Make your own free website on


Home | Aquariums 101 | Aquariums 201 | Ask the Doctors | Links | Library

Because patience and proper acclimation are the most critical elements in ensuring the survival of your new arrivals, it is essential to read and understand all steps before beginning.

NOTE: Water in the fish bags will naturally be high in fish waste created during transport, therefore no water from the bags should ever enter your quarantine tank or aquarium.

1. Never rush the acclimation process! Take a minimum of one hour to allow the fish, corals, and invertebrates time to adjust to their new home.

2. While corals can be acclimated in about half the time of fish, invertebrates require additional time. Anemones, shrimp, and starfish are extremely susceptible to perishing due to abrupt changes in temperature, pH, and salinity.

3. The inhabitants of the quarantine tank or aquarium that will be receiving the new animals should be fed. After feeding, turn the aquarium lights off for the remainder of the day.

4. The UNOPENED bags should be floated in the quarantine tank or aquarium for 20 minutes.

5. It is important not to open the bags until after the transport water has had time to match the quarantine tank or aquarium water temperature. If opened prematurely, the water will quickly lose dissolved oxygen causing possible suffocation.

6. Carefully cut the transport bag as close to the rubberband as possible.

7. Roll back the edges of the plastic to form a float ring. Continue floating the now open bags. For heavier items that are prone to sinking, such as corals, place the items and all of the bag water in an acclimation container. An empty salt bucket works well for this.

8. Add a small amount of quarantine tank or aquarium water, into the bag or acclimation container containing the new item. Add no more than 20% of aquarium water into bag at any time. A more gradual water exchange ensures the best chance for a successful transition.

9. Repeat Step 8, adding the small amount of water every 10 minutes.

10. When the bag is nearly full, dispose of half of the water from the bag.

11. Repeat Steps 8 and 9.

12. Your new specimens are now ready to be transferred to the quarantine tank or aquarium. Again, remember that no water from the transport bags should enter your quarantine tank or aquarium. Use a net or a cup to transfer your new animals from the bag your quarantine tank or aquarium.

Other Tips

Keep aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the new arrival is introduced into the aquarium.

Most invertebrates and marine plants are more sensitive than fish to salinity changes. It is imperative to acclimate invertebrates to a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025 or severe stress or trauma may result.

Feedback, submissions, ideas? Email