Patience and proper acclimation are essential. Please read and understand all steps before beginning. We strongly recommend the use of a quarantine tank for new fish. Water in the 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.
Many species will act sluggish or dead due to the stress of shipping but if given proper acclimation will recover and flourish. When under stress, corals will usually be closed up and look abnormal.
The following steps must be followed as a condition of the PetSolutions Fourteen Day Guarantee.
It is important to get corals out of the toxic soup they produce in the shipping bag as soon as possible. Float the bags in your aquarium for 20 to 30 minutes, and then remove the bags from your aquarium. Carefully open the coral shipping bag, and reach into the bag, taking the coral by its base. It is recommended that the coral is not touched on its fleshy parts, due to the potential for causing damage to the coral. Slowly remove the coral from its shipping bag and place it into the aquarium, starting it out on the bottom of the tank usually unless it is an extremely high light coral such as an Acropora, which should be located in the top portion of the aquarium. Move the coral up into its final position after a day or two on the bottom.
Fish and Invertebrate Acclimation
STEP 1 Take a minimum of one hour to allow fish and invertebrates time to adjust to their new home. Two to three hours is not unusual when dealing with shrimp or crabs and allows the specimens the best chance for survival. Anemones, shrimp, and starfish are extremely susceptible to perishing due to abrupt changes in temperature, pH, and salinity.
STEP 2 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. Room lights should also be dimmed to reduce stress.
STEP 3 The UNOPENED bags should be floated in the quarantine tank or aquarium for 20 to 30 minutes. It is critical not to open the bags until after the shipping 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. Air stones must never be added to the shipping bag as it will rapidly raise the pH and the ammonia present in the shipping water to toxic levels.
STEP 4 Carefully cut the shipping bag as close to the stainless steel clip or rubber band as possible. Roll back the edges of the plastic to form a float ring, folding down the edges three or four times should be enough. This will help the bag stay upright. Continue floating the now open bags.
STEP 5 Add ½ ounce (approx. a shot glass) to a couple of ounces of quarantine tank or aquarium water, depending on the size of the shipping bag, into the bag or acclimation container containing the new item. Add no more than 20% of aquarium water into bag at any time. For fish that ship in smaller bags, the amount should literally be six to eight drops. A more gradual water exchange ensures the best chance for a successful transition.
STEP 6 When the bag is nearly full, dispose of half of the water from the bag. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all of the water in your bag has been replaced.
STEP 7 Your new specimens are now ready to be transferred to the quarantine tank or aquarium. Remember that no water from the shipping 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. Be careful if you have received venomous fish, they can deliver a nasty sting if they panic while being moved.
STEP 8 If any fish are lost during the acclimation process, or are received dead on arrival, please preserve the fish rolled in salt and placed in a zip lock type bag and put into the freezer. We may require the item be returned to us, or a digital photo sent to us, before a credit for the item can be issued. After the acclimation is complete, please contact us right away with any losses.
We use and recommend Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Salt.