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Compatibility Chart

Acclimatization is highly required to reduce the possibility of stress & death fish. Three important points in terms of acclimation:

1. Temperature.

The temperature of the arriving new fish will be very different from the temperature in your aquarium. Proper acclimation will take care of slowly changing the new arrivals body temperature to your aquariums temperature slowly and without stress.

2. Ph.

Proper PH for saltwater aquariums is between 8.2 and 8.4. Use a PH buffer along with periodic water changes to keep your aquarium within this range. Fish and invertebrates will be under stress when they arrive as their PH will have dropped considerably.

3. Salinity.

The specific gravity / salinity that your new fish will be arriving in from our shipment packaging will be 1.019 - 1.022. The lower salinity level means the fish is receiving high levels of oxygen when breathing. This is an excellent level to keep your home aquarium at. At this salinity level your fish are less prone to common ailments. For corals the specific gravity or salinity be 1.025 - 1.028. Reef systems require the higher salinity for optimum growth and color.

Acclimation for fish and corals

  • Turn off aquarium lights and keep them off for a few hours after introduction of your new animals. Also dim lights in room.
  • Open all boxes to ensure that all animals have arrived safely, bags are intact and you have received a complete order (do not do this in bright light).
  • Separate fish, inverts and corals into their own groups. Do not acclimate any of these 3 groups together (same body of water) because they likely do not share the same water parameters. If you don’t have enough styros, do one group at a time in the order they are listed above.
  • Float as many bags as will comfortably fit in your aquarium for 15-20 min.  This will bring the temperature of the water in the bag to what the tank is. Do not open bags.
  • The Styrofoam box “styro” sent inside the cardboard box makes a great sterile acclimation container and never gets confused as a cleaning bucket. If a bucket is used it must be sterile (no soaps or other chemicals). New 3-5 gallon buckets are fine, just rinse them and mark them for aquarium use only.
  • Remove first group of animals and place them into the styro. Cut open the tops of each bag and empty water gently into styro. You may need to prop up one side in the beginning to allow water to submerge the animal(s). Repeat process for all.  The level of the water should not be more than half way up the styro- if it is, split up the acclimation into multiple styros.
  • If possible, it is a good idea to cover the top with something so that fish don’t jump out and to reduce light.
  • Prepare your drip line by sticking the suction cup on the top or front of the aquarium so that one end is submerged (in the aquarium water). Tie two loose knots somewhere in the middle of the tubing.  This will control the amount of flow by tightening/loosening.
  • Begin a siphon by sucking on the end you will be placing into one of the styros.  Start by having the knots tighter, then loosen to achieve desired flow (2-4 drops per second).  You want the water volume in the styro to double in 30-60 minuets. Remember it is better to fill slowly than to fill too fast.
  • Keep an eye on things so that nothing spills onto floor and you can adjust flow if needed.
  • Once water volume doubles, discard half the water from the styro and then repeat process. If you plug the end of the tube and put it into tank with the other end, it should keep its siphon. For the next round- make sure it’s secure.
  • Repeat this process two to three times.
  • Net one fish at a time to prevent scratches or wounds, place gently get into tank.
  • Corals & Anemones- gently place into tank (following placement tips listed below and on our website product page).  We recommend using sterile rubber gloves because some are allergic to the toxins they can release plus it ensures clean hands and prevents you from being stung by certain corals and inverts.
  • Congrats- that’s it.  Wait a few hours or next day before feeding.

  • Acclimation Invertebrates: Snails, Crabs:

  • These animals will ship in much less water and are therefore easily acclimated in their original bag.
  • cut open (or off) the top of the bag to allow water from your drip line to be added and then secure them so they don’t tip over when more water is added.
  • Often there is newspaper or paper towel to keep them moist.  Create a drip volume that adds maybe one drop or less per second (see above).  This should create about an inch of water over a period of one hour. For these creatures slower truly is better.
  • You do not have to discard any water like above. After one hour, simply add the animals to the sand bed by hand (do not put acclimation water into tank).

  • Tips:

  • Never expose bags to bright light.
  • Always have enough mixed salt water on hand.
  • Acclimate everything – even if it looks dead (many animals can recover if properly acclimated).
  • Be patient.

  • Behavior During Acclimation:

  • Fish-   will usually breath heavily and some will lay on their side or at the bottom of the aquarium (Wrasses sometimes will play dead- continue with full acclimation).
  • Corals & Anemones- will deflate/shrink, these might take hours or days to fully open and color up.
  • Snails & Crabs- may not open or move for days at a time- after this time if you suspect death pick them out of tank (if they smell bad, they're dead – don’t put them back).
  • Starfish-  may not move for days, pick them up and look for signs of disintegration.