Acclimation of Your New Fish

Kathy's Clowns' fish arrive in your store free of the pathogens commonly associated with life in the ocean, and/or being held in a tank with other wild caught fish.  This is because they have never been exposed to those pathogens.  While their immune systems are excellent, they have not built up immunity to pathogens they've not previously encountered. 

Our customers typically keep Kathy's Clowns on display in a saltwater system that houses other captively bred fish, but not other wild caught saltwater fish.  In this way, you will have no issues with fish dying from Brooklynella or other common fish diseases.  In addition, you should not need to medicate, dip, or otherwise treat Kathy's Clowns, since they come to you with no issues. All you need to do is acclimate, display, and sell.

Two ways we suggest you acclimate your fish:

  1. Quick Transfer--we find this contributes the least amount of stress to the fish.
  • Float the closed bag of fish (to acclimate to temperature) in the receiving tank in which you will be housing them, about 15 minutes.  Many stores use a nano setup, as it is an attractive way to display the fish, and also helps to sell the nano hardware.
  • Acidify the receiving tank to about 7.5 using a pH meter and some vinegar.  The pH of the fish in the bag is typically quite low, due to CO2 build up, and this is not at all harmful to the fish for short periods of time.  In fact it is one reason that fish ship so well.  The acidity of the CO2 helps to keep ammonia in the fish relatively non-toxic.
  • Open the bag, and quickly check salinity. Close the bag quickly. Adjust the salinity of the receiving tank to the same or slightly lesser salinity.  Open the bag again, pour some of the water into a sink, and transfer the fish to the new tank with your hand.  Nets are not necessary, and may cause damage to the fish.  Do not put bag water in your tank.
  • Slowly, over 24 hours or so, raise the pH back to normal saltwater fish levels.
When fish arrive after overnight shipping, they have low pH, and ammonia in their tissues.  When placed in tank water that has no ammonia, the ammonia will slowly leave the fish's tissues.  When placed in water that has a higher pH than the shipping water, the pH in the tissues rises faster than the ammonia can leave, and the pH changes the ammonia molecules resulting in greater toxicity to the fish. Our acclimation method allows the ammonia to leave the fish while the pH remains low, keeping the ammonia in the fish's tissues non-toxic until it leaves and is diluted by the receiving tank water.

2.  Common drip method--this method works, but is perhaps more stressful for the fish.
    • Float the closed bag of fish (to acclimate to temperature) in the receiving tank in which you will be housing them, about 15 minutes.  Many stores use a nano setup, as it is an attractive way to display the fish, and also helps to sell the nano hardware.  
    • Open bag and move contents, water and fish, to a bucket below the receiving tank.
    • Drip receiving tank water into bucket for 30-60 minutes, or until the water volume has doubled or tripled.
    • Move fish to receiving tank.  Do not transfer the shipping water.