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Acclimation Procedures
Marine Depot Live will make every effort to ensure the safe and healthy arrival of every order, however, the very act of shipping will place a tremendous amount of stress on the organisms inside. Proper acclimation will help to address three main issues that arise during shipping.

Important Points

Temperature
Marine Depot Live ships packages in insulated boxes with heat or cool packs to protect the animals inside against extreme temperature shifts. However, there will be a difference between the temperature in the package and in your tank. Proper acclimation will help to equalize the two in a way to minimize stress.

Salinity
It is very likely that your order will arrive to you with a different salinity than what your tank is adjusted to. A sudden change in salinity may shock the fish or coral and leave them more susceptible to infection or disease. Marine Depot Live recommends a salinity of around 1.019-1.023 for fish only systems with a slightly higher salinity of 1.024-1.026 for reef tanks.

pH and Ammonia
During shipping, the natural metabolic processes of the fish and coral will release toxic ammonia and carbon dioxide into the water, lowering the pH of the water. At lower ranges, harmful ammonia will be transformed into an inter form ammonium. If the pH is suddenly raised, the ammonium will release the ammonia and can harm the animals. Proper acclimation helps to raise the pH slowly, releasing and removing ammonia safely. All new fish should be quarantined for at least 14 days prior to introduction to your display tank. It is becoming increasingly important to quarantine invertebrates and corals to avoid the introduction of pests and disease to your display. Quarantine invertebrates and corals separately from fish, to observe their health and inspect them for the presence of parasites.

Acclimation Methods

Float Method
This method is most useful for most fish and invertebrates: Switch off quarantine tank or aquarium lighting. Dim lights in room. Open box and inspect bags to ensure that all animals have arrived in good health and that all bags have arrived intact. Float bags in aquarium for 20-25 minutes to allow temperature to equilibrate. DO NOT open bag at this time. Open bag and roll down the edges 1-2 inches to make the bag stable, and to keep it afloat. You may also use a clip or a clothespin to anchor the bag firmly against the edge of the aquarium. Add a quarter cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag. Make sure to keep water from the bag from spilling over into the aquarium. Repeat Step 5 every 3-7 minutes until the bag is full of water. This should take about 30-45 minutes Discard half of the water and continue to repeat step 5 until the bag is full once again. This should take another 30-45 minutes. Remove the animal from bag and place them into the aquarium. For hardy fish and motile invertebrates, use a net to do so. For tangs, or other sensitive animals, capture them with a cup, pouring as little of the bag’s water into your tank as possible. For sessile invertebrates, such as corals or anemones, you may remove them by hand. Be sure to use clean, sterile, and powder-free gloves. Discard the remaining water.

Drip Method
This is the most desirable method to acclimate sensitive animals to the aquarium. Please follow this method when introducing clams, shrimp, snails, cucumbers, urchins, starfish, or animals sensitive to pH and salinity shock, to your aquarium. As we have many separate holding systems, we cannot ensure that the water contained in each bag is from the same source. All animals from separate bags must be drip acclimated in separate containers. If you are going to be using this method, please be present during the entire procedure to prevent spillage. Switch off quarantine tank or aquarium lighting. Dim lights in room. Open box and inspect bags to ensure that all animals have arrived in good health and that all bags have arrived intact. Float bags in aquarium for 20-25 minutes to allow temperature to equilibrate. DO NOT open bag at this time. Remove bag from water and open. Gently pour the specimen into a holding container. Sterile plastic tubs or buckets work well in this application. Use airline tubing, or the Pisces Pro Acclimator to set up a siphon from your main tank to the holding container. Start siphon by sucking on the free end of the airline tubing, or by forcing water into the tube using any existing pump or powerhead in the aquarium. Adjust flow to 1-3 drips/second. This will depend on water volume. You want the water volume to double in about 45-60 minutes. Once the volume has doubled, discard half of the container’s water, and resume dripping for another 45-60 minutes or until the water volume doubles once again; repeat for sensitive animals. Remove the animal from container and place them into the aquarium. For motile invertebrates, use a net to do so. For sessile invertebrates, such as corals or anemones, you may remove them by hand. Be sure to use clean, sterile, and powder-free gloves. Discard the remaining water.

Other Tips

1. Take your time and be patient.

2. Keep plenty of new salt water on hand to maintain your water level in your quarantine tank or aquarium during the acclimation process.

3. If any animal is without water, introduce it immediately into the quarantine tank or aquarium. Many invertebrates are inter-tidal, and are accustomed to periods of little to no water.

4. If an animal arrives and looks dead, acclimate it anyway. Many animals will make a quick and dramatic recovery when properly acclimated.

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July 19, 2016
"The customer service is stellar. They had clear concise answers to my questions."
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July 17, 2016
"A great place to shop for the reef aquarium hobbyist! Love these guys. Very helpful and knowledable."
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July 16, 2016
"They have everything I need and shipping is very affordable. I will continue to shop here for all my reef products."
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