Acclimation Guides & Information
Temperature Acclimation & “Plop and Drop” Method:
Shipping can be a rough experience on our aquatic friends, which is why we recommend this method for fish or anything shipped using UPS next day air shipping service. The way that bagged water containing live animals reacts to being sealed and unsealed after up to 24 hours is both interesting and challenging. This is mostly because ammonia exists within water in two different forms: NH3, which is highly toxic and NH4+, which is relatively harmless over a short period. The form the ammonia takes during this process depends on the pH level and temperature of the water. Here is why that matters, along with a breakdown of what occurs during the shipping process:
~ Your aquatic friend is placed into a bag with water and oxygen. The bag is sealed to be shipped to your door.
~ As your new aquatic friends travel, they produce ammonia and expend oxygen, which gradually increases the carbon dioxide content of the package.
~ When the carbon dioxide increases, it causes a pH shift in the water, changing the ratio of the ammonia from NH3 (toxic) to NH4+ (harmless) while the bag remains sealed.
~ When the bag is opened, the carbon dioxide level immediately decreases. This causes the pH to rise, shifting the ammonia ratio from NH4+ back to NH3, increasing the toxicity of the water instantly.
~ This water chemistry process is why we recommend temperature acclimation and the “plop and drop” method when receiving aquatic pets through shipping. Getting everything shipped to you safely is our top priority at Aquatic Arts.
Receiving Instructions for fish, crayfish, and snails:
~ Do not open the bags. Inspect the sealed bags, checking water temperature and overall well-being of all animals. Take note of any issues. See our “Extra Advice” section for more details.
~ Temperature Acclimation is next. Float the bags in your tank for 10-15 min to allow the water temperature to equalize.
~ Place a fish net over a bucket or large container. Cut open the bag and pour the total contents through the net, allowing the shipping water to empty into the container while catching your new aquatic friend(s) in the net. Remove any unwanted items from the net.
~ Use caution when handling fish that have spines (such as catfish) to avoid getting poked, and be sure to use extra care when handling energetic animals who may be able to jump out of the net.
~ Carefully place your new aquatic friend(s) from the net into your tank.
~ Please note, there are some fish and inverts that do not tolerate being exposed to air very well like all puffers, micro rasboras, mollusks, and dwarf shrimp . A water-carrying net is advised to introduce sensitive animals such as these.
Receiving Instructions for Shrimp:
Drip acclimation can help reduce shock, which can negatively affect shrimp and can lead to a shorter life expectancy, can cause death, causes stress, and chances of not eating. So acclimating shrimp by the drip method is essential to giving your shrimps a chance to survive in their new environment.
Here are some instructions on how to drip acclimate (there are also lots of YouTube videos illustrating this as well)
What you will need:
1 x Large Cup or Bowl (Something to hold the shrimp while acclimating)
1x Aquarium airline tubing
1 x Airline Valve
Water Detoxifier such as Seachem Prime
Step 1: Place your shrimp into a container along with the water they were shipped with inside and allow enough room in the container for water to expand up later by 200%. If the container is smaller, be careful to not let the water overflow and cause potential shrimp loss.
Step 2: Add a drop of detoxifier such as Seachem Prime or your favorite brand of detoxifier. Any will do, but this step is crucial to detoxify the water as described in the above section.
Step 3: Take an airline control valve to one end of your tubing, making sure it is completely open. Now fill the tubing with the aquarium water and then close off the valve.
Step 4: Place the cup with the shrimp on a flat location below the level of the aquarium water. Take the tubing without the airline valve into the aquarium water and fix it firmly with a suction cup. The other end with the airline valve should now be placed above the cup with the shrimp inside.
Step 5: Gradually adjust your airline control valve until you have around one drip per second. Allow the water to drip until it is mixed and consists of 1/3 old water and 2/3 aquarium water. The entire process should take anywhere between 1-3 hours. As long as the detoxifier was added this slow acclimation will help the shrimp adjust properly to their new home.
Step 6: Remove the shrimp from the container using your net, and then release the shrimp into their new tank.
Step 7: Sit back and enjoy your new shrimp!