) that basically says you should slice the bags open, catch the fish in a net, and throw them into your tank (specifically if they're transported for long trips.) The reasoning being that the water in their bags is so awful that the fish need to get into the healthy water of a prepared tank as soon as possible. Also, they explained some chemistry (that I just skimmed over) that said exposing the bagged water to air and warmth actually makes the bad conditions worse. The only time they said to even let temperature concern you is if you were throwing fish into a colder tank than their bags.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'm quite that gutsy, but I have started doing faster "acclimation" periods on new fish. Basically I started doing a 50% water change in the bags with water from the new tank almost immediately, and then added even more fresh water every few minutes from the new tank. Then after about 30 minutes of that, I tossed them in (just the fish, not the water that still had some of the original bagged water in it.)

So, any thoughts?
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bohica
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Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Location: western Ky.

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)9:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like a "leeser of two evils" kind of thing to me. I mean if you just drove say, less than 1/2 hour home from the LFS I would use the float and mix technique. But I guess if the trip was a long one or you wholesaled and got em' off a plane where conditions in the bag could really be getting bad I could see just chucking them in. Food for thought.

Bo
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)11:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

About a year and a half ago I started a similar topic. There had been a rather lively debate on a UseNet newsgroup about the John Farrell Kuhns article suggesting "dumping" verses "floating" bagged fish. I had become convinced, by both the debate on UseNet and my respect for Mr. Kuhns, that the "dumping" method is the way to go. I presented the topic here and it was met with great skepticism, but a lot of good information was passed back and forth. The reasons for dumping verses floating is based solidly in both logic and science. I have been dumping fish for the past year+ with zero losses. From Apistos, Rams and Cardinals to my wonderfully sensitive Chocolate Gourami's...all have acclimated quicker and with no problems since I've been dumping. However, because this "flies in the face" of long and widely held beliefs that fish must be floated, I haven't become comfortable suggesting others follow this radical approach. I wish the Topic was still available but that was two board updates ago. Crying or Very sad

I'm more than willing to debate the merits of "dumping" verses "floating" for those interested in the issue.
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Shawna in CA
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: California

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)12:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't dump. The thought of the funkies from the fish store tanks entering my own tanks is the deterrent.

I don't float the fish either. After what you'd mentioned about the ammonia in the bag & everything, Steve, it seemed more important to get the fish out of the bag as soon as possible.

So, now what we do is bring home the bag of fish, and cut it open, and net the fish. No floating, no acclimating. Honestly, the fish don't seem to notice. Of course, I'm not keeping sensitive fish like rams & discus either. I've used this instant netting method w/ cories, platies, black neons and kuhlis with no losses.

*fingers crossed for future inhabitants*
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Jenja223
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Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)13:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sort of do both...When I get them home I pour the contents of the bag into a bowl, which allows me to catch them so much easier than in the bag. Then I get a glass, fill it with water from the bowl and put the fish in it. Once that is done I hold the glass in the aquarium slowly allowing aquarium water to seep in until it is submersed, take the glass out and I'm done all in roughly 5 to 7 minutes. By combining the methods I get the ease of dumping them in quickly and by floating the glass allow the fish to see they are getting some new inhabitants to their tank.

Also, if you trust the LFS's tank enough to buy fish from it and believe it is disease free, then why would you not dump the water in the tank? Rather hypocritical in my eyes. But that's just my two cents.

~Jenn
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Taratron
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)15:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a netter/dumper. I net the fish in the bag, and plop it right in my tank.

I may trust the store enough to buy the fish, but that doesn't mean I trust the water. That's why I don't put their water in my tank; admittedly, disease can be transferred on the fish into the tank, but we can't see what's in the water. At least with fish, there are usually physical signs as to disease.

Fish goes in, water stays out.
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)17:06    Post subject: Drip, net, and salt Reply with quote

The last fish I bought I handled differently than the ones I initially stocked the tank with.

I floated the bag in the tank to adjust temps, then dripped in tank water, removing the same amount from the bag and discarding it. Then I salt dipped the fish and added them to the Q tank, where they will stay for a month. I expect to do a second treatment for parasites before I release them into any tank.

Then I prepared a bowl of tank water with 3 cups of water to which I added a total of 1 teaspoon of pickling salt per cup of water, but I held back some of this water and half of the salt initially. I netted out the fish to this bowl and discarded the bag of mixed store and tank water. I dipped the fish for 5 minutes in the less-than-full-strength salt mixture, then in another cup, mixed the rest of the salt and the water and added it to the fish in the bowl. I timed the fish dip, and when a couple seemed to roll over and float I dipped them out, straight to the tank. All fish were out before 10 minutes total, when the remaining fish suddenly got very agitated. They were tiny tetras, probably wild caught, and I was not sure how they would tolerate a salt dip. Refer to the SkepticalAquarist.com site, under Quarantine to see what I was doing if this explaination didn't make sense.
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bohica
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Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Location: western Ky.

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)18:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope most everyone is using a quarantine tank? The "Q" tank beyond it's normal use to insure fish are healthy before adding them to your set up can also alleviate some of the worry about the LFS water. No? I usually add 50% home water to the LFS bag wait 20 minutes and dump the whole mess into my "Q" tank.

Bo

PS, Shawna in Ca. Do I remember you from your own aquarium board a few years ago?

Bo
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Shawna in CA
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Location: California

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)18:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taratron wrote:

I may trust the store enough to buy the fish, but that doesn't mean I trust the water. That's why I don't put their water in my tank; admittedly, disease can be transferred on the fish into the tank, but we can't see what's in the water. At least with fish, there are usually physical signs as to disease.


This is how I see it, too, Tara. To the person who said it originally: It's not hypocritical. It's about safeguarding, and for the reasons Tara listed.

Sometimes the water can have something in it, and the fish might be sick, but we aren't seeing the symptoms of illness yet, and probably won't until they've been in the home tanks for a few days. Why put the REST of the fish at risk of illness by adding whatever is making the new fish ill?

There was only one time I put fish store water in the 29g tank, and I lived to regret it.

All of the fish in that tank came down with parasites (not ich) and died. Each and every fish, and I don't think it was a coincidence.

The tank was treated with something. Tetracycline, I think. Anyway, the tank was treated, and a partial water change was done, and I had to mini cycle the tank again before adding new fish.

It could have been a fluke (no pun intended) but it was enough for me. I'll never add tank water again for any reason.
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Cyradia
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)21:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see people talking about dumping fish in and the importance of water not being transferred...and I just thought I'd clarify in case it was something in my post someone was misinterpretting....

I'm not suggesting to ever, ever add water from the fish store (or wholesale bag) to your tank. In fact, the article specifically says something against it. I was just bringing up the debate of dumping the fish (no water) directly into a set-up tank vs. the traditional way it's done (floating for temp regulation and/or dripping tank water into the bag before netting out the fish and putting them in the tank.)
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