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Fish and Shrimp Aclimation

 

Shrimp Acclimation Guide

Disclaimer: These are the instructions that I print and place in the package for anyone that receives a shipment of my shrimp. This is the method that I recommend and has been extremely successful for me. This is  not the "only way" to acclimate shrimp as there are several other methods. I believe this method is safe and I firmly stand by it. This method is dependent on receiving a double bagged Kordon Breather Bag as well as moss inside of the bag, which is how I ship my shrimp to others.

 

Important: Do not put the bag of shrimp in the tank in  an attempt to let the water temperatures equalize in the bag. This is what you  would do if you went to the local fish store and bought a fish. The bag that the  shrimp are shipped in are specialized "breather bags" which do not  require air inside of the bag. The bag actually "breathes" allowing  oxygen in and CO2 out. Submerging the breather bag with the shrimp in it will  cause a lack of oxygen, suffocating the shrimp.

Acclimating Shrimp before putting it in  your tank: It is important to acclimate your shrimp  when putting them into their new home. Shrimp are sensitive to water  conditions. You cannot immediately pour the shrimp into their new tank straight  from the shipping bag. Following a few steps can ensure that your shrimp will  adjust well to their new home by slowly acclimating them to the new water  conditions.

Tools needed

(all  tools must be clean and completely sterile. no residue at all!)   (1) Small Tupperware bowl (or  similar transparent type bowl)   (2) Plastic Cup (to gather new tank water)   (3) Plastic Spoon (or similar)

Removing the shrimp from the bag: It can be difficult to remove the shrimp  from the breather bag. The breather bag is not wide enough to attempt to put a  net in and scoop out. Also, if you try to just pour the water out of the bag  into a container you run the risk of getting shrimp stuck in the bag, and it is  difficult to remove them when this happens. I have tried numerous methods at  removing the shrimp from a breather bag, and this is by far the best method. I  do this every single time I receive new shrimp and consider it the only way to  do it.

(1) Carefully open the box and do not rip it open. Use a knife  or scissors to cut the tape at the top and open the box. Remove the top  insulation and the paper. You will then see the bag of shrimp. (2) After removing the bag you should see the shrimp inside  swimming around franticly (they haven’t seen light in a few days). There is  also a piece of moss in there. Put the unopened bag inside of the tupperware  bowl. (3)Take a pair of scissors and starting at the top of the bag,  cut down the side of the bag (below the knot), allowing the water to pour into  the bowl and keeping the bag in the water at the same time as it pours out.  This allows the shrimp to be submerged in the water the entire time without  having to remove them from the bag and into air. (4) Still keeping the bag submerged inside of the bowl, cut  the top off of the bag (below the knot). This will allow the bag to fully open  and collapse directly into the water. The shrimp will also swim right into the  bowl at the same time. Now, using a plastic spoon (or similar),  "clean" out the inside of the collapsed bag ensuring that there are  no remaining shrimp in the bag. Note:  keep the moss as well. The shrimp will cling to the moss so just move it into  the bowl. (5)Remove the bag when you are sure that there are no longer  any shrimp inside. All of the shrimp should have swum out of the bag into the  bowl either on their own, or with your help.   Now you  should have a plastic bowl with the package water, moss, and shrimp. The hard  part is over: Getting them out of the bag and into the bowl!

Acclimating with tank water: (1) Take a cup to scoop your tank water  into. Look at the amount of water in the bowl and estimate how much water  volume you think 10% is. Take the cup with the new tank water and pour the equivalent  10% into the bowl that you estimated. Basically you are increasing the water by  10% inside of the bowl with new tank water, slowly acclimating the shrimp. (2) Pour the same amount you poured the first time (original 10% estimate)  into the bowl every 2 minutes until you have tripled the water that was  originally in the bowl (total of 40-45 minutes). (3) Afterwards your bowl water is 1/3  old and 2/3 new tank water. Your shrimp are good to go at this point as  they have adjusted to the temperate and water conditions of your new tank  having followed these steps carefully.

Placing the Shrimp into their new home:   I recommend  taking a small net and scooping the shrimp out of the bowl and placing them in  the tank. I do not recommend dumping the bowl water into the tank. Remember to keep an eye of the moss if you  decide to throw it away, there may be shrimp attached to it.

Wait to feed  the shrimp; do not feed them immediately. Let them get used to the tank first.  Sometimes I don’t feed mine for the first 24 hours; I let them scavenge  throughout the tank during that time. Enjoy the shrimp in their new home  =)

 

  

Fish Acclimation Procedures

You've invested valuable time and money researching the habitat requirements of your new fish or shrimp. Naturally, you want to protect this investment by executing a proper acclimation process once they arrive at your door. The purpose of acclimation is simple: the water that they 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 they are introduced into the aquarium to help them further adjust. And do not feed your new fish or shrimp 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.   For fish float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 minutes. 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 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 1/8cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag.  
6. Repeat step 5 every ten minutes for the next hour.  
7. Use a very soft net to gently catch the fish and release them into your aquarium  
8. 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 fish 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. 
  • NEVER FLOAT breather bags, your shrimp will suffocate.