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FAQs on Acclimation 2

Related Articles: Acclimation, Quarantine ppt., pt.s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 by Bob Fenner Acclimation Articles by Bob Fenner, Acclimation in the Business by Bob Fenner, Acclimating Photosynthetic Reef Invertebrates to Captive LightingMethylene Blue,

Related FAQs:  Acclimation 1, Acclimation 3, Acclimating Marine Invertebrates, & FAQs on Acclimation: Rationale/Use, Tools/Gear, Chemicals, Methods, Controversies, Troubles/fixing, & Acclimating Invertebrates, Acclimation of Livestock in the BusinessDips/Baths 1, Best Quarantine FAQs, Quarantine

A valuable tool for straining spaghetti and acclimation... a plastic colander.

Guerilla Acclimation Techniques  7/5/08 Does this page exist anymore? <Mmm, yes... renamed: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm > I have read the acclimation page, but in the FAQs people seem to reference another method (guerilla) and several chemicals not used in the acclimation technique on the current acclimation article page. Thanks Matthew Harless <Re-named Commercial instead of Guerilla... more PC? Bob Fenner>

A Heartfelt "Thanks!" & SW Fish Acclimation/Dips   7/5/08 Dear Bob, >Joe< I have been a reader of WWM for several years and would like to thank you and the crew members for the huge amounts of effort, experience, wisdom, as well as common sense that has went into the site. I have NEVER had to write because every question I've thought of has been within these pages. In addition, I would like to give a huge "Thank you" to both you and Anthony for the books, "CMA" as well at "Reef Invertebrates". I would like to encourage all readers to purchase both because there is additional information not posted on WWM in these pages that is extremely valuable! These are the most detailed books that I've read regarding the hobby and I appreciate every word! I'm already on my 2nd copy of CMA! <Heeee!> My first ever question is actually more of a clarification. In the past I have not quarantined or dipped specimens and have been very lucky regarding disease. This is all going to change. After reading every acclimation article on WWM, every FAQ, and every chapter (repeatedly) in CMA, I'm still a bit confused as to proper acclimation/dip procedures. I know this is a relatively simple procedure and I think that the root of the confusion that other readers have had is from not actually seeing/experiencing the proper procedure first hand. There is a big difference between reading and actually witnessing someone properly acclimate/dip a specimen. <I totally agree with you> I have done my best at compiling the information and have created a general step by step acclimation procedure with dip. I would GREATLY appreciate a critique. I believe that this step by step layout will help other aquarists like me that have difficulty understanding the complete and proper process. <Ok> This is a general procedure for most common marine fish that appear to be in general good health, 1) Upon bringing the specimen home, float bag in quarantine tank to equalize temperature for about 10 minutes. 2) Add an air stone to the bag and begin drip acclimating to quarantine tank for 40-50 minutes. 3) While drip acclimating, prepare dip water in separate container. Use pre- aerated RO water that is temperature adjusted and buffered with sodium bicarbonate to about 8.2 <Will only raise to about 7.8> (same parameters as quarantine) with or without Methylene blue added according to bottle instructions. (Or should this dip water be made 24 hrs in advance?) <New is fine> 4) When drip acclimation is completed, scoop specimen with net and dip in prepped water for 5-10 minutes depending on size and reaction to dip. 5) Net and place directly in quarantine tank 6) Observe in quarantine for at least 4 weeks and administer treatment if symptoms arise. 7) Upon quarantine release, drip acclimate to display tank (turn lights off or dim) and release specimen. *Never mix bag water with quarantine or display <Sounds good> Obviously there are other ways to go about this. But in general, how does this look in your valued opinion? >Fine< Again Bob, words cannot express how your and all of the WWM crew's work has helped me and countless other aquarists. THANK YOU! Joe W. Wichita, KS <Glad to help you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Saltwater die off Thanks for the reply Bob. I will pass on the info to my customer. BTW, since using your medicated bath from the "Guerilla Acclimation Techniques" I've had a huge improvement in the health of fish coming into my store. You and the rest of the crew have done wonders for the aquatic community, and I know of many fish who would thank you as well if they could speak. :) Regards, James Foley Thunder Bay Aquascapes www.tbaquascapes.com <Ahh, thank you my friend. BobF>

Acclimation procedure, SW  2/29/08   Bob, re-write, sep. FW, SW...  <Done! 3/1/08> Bob, I read your article regarding salt-water acclimation and related article on Methylene blue dips. I am a little confused and concerned regarding how many acclimation procedures to put the fish through. <There are a few variations on the theme... depending on where you are in the "chain of custody", the species in question, their apparent state of health> When bringing fish home from the LFS do I first acclimate them to the QT saltwater conditions or do I just start adding/acclimating to the RODI treated water? <Most of the time the former... some folks advocate prophylactic dipping/baths... by hobbyists...> By treated water I mean RODI water <Mmm... I would use tap/source water... the mineral helps, and using such assures it has been at least likely aerated... RO/DI is gas-less...> that is the same temp & ph as the QT tank, no salt added, but with Kordon's Meth Blue, Malachite Green & Novaqua, (should I add dosages as recommended by the manufacturer?). <Mmm, you could... I would not generally use Malachite in a dip for livestock...> After approximately 15minutes do I then start another acclimation to switch the fish to the QT saltwater tank? <If you were in doubt as to the likelihood of external parasite faunal presence, you might dip/bath enroute from your dealer to your quarantine... IF you have no such QT, a dip/bath may be prudent going from the source to the main/display> I purchased the Methylene blue from Kordon Corp, is this pharmacy grade, (I would assume it is since the President of Kordon is the one who made the statement to you)? <You can read Dr. Rofen's co.s stmt.s on the Net re> I know we don't want to risk exposing the fish directly to the main display without some precautions however I don't want to kill parasites at the cost of killing the fish. Don't you feel that the fish is stressed moving from the ocean to the LFS to the shipping bag to the dip method to the QT? <Oh yes> Only to be moved at a later date into the main display. Can the fish survive all of this? <Most can, do... far less stressful than living on reefs> I am just wondering if all these procedures adds to the stress of the animal and in and of itself can increase mortality rates. Thanks for your input, I look forward to your reply, Frank <The apparently too-complicated methodologies are S.O.P. in wholesale livestock, aquaculture facilities and public aquariums the world round... Bob Fenner>

Re: Acclimation procedure follow-up question 2/29/08 Bob, just a couple of last questions on this topic: you state below that you would generally not use Malachite in an acclimation process for livestock however in your acclimation article you state the following: E) Additives: I endorse the use of Maracide and Saltwater Maracyn ingredients for saltwater acclimation. These fine products from Mardel labs should be used in similar concentrations as for listed above for freshwater. From the freshwater acclimation procedure: ...we add two more chemicals to the treatment. As a matter of availability and convenience they are Maracide (principally malachite green) and Maracyn (the antibiotic erythromycin) by Mardel Laboratories. <Mmm, yes... you stated you are dealing with saltwater, NOT fresh> Are you differentiating between a dip and acclimation procedure? (If so would you employ both processes or is one the preferred method?) <Don't know if I'm following you here. These are two different processes. Are distinct> I would like to follow a prescribed method to give new fish the best chance of survival in my main display w/out possibly introducing undesirables into the main display/infecting established livestock: would you agree with the following: bringing fish home from the LFS in a shipping bag 1) transfer livestock & shipping water to cat litter tray, 2) start to mix treated water into the shipping water, treated water is defined as conditioned tap water, (proper ph & temp), with Meth blue and Novaqua (HOW LONG SHOULD THEY REMAIN HERE?) <10-20 minutes likely, with aeration> then 3) transfer to QT tank or Main display tank. Or 1) mix main display or QT saltwater slowly with the shipping water, 2) Dip livestock in treated tap water for a couple of minutes 3) transfer livestock to QT or main display. Frank <The former procedure is much better. Bob Fenner>

Re: Acclimation procedure LAST follow-up question 2/29/08 Bob, Not trying to be argumentative but rather trying to clarify. <Frank... so sorry that my correspondence, indeed, old articles on this important topic are so unclear. I assure you, the lack of clarity lies with me, not you... Let's see if I can help here> see below: Per your article on Saltwater acclimation: E) Additives: I endorse the use of Maracide and Saltwater Maracyn ingredients for saltwater acclimation. These fine products from Mardel labs should be used in similar concentrations as for listed above for freshwater. From the freshwater acclimation procedure: ...we add two more chemicals to the treatment. As a matter of availability and convenience they are Maracide (principally malachite green) and Maracyn (the antibiotic erythromycin) by Mardel Laboratories. <Mmm, yes... you stated you are dealing with saltwater, NOT fresh> I am dealing with saltwater but am confused over your response of using Maracide (malachite green) as an additive. I am assuming that Maracide and malachite green are the same. <Is the principal ingredient, yes> Use with the acclimation process or am I confusing your article? Frank <Do note the statement in this section of the article: "Additives: This, once again, is my own garden variety formulation for almost all types of freshwater fish livestock. Specifications are okay at approximate drops per gallon. In actual practice we re-use sixteen ounce squirt bottles of standardized-available stock solutions." Do you see that this statement applies to FRESHWATER livestock? "almost all types of freshwater fish livestock"... The article is written for both FW and SW applications... and is unfortunately confusing. You are dealing with marine fishes, correct? Please ignore the statements/sections referring to freshwater livestock. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Compatibility/Acclimation 1/23/08 Hello crew, <Hello> I know that you hear it a thousand times a day, but it's still worth saying. You are the go to site on the web for information. Any time I am ever tempted to get a fish/coral/ invert, I always check out what you have to say about it first. As you have mentioned not every published person is even remotely correct on certain issues; (granted there is always some range within what is true). Anyway onto the questions: One of my tanks is a 30g mixed fish/reef. It has been up and running for 9 months now and doing well since I added the Remora pro skimmer- lots of hair algae before that now zero. Currently residing in the tank are: False Percula Clowns Coral beauty- not a nipper :) Blue damsel CBS <Coral Banded Shrimp?> Hawaiian Shrimp (Saron marmoratus) And various SPS, LPSs, soft corals I feed the tank a varied diet at least twice a day and all my parameters are within acceptable ranges. My question is this, who bit the Coral Beauty? <I'm betting on the Blue Damsel.> If not as soon <?> as the bite out of the tail fin healed, another two circular bites appeared in the same location. I would assume that it was the damsel because of their notorious reputation but... Lately the clowns have been hosting a Goniopora. (I know, hard by itself, even harder with the pestering of clowns- I have noticed a bit of recession after two months) Anyway, the female has become quite protective of it's host. Is it likely that the clown could be the culprit? <Both, as you say, this coral is difficult to keep without the Clownfish agitating it. You do not mention your lighting and this coral requires very high light levels to survive, and even at that, most will not survive long.> Or should I go ahead and remove the damsel and see where it goes from there? The reason I ask is because I have never seen any aggression between any of the tankmates. Even when I first added the Coral Beauty two months ago, I saw no signs of discontent. Why all of a sudden? <With you being in front of the tank, it could change the mindset of the damsel, more concerned with you than the Coral Beauty. I'd remove the damsel.> Second question: after reading the explanation of the two ways to acclimate fish and inverts- normal and "guerrilla" I guess- I am still left with one question. What is the purpose of acclimating a specimen to your exact pH, salinity, etc. if you're just going to put them in a freshwater/ Methylene blue dip for five minutes? Are you suggesting to just jump to the dip after temperature acclimation? <I do not strive to match the pH and other parameters exactly. A pH within .1 is fine along with an SG within .001 is fine. Temperatures can be within a degree. As far as the freshwater dip, I'm really not a fan of dipping a perfectly healthy fish. Why put it through unnecessary stress, much better to quarantine a new specimen and treat only if needed. As far as acclimation, I prefer the drip method. This type of acclimation will slowly adjust all the water parameters within a safe time frame with no need to manually adjust the shipping water. There are inexpensive kits on the market now for drip acclimation.> Thanks for your time <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Acclimatization device - lesser of two evils?    4/23/07 Hi, <Hello there> I have been keeping freshwater fish for over 5 years and have recently taken my first foray into the wonderful world of saltwater!  In all this time I have never seen a device that assisted acclimatization so I was interested when I saw a device called Fintro for sale on a UK site called maidenhead aquatics.  The link for the device is http://www.maidenheadaquatics.co.uk/eshop/product_info.php?products_id=2048.   I am very interested to hear your opinions, be they good or bad, about the device. <Neat concept... but... trouble in terms of disease transmission, likely pH induced burn (presence of ammonia...) and it's too small a volume to be of use with most any marine organism... And I would NOT simply mix shipping/transport water with system... Much prefer to do this outside the area, through an intermediate process/container... For many organisms, run them through a period of isolation (Quarantine)... post acclimatization, possibly a dip/bath procedure... as posted... on WWM> My personal opinion (for what it's worth) is that the device, although not perfect, would be a very good guide for people who are complete beginners at fish keeping.  I recognize (<----UK spelling) it has some shortcomings.  The main problem being that it releases water from the bag into the tank, <Yes> which has obvious infestation risks from any pathogen carried from the LFS.  This can however be overcome by utilising (<---- that pesky UK spelling again! Damn that proper English!) the device in a qt tank/container, something which I know you'll agree should be the preferred routine anyway. <Yes> The bottom line is that the beginner aquarist, if they are inadequately educated will more than likely release the bag water into the tank anyway.  In this regard I would rather see them guided (by the device) in the proper acclimation time, therefore reducing the stress to the fish and hopefully helping it to cope with any possible pathogen more effectively. <Good point> The price point (?3.99 / US$8.00) also makes it available to all of us which is always a bonus! <Agreed> Thanks for your time and continued dedication to the science of fish keeping. I look forward to hearing your opinion. Matt. <I still would not encourage the use of such a device or technique... Folks that would be earnest aquarists should know the basics of protein catabolism, fish and invertebrate physiology... the implications of excretion, secretion of ammonia... and the need to adjust pH if need be... during receiving of said animals... and invest in at least a small "other system" for quarantine, treatment... I do NOT want to encourage something less that will too likely result in the loss of life, increased morbidity... the loss of the livestock or hobbyist. Bob Fenner>

Re: Acclimatization device - lesser of two evils?    4/23/07 Hi, I understand the concern and agree that shortcuts in this hobby are invariably more trouble than they're worth.  The concept as you say is good but as I stated in my first email I recognize it's limitations and dangers. Thanks for your input. Matt. <And you for yours Matt! BobF> Saltwater Acclimation/Dipping - 04/21/07 Good afternoon all!   <<Hello Kim...morning now>> I am having a hard time getting a clear answer to the confusion I'm experiencing. <<Oh?>> I am planning on using the Guerilla Acclimation Technique for the first time (salt water). <<Mmm, I see>> In addition, I would like to do a freshwater dip. <<Ok>> From here, the fish will go to QT for the appropriate amount of time. <<Excellent>> I understand that the pH of the treated water during acclimation should be adjusted down to the level of that in the shipping water (ex 7.8). <<Per the 'Guerilla Acclimation Technique' article, yes.  But keep in mind this article appears to be geared toward those in the industry receiving fish shipments that may have been bagged/in transit for long periods and that bringing/keeping the pH "down" in the initial stages of acclimation reduces the toxicity of the accumulated ammonia.  I'm not saying that the procedure won't work for the average hobbyist, but I think there is a more simple process for acclimating/dipping specimens purchased from your LFS>> I also understand that the pH of the freshwater dip should match that of the QT tank water (ex. 8.2). <<Agreed>> If one is to acclimate, as well as use a freshwater dip, where in the process is the fish acclimated to the differing pH between the acclimation procedure and the dip?  (assuming that the shipping water, and therefore the treated water for acclimation is lower than that of the QT??)  Because of my lack of understanding, I don't know whether to dip first and then acclimate, or vice versa??? <I understand your confusion, and scanning the article, I don't see the answer to your question either.  I definitely would want to match the pH of the holding/acclimation system water to that of the quarantine system before transferring the fish.  I think this would be best accomplished by slowly adding/replacing the acclimation water with water from the quarantine system (This can easily be done "after" following Bob's acclimation procedure and "before" performing the freshwater dip).  Once the pH is matched, I would then prepare the freshwater for the dip (Ph and temperature adjusted)...dip the fish...and place it in quarantine.  Or more simply...float the bagged fish in the quarantine system...add/replace water until pH/temp are matched...net-out the fish (disposing of the water in the bag)...dip the fish...place the fish in the quarantine tank>> Thanks for all your help.   <<Hope you find it useful>> Regards, Kim in Boston.   <<Cheers, EricR in Columbia>><The pH should be allowed to "drift" back to NSW... the same about as the water that the fishes are being moved to next. With depressing pH through the use of inorganic acid (like HCl) or CO2 gas... new water of NSW (Near Seawater quality) is dripped, otherwise delivered into the acclimation mix, allowed to overflow or be dipped out... over time matching pHs. RMF>

Re: Saltwater Acclimation/Dipping - 04/23/07 Thank you for taking the time to respond.  As always, your advice is always appreciated. <<Quite welcome...is what we do>> Our new addition is swimming happily and eating well in the QT tank! <<Good news indeed!>> Regards, Kim <<Thanks for sharing.  EricR>>

Qt transfer to Display  3/23/07 Hello Crew <Hello.  Brandon here today.> I'm preparing to transfer my Juv Imp Angel to my display tank from QT. <Good job on quarantining.  Wish more people would do it.> I'd like to transfer the Angel without transferring the water from my QT along with it.   <Agreed.> How can I do this? <I would use a net, or a sieve like container.>   I'm trying not to net this fish, so I figured I'd drill a few holes in the bottom of a small acrylic fish holder and quickly move the fish to the display?   <You are going to use an intermediary container to acclimate the fish aren't you?> This way, the fish will be out of water for a few seconds during the transfer (my qt is right next to my display).  Does this sound OK?  Or is there a better way to do this? <Get above mentioned intermediary container.  Place enough water from the QT tank to comfortably cover the Angel, and slowly acclimate it to the display tank by adding the display tank to the water in the bucket at a rate of about half a cup every fifteen minutes for around an hour.  You may then use your acrylic invention to add this awesome fish to your tank.> Thanks for all you folks do. <You are most welcome, and thank you for the kind words.  Brandon.> Wayne

Re: Qt transfer to Display  3/23/07 Thanks for the reply Brandon <You are welcome.> Funny, I've never acclimated my fish from QT to Display.   <This should be done to prevent salinity/temperature/pH shock.> I use display water when changing water in the QT.   <Should use new water.> I thought one of the benefits of doing this, was not having to acclimate.  Oh well, I can't remember where I learned this from, but good info none the less. <I have never heard of this.  Regardless of what water you use, it is impossible to make all parameters so close that there is no stress.   Hence the need to acclimate.> Thanks for the advise, I'll get an intermediary container, and acclimate per your instruction. <You're welcome.> One other question.  What level of nitrite is too much for a fish to handle?   <Anything over zero.  Nitrite binds to the hemoglobin more readily than oxygen possibly causing brain damage and organ failure.  It is also irreversible.> I'm doing 30% daily water changes in my QT (30 gal) with water from my display.  Parameters in my display are zeros for Nitrite, Ammonia, and Nitrate.  In my QT, right before the water change, the Nitrite is often around .25, and ammonia also .25.  Is this too stressful for the fish in QT? <In a word, yes.  I would take the filter sponge from the QT and rinse it with really hot water or boil it between occupancies, and then place it in the sump of the display after allowing it to dry and cool.  Then when you need it you can pull it out and place it in the filter of the QT tank.  Wa La!  Instantly cycled.  Hope that this helps.  Brandon.> Wayne

When acclimating Lysmata amboinensis - 11/09/06 Alight thank you  I will read on WetWebMedia.  One more quick question When acclimating Lysmata amboinensis.  What is the best method to use? <Very slow drip into an open container... a length of air-line tubing either tied to reduce flow, or a nut, couple of washers, and bolt to pinch/restrict. Bob Fenner>

Poisoned Jawfish/Poor Method Of Acclimation?   9/27/06 Hi Everyone, <Hello Caitlyn> Recently I purchased a pearly Jawfish online. When he arrived today in the mail he was in a tiny amount of water and looked near dead. I acclimated him anyways but decided the fish would have the greatest chance for survival if I didn't put it into a bare bottomed QT tank so instead I put him right into the display as the only fish. The Jawfish is in an established 12 gal Nano cube with a 20 gal sump, protein skimmer, four inch sandbed, live rock, with WQ as follows: temp. 78F sal. 35ppt Ammonia-0 nitrites-0 nitrates-0 pH-8.3 Here's the deal, when I released it into the tank it was breathing heavily, had dark lines around its gills and a badly burned tail. It spiraled, did the "death roll", laid upside down and gasped for about four hours. It then settled in a rock cave breathing normally right side up. Now twelve hours later it is able to scoot around the tank sand similar to a goby but still no tunnel building or hovering. I have heard that ammonia poisoning can cause damage to the central nervous system. Is it likely this Jawfish will act normally ever or did the shipping damage him for good? <Shippers generally will not feed fish 24 hours prior to shipping to minimize ammonia poisoning in the shipping container.  Whether this was done is anyone's guess.  I'm thinking this behavior was due to a poor method and/or too quick of an acclimation.  Don't believe any permanent damage was done.  I'd keep the lights off until normal behavior is noticed.> <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Acclimation worries?   9/1/06 Hello, <Hi there> Not quite sure who will be answering today, but thank you in advance. <Me neither, but welcome> I didn't see anything in the acclimation sections that answer this so here goes: I am maintaining my quarantine tank 65 gallon fallow tank with large sponge filter and Eheim Ecco 2232, at slightly lower salinity levels (1.019 at 82 C) when I receive livestock the shipping water can be anywhere from about 1.024 to 1.026 - how should I acclimate the stock so that it can be placed in to the quarantine tank? <Mmm, for one, you should "meet" the specific gravity of the shipping water... Please read the Acclimation articles again> Should I be maintaining my tank at higher levels and then try to bring the salinity levels down later on to try and inhibit the likelihood of marine diseases? <Can do...> Or should I just maintain my salinity at a level that will be closer to the shipping water that the livestock is received in? <Your choice... some species (e.g. those that live in close association with invertebrates, like symbiotic gobies... "like" higher/steady Spg> When the stock is moved from the quarantine to the main tank (being maintained at 1.022) should I be worried about shock to the livestock from altering the salinity in such a large increment in a relatively short period of time (I usually take about an hour acclimating stock from tank to tank) <I would move the new fishes environment to be close to this over a few days time... no more than a thousandth in a day> Any and all advice would be great - thanks. Aehsun <Bob Fenner>

Freshwater bath add-ons ... good ideas   5/26/06 Hello, <Jonathan> A strange thought occurred to me today.  I was remembering that marine fish 'drink water' to maintain their osmotic balance, thus you can use a vitamin supplement in their water and they will passively absorb some.  And fish often times initially come in underfed / malnourished. <This is so> Do you think it would worth it if a put some VitaChem or liquid gold in their freshwater bath? <Can help... though minimally due to the short duration of such dips/baths> Its usually only a bath for about 7 minutes duration, but in that time I can see their gills are really pumping and their probably taking in water faster than normal, being that their stressed / surprised. Also I'm thinking that besides the load parasites that meet their doom in the freshwater, a fish also sheds off some of its slime coat while in the freshwater bath. <Yes> Do you think wise to place the fish in a bucket of tank water with Novaqua or any other artificial slime coat product? <As a S.O.P. I have done this for decades in commercial settings, yes>   I ask to place in a separate bucket afterwards because I assume if I take a squirt of Novaqua while a begin the bath it will negate some of bath, the artificial slime coat benefiting the parasites as they hide beneath it. <Mmm, no... For the most part all get sloughed off...>   I suppose I could squirt in a little Novaqua toward then end of the bath.  What do you think? <Is what I do, endorse... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm> [p.s. Do you respond in email to questions or do I look them up on the site?] <Both. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel, Breathing and Vertical  - 5/11/06 Hi All, <Dave> I am a long time reader, first time writer who is (or more accurately, whose fish is) potentially quickly running out of options.   I purchased a changing Emperor Angel from saltwaterfish.com.  I have never before had any troubles with them other than this.  I followed my usual acclimation procedure.  I opened the bag and dripped for four hours to acclimate him to my QT system.  The acclimation container was dosed with Para Guard. This took place last night.   <... four hours? ParaGuard has a toxic component> Since I opened the bag and first looked at him, he has been breathing very heavily and bobbing in a vertical position, head down. <Did you match the pH of the drip water with that in the shipping bag?> The vendor assured me that the fish is merely in shock from the stress of shipping and that he would calm down. <Something to hope for> I don't believe that; I have seen this sort of thing happen before and an shocked fish usually comes around within 12 hours.  This fish has been in the tank now for over 24 hours and has shown no signs whatsoever of improvement. <No quarantine?>   He continues to breathe at give or take 170 gill movements/minute, and bob head down, <Very bad signs> usually at the top of the tank but will occasionally move down some. The current seems to toss him around and when it gets him completely upside down he rights himself only to resume his vertical position.  He is refusing food.  He is sharing the QT system with an Assasi Trigger (separated by eggcrate, of course) who is eating fine and seems to be in perfect health. <Oh! Good> I am worried that I am dealing with disease, possibly the early stages of Marine Velvet. <Mmm, not likely>   The fish has shown no physical signs other than what I described though; no spots, no off colors, no scratching.  I don't want to dip him if unnecessary as I don't want to stress the fish any further.  I have not seen any feces to know if internal bacterial may be to blame.   What action would you recommend, if any? Thanks in advance, Dave <Is a bit late, but to have matched the pH... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm Particularly the Guerilla piece below... This is highly likely the root cause of trouble here... shock, hemolysis from pH shift, endogenous ammonia... perhaps with a Malachite burn to boot: http://seachem.com/products/product_pages/ParaGuard.html ... I would try to stabilize this animal, leave the lights off... and add a pentose or hexose sugar as proscribed on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel, Breathing and Vertical  - 5/11/06 Bob, <Dave> Thanks for your quick reply.  I might not have been completely clear in my message, but wanted to address your concerns to clarify if I had done something wrong.   <Let's do... am a bit blurry from travel/ing> Unfortunately, the fish died overnight.  I am working with the vendor. However, I think it prudent to do a "post-mortem" on my acclimation procedure to make sure I did what I should have done.   <Good idea> First, I acclimated over four hours, but only introduced Para Guard during the last hour of the acclimation.  I followed the directions on the bottle to the letter.   <Mmm, am still (as you will find... from long practice) not a fan of using Malachite... the principal ingredient, other than "aldehydes" in this fine SeaChem product... in dips for newly arrived marine fishes> Second, the drip water was from the quarantine tank which had in turn come from the main tank, which was already at 8.3.  You are correct in assuming that I did not test the PH of the bag water and match it to the tank water. <You will find as well that this is an incredibly important step in moving marines around in "long time" conditions... bringing livestock from one system quickly (let's say an hour or so) from/to another is a very different matter> I have never performed that step, but after perusing the acclimation guide (quickly) it looks like you are talking about a FW dip. <Mmm, no... this is a different concept/idea... protocol> That is not a step I performed.  I acclimated him to the QT tank's seawater.   Third, the fish exhibited this behavior even before I removed him from the bag.  Nothing changed about his behavior at any time, what I saw when I peered into the bag even before cutting it open is what I described, ergo he did not take on this behavior during the procedure, but rather he arrived this way.   <Yes... not unusual for marine angels, most marine fish groups to exhibit this sort of behavior... indicative of "shipping stress"... low pH, coupled with low dissolved oxygen, likely high CO2/carbonic acid concentration...> Fourth, when I say the fish has been in the tank for 24 hours I mean the quarantine tank, but I think you realized that further on in my message. <Yes> Given these clarifications, would you still say something was wrong with the way I did things, or was the fish doomed from the start?   Thanks again for your help so far!   Dave <Mmm, a matter of speculation/s and a few possible inputs, but if you had a hundred, a thousand such fishes to process, you'd find that using Methylene Blue, eschewing the use of Malachite Green, and especially adjusting/matching the shipping water pH to the acclimation/dip water would save a significant number of animals... this has become an "industry practice" of high regard... largely due to the efforts of Phil Shane/Quality Marine and the fine folks at TMC in the UK... to give credit where it's due. Bob Fenner> Prob.s concerning bio cycle... new to commercial, SW... parasitic disease, prevention, re-establishing sys.   4/26/06 To whoever picks this up: Dear Sir, I have been gathering too much info from your site the past few months while I was trying to establish a wholesale point for marine fish and I am grateful to you for this. I ve seen that you help a lot of people with the problems they have and I was wondering if you can help me too. I have a commercial system with the power of handling 5 tons (currently use it at its one 1/3 capacity) <For other readers, often systems are measured elsewhere in their weight in water> (TMC Marine system) and 25 kg.s of biomass. It has a 440W UV bio tower sand filter big skimmer... I had it working for a month boosted with the Abil package for a quick 10 day cycle establishment. <Theoretically... that is, under some standard...> The water parameters were monitored and the cycle seemed to be working fine. The NO2s went up and the then down after increasing the NO3s (Strangely a white dusty byproduct was left down on the bottom of my tanks??) <Not uncommon> After that I had my first order coming from Indonesia. At the first 5-6 days everything was good all the 150 fish (2-3 kg.s biomass) came to balance and got back their beautiful colors. The next few days they started showing stress they developed whitespot and started dying. <Very common that wild fish are infested... you don't (yet) mention acclimation or treatment procedures... these are extremely important, and detailed on WWM for commercial and residential applications> Until I realize what's going on half of my stock was dead my ammonia went to the sky and my NO2s as well <This is to be expected... from the dead, dying source of protein...> the remaining of my stock I gave it to many of my friends because I couldn't watch them die slowly any more. <... are you sure you're suited to this/our industry?> Now I am trying to get things going again and this is where I need your advice. Should I keep the water I have in the system (artificial) or should I sterilize everything and start from the beginning using sea water and wait for the cycle to run again? Thank you in advance for the help Yiannis Christodoulou <Having been in this situation before, and done both, I would bleach (sodium hypochlorite likely) the system and start again... with the same water if it is otherwise in "good shape". Please, do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and the many articles/FAQs files on Marine parasitic disease... Bob Fenner>

Acclimating and Lighting, Marine  3/30/06 Hi everybody, <Hey there, Adam J with you.> Hope you are all well. <At the moment; yes. Thanks for asking.> Just a couple of quick questions if I may - <Of course.> 1. I have read the FAQs & articles relating to this & would like to clarify my understanding if I may. <Sure.>   For acclimation of snails & hermits (which have been shipped overnight) am I right in thinking that the combination of ammonia & probable decline in ph in the shipping water combined with the increased toxicity of ammonia as ph rises makes it better to place these directly into the new system water (without acclimation) <I disagree.> so long as salinity & ph are not too dissimilar? <Well see…invertebrates are quite sensitive to such things as (including but not limited to) pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, salinity and temperature…that even a slight change can be fatal. I recommend a drip acclimation for such animals over a long period of time to allow them to slowly adjust….see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm .> what is an acceptable difference here? or is there a wiser acclimation technique for this? <See above.> 2. In a 2 foot cube aquarium with a 21" water depth with a 150w 10,000k Metal halide lamp 6" above water how likely is it that I can limit myself to stony corals & achieve placement down to the substrate level - any species that I should look at for these lower depths? <Most Montipora sp. should be fine at that depth, if your still looking for those in the stony class.> or am I more likely to have to go for a mixed population of softies & mushrooms below with some SPS on top? <No I would avoid that mix.> maybe some LPS on the sand <That may work if placed appropriately.> - basically I'm unsure what I can do with this quantity/quality of light at this depth of water column <See above.> Many thanks <Anytime.> P <Adam J.> Acclimation Situation (Problem Acclimating New Fishes) - 03/07/2006 Hey crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> I have a problem acclimating new fish, I have several fish already living in my tank that I acclimated by floating the bag at the top of the tank and then letting the fish go into a holding tank (same water as the main tank), but after a day or two the fish is dead.  The store I purchased the fish at quarantines these fish for a two week period, and dips them.  The first group of fish did just fine, but now it seems that I can't add any new fish.  Could you please give me suggestions on what I need to do to get new fish to thrive in my tank.   Water parameters: Nitrate near zero Phosphate (I have trouble reading the test kit but) I think it is around .2 mg/l Ph is 8.1-8.4 Alkalinity is 8.0 dKH Ca is between 410-450 Tank parameters: 180 gallons Needle wheel Protein skimmer (can't remember the name but it is ASM rated for 250 gallon tanks) Macro algae in the sump. 5 gallons of water change a week. The current fish are 1-Neon goby 1-6 Line Wrasse 1-3 Blue Chromis 300 lbs of live rock Branching Frogspawn 10 heads 3 sea cucumbers (2 I rarely see) 100 mushrooms 40 Zoanthids 4 Ricordea Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it. Eric <Well, Eric, the procedures involved in acclimating fish are well-documented here on WWM. Do read the articles and FAQs for more information. In addition, I'd consider obtaining my future fishes from another source. It may not be your tank, or your skills...It may very well be the source of the fish. Give a new supplier a chance! Best of luck to you! Scott F.> Acclimation before and after dip/quarantine   2/22/06 Hi Bob, <Joe> First up, I think your website is a great, a good stress reliever, in particular for myself, being new to saltwater. I've had much hesitation over whether to operate a quarantine tank but I must say the website persuaded me to go ahead with it! ;) <Yay!> My question is this: Upon bringing a marine animal home from the LFS, what acclimation procedures, if any, should be followed prior to carrying out a freshwater dip and then placement into the quarantine tank. I am aware that the freshwater used for the dip should be of similar temperature and ph to system water  but I was confused (after quite a bit of reading) as to where the normal acclimation technique of slowly adding system water to livestock over a period of time exactly fits into this process, if it does at all?? <Ahead of this dip/bath> Aren't the fish stressed by being quickly moved from shop water to freshwater and then to quarantine water without any transitional/intermediate acclimation? <Sometimes... up to folks to "evaluate" their animals' conditions... choose to do more/less in the acclimation/dip-bath process. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time, Joe (Sydney, Australia) Acclimation Weirdness :) actually, clarification re some very useful techniques, particularly for folks in the biz   1/25/06 Hi Crew, <Bora> Bora here. I work in a chain petstore and after "mysterious deaths" of saltwater fish, finally management decided that it would be a good idea for the "aquatic guy" to receive fish :). That would be me. Personally Bob F. is my idol <Rats! Wish I could sing> so I try to follow him mostly. I had a great shipment/success with "guerilla acclimation" but there was couple of things I was not sure. 1- I did regular chemicals/differences check on saltwater except for salinity at first. Went through the process. Original fish only set up I have is 1.021. but after the acclimation I wanted to see what the level would be and the final mixture in tub came out 1.029.  So is it logical to assume the vendor is keeping these fish at about 1.033 :) or because of the evaporation and gas exchange the water in the shipping bags became "saltier"? <Likely they were using natural water (1.025) and the animals "added" some more dense material...> (I even thought that since the vendor is in Florida, maybe they are cycling their water from the very shallow waters of ocean might effect the situation but hey I don't know much that's why I am seeking help lol) <Best to "meet halfway" here or so... Spg-wise... unless most fishes are very weak...  and to match for invertebrates, and fishes that live in close association with invert.s> 2- Is there a reason for the black Volitans lion to adjust takes longer time than the rest of the stock ? (I am saying this by observing behaviour such as getting out of corner and actively feeding and all) And also puffers in general don't do well, either, whatever I tried. I usually end up advising my customers not to buy "that" puffer. <Are slimier, and "moodier", and more spheroid/three dimensional...> 3- (Freshwater question over same type of acclimation) I had amazing results with Bob F.'s experiences also, yet the rainbow sharks were the only ones amongst the whole stock to get dizzy, and fell to the gravel after acclimation and laid dead for 15 minutes. Now they are alive and well. but what might I have done wrong to disturb the rainbow sharks? Any ideas? <These minnows are in need of high dissolved oxygen levels... and do suffer from the low DO in shipping. Add vigorous mechanical aeration (i.e. airstone bubblers) during acclimation/dips... and Methylene Blue if you have... and you will experience much different results (better)> Not enough "thank you's to WetWebMedia crew and Bob F.  for sharing years of experiences and the outcome of a lot of investments in any ways. Bora. ps: I have to say that I admire Ali's professional attitude over the "t-5 lights" issue. <Me too. Bob Fenner> Acclimation P & P  12/9/05 Lorenzo, you asked about my acclimatization procedures. <Hello again!> I equalize the temperature by floating the bag in the tank, and then drip acclimatize. I have used package water to describe the water the fish came in and aquarium water to describe my cycled water. If the fish/critters do not show signs of distress after 20 minutes, I increase the rate of flow a bit, or else, I reduce it. It usually takes me about an hour. <I assume you control the temperature in the bag during this time, perhaps by leaving it floating in a heated system.>  (I scoop out half a cup of package water for every cup of aquarium water added). When the package is full of aquarium water instead of package water,  <You understand this condition is nigh impossible, mathematically/chemically, yes? Nevertheless, that's about the right way to do it.>  I net (or in the case of the clown used a specimen jar) the fish out and put it in the tank. Whenever I drip acclimatize, I use the water of the QT tank into which the fish is going and not my main display tank. <Sounds good.>  I acclimatize again, though not as extensively when the fish go into the main tank (just in case) but by the add-a-half-cup, remove a half cup, wait 15 minutes, repeat method until water replaced, then net and add. As you can see, I spend a *lot* of my time transferring water from one place to another. The temperatures in my display and QT tanks are the same (78 degrees) but I am anal like that. <Good practice.>  My angel fatality: As for my angel, she had small strips of Sea Veggies and tang heaven Nori around the tank on sterile ornaments to help her graze. I did not wish to keep live rock inside the tank but I wished her to have the opportunity to simulate grazing. I came back from work, and she was dead. No other fish in that tank, except for a shrimp. A tiny peppermint shrimp, nothing predatory. And she was an adult! <This fish may well have been cyanide-caught, or otherwise stressed, perhaps by poor transit conditions.>  New fish in tank: I just want a fish that is out and about, not one that hides in the rockwork all the time. If a royal Gramma is a hider, then I'd like to give him a wide berth. I love wrasses. I just don't know what wrasse could fit in a 30 gallon. I thought they all needed 50 gallon or bigger tanks? <A six-line wrasse would work, and they're quite busy. Not the flashiest colors, though beautiful details.>  Once again, thanks crew.  Sweta <Always a pleasure, Lorenzo> 

Acclimation 10/17/05 Hello, My fish store keeps their specific gravity at 10.14, my aquarium is 10.24. I usually drip the tank water into a bucket for three to four hours using iv tubing for acclimation. I've recently lost a few fish within 24 hours for no obvious reason. Should I be acclimating over a number of days rather than hours?  These fish were in the store for over a week, were eating and breathing normally. After a few hours in the tank they began to swim at the surface and breath rapidly. I would appreciate your help.  <I believe your dealer is keeping his salinity at the low level in a attempt to keep parasitic disease down.  <<And to save money on salt mix!  MH>> Twenty four hours is a little short on time with that much difference in salinity. I'm sure the ph levels are different between the dealer tank and yours also.  You've got a double edge sword here as 24 hours is too short and a 3 day acclimation (which would be needed) puts undue stress on the fish. I'd look for a different dealer whose salinity is closer to yours. If he is the only one, then you have no choice but to acclimate for a longer time. Another suggestion is to set up a quarantine tank at the same salinity level as the dealers, place the fish in there and gradually increase the salinity on a daily basis. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you, Rich 

Medication for adding fish  9/13/05 Bob, can you take a look at this message regarding the "secret formula". Do you know of any such thing? Regards, Salty <I also know of no such "magic herbal remedy"... RMF> Medication for adding fish Hello: About 6 years ago I started in the hobby of keeping a fish only marine aquarium. Like most beginners, my luck with keeping the fish alive for an extended period of time (more than 1 year) was severely limited. I never had any luck with certain species, specifically the Blue (Hippo) Tang... and not quite sure why. I have a 125 gallon tank. With around 250lbs of live rock. Water quality was "theoretically" perfect, yet the Blue Tangs I would keep would perish within a few weeks or couple of months. Anyway, about 3 years ago, I visited a local fish store and I was discussing this problem with the owner of the store and he sold me a "medication" to add to the tank when the fish were showing signs of stress or when I was adding a new fish to the tank. This "medication" was contained in 2 small (5 ml.) dropper bottles, labeled "Part A" and "Part B" - and was sold in a small clear plastic box. I was informed that this product was only available to the trade to assist in reducing stress on the fish after transportation. I have no idea what this product was (it was explained as a herbal-based medication) The store owner said he wasn't supposed to sell this medication... although I'm not sure why - but it worked absolute wonders. Anyway - to cut a long story short, I purchased another Blue Tang and used this medication when adding the fish to my tank. The fish showed absolutely no signs of stress (which is very rare for Blue Tangs). A couple of drops (of each part) of this medicine on day one, and another drop of each 4 days later helped this Tang tremendously. Also, a couple of other fish that were rather lethargic, were revitalized - especially a Harlequin Tuskfish. The entire tank thrived for about 2 and a half years... until a "bad accident" that occurred when we had our house redecorated, wiped out the entire tank - which was, at the time, rather annoying and disappointing. I am in the process of re-establishing the tank, and have had it set up for 6 weeks without adding any fish yet. Do you have any idea what this "medication" was and where I can get it from - it really worked miracles. Also, I plan to do fish-only again and want to select colorful fish that are quite hardy... in this case what would you recommend. Any info you could provide is greatly appreciated. <Jeff, I know of no "secret" formula for stressed out fish. Will run this by Mr. Fenner for his input. As far as starting over, I suggest you search our WWM site, keywords, "startup" and "quarantine". If things are done properly, no special medication should ever be needed. As to fish, clowns, Dottybacks and wrasses are all quite colorful and hardy. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Jeff

Medication for adding fish  9/16/05 Would the product name "Reef Remedy" possibly be the product I'm looking for? <I've never heard of the product.> I think this might have been the name of the product, since I found a piece of paper in my cabinet that had this name written on it. Are you familiar with such a product? <No> I just remember it working wonders for the fish, especially when  acclimating. Finally, do you have any comments or opinions on the products Bio-Spira Marine (for saltwater) and Purigen (by Seachem) filter absorbent for organics and nitrogenous waste removal.  Both of these products have come highly recommended by my local FSH. <I prefer Chemi-Pure myself.  I've heard Purigen works well also, but never used Spira Marine and have heard nothing about the product.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Jeff Acclimation, Angel 9/12/05 Hi <Hello> I am new to WWM but have been passively reading many many of your articles to become better educated in the marine area. <Good idea>  I recently  purchased a juvenile emperor angel and placed him in a quarantine tank for  observation before placing him in with my main tank.  I gave him a 2 minute  fresh water (straight RO water at 78 F) bath and then placed him in the  quarantine tank.  This is a 10 gal. tank with a 45 degree 4" PVC elbow in it  for refuge.  It is again RO water at 78 F medicated with copper,<copper should only be used when necessary.  It's adding undue stress to the fish.> and  aerated with a small stone and filtered through carbon.  The first night  and next morning he (she?) looked fabulous.  The fish ate a small amount of  Formulae 2 and one Mysis shrimp that I offered.  The fish swam around  curiously and seemed just fine.   The next morning I found him at the bottom not swimming around  anymore.  I decided to check the salt content (don't get too mad here) and  discovered I had messed up mixing when I set of the tank (doh!).  It was at  1.032 SG!  I slowly (over 4 hours) diluted it back down to  1.023 without replacing the copper.<Four hours is too short a time to drop the SG that much.> He must have found the second  serving of Formula 2 as it was gone from the tank floor by the end of the  day. It has been 2 days since and the fish is still on the bottom but now his nose is downward and he seems to be breathing more rapidly.  I am concerned  I somehow injured him and fear I will lose him.   Any thoughts? <Filter the QT with a good grade carbon or Chemi-Pure to remove the copper.  I'd do at least a 30% water change with water of the SAME salinity and 24 hours later see if there is any improvement.  If he is eating, you may want to add vitamins to his food, something such as Selcon.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Contrite fish-keeper, Mark

Re: New Emperor Angel acclimating trouble - need help  9/13/05 Thank you so much for the super-quick reply! <You're welcome> I followed your  instructions and so far he is still alive a day later.  He is still on his  side most of the time but will move around from time to time and his color  still looks great. I guess all I need to do now is wait to see if he  recovers. Just a follow up question to my terrible start.  Do you think either  the copper dosing and/or the total screw up of the salt could have damaged this  fish in a way that would not kill him but leave him this way long term? <The angel more than likely went into shock from too many changes at once.  Do not use lighting on his tank.  It will make him feel a little more relaxed.> I  know I will find out eventually but I feel so bad to see him this way knowing  that I took a healthy fish and caused this situation. <It's a good idea to research a fish before you buy and know it's requirements.  James (Salty Dog)> Mark

Acclimation Guide Post: Please Read :)  9/7/05 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Ruth> There is this post on this message board that I frequent where a member (quite a dignified member of the board) is posting an acclimation guide for newbies, would you mind taking the time to read it and perhaps responding to him with your thoughts? http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=592560#post592560 He states: "1. Floating the bag. This method was developed for freshwater fish like millions of years ago, and somehow people started doing this on saltwater fish. This method is worthless as it only acclimates the life to temperature and nothing else. Truthfully we don't even use this method in the freshwater industry anymore. It is obsolete. Edit: I am actually kind of shocked by the number of marine aquarium guide books that still only suggest the bag floating method. (yah I'm talking to you FENNER!)" I don't think a guide for newbies should contain this information at all as I believe in the "bag floaty" method...but because he did mention you I just thought I'd bring it to your attention.  I hope this e-mail finds you well :). Thank you. - Ruth <Thank you for your concern and sending this along. I am still a "fan" of bag-floating... as this allows for viewing the animal/s, easily changing water out, and as the writer mentions, thermal acclimation... In store, wholesale applications there is a further advantage in being able to see, move the organisms about... while doing whatever input to record their reception, placement. Alternatively... there are other procedures... for instance detailed here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm and the linked files above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Acclimation 9/8/05  9/9/05 I have always acclimated new marine fish by first floating the bag for temperature equalization, then removing a few large spoons of bag water to a bucket and replacing those spoonfuls with tank water.  Repeat every 3-5 minutes for about a half hour, then remove fish from bag and place in tank, discarding remaining bag water.  I know I should quarantine first, but I don't. <Eventually... folks get "caught"> My LFS keeps their tanks at about 1.015 to prevent parasites, and it works. <Too low... not good for long/er exposure>   My own FOWLR tank is about 1.017, and I have never had any parasites.  I know it's like Russian roulette, but it works for me. <Good...> Anyway, I was at my LFS (very reputable chain of 4 stores) last week when they received a large shipment of new livestock.  They netted each fish right from the shipping bag and placed them straight into the tanks.  I asked about acclimating them, and they said that the fish have been through enough stress and time in the bag water, so they can handle going directly to the tanks.  They said they rarely lose any fish despite this procedure.  If it works for them, why wouldn't we all just order by mail and place them right in the tank? <Mmm, depends... mainly on the source, treatment of livestock before you receive them... the biggest issue is "initial quality"... has the livestock been expediently handled, fed, kept in "good" conditions ahead of you? Next is shipping techniques, protocol, time in transit... As the prime example, consider the issue of ammonia in the bag water (and fishes) if they have been long in getting to where they're going, excreted and secreted a great deal... being tossed into higher pH system water in this instance is a genuine mistake... will likely harm the fishes to the point of their demise...> What are your thoughts on this? <If the folks, you get livestock from "nearby", from folks who "know and do what they're supposed to", they may well "get away" without acclimation for water quality other than temperature... Most people, institutions are not so lucky... My input on individual/hobbyist and industry acclimation can be found archived on WWM. Bob Fenner>

System for Fish at new facility... another satisfied customer Hi Bob and Crew <Evening> Since our last correspondence a month ago, my holding facility has been cycling well....6 weeks in fact (system details below) I had my first shipment from overseas come in 2 days ago, and applied the Guerilla Acclimation technique....I lost no fish from 160....BUT, some things alarmed me, and I would like to outline these to you...please tell me if something is not right. I prepared some mixing water...approximately twice the volume of the shipping water....I added StressCoat from Aq Pharmaceuticals, and some Methylene Blue ( but not a huge amount)...I added a whole bunch of airstones and put the chiller to work....I lowered the pH to 7.5 as a preliminary, so I could fine tune it a few hours later when the fish came in. When the fish came, we opened a few of the bags and tested pH.....down in the mid to low 6's.....was a bit of a shock !! <Heeeee! Happens> ....so we did the Kitty Litter thing with larger plastic containers, and poured the fish and shipping water into these....put in the airstones and waited 30 min.s....The fish generally seemed OK......Tested the Ammonia during this time and the result was deep Green ....quite high..... <Typical> Tested the pH again after this 30 min.s and it was 7.2.......we then fine-tuned the mixing water...... <Good> My 1st question is...is this normal?... <Very> and with the pH rising 0.7 in 30 min.s on it's own drastic enough for the NH3 to change and become nasty? <Can be> We then proceeded to slowly ladle in mixing water....took 1 hour or more to add double the amount than the shipping water, with the excess draining of through holes drilled in the trays.....tested Ammonia again, and it was still high, but not quite as high.......but the pH had risen again by a little. <Ahh... yes> I started to worry a little, but the fish seemed to be generally OK.........My system water was then slowly added......parameters for system water as follows,  Ph 8.3, dKH 8, Salinity 1.023, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate all Nil....calcium 380..D.O  6+, and temp 24.5 Celsius....... Over the next 2 hours, we slowly added system water until the pH was 8.2 (pH was monitored constantly throughout this process)....... We prepared a freshwater dip to 8.2 also, and added a few drops of Formalin....in your article it said an ounce per gallon, but the bottle said a couple of drops per gallon...so I was really confused and went with a few drops........added 2 Yellow Tangs to try.....and they went ape in the Freshwater Bath......needless to say we then dispensed the rest of the fish into the system without the dip.... Within a few minutes   3 Yellow Tangs and a Declivis started to swim crazy loop the loop configurations...... <Again... par for the course> However....no dead fish !!!! <Amazing, eh?> Please read through what I did and let me know if there is anything I did wrong, or need to do better, as I have a Shipment from Brazil coming in 2 days, and these guys will have been in bags for 50 hours.....albeit in a damn sight more water than the Hawaii shipment...... Thanks in advance for your valuable advice. JD <More and more valuable as you consider... Bob Fenner> Acclimation Techniques Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> We are trying to eradicate ich. When giving a freshwater bath to new arrivals prior to quarantine, you article indicated to match PH to the New Tank's water. 1) Shouldn't we acclimate the fish with a few cups of water before putting him/her into the Dip? It seems that shipping water may be a much lower PH than a normal tank - and we don't want to risk shocking the animal. <Good point. That's my personal procedure. Replace some of the water in the bag/bucket with water from the quarantine tank, try to match the pH in the dip as closely as possible to the quarantine tank, and proceed from there. However, I have seen many people skip this step and go right to the dip without problems. I'm not recommending this "shortcut", but I have seen it done before many times. I'd take the conservative approach myself.> Also a couple more dip questions: 2)Is RO/DI water with Reef Buffer the best thing to use for a new fish? We saw the post where someone's fish died after they used distilled water and are getting a little paranoid. <I'd aerate the RO/DI before using it> 3) Should we also dip fish before adding to fallowed tank who have been in quarantine 2 months with no signs of ich? <I'd probably pass under these circumstances. They don't need any additional stress> If so, how long would you recommend for a Watchman goby and Hippo tang? Thanks as always!!! Doug <As above. Sounds like you're doing things right! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

I am confused about acclimating marine fish I am thinking of doing a bath and I read you article and I am confused on how to do it and what I'm going to do it with. This is my first marine system in my life and I want to do everything right. All my parents allowed me to have is a freshwater tank (I black ghost knife, Pictus cat, and common silver angel-have the tank for a half a year). I finally persuaded them to let me start a saltwater tank. I don't mean to sound childish but I'm a little nervous/scared on this whole setting up, etc. process. Can you help me out and give me tips to get started? Thank You John <What is it that confuses you here? The purpose, the techniques? Is it just the act itself that you are hesitant about? Maybe having someone there, showing you how this is done would help... or visiting a store while they are receiving a marine livestock order... Have someone read you the articles on dips/baths posted on WWM... and the Related FAQs files (linked, in blue, at top) and perhaps write out the few possible alternatives presented... Not hard to do, or dangerous. Bob Fenner>

QT and acclimation Hello! <Hi,> At my LFS, there was a royal Gramma in QT for the past few weeks.  Today, they were going to put it in a display tank, but I bought it instead and took it home.  I don't have room for a QT tank, so I usually shop around for fish that are being quarantined elsewhere.  Is this a bad practice? <Yes, it doesn't mean that the fish is healthy.> Does it matter *where* the fish are quarantined as long as they are? <It does matter because the shipping could make susceptible to getting sick again.> At any rate, I brought the fish home, and started slowly replacing its water in its bag to acclimate it.  I was planning on replacing a cup of its "bag" water with a cup of my tank water every five minutes until most of its water would be water from my tank.  Well, as I was pouring the water and Gramma from the bag into a small 2-gal container I would use to acclimate it, just before being poured into the container, the Gramma jumped! <Opps!> It sprang clear of my container.  In my panic to catch the "flying fish", I knocked over the container (my wife is going to kill me when she sees our drenched carpet).  I had to pick the Gramma off the carpet and just let it go into my main tank.  The poor Gramma swam to the nearest and smallest cave it could find, and has not come out since, not even for feeding (I tried feeding "enriched" brine shrimp, bloodworms).  I can tell it's still alive, though, as it moves slightly when one of my clowns comes near the cave. My Gramma has NOT had a good day.  It's "acclimation" consisted of dry carpet.  I know I should be worried, since there's obviously a reason you tell everyone to acclimate their fish... but my question is: HOW worried?  Will the Gramma get better?  Will it ever come out of its cave?  Will one of my two clowns prevent it from doing so?  The clowns and Gramma are all I have in the tank besides a cleaner crew.  <I would be concerned about the fish but not overly worried.  I have done this before and had fish survive.  Grammas in particular are fish that like to jump out of tanks when scared.  If your clowns are picking on him then his chances are slim.  But, if not you should be O.K.  Give the fish a couple of days and then try feeding live brine.  This is just to get it to start eating again.> Last question: Your site says that brine shrimp is not very nutritional food.  My LFS said it was, because they were selling brine shrimp "enriched with HUFAs.  I have no idea what that stands for, except it's something about fatty acids.  I requested Mysis shrimp.  They said my clowns and Gramma would not be able to handle it since they were too small.  I didn't want to sound like an uninformed idiot, so I trusted what my LFS had to say.  So far, I'm feeding the fish bloodworms and "enriched" brine shrimp, in addition to the little white critters that came as hitchhikers on my LR that they regularly feast on.  <Discontinue with the bloodworms.  They are freshwater worms and do not provide the proper balance of nutrients and vitamins for your fish.  As far as the enriched brine goes, it is O.K. for supplemental food but not a main staple diet.> I did search FAQs (I spent the past three hours searching your site) and I can't find any other examples where fish were dropped on the carpet prior to acclimation... <The best thing to do is to quarantine (I know you don't have one) and treat it with stress coat.  The time spent on the floor probably removed its protective coating and exposed its scales to infection.  If your tank is not a reef tank you can do that.  If you decide that this is the way to go then watch your protein skimmer for it will overflow.  Good luck! MikeB> Thanks in advance for your responses. Paul

Damsel aggression 10 Aug 2004 hey there! <Hi Stacey, MacL here with you tonight, sorry on the delay in response.> I've been reading your site all morning and love how much info you guys have, however, I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. <Lets see if we can help you directly then.> firstly, I just started a 29g marine tank 5 days ago and have 3 dominos and 2 yellowtails, everything seemed all right until this morning when I fed them. one of the dominoes, the biggest and usually rowdiest, refuses to eat and won't swim more than a couple inches from his spot against a piece of fake coral. everyone else is their usually punky self, but I'm worried about him b/c he's been the most curious and lively so far. he has a ripped fin, but its been like that since I got him. <Sounds like he might be getting picked on if he's picked a spot and just hanging there.  Dominos are aggressive fish but yellowtails could be picking on him or the other dominos.> I was wondering if it might be b/c the ammonias and nitrite is beginning to rise due to the cycling process, but the others seem unaffected. am I just being paranoid or is he sick? <I'd watch him very closely. He could be the weakest of the damsels and be affected by the ammonia and nitrites rising. I have to say I think you have too many fish in there for the size of tank and the beginning of a cycle.  You could probably do a successful cycle with just the domino's and have it be a very good cycle. MacL> thanks so much! -Stacey

Acclimation feeding Hi Steve, <Hi Walt, MacL here with you since Steve is out.> It's been a week now and he's still not eating. I've tried flakes, frozen Mysis, frozen brine, Gracilaria and green Ogo. What else can I do? Thanks. <I would try a piece of live rock and possibly some Nori. And maybe some live brine.  Is he picking at anything? MacL> Walt >More on Getting a New Powder Blue to Eat (8/8/04) >Hi Steve. <Hello again.> >Thanks for the reply. He's about 4" and is in a 20H QT. <Sounds reasonable.> I have some grape Caulerpa but no other macroalgae right now (may be time to start growing them again, I could throw some in a 10gal.). <Grape Caulerpa isn't among the more appetizing macroalgae. Most Tangs love Gracilaria.> Marine Center claims their fish are QT'd and eating before shipping but you're right that I don't know what they fed him. I have some garlic and some frozen brine and I can pick up some live brine and frozen Mysis tomorrow. <Definitely worth a try. They do need their veggies.> >Hopefully one of those will do the trick. <That plus a little "tincture of time." Thanks again. <Most welcome--do keep us posted. Steve Allen.> WM

Feeding during acclimation Hi Guys <Hi Walt, MacL here again> I wanted to let you know that he finally started picking at the Gracilaria yesterday. Thanks for the help. <Fantastic to hear!!!!!!> WM

-Don't Rush The Fallow Period Hi. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Marine ich has caused a lot of stress in my life right now so in return I'm gonna do the same to them. <Excellent! Take the battle to 'em!> I have a FOWLR 55 gallon tank. I have moved all my fish to a quarantine and treated them with copper, they are now free of white spots. If I take my invertebrates out and raise the temperature to 94 degrees and drop the salinity how quickly can I get rid of these parasites? <Well, this will certainly speed up the life cycle, but I'm an advocate of a longer fallow period (like a month to six weeks) to really break the life cycle of the causative protozoa.> I'd like to get the fish back to their tank in about 2 weeks seeing as I'm going away...Any input would be great <My thinking is that you really want to be patient, and hold off on rushing to add the fish back to the tank. You've done such a good job, so why let it go to waste now! Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

 Drip vs. Dip - Thanks for a great website and all the help.  I think I am starting to get it!! I have now read the Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and all the posts about acclimation. I understand the drip method, and I understand the benefits of a fresh water, or treated, dip for new arrivals.  But I am having trouble understanding two areas, and my wife is headed out tonight for a new Six Line Wrasse and a cleaner crew, so I better ask. 1) For new fish, when do you do the dip vs. when you do the drip acclimation? <Mmm... good question. I'd say for the most part I dip almost everything that isn't a known dip-unfriendly fish.> Do you do the drip acclimation and then do the dip right before moving the fish to the quarantine tank? <No, they're going to get stressed from the salinity change anyway, so might as well dip them and drop them in the tank.> Or do you do the dip as soon as they arrive and then put them back in the shipping water to do the acclimation? <Nope, once out of the shipping water, that stuff gets tossed.> Does it make a difference which way you do this if they are locally bought versus purchased online? <Nope, both should be dipped whenever possible.> By the way, for the dip I was planning on using a solution of ParaGuard (malachite green) in tank water with an airstone (8-10 minutes)  followed by a short freshwater rinse (5 minutes).  Sound close? <I'd skip the ParaGuard for now and just rely on the hyposalinity to do its job. Six line wrasses are good for a little more than five minutes... I'd go as long as possible. Just don't dip the inverts.> 2) What about dips for the cleaner crew invertebrates such as snails, cleaner shrimp, scallops, etc. <No... about the only thing you could do here is a dip in tank water with iodine added, but I'd hold off on this entirely... and don't buy the scallops.> Since these are so sensitive to osmotic shock, how do I treat these animals for possible parasites? <Quarantine.> Is it safe to just do a malachite green dip on these in tank water, maybe at a weakened concentration? <Heavens no, the malachite green will kill them.> Do you recommend quarantining snails and hermits? <Anthony Calfo suggests quarantining everything, I don't... although it is possible that they could carry in some "undesirables", the actual occurrence is very low.> Most of the posts and books are not very clear on this point. Thanks, Rick <Cheers, J -- >

- Drip vs. Dip - Thanks for the response, but now I am really confused. <My apologies.> So, I thought I had better ask for clarification. <And I thought I had been as clear as possible.> Based on your response below, it sounds like you are saying to forget the drip acclimation altogether. <Correct.> Just do the freshwater dip and then put them into the quarantine tank.  Am I reading this right? <I think that's what I said, yes.>  What about the potential sudden pH change causing problems? <Should be a pH adjusted, freshwater dip - match the freshwater pH to that of your tank. There is stress involved in this process, and there is no helping it. Getting two things over all at once should be no problem.> Or, are you really saying to use the drip method to acclimate them freshwater dip solution (ease the Ph transition), <No... here, let's say this. There's nothing wrong with drip acclimating your fish. Still... time is of the essence, so you don't want to keep them in the bag any longer than they need to be. If they've been in the bag for a long time - more than 12 hours, then you should at the very least test their shipping water and make sure the pH is not too low. If the pH is very low - in the sevens, then go ahead and slowly drip them up to normal - no harm done. If the pH is in the eights, skip the drip and go for the dip.> then move them to the dip for 5 minutes or so and then to the quarantine tank? <Quarantine, yes.> Thanks (again), Rick <Cheers, J -- >

- My new Fish Procedures -  Hello everyone. I just wanted to get your comments/insight on a plan I have to introduce new fish to my aquarium. Got to get a process down. <Ok.>  Display tank: 125 gal, 6ft long, over 160 lbs Fiji Live Rock (made into two towers, with bridge in the middle).  Current residents: Red Lion fish, 20 hermits/snails, and a Sand Sifter star fish. When a new fish arrives to my home:  1) Remove the fish from the shipping bag with a net, and place into dip tank.  ? Dip tank: 10 gal, freshwater, 80 degrees, Methylene Blue treated.  Is it OK to add directly from the shipping bag like this?  <For the most part, yes. I'd float the bag for a while, just to equalize the temperature of the water the fish is currently in.>  2) Fish will remain in Dip tank for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. <Ok.>  3) Fish will be netted again, and placed into the Quarantine tank.  ? Quarantine tank: 20 gal, display tank water, 80 degrees, Copper treated. <I wouldn't just arbitrarily put copper in quarantine unless there is a problem you are trying to treat. We're talking about compounds that are toxic and there's just no practical reason to expose the fish to the same unless you absolutely have to.>  4) There the fish will stay for minimum 3 weeks. <Two would suffice - there is a tipping point at which the fish will fare less and less well if over quarantined.>  5) Fish will then be moved to the Display tank, with normal procedures of acclimation. <I'd actually freshwater dip them just one more time on the way to the display.>  Fish I want to acquire: Foxface Rabbitfish, Heniochus (2 or 3?), Threadfin, and a Raccoon (a French Angel or Naso Tang might be alternates).  Based upon the fish mentioned, does this sound like a good plan? <Sure... plus a couple of modifications.> Could, in general, the dip and quarantine be too much stress for these fish? <All in all, no... is pretty much necessary.>  Thank you for your time,  Daniel  <Cheers, J -- >

What We Have Here Is a Failure to Acclimate! Hi I like your web site and I have a question for ya.  I have had coral trouble lately. I couldn't figure it out at first I checked anything from copper to nitrates and everything was fine , and then I found out that the store's tank has a ph of about 8.6 and mine was about 8.2 to 8.3.I had already bought some brain coral and it started to die . So I stared to put some ph adjuster in and it stop dying but never came out it started to grow back a little bit but it was to late about two weeks ago it died .About two weeks later I bought a fairly good size pineapple brain coral and about a week later it starting to die around the corners I don't know what could be the matter . I have a little white crab that has bristle hairs (it came in with some live rock it sort of looks like a anemone crab but it doesn't hang around the two pink Florida anemones that I have. (I have never seen the crab on the coral day or night. I also have seen a long about 2 1/2-3 inch whit worm . I have never seen it out of the sand I also think I have bristle worm that I have never seen out of the sand. If it were two my prowling glass goby would find it as a meal as it does everything else . I was wondering if you would know if it could be a something in the tank or the ph . I don't think it's the lighting because I have a 50/50 reef and sun, and the star polyp coral and the anemones like the light.  <I'm guessing that you didn't acclimate your corals properly. To narrow down some possibilities, water quality wouldn't be much of an issue in the short run. Lighting wouldn't be an issue, either, in the short run. I also doubt that the critters which you described would cause this. I'm left with either A) You have some type of toxin/chemical in your water which is killing the corals B) Something in your tank is picking at it C) You haven't acclimated the corals properly. My guess is that you haven't acclimated the corals properly or there is a chemical in your water which is causing this. Acclimation for such corals should take about an hour or two hours using the drip method (provided you use 1 drop per second, according to the amount of water volume in the bag the coral came in). Failure to acclimate could cause this. Some questions I need to properly answer your original question include:  1. How old is the tank  2. How long did you acclimate the corals for?  3. What were the water levels you tested for?  4. What filtration do you have?  5. What fish do you have?  6. Anything else?  Take Care,  Graham >

Rapid Fish Deaths  So here goes. I browsed previously asked questions but didn't find anything close. I have a relatively new 90 gal saltwater tank (saltwater in it for 6 weeks now) that has completed cycling in the last three weeks. I have 150lbs of live rock, a 4-5" sandbed, turbo classic skimmer, U.V. sterilizer (just switched on), pc fluorescent and metal halide and water changing about a gallon a day. Parameters during the period of my tale: Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 15 ppm, Calcium 550 ppm, Magnesium 1000 ppm, Alkalinity 15dKh, pH 7.9, ORP 315, Salinity 1.023.  One and a half weeks after cycling completed I attempted to introduce a few Damsels (yellow tails). Acclimation was to drip tank water for 60 minutes, remove 50% of contents, fast drip for 30 minutes and........then the fish died.  <Hmm...>  I tried again. This time I added an airstone to the fish bag, floated the bag in water that was kept between the temperature of the arriving fish water and the tank (only a 3 degree spread between these two), measured fish bag pH at 8.0 and tank at 7.9 and arriving salinity of 1.019 vs. tank of 1.023. Acclimation was to drip tank water for 1 hour, remove 50 % of contents ,slow drip for 30 minutes (even slower than first time), remove 50% of contents and fast drip for 30 minutes.............but the fish died.  <Wow- something ain't right here...>  Taking some advice that the acclimation process may have been too slow with the possibility that the fish underwent oxygen starvation in the bag, I tried again with a modified acclimation procedure - floated the bag in the tank for 15 min.s, added a cup of tank water after 10 min.s and so on for 4 cups, dipped the fish, and then into the tank.  Success - the fish was quite inquisitive for about 10 minutes and then found its way up the intake tub of a powerhead and in the 5 minutes following the powerhead encounter..................the fish died.  <Yikes...lousy luck!>  I tried again. Same acclimation as immediately above, the fish was inquisitive for about 10 minutes and just slowly gave into the currents in the following 5 minutes and..............the fish died.  <Okay...not good here...>  I'd really appreciate some suggestions because at this point its no longer fish slaughter but first degree fish murder if I try again. Thanks  <Okay, I have a few observations/thoughts here. My first recommendation is to quarantine all new arrivals in a separate tank before placing them into the display...I know that you are having troubles just acclimating the fish, but this is a good practice to start with. My other thought is that you may be getting some fishes from a source that has questionable quality, or that you may not be selecting healthy fishes to begin with. Do consider obtaining your fishes from another source, and really read up on the FAQs here on WWM concerning the selection of healthy specimens (and how to evaluate them). The other thought that I have is to think about the possibility of a toxin of some sort in your water. Your acclimation techniques sound fine, but something doesn't jibe here...Assuming that all of your basic water quality parameters are correct, and at proper levels, as you report, then something else may be going on. Have you used any type of household cleaning solutions near the tank? Any paints, solvents, insecticides, etc., which somehow could have gotten into the tank? Any "additives" that you have been using? Are all tank items and decorations non-toxic? Have you obtained rocks or decorative corals from unknown sources, which may have contained a toxic substance of some sort? Think of all of the possibilities here...From the basics to the exotic. In the absence of measurable water chemistry problems, you need to look at all sorts of possibilities. I'd recommend continuous use of activated carbon and Poly Filter, not to mention some water changes...Aggressive protein skimming is helpful, too. Just keep looking beyond the obvious, and think about some of the things that we've discussed here. Don't be discouraged- you can and will be successful here...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>(

Rapid Fish Deaths (Follow Up) I have tried two fish sources. I have been quite meticulous in the care and handling of water and materials. Although I should be quarantining, these are the first tank inhabitants so have not done so. <I understand your thoughts, but you could still introduce potential diseases that can lay in wait for further additions to the tank. Quarantine is a really good idea right from the start> I have had indirect contact with the London Aquarium who are similarly baffled. There has been a suggestion that the DSB has ripped sufficient oxygen out of the water as it turns anaerobic to cause depletion. <An interesting theory-I'm not sure of the plausibility; but worth running an oxygen test  to see if this is the cause...> I have done a 100% water change and will try again.  Thanks <Get up again and keep at it...Your determination and perseverance are inspiring to others who run into obstacles along the way in this hobby! Thanks for sharing, and feel free to contact us again if we can help! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: new specimen acclimation questions 1/8/03 thanks for you quick response.  let me clarify (it was late, and I was in a  bit of a rush to get the e-mail out)... <Hi Rob.  Adam here this time.  Hopefully we will clear everything up!  For clarity, I will place **  ** around the rest of my replies.> >1) Last Rabbitfish I got was from an ich infected tank (yeah, I know, bad move). I Methylene blue dipped it. <I'm assuming you meant with pH-adjusted freshwater with Methylene blue in it??? Flesh dripping off sounds like something was very wrong with the dip.> Looked like the flesh was coming off it when it died (could see the "teeth" under a flapping upper lip). Did I dip it too long? <Well... you haven't given many details about the dip, >but it does sound like it was flawed somehow.> It was maybe 3 inches.  Dipped it for 12 minutes. <That does seem a bit long - probably doesn't need to be any longer than five minutes.> It never tried to torpedo out of the dip. <Might well have been doomed before the dip.> yes, that's exactly what I meant, a fresh-water ph adjusted freshwater dip  (using ph 8.3 from SeaChem).  I had previously used 5 gallons of water  (easier to do the division for figuring how much to add).  problem is I  always had trouble finding the fish :) I would leave it in the net just  below the surface so I could find it. **I am a bit concerned about the fact that you can't find the fish in the dip.  I have never used Methylene blue, but would be surprised if the concentration should be so high as to limit visibility through the solution.** I've switched down to 2 gallons (which will hopefully make it easier to find when I release it from the net.  thanks for the 5 minute advice.  I had  always thought longer is better, so long as they could take it... **To a certain extent, yes, but the use of medication is always striking a balance between enough to harm the pathogen, but not so much as to harm the "patient".  It sounds like in this case, the "patient" didn't do so well.  This could be because of overmedication (overdose or just too long), or it could be because it was doomed to begin with** >2) I ordered another one, along with a Scott's fairy wrasse.  Should I bother dipping them?  Haven't had much luck. <I dip all my fish, even the expensive ones - you should too. Check your protocol, perhaps you've been doing something wrong. More details here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm > >3) Will they get along together in a 15 gal QT tank? <The wrasse and the  tang? Yes, I think so... fairy wrasses are fairly easy going, as are Rabbitfish.> >4) Is it advisable to put 2 fish in the same QT? <Wait... didn't you just ask that question? Honestly, I wouldn't - will affect your ability to control water quality - would be better to put them in individual quarantine.> actually, I asked 2 separate questions:  would they get along, and should  you put 2 fish in the same QT.  I've never read anything which said you couldn't, so I was just asking.  the literature is pretty vague (lots of cases when using QT for treatment, not for prophylactic measures, where it mentions putting the sick fish or multiple sick fish in the same tank). **In situations where you have several of the same fish that have been through the same chain of custody (a school of green Chromis, for example), I would say that it is OK to quarantine together.  In most cases, though, putting two fish that have come through different chains of custody into the same quarantine defeats the purpose as one could contract disease from the other.** >5) I have a UV sterilizer I used with the display tank.  I've been told  that it might be a good idea to hook it up to the QT. <Might be a better place for it.> Isn't that just delaying the inevitable if the fish are sick? <I don't follow... isn't quarantine the place you'd want to treat such problems?> Or is this a good practice? <Is where I run my UV.> **Strong agreement here.  Your UV will be much more effective on a smaller tank, and is best placed where you expect to treat or want to stop potential incoming disease.  UV on a stocked reef tank has little utility in disease management because of the large amount of substrate that can harbor disease organisms.> I view the QT for introduction of new species as more Darwinian in intent.  maybe that's just because in my experience the fish either die within a couple of days, or make it through (well, only one has, just to die later through probable electrocution). <This is a very skewed view IMO.  Quarantining will prevent the introduction of disease into your system.  The value of this will become apparent when a fish develops signs of disease in quarantine while your whole display tank full of fish remains unexposed.  It will become even more apparent when you wipe out a tank full of fish after skipping quarantine for a fish that looked healthy.  Even if a newly introduced fish dies without introducing disease, you will have imported a lot of nutrients that could have been avoided by quarantining.> probably not the best way to look at it,  but I seem to lose 90% of my fish in QT.  which is why I'm starting to wonder if quarantining is worth it, especially with a fallow display tank.... <This leads me to believe that you are either buying highly stressed, doomed fish or that there is a problem in the management of your Q tank.  Do remember that a Q tank has all of the same requirements for filtration and water quality that the display does, although the strategies will be different since the Q tank only runs for short periods of time.  As far as your fallow display...  You will appreciate the diversity that is allowed to develop and the patience it took when you have a well stocked healthy system.> thanks again,-- rob <Good luck!  Adam>

The New Kid On The Block (Acclimating a New Fish) Greetings crew - While I know there are very similar questions out on your FAQ's - I was hoping my situation was specific enough to warrant a response.  I can appreciate the issues you go through answering similar questions but here goes.  120 gallon tank - FOWLR (150 lbs of rock- good places to hide) -  Water parameters normal - EuroReef Skimmer - 10-15% water changes every 7-10 days - 4 current inhabitants (Listed in order of introduction) - the only ones - have not lost one yet - tank has been in operation 8 months - 1 Extra Gold Variant Goldentail Moray -  1 Purple Tang - I Klunzinger's Wrasse - 1 Niger Trigger.  Now the tang and the wrasse gave the trigger a real hard time for a while but now they all co-exist great. <Good to hear!> I received a gift certificate for a LFS - which I consider a pretty high quality store -  and I special ordered an Annularis - they eventually found me an approximately 4-5" adult coloration - just a gorgeous fish.  He went into the tank on Wednesday evening - <Uh-oh...ya' gotta quarantine all new arrivals...Otherwise, our risk the health of all of your tank's inhabitants..> The tang is giving him some issues -whacking at him with the tail every so often but nothing like they tried to do with the trigger. <A very common "territorial dominance" behavior on the part of the tang...> The wrasse and the trigger appear to care less and the eel just seems to know he's king of his cave and really couldn't care less - in fact the angel will sometime sit right next to the eel as if paying for enforcement protection.  The angel does explore the tank - will come up and look at me when I am in the room - appears more inquisitive/active  in the evening - the tang's harassment is more prevalent in the morning at least so far.   <Given time, this behavior will often subside, once the social order falls into place. However, do keep a close eye on things and be prepared to take action should it become necessary...> So my issue is that so far I have not observed the angel eating yet. - I see him picking at the rock every once in a while - but despite my introduction of brine/Mysis/chopped shrimp/silver sides/Ocean Nutrition Prime Reef (frozen) NOT ALL AT ONCE OF COURSE and a clip of purple seaweed/algae I have not seen him eat. Any thoughts/suggestions? <Well, it's not surprising at this point, when you take into account the harassment the angel is facing from the tang. Hopefully, the fish will feel more comfortable in time, and will begin to feed when it feels more secure. Not to press the issue, but this is another reason why I like quarantine...The quarantine period also gives the fish a chance to become "hardened" from their rigorous journey, and begin feeding before being placed in the display. A really good practice...> I am off to buy ON's Angel Formula - but as you can tell - he's in with some hungry characters and he better get more aggressive soon. <Yep...An excellent food, but the fish needs to be comfortable before he will eat anything...Be sure to keep a close eye on him, and be prepared to move this guy to a separate tank for the aforementioned "hardening" if this goes on too much longer. Yes, the stress of moving the fish again is not desirable, but leaving the fish in a situation where he is not comfortable enough to feed is potentially worse...A calculated risk, but one that may need to be taken...> Thank you - David <You're quite welcome...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Wholesale Quarantine (actually acclimation) Protocol Questions Hi Bob, How do you quarantine clowns upon arrival? <When I was engaged in this part of the industry, yes. All wild caught Clownfishes were quarantined... with/in the invertebrate systems for such> I have headache with frequent massive death for Fire Clowns. Sometimes Percula Clowns do die in mass too. <Yes. They do here as well> Currently I'm using made in Japan yellow powder in packet form to quarantine clowns before putting them into my main tanks as suggested by some fish shops. <Likely a Furazone compound. Useful> Is this the correct method? How about quarantining clowns in controlled PH (8.0 to 8.4) fresh water with Methylene blue instead? Which method is best? <A blend of both... reduced Spg, the "yellow powder" and Methylene blue... a bit more of the chemicals and pH-adjusted freshwater bath/dip on arrival as well. These matters are covered on WetWebMedia.com> Can those sensitive fishes like Emperor Angel be quarantined the same way in controlled pH fresh water with Methylene blue before putting into main tanks? <Yes> Sometimes I have Emperor Angels having redness on the top fin. What really happen and is it being 'burnt' or suffering cut? <Very likely a "burn" from poor water quality during transit/shipping... and possibly a bit from rough handling, poor conditions before> Pls advise. Thanks for your help in advance Charles <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Dave Palmer, PAF Hi Bob, Do you know Dave Palmer from Pacific Aquafarms in LAX? Is he a big wholesaler there? <Do know Dave... a fine person in the trade. A good sized "player", yes. He helps folks deal in marine livestock from the tropical West Atlantic to the Solomons, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu...> This is what I plan to do for quarantining of wild caught clowns. I will bath/dip them in PH controlled fresh water with Methylene Blue for short while. After which I will place them in new marine water with 'Yellow Powder' for hours of further quarantine until they are fit to be in my holdings. Is this ok? <Yes... but do time the exposure. Most fishes can take five to ten minutes (with aeration or addition of water to the acclimation containers (do you have time to visit in Los Angeles to see how others have made gear for this?)> Is it necessary to put other corals or anemone beside clowns in bare bottom tanks in order to increase their survival rate? <Please read through the marine index and business Subweb on WetWebMedia.com re these issues. Too much to state in a simple email. Use the Google search tool at the bottom of the homepage with the term "acclimation". Bob Fenner> Pls advise. Thank you Cheers, Charles

Sri Lanka and Miami Fish Imports to UK - 7/14/03 Hello Anthony, <cheers, mate> I have a few more questions for you !-if you don't mind that is!!?!?!?!? <my pleasure> I am due a shipment from Singapore and Sri Lanka tomorrow. I am not sure what I will receive yet, until the packing lists come through tonight, however I have ordered lots of shrimps from Sri Lanka and as wondering if you had any tips on acclimatizing these? <dim overhead lights, dark aquaria... not too long in the shipping water as a slow drip acclimation will spike ammonia in the bag as pH increases (a common stress on newly imported fishes). I vote for 15 minute or less acclimation for delayed or transshipped fishes. Its the lesser of two evils to get them in the tank fast. Do test the shipping water and be amazed at the pH> I know acclimatization should be slow and steady, as they are very sensitive creatures. I have ordered Lysmata shrimps mainly, but there are a few other species Hispidus and dancing shrimps. <all fine> I have also ordered what where listed as 'LT anemones'. the Latin name is Radianthus Malu, <indeed one of the few that are remotely hardy> but I didn't think this species was shipped from Sri Lanka, in the past (about 5 years ago) when I was ordering from Sri Lanka, there were many different species of anemone listed and all they sent were carpet anemones! so I don't really know what I will receive! any comments of acclimatization? <none to speak of short of temperature... the anemones should arrive with little or no water if they are shipped properly> other species I have ordered are: xanthurus clowns cleaner wrasse Midas goby emperor angel red starfish porcupine puffer dogface puffer Percula clowns neon velvet damsel flashback Dottyback coral beauty angels yellow prawn goby feather duster tube worm <all good except the cleaner wrasses... wholly unsuitable for captivity for anything but the largest aquaria with the largest fishes (beyond issues of poor survivability on import)> Cuttlefish I thought I would give a cuttle a go - not sure how it will come in. <although some cuttlefish can be hardy as cephalopods go... this is really a creature for special orders and specialists only. I do regret to see them ordered casually> I was considering an RX-P (Kent product - main ingredient is pepper) dip for 10 minutes on all fish, before putting them into the system? any views on this? <yes... I personally would not take the product for free, and I would never use it on my livestock. Methylene blue and/or Formalin are tried and true for medicated dips. M. blue also helps with the solution/absorption/saturation of O2 in the water Sorry its a lot again, any help would be great!! Thanks again Regards, Sam <no trouble at all my friend... best regards, Anthony>

Re: Sri Lanka and Miami Fish Transshipped 6/13/03 Dear Anthony, Thank you for your reply! Unfortunately I had to place my order before I received your very informative e-mail. <no worries mate... sorry I could not get back to you quicker> Which is sad as I had gone with a few powder blue tangs. I understand the problems with this species, but I know that TMC (Britain's largest marine wholesaler) sources this species from Sri Lanka, with much success, so I thought if I used careful methods of acclimatization (as stated on your website) I may be able to settle this species well. <agreed... and true in part. But there are problems with this species and its suitability in captivity far beyond acquisition. Few receive the dynamic water flow and high levels of dissolved oxygen they need... the very large/long tanks... and the strict diet. A magnificent fish... but light years away in hardiness compared to Zebrasoma species> It is too late now and they are coming. I will do my best to save the ones in my box and next time I wont order these fish. <do consider importing them if they are handled well... but also try to avoid making them a ready staple for the uninformed or unprepared. All part of being a good merchant and sizing up your customers needs and abilities and educating them as you what best to buy from you. Serving you, your customer and the industry at the same time :) > I know what you are saying about triggers and lions, but the shipper is notorious for packing large fish, and I know I will wind up with massive lionfish! <Heeee... brother, ALL shippers are notorious for this <G>. Very good to be aware... but use your money as muscle: make it clear to this and any shipper what you will and will not pay for from the start... if they ship you fill ins or inappropriate stock... don't pay, or don't reorder without credit if COD> The triggers on the list were not too interesting, only the standard Undulated (which I find very aggressive), blue niger (which I have) and the Picasso. If there were clown triggers I would jump at the chance to get one. <do look at the black footed clowns from Sri Lanka... somewhat of a rarity here in the US. Also, the Sebae/clarkii clowns from here are breathtaking!!> Thank you for the advice on the Florida box. I would really like some Atlantic tangs, as I have dived with them in the Caribbean. These are not that common in the UK so these would be quite special. <alas... they get to 40 cm as an adult! Good thing you don't see many of them in the trade... would be heartbreaking> I would like to shoal them, or keep them in a small group, but I am not sure of their behaviour in such groups in captivity? <the behavior is reasonably good... but they are a fragile fish... and get quite large. I really cannot imagine too many private aquaria that can responsibly house even three adult blue tangs as they approach their adult size. Really best left in the ocean unless special ordered for large/public aquaria> what are your thoughts? also do juv.s do better than adults? <5-10 cm is likely to ship best IMO> what size would I expect to come from Florida (I know these questions are a bit 'dependable' but I should imagine you have a better idea than I have) <be careful of really small specimens so common from FL (under 4 cm). And definitely avoid all over 15 cm (very poor shippers)> I won't order horseshoe crabs, although they are very interesting creatures. <agreed> The hi hats will also be crossed off my list, I haven't much experience with these so I was ordering out of curiosity really (a bit un-ethical of me). I will QT these fish as you said, I do have a substrate but it is only fine white Silica Sand which is inert. I siphon this out regularly and replace it with new sand to remove any 'nasties' in it. also Decor is a minimum and lighting is subdued. When I unpack the fish this is done under red light (I use a red light bulb in my fish house just so I can see around) the fish are unpacked into small plastic containers (about 8"X5"X5") with traveling water. the containers are drilled with air line coming out as a siphon and then system water is dripped in using air line again from the main tanks. this is done for an hour then the fish are dipped (what are your suggestions, I usually use system water with Methylene (sorry about spelling) blue for around 2minutes ) then move the fish into the main system. <outstanding acclimation protocol my friend. Kudos to you> Do you think I should increase the dip time? <varies by species/group... many would benefit from longer... but some would suffer fatally (scaleless and small scaled fishes, dwarf angels, etc) Sorry for the long e mail again! I hope you can answer my questions! Kind regards, Sam Baker <no worries, mate... best regards. Anthony>

Treating new fish 6/18/03 Hello Anthony, <cheers, mate> I thought about Formalin, but was worried about its effects on the filter (which is biological)? <valid... but not so severe as many other meds (like copper, Methylene blue, erythromycin, etc)> I will consider a formalin dip, the Melafix was added because I had some and I thought it would be fine with the shark. <agreed... I do believe it is safe for the shark... and safe for the parasites too <G>> how lo would you say to lower the salinity by (if the shark was removed)? <1.018> I am completely struck on transshipped marines and I am due a list from Hawaii. Can you suggest any thing from there that is really good or worth having? <many fine wrasses, a few dwarf angels... beautiful triggers and Tobies (dwarf puffers)...> in my mind I am thinking flame angels, potters angel, Lemonpeel angels, yellow Sailfin tangs, chevron tangs - common but sought after! <the tangs yes... very much. Great fishes and hardy. The Potters... no way. They are so delicate that many don't even make it to the US mainland. Not a strong fish under any circumstance... lets leave those beauties in the sea. Lemonpeels and Flames can be quite hardy once established though. Very fine.> Regards, Sam <best regards, Anthony>

Drip Acclimation <Hi Rich, PF here tonight> Crew o' the New Millennium: I currently drip-acclimate my inhabitants from LFS to QT, and from QT to Display (after 4 weeks, of course).  I have not lost any fish or inverts to this method, but as my purchases get more expensive (over $50), I am starting to wonder if this is a good long term solution.  Currently, I am too apprehensive about dips and the "guerilla" technique.  I have read all I could find under "drip acclimation", and I see a lot of "slow" comments. What I need to know is how slow.  Could you give me some kind of "drips-per-minute" guide?  Over how long of a time?  How often should you spill out some water from the filling container, or only when it's overflowing? Thanks, Rich. <Well Rich, I don't think there is a generic number. A lot depends on the animal being acclimated. A very hardy animal could take a faster drip rate (say a damsel), while another would need something much slower (like any asteroids). The aforementioned damsel could be acclimated in an hour or so, while the asteroids should be done over the course of 8 hours, longer being even better. On the topic of dips, just be sure the pH matches, and you are using non-chlorinated water. It's an excellent method for removing disease organisms and parasites from fish. I'm sorry I can't give you a more definite answer, but in my opinion, there isn't one to give you, to much depends on what you are acclimating. Have a good evening, PF>

Re: Drip acclimation Crew: <Hello again Rich, PF again> Just to review, I was trying to find out general "drip rates" for acclimation and was told that there are no general rules.  Okay, I will take a chance and give you my future choices, and hopefully we can agree upon some sort of numbers.  Now, if it is just too much to ponder, that's cool - don't sweat it. 1-Bartlett's Anthias - Pseudanthias bartlettorum 1-Yellow Assessor - Assessor flavissimus 1-Flame Angelfish - Centropyge loricula 1-Scott's Fairy Wrasse - Cirrhilabrus scottorum 1-Purple Firefish - Nemateleotris decora 1-Fire Goby - Nemateleotris magnifica 1-Canary Wrasse - Halichoeres chrysus 1-Neon Goby - Gobiosoma oceanops (or G. evelynae) 1-Clown goby - Gobiodon okinawae 1-Rainford's Goby - Amblygobius rainfordi 1-Lettuce Sea Slug - Elysia crispata <These animals eat Bryopsis as juveniles, and other algae's as well when they are adults. I really can't advise keeping them. Even if they are solar powered slugs, they do still need to eat eventually, and if there's not enough food, they'll starve. There food of choice, is unfortunately, a pest.> ?-Various Hermits & Snails I don't mind being extra cautious, but I don't want to drip a fish for 8 hours if it will do more harm than good.  Is there a maximum number of hours I should worry about for inhabitants such as these?  Should the "drip speed" have anything to do with the amount of shipping water you start with?  Like, you start with 2 cups of bag water, so it should take at least 2 hours to drip 2 more cups?  Does this make any sense?  Please forgive me.  I am now 9 months into the marine side of this hobby, and I badly want to move up from "novice". Thanks, Rich <Well Rich, if it's any consolation, after about 14 months of reef keeping, and 2 years and some odd months of research prior to that, I still consider myself a novice, just one with some experience under my belt. I don't think you can do to long a drip, a slow acclimation is always better for the animals. As a general rule, between an hour and two hours for fish should be fine, with longer for corals and other invertebrates. The drip speed example you give sounds fine for fish, say 4 hours for most inverts and corals, and 8 for asteroids. I use a 10qt bucket and generally go till the bucket fills, with about 1 drip / every second or two (leaning towards the 1/second side). It also lets me do a small water change in the process. Hopefully this answers your question, have a good evening, PF>

Colloidal Silver? On another board someone recommends over and over putting a few drops of colloidal silver into the bag new fish come in, while acclimating them, as a way of preventing/eliminating disease, etc.  Claims always has healthy fish, never introduces disease. Can anyone at WWM confirm this?  Has anyone done it?  Just curious. <There were some fish medications that used to contain silver salts... there is need to be within a narrow margin of concentration of actual silver ions... so, no to "putting a few drops" into a "bag". Some folks still use Methylene blue (mainly for freshwater) or furan compounds in their shipping water... these are safe, effective. Bob Fenner>

Acclimation/dip procedure for marine importer We're a freshwater fish importer/wholesaler about to bring in our first batch of marine fish.  The success of this shipment from Indonesia will help test whether we should invest in expanding to a marine operation (for this trial shipment we're leasing tank space in the quarantine area of a large retail shop).  Although constrained by the time and money pressures inherent in a competitive business, we want to do this right, or as close to right as we can get.   <Yes... know that marine arrivals are more variable, volatile than fresh> Since we don't have the luxury of isolating and holding all specimens for 3 weeks of quarantine, we've decided to use a dip method to remove parasites on arrival. <Worthwhile> Since the fish will have been in the bag for 30 to 40 hours by the time they get here, with pH somewhere between 7.2 and 6.5, we're trying to figure out a compromise between allowing them to gradually re-adjust to normal marine pH and getting them out of their ammonia-laden bag water quickly...complicated by the need to process several hundred fish in a few hours' time.  We'd appreciate your comments and suggestions on our proposed procedure. <The best ("A" players like Quality Marine in L.A. and Tropic Marine Centre in London, "meet" the arrival pH with artificial seawater that has been pH adjusted (with dilute HCL, aka Muriatic Acid, or carbon dioxide gas... which is very water soluble) to that of the shipping water... flushing out the existing water and mixed till there is no detectable ammonia present... then flushing with new near seawater synthetic...> Here's our plan: set up three 5-gallon buckets (actually several sets of 3).   Bucket #1 is salt water with pH reduced to some intermediate level between the fish's bag water and the target pH of 8.3.  We're thinking around 7.6? <Should be near or at the shipping water pH> Bucket #2 is water from the destination system. <Where are you going to get this? I suspect you mean water of 8.3 from your system... which you'll use then dump> Bucket #3 is a freshwater dip, also at pH 8.3. <Okay> All 3 buckets will be aerated for a couple of hours by the time the fish arrive. 1) sealed bags are floated in destination system, if needed, to match temperature. 2) a group of 6 to 10 bags are cut open, bag water discarded, and fish placed in bucket #1 for 7 minutes. <As long as it takes to slowly (over several minutes) flush out the ammonia... i.e. run new water (ala bucket #2 into the container (#1) till there is no ammonia. Better to use smaller volumes, less steep-sided containers like plastic kitty-litter trays with holes in side or tilted at angle here> 3) the fish are then moved to bucket #2 for 7 minutes, and the next batch of 6 to 10 fish go into bucket #1. 4) the first fish go into the freshwater dip, #3, for 7 minutes, the 2nd batch is moved, and a 3rd batch is started in bucket #1.  The time in bucket #3 may be altered if a fish starts flipping out. <Do add aeration to all "buckets"> 5) after freshwater dip, each batch is moved to the destination system. Aside from just "what do you think of this?", our questions are: 1) What should the pH be in bucket #1? <That of the shipping water>   Do we need a bucket #1.5? <Maybe, unless you change #2 as noted above> Is seven minutes enough here?   <Should be... but the transition between 1 and 2 (or 1.5) needs to be made with a test kit rather than a timer. You want to remove the ammonia from inside the specimens... no matter how long this takes... drip or run water from #2 (or 1.5) into each batch of #1 until there is no NH3> (we picked that time because it was appropriate for the FW dip, but if it's wrong for acclimation we can alter the procedure). 2) Should we use Methylene blue?  In which bucket(s)?  Is there any fish group we should NOT use it with? <This is fine... depending on the state of health of the fishes it may help some or not much at all. You want to observe all, continuously> 3) Which inverts should be FW dipped?  which ones should not?  (I assume no Methylene blue for inverts?) <I would NOT freshwater dip any of the invertebrates... nor expose them to the air... need to use flushes of just near seawater specific gravity (measure what is in their bags and match it) here> 4)  We are still looking for an affordable source of tank raised clowns, but in the meantime we do have some wild clowns coming on this order. <... Where are you folks located? What sort of volume do you do? Have you contacted ORA re?> Due to the pervasiveness of Brooklynella (or "perconella" as some around here call it), we're considering adding formalin to the FW bucket for clowns only.  Good idea or bad?  How much 37% formaldehyde to 5 gallons? <Very insightful... very common... and yes to being worthwhile to use formalin in a dip/bath here. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm About one cc. per gallon> 5) Speaking of T/R clowns, can you refer us to a producer who sells to wholesalers (and not at the same price they sell to retailers)? <Are you in the U.S.? I would try ORA: http://www.orafarm.com/ if you want to look into importing from the UK, TMC: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquariumproducts/tropicmarintestkits.asp> We're also looking for other T/R fish, especially seahorses since after reading the Conscientious Marine Aquarist we won't buy wild seahorses at all. <These can be had from the above> Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Keith Langley Nautilus Wholesale Aquatics Denver, Colorado <Hope to run into you at the industry shows (was just out giving a pitch at "Marine Showcase"... would have come by for a visit...). Bob Fenner>

I need some emergency help please. >Marina I did drip to acclimate her but I fear at this point she's already gone.   >>I'm sorry to hear that.  I've seen fish arrive in rough condition, and sometimes there's little you can do. >I use prime instead of Amquel.  It works better in the water here.   She's basically disintegrating and there's not much that can be done for her.  Its Easter so there is no way to get any antibiotics until tomorrow.  Thanks again for your help. >>Again, very sorry about that.  Marina

Gill Burn Hi, to the WWM crew!!  I am anxiously awaiting your new book, recently received an e-mail that it may be another month or two (I'm sure it will be worth the wait)! <I hope so> I recently received a Golden Puffer, as with all of my new fish I ALWAYS test the shipping water as a precautionary.  The Golden Puffer had extremely low PH, which was expected, however the ammonia was off the scales, pretty much as high as it could go. <Not atypical>   I acclimated the fish rather quickly, to get him out of the ammonia. <Umm, not a good idea... Please read through the marine acclimation pieces stored here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm necessary to adjust pH slowly (possibly over hours) while the ammonia and its analogs are present in the water AND in the fish... to keep pH suppressed till no detectable ammonia in either> However since then he has had trouble with his gills, occasionally he will close one gill, and just breathe out of the other gill.   I have also noticed some occasional scratching, and it appears that he is trying to scratch the gill area.  I believe he has some damage to the gills from the exposure to the high ammonia. <Maybe> The puffer is currently in a 55 gallon QT with extra stress coat (don't know if this is going to help).  He appears to have good color, his eyes are clear,  I do not see any signs of parasite (aside from the scratching).  He has not eaten as of yet. <The single gill movement may be nothing (this happens) and the fish may well not feed for days> Is there anything I can do to help reverse the burning damage done to the gills?  Is it at all reversible? <Time, good conditions... very likely this specimen will self-cure> Can you please explain what happens when the "gills are burned" and how do I help him? <The epithelium is chemically challenged, generally by high or low pH... possibly by concentration of noxious chemicals otherwise. In the worst cases there is hemolysis (splitting of blood cells) leading to dire physiological stress> He has a beautiful 240 gallon tank waiting for him. Thank you for your time and your knowledge, it is greatly appreciated.  Jen Marshall <Patience here my friend. Bob Fenner>

- Upgraded Tank - Hello Jason: <And hello to you.> Thank you for the advice. <My pleasure.> I readily took it and upgraded to a 58 gallon tank.  I had my local retailer "set it up" and they appeared, at the time, to have done a wonderful job.  I added about 40 more pounds of live rock, 40 pounds of live sand and then they transferred the fish.  Curiously, they never tested either tank AND, even though they used my existing water (in addition to about 40 gallons of RO Saltwater they brought with them) simply netted the fish from my old tank and put them in the new tank. While all seemed okay at first, in the morning, my Flame Angel was expired (and being eaten by the hermits) and the yellow tang was breathing very rapidly.  Eventually, he died as well. <Oh, I am sorry to hear of your loss.> My clowns are still doing well and the water tested extremely well.  Do you think the Flame and the Tang simply died due to lack of acclimation? <It does sound that way.>  Why would the clowns be okay and not them? <Hard to say, but may have been something that was already going on when you transferred them... and the additional stress was too much.> Thank you for the advice.  The new tank is much nicer and, hopefully, we will have much better results in the future. <I think so.> Scott <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Procedure in acclimating Hi, Thanks for your time ! I have had my tank run fallow for 3 weeks with the temp on 84 to make sure their are no parasites. When I purchase a yellow tang, or clown fish etc. Should I do a freshwater dip with methyl blue before I put him in the QT tank ? <Yes, I would> If the LFS has had this fish 2 weeks & up should I still dip, and can I add him to the main tank already? <Yes... your LFS has likely mixed many other fishes together in their systems during the time they're holding the ones you buy> Could you please tell me if this dip procedure is fine: 1 gal fresh R/O water, buffered , correct temp, sit for 2 days, then get fish add w/ methyl blue for 3 min? Is this ok & enough time? <No, should be five or more minutes> Can I add copper to my QT tank for a precaution, for their 2 weeks a fish is in their? <I would not, unless the fish/es show signs of disease that can be treated with such> ( LFS QT for a week before showcasing ) After the fresh water dip, do I put him directly back in the tank w/ out acclimation to water? Thank you very much for your assistance ! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and the sections (above, in blue) on Quarantine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Procedure in acclimating Bob,        Thanks for your quick reply, also I have enjoyed your book. How much Methylene blue should I use to a gallon of dip water? How long should I keep the fish in if their is no distress? Should my QT tank have the same water as my tank, or can I use 20 gal from my 32 gal. pre-mix? Also, does my QT tank need to cycle? Do I place a light on my QT? Should I fill the tank a day or so before I add the fish? I see a lot of contradictions  on the cycle question! Thanks again for your help !!!! PS - What do you recommend for a QUITE sump dump, my tank has the built in wet/ dry skimmer unit. I use a Mag 9.5 but it seems rather loud compared to my rio2100, but I wanted more of a turnover rate & a better quality pump ! <Please see www.WetWebMedia.com under the Marine Index, About Livestock, Quarantine... re these questions. Bob Fenner>

Re: step by step acclimation for shrimp Hey Craig, I need to ask you if it's possible to e-mail me with a step by step process for acclimating cleaner shrimp or CBS. Here's my acclimation method: 1. float bag for 15-20 min (livestock from LFS) 2. open bag and add water from tank (1 shot glass) every 10 minutes until volume of water in bag doubles. 3. pour half of the water from bag, then repeat step 2 until volume doubles. 4. release livestock (shrimp dies within 2 hours and some don't survive the acclimation process) I'm doing this process with the bag afloat in my tank (lights off). The whole process takes me about 2.5-3 hours to complete. What am I doing wrong? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, copper and PO3 are 0, Alk 11, Ca 400-420. Another question. Can I mix cleaner shrimp with 1 CBS......Thanks again....Jun <I would try to shorten the process time wise, but I really can't see anything wrong with this Jun.  Don't mix a Coral Banded Shrimp with a cleaner, the CBS will eat the cleaner.  Two or more shrimp of the same type require steady feeding to co-habitate... I tend to think this is fresh high pH water mixing with LFS/shipping water containing wastes, thereby increasing the toxicity of ammonia/wastes in the bag water....thus they don't survive the acclimation.  Remove more of the bag water at first or replace more volume than a shot glass to overcome/dilute this faster. If salinity and temp are close this will help.  Good luck! Craig>

New Fish acclimation LOL Anthony et. al. just wanted to briefly share a new method of acclimation I am working on. For instance, I brought home a lovely six line wrasse the other day, carefully floated him/her in the inflated bag... <yes...very good> waited...then opened the bag... <excellent...> poured out all the water and the fish onto the rug... <"Houston... we have a problem" <G> quickly grabbed the frantic fish off the floor...and tossed him into the quarantine tank. <Ahhh, yes... the long road to the QT tank. Ha!> The fish is doing well, eating etc. Cheers. Dana <very good to hear. LOL. I'm delighted that the fish is no more traumatized than you are. Thanks for sharing , my friend. Anthony>

Coral Acclimation Greetings Marine Men <that's a cool title :p> I was reading over WWM and I still don't understand the acclimation procedure of corals. Is it different for LPS and SPS or the same?  <it is not different for LPS, SPS or most any invertebrate for that matter. Essentially all inverts are far more sensitive to changes in water quality than fishes. The duration of the initial acclimation to water in a bucket or tank varies on how the animal was obtained (Mail order versus local bought, transshipped versus wholesale versus retail shipped, time piece has been held in captivity, time of transit, etc). Still... the gist of it is to slowly mix water offer a 15030 minute period while maintaining stable temperature (floating bag or heated acclimation bucket). And of course, no new animal should be placed into the display without quarantining for 2-4 weeks first in a bare bottom QT tank (see archives on this if you need). After that, the next concern for symbiotic cnidarians is light acclimation... see here, my friend: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm Best regards, Anthony> And could you describe, if it isn't too much trouble, the exact steps in acclimating LPS and SPS to your tank for me? And the procedure for good health through the proceeding days. Thanks John Moyer http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm

Fish Acclimation Hello to Bob and one and all, <Greetings, JasonC here...> I hope that you are all well and enjoying the summer....I have written to you before and hope that you can shed some light on what is going on here. <I will do my best.> We received some fish from FFEx and all seemed well. We went for the farmed fish and bought a Sailfin Tang and a school of green Chromis. (7) We have an isolation tank with water from the main tank that has only one fish in it and a few corals and live rock and some invertebrates. The main tank has been really healthy. (knock on wood) All water parameters test fine...In the isolation tank we have a charcoal filter and heater and air stone and lots of hiding places for the tang. We have lights, PH is fine, salt is fine, temp. We did the acclimation to the new tank per all instructions and all went well..... tang immediately began to eat....and Chromis seemed delighted.... After 2 days there are only 3 of the Chromis left...they are small, only 1/2 inch. They seem fine and then they sort of get quiet and in an hour they are dead on the bottom of the tank where they were sort of hanging out.... Do you think that this is normal shipping stuff or is this impossible to tell. <Very hard to tell, but I would just suggest that 1/2 inch is very small, and perhaps too small/young to expect a good survival rate. I would consider mentioning this to Flying Fish... something just a little more mature and capable of surviving the shipping.> I would like to get some more. I really like the fish but I can't figure out what is going on....one moment they are fine and eating and the next they are gone....maybe not that fast but you get the picture. I am of course worried that the tang will also fall prey to whatever is happening..... <As long as the tang is not likewise overly small, it probably has a much better chance of pulling through. Just keep an eye on it and make sure it is eating.> Any suggestions? <Well I would just quickly offer that your "isolation" tank is really not appropriate for quarantine. The tank should be bare, perhaps with some PVC "furniture", but capable of being treated with copper or formalin or other therapy which would typically wipe out the biological filtration in most display tanks. Live rock and coral will absorb these treatments not only rendering them ineffective, but then leach these compounds out over time making it difficult at best to re-establish the biological filter and impossible to keep invertebrates. Best to plan on and execute daily small water changes in a bare quarantine tank for newly arrived fish.> Thank you. Helene <Cheers, J -- >

Re: Fish Acclimation Hi Jason, <Hello...> My isolation tank is bare bottomed. I was referring to the water that we used from the main tank which has the fish and corals. The isolation tank has pvc and bare bottom and an airstone. <Ohh, my apologies - I misread... this arrangement will do just fine.> I will talk to FFEx and do a partial water change....should I use water from the main tank for the change or newly aerated salt water? <Once the quarantine tank is up and running, it's probably best to do the changes with fresh-made water and not display-system water.> Thank you so much for your advise. Helene <Cheers, J -- >

Acclimating fishes to new bright lights Cheers to you from the Ohio Valley!!! <Cheers from Western PA!> I have a quick question for you. I've read almost all the lighting sections on the WetWebMedia web site and I am still confused about "transition". I have a 75 gallon tank with the defacto 40W GE 9400 bulb. I recently purchased a 3 bulb VHO system (2 URI 10,000 and 1 URI Actinic) along with a regular 40W Actinic to use as sunrise / sunset. I do not want to upset the small amount of life I have (6 Green Chromis, 1 Striped Damsel, 1 Fire Shrimp, 1 bicolor blenny, assorted snails/crabs) by just flipping the switch from 40W total to 370W total. I know that VHO's are wired in sequence so if one bulb goes out they all go out (Merry Christmas!! :)) Do you have any suggestions as to how I can better cycle this light for the comfort of my tank? I could run the 40W blue alone for a while, but I think that would be bad as well... Any help would be suggested! and enjoy the .05 royalties from your book I bought last month!! -R <do check out my coral acclimation article ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm) and adapt the screen method for a slow acclimation for your fishes. Kudos to you for your thoughtful consideration. Anthony> 

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