Acclimation Guide

Creating Ideal Conditions for New Aquarium Arrivals


Why should you acclimate your new arrivals?

You've invested valuable time and money researching the habitat requirements of the fish you wish to house. Naturally, you want to protect this investment by executing a proper acclimation process once your fish arrive at your door. The water that your fish arrive in may have different water parameters than your fish tank including different temperature, pH, ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. Fish are very sensitive to even minor changes in these parameters, so proper acclimation is the key to ensuring their successful relocation.


Follow these simple steps to acclimate your new arrivals:

  1. Never open the shipping box in a brightly lit area.  Sudden bright light, after being in a dark box, can be stressful to your new fish. Turn the light off in your fish tank and float the bag in the tank for 15 minutes. This is to start adjusting the temperature.

  2. After 15 minutes, open the bag and place the fish, with the water it arrived in into a clean bucket or container (Note: this means the bucket or container has never contained any soap or chemicals which may be harmful to your fish.)

  3. Add half a cup of water from the tank your new arrivals will be placed in into the bucket or container. Repeat this step every 5 minutes for 15 minutes.

  4. Next discard half of the water, from the bucket or container, and continue adding half a cup every 5 minutes for another 15 minutes.

  5. Carefully net the fish from the container and release them into their new home. Discard all of the acclimation water. DO NOT add it to your tank.

  6. Always follow this acclimation procedure, even if your new fish appear dead. They will normally be revived when the above procedure is correctly followed.

  7. After your new fish are introduced to your tank, leave the lights off for a few hours. Do not be alarmed if your new fish don’t start eating right away. Most fish will take a day or so to feel comfortable to eat.

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