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. 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:

~ 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.


Extra Advice

~ Your new aquatic friends have been on quite the ride during shipping! They may take some time to settle in and get comfortable in their new home. It is highly recommended to keep the aquarium lights off for the first 6-8 hours during their initial introduction period.
~ Drip acclimation is really only necessary or recommended for saltwater friends, Caridina shrimp, or very sensitive fish. If you plan to drip acclimate instead of “plop and drop,” our advice is to keep the drip acclimation to under 30 min.
~ If there are any problems with your order or any of your new aquatic friends, please try to take a picture of the issue, and email us directly at  

Search our store