There are three common methods in acclimating your tropical fish in a newly set-up aquarium. These methods are:
1. The Floating Bag Method
2. The Bucket Method
3. The Drip Method
The Floating Bag Method
The Floating Bag Method is probably the most popular acclimation technique that works well. You just need to be very meticulous when suspending the bag full of unknown water in your aquarium. Ideally, you?re suspending the bag in a prior set-up quarantine tank but, unfortunately, most starting hobbyist do not use a quarantine tank. After you?ve been in the hobby for some time and experience any kind of fish problems you?ll soon have enough experience and realize the essence of a simple quarantine aquarium.
After you leave the pet store you would want to go straight home to prevent accumulation of ammonia in the plastic bag or container, when the fish eliminate wastes in such limited amount of water. When you are already home, open the container and remove about a quarter of the water from the bag. Change this water with the same amount of water from your aquarium. Float the container in the aquarium and put through the shade opening on the open end of the container to help it to be secure. After 10 minutes, add about 1 cup of your aquarium water to the bag. Repeat this method for about 1 to 2 hours. After this, use a small fish net to get them out of the container and slowly place the fish into the aquarium.
The Bucket Method
The Bucket Method is virtually similar to the floating bag method, however rather than floating the bag in the aquarium, you?re putting the bag inside a clean bucket. This method is better than the floating method since you don?t need to be anxious about any of the bag water adding to the aquarium. Open the bag and remove about a quarter of the water. Change this water with the same amount of water from your aquarium. Virtually the same with the floating bag method.
The Drip Method
This method is advised for most saltwater tropical fish and invertebrates since they can be intolerable to extreme level of pH level, certain density and other waste chemical changes.
To perform this method, get a bucket, vegetable clippers with a suction cup to secure the tube in the aquarium and sturdy air pump tubing that is adequately long to pull out from your aquarium to the bucket. Place one end of the tubing into the vegetable clipper and then situate the vegetable clipper into the aquarium. Get the suction cup and place the other end of the tube into the bag in the bucket. You should do this with slow drip going. Try for drips every once in a while. If you?re having some difficulty using the knot to control the drip rate, any kind of strong clippers can do the job. Vise-grips or c-clamps are also great.
The length of the drip technique should be based on your acclimation. If you are doing this technique for most freshwater tropical fish, you should be great doing it for at least an hour or so before adding the fish to your aquarium. If you are doing this method on saltwater tropical fish, you should take two to three hours for the acclimation procedure to be done.