• Acclimation Guide
  • Saltwater fish, coral and inverts are very sensitive creatures, and require special care when they arrive to you after being shipped.

    Shipping can be extremely stressful on marine livestock. When your package from TankStop arrives, extreme care must be taken with your new livestock.

    After being in the total darkness of a shipping container for up to 24 hours, livestock can be extremely sensitive to the bright lights of where you open the package. Before you proceed to your method of acclimation, make sure you first dim the lights of the room.

    Below are the two most used methods of acclimating marine livestock. We tend to use the float method, just because in our opinion it is faster and has always worked for us. Sometimes it is better to use the drip method instead. Also when acclimating coral, you should lower the power of your lights for a few days to not shock the coral.

    With all livestock, we STRONGLY recommend that you quarantine all new arrivals. Please do not add any livestock straight to your display tank. For our quarantining instructions, please read over our guide to quarantining.

    Please note that fish are shipped in water with a salinity level of 1.018, inverts come with a slightly higher salinity level. Please make sure to take this into account for acclimating your new livestock for quarantine.

    Float Method

    1. Turn off the lights of the aquarium and make sure the room where your aquarium is in is dimly lit.
    2. Do not open the bag containing your livestock, and let the unopened bag float for 15-20 minutes to adjust the temperature of the shipping water to the water in the tank.
    3. After 15-20 minutes, carefully open the bag containing the livestock and roll the bag down a few inches. This should allow the bag to float by itself while open. We tend to use large plastic food container clips to secure the bag to aquarium equipment of the rim of the aquarium to keep it in place. We also clip the bag mostly closed, just allowing air in, to keep fish from jumping out.
    4. After you have opened the shipping bag and it is floating in your tank, add ½ to 1 cup of water from the aquarium to the bag, depending on the size of the bag.
    5. Every 5 to 10 minutes add another ½ to 1 cup of water.
    6. Repeat this process 5 more times.
    7. The livestock is now ready to be placed in your aquarium using a net or container.

    Drip Method

    1. Make sure the room where you aquarium is in is dimly lit.
    2. Now carefully open the shipping bag and pour the water and livestock carefully into a large container. The best containers are normally 5 gallon buckets found at home improvement stores.
    3. Now start a siphon from your aquarium into the container with using a thin piece of airline tubing. Tie loose knots into the airline before starting the siphon and then tighten the knots until you get a slow drip coming out of the airline into the container. A few drips per second is perfect.
    4. After about 30 minutes of dripping water from your aquarium to the container with your new livestock, remove half of the water with a cup.
    5. After another 30 minutes of dripping, you should now be able to add your livestock to your aquarium.

    Safety Stop

    Since we here at TankStop value the health of all livestock first and foremost, all fish purchases from TankStop include a package of Safety Stop from Blue Life. Safety Stop is a simple, but effective, measure to help combat disease and parasites that could be present on your new fish.

    Safety Stop is not a substitute for a proper quarantine procedure in a hospital tank, but can help your fish get off to a great head start before going into quarantine. Safety Stop will greatly reduce stress and health issues caused from fungal and bacterial infections as well as harm caused by parasites and infectious diseases.

    1. Acclimate fish to the same temperature, salinity (1.018) and PH from shipping water to your quarantine setup.
    2. Prepare two containers (plastic or glass) with a gallon each of tank water at the same temperature of your quarantine tank. Pour Part A of Safety Stop into the first container and Part B of Safety Stop into the other container.
    3. Use an airstone in each container to agitate the water and leave the airstone in the containers while the fish is in each container.
    4. Put the fish in the container with Part A for 30 minutes and cover the container so it does not jump out. If the fish is stressed, such as heavy breathing, rolling or erratic swimming, move the fish immediately to the container with Part B.
    5. After finishing the Part A bath, move the fish to the container with Part B for 45 minutes. During this time keep watching for signs of stress. If stress is seen, move the fish to the quarantine tank before finishing the 45 minute bath. Do not move any water from the Part B container to your tank, netting or other means that reduces water is preferred.
    6. Bath can be used for multiple fish, but discard after a few hours. Also do not use on coral or inverts and do not use on fish that are showing obvious signs of sickness. Please read the package before use.

    Some livestock is very delicate and a slower acclimation like the drip method is a much better means of acclimation. Also pay close attention to the item details of livestock you order through TankStop. Some livestock cannot be exposed to air for any amount of time, which we try to mention in those items’ descriptions.

    If you have any questions about our acclimation procedures, please feel free to contact us.

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