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Lowering pH for acclimation; commercial        12/13/18
Dear Bob,
<Hey Branko>
We have used vinegar to lower pH so far. It worked fairly well however recently we have created acclimation system where we plan to keep fish for observation for first week before releasing them into holding system that's dosed up with medication.
We used our same old practice of reducing pH with vinegar on the whole system rather than reducing in acclimation tanks and simply release the fish straight into the system and let pH go up on its on over next few hours.
<? I would NOT do this. Vinegar/CH3COOH has other properties, potential side effects. I WOULD only use it (or hydrochloric/muriatic acid, CO2... DURING acclimation, flushing any acid/s out ahead of placement of the livestock in your tanks>
This worked wonders in first few days and we lowered fish loss to below 1% (after doa), however when bacterial bloom sets that's where problems with insufficient oxygen appear and fish begin to suffocate.
<Aye, yes>
This lead us to consider changing to something else rather than using vinegar which causes bacterial bloom.
We need to lower pH in our system from 8.1-8.3 to 6.3-6.6 I have read up our old E-mails and have seen us mentioning CO2 and diluted HCl.
<Oh! Yes>
Would you recon these two methods would be better and would not cause a bacterial bloom afterwards in the same system setup we used vinegar in?
<Likely so; yes; though AGAIN, I would NOT add them to your tanks. ONLY in whatever system/tubs... you're using for initial acclimation>
Would pumping all that CO2 required to lower pH to desired level still be safe for the fish?
What concentration of HCl should be used and does it have any side effects like bacterial bloom or other danger to fish if used in our system as planned?
<Please BE CAREFUL here; inorganic acids are "quicker" and often MORE concentrated than organics like vinegars. You NEED to practice, PRE-mixing a quantity of known concentration (I'd get 3 molar... aka Muriatic... pool acid and CAREFULLY measure and CAREFULLY mix (acid to water) a given quantity TO YOUR ACCLIMATION WATER that is premixed, AND after an hour or so, MEASURE the pH of the solution for use in dripping. ADJUST IT before use, NOT during>
We have 8% and 30% available at chemical stores.
What would the correct dose be for each of the mentioned methods per liter/gallon of water?
<USE the lower concentration (the 8%), the correct dose determination is a function of the alkalinity of your source water, the salt/s you're using.... BEST BY FAR to experiment as stated above; MEASURE the pre-mixed water volume (Mark it on the tank), AND MEASURE the amount/s of acid you're adding to lower the pH of the mixing/acclimation water; and ALWAYS measure pH of the solution before actual use>
Looking forward to your response.
Kind regards,
<PLEASE be careful Branko. Splashed concentrate acids are dangerous... Bob Fenner>
Re: Lowering pH for acclimation     12/18/18

Dear Bob,
<Ave Branko>
Thank you for your reply.
Having read all this, I assume it's best to use CO2 instead of acids, it will be safe for fish and it will evaporate out of the water and pH will go back to normal in desired time frame.
It should have no side effects like vinegar right, bacterial bloom etc?
Additionally, I have no FW experience so this may sound dumb. Would saltwater biofilter die if it was placed in freshwater or it would continue to work as intended?
<Too much change (saltiness and reverse) in too little time will kill off nitrifying bacteria. See Neale Monk's references on WWM re>
Im asking this, because I want to run my acclimation system with freshwater for a few days to kill off potential pests that aren't FW resistant. Idea is to sort of nuke it before each import without killing biofilter in the process.
<BEST to have some NEW filter media being cultured for such use all the time. GROWN in a tank or sump in your established marine system>
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
<I do hope this is clear; that you understand. Cheers, BobF>

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

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>  

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