Acclimating Inhabitants

There are many various ways that you can place an inhabitant from the aquarium shop's bag or cup, into your own aquarium water. These are normally broken down into two main methods, one where you slowly add your aquarium's water to the plastic bag or cup, or the other where you float the plastic bag or cup inside of the aquarium's water and then release them into it. The most common and dangerous method would to be the floating bag method, since you are only adjusting temperature and not water conditions nor parameters. The uncommon method that is the safest is the drip method where you are adjusting water parameters, temperature, and water conditions slowly over a period of time. Following the steps below is very important along with making sure to provide enough time to allow for the fish to properly become acclimated, otherwise you may risk death from New Tank Syndrome.


Drip Method

For this method you may need to have a clean, unused bucket on hand along with airline tubing and a drip valve.

  1. Adjust the aquarium or room lights so that they are not focused on where you will be placing the plastic bag at.
  2. Place the plastic bag within a small and clean bucket and cut the bag open. Make sure that the fish or invertebrate does not touch the air and can move around, if they cannot try tilting the bucket at an angle so that they can.
  3. Using airline tubing make a small siphon with a drip nozzle to allow for water to drip slowly into the bucket. This can be done by twisting the airline tubing and making sure it is stable enough not to flick around on it's own. We want to make sure that we have roughly 1-5 drips per second is possible.
  4. Once the water volume inside of the bucket has doubled, we want to remove half of the water inside.
  5. After removing the water once and letting the water volume double again, we can transfer the fish or invertebrate inside of the aquarium now. Make sure to never let them touch the air as this can do damage to them even if it is only for a few seconds.
  6. Make sure to discard the plastic bag, empty the bucket, and disassemble the airline tubing and drip valve.

Floating Bag Method

For this method you do not require any equipment or tools.

  1. Adjust the aquarium or room lights so that they are not focused on where you will be placing the plastic bag or cup at.
  2. Float the plastic bag or cup inside of the aquarium, making sure that it is sealed and no water is getting inside for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut open the plastic bag making sure to roll up the sides about an 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) such that it can float on it's own without tipping over. Keep the plastic bag within the aquarium once it floats.
  4. Add roughly half a cup of the aquarium's water inside of the plastic bag every 5 minutes. Keep doing this until the plastic bag is starting to sink or is at the water level of the aquarium's water.
  5. Slowly tip the bag over and release them into the aquarium, making sure to discard the plastic bag