Acclimating fish - have I lost the touch?

Tim Harrison

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This discussion comes up from time to time, check out the links below for some more common sense contributions to the discussion.

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/acclimating-own-fish.53805/
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/acclimatising-fish.39939/

Personally, I pour as much of the LFS water out of the bag and in to a bucket as possible, not so much it distresses the fish unduly though. Then the bag is floated and filled with tank water, all the while observing the critters for signs of stress. The whole process usually lasts a couple of minutes before the fish are allowed to swim from the bag and in to the tank under their own steam. If the LFS water is particularly cacky I open the bag in to a bucket and pour tank water in to that and then net the fish. Again the fish are usually free swimming in the tank within a couple of minutes.

Aquatic critters have to be a lot more robust than folk often give them credit for and are quite able to cope with different water conditions as they go about the everyday business of hunting for prey and predator avoidance etc. I've done a lot of open water swimming and the temperature variation over very short distances can be huge. Water is quite viscous and tends to maintain its integrity both when it comes to thermal gradients and other parameters. For instance, a stream flowing in to a lake can maintain it's integrity for some distance before eventually dispersing. Similarly, a lower order tributary entering in to a larger river often maintains its integrity within that of the main flow. And again at the confluence of two rivers there can be surprisingly little mixing.

For instance the confluence of the White Nile and Red Nile...

nile-confluance.jpg


It is possible that very steep gradients act as barriers to some aquatic critters but I'm guessing that most encountered are well within physiological tolerance, and especially those that occur whilst introducing new critters in to our tanks which are arguably relatively small by comparison.
 

JoshP12

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@Tim Harrison,

Thank you! This seems to be a solid approach; in retrospect, I did notice that the fish perked up during my acclimation and then about 40 minutes in, they discolored and looked distressed (confused me).

It makes sense now.

All that to say, I think a combination of this quick transfer method minimizing the tank water from the LFS with CO2 off and with lights off is the way to go.

I should note: although I want to have a QT, I do not have one yet - though I will.

Thanks again to all.

I will try this once I sort out some parameters and let everyone know how it goes.

Cheers,
Josh
 

JoshP12

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Hello everyone,

To round out this post, I feel I should share my findings today. I’m also in search of confirmation of my logic.

1) I ran a ph profile (photo attached the readings were taken minutely over a 24 hour period which is still going) and as you can see my ph dropped to 6.3 with a kh of around 75ppm (turns mint yellow at 7 drops and then yellow at 8 drops). I feel terrible about this, but I experienced the inaccuracy of the colour tests when playing with co2. I kept reading the colours as 6.6 I thought everything was ok but it wasn’t. Note that my probe has likely an error of +\- .1 and my user error during calibration - all that aside I’d rather bottom my ph at 6.7 from 7.6-7.7 rather than 6.3.

2) due to this influx of co2, I think my plants sucked up all of my nutrients and since my dosing regime did not change (because I didn’t know I had so much co2) deficiencies have begun to show. I notice what seems like potassium on the crypts and my rotala rotundifolia has extremely stunted growth meaning a nitrogen deficiency. I did a WC yesterday and did not replace the nitrogen — as a result of the deaths and immediate disposal of the bodies there has been no ammonia. For the first time since the tank was built, my phosphates read 0-0.25 ... they are normally around 1/1.25.

if my speculations are correct, why did I not see crazy pearling?

3) I am finding it very challenging with my hob filters to get the flow that I need to evenly distributed this co2. Although it is only a 10 gallon tank, and this might be moot, when I had better flow (not sure how I got the nice distribution about a week ago) I noticed better pearling.

My immediate actions were/are:
1) reduce my co2 down to less than 1 bps (it only took 100 minutes with my previous bps to reach 30 ppm)
2) reduce my start time for co2 to 1h and 15 minutes before and pair it with a ph profile to further moderate.
3) install the canister filter I have with the intake and outtake on the right side (this will require me to uproot and replant my rotundifolia) and situate my diffuser under the intake. Then monitor my ph profile on a day I am home to dial it in.
4) reduce light to get my bit of hair algae under control and try to match my co2.
5) monitor nutrient levels and watch for deficiencies with reduced co2 to determine dosing regime moving forward.
.... x+1) when stable get livestock and acclimate as per these recommendations.

can someone advise if these are the appropriate steps?

note: drop checker is green with bromthymol blue solution.


Cheers and thanks to everyone with the help you have provided me (in all my threads) in this hobby so far.

Josh
 

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is a dark bucket the way to go? Does the light stress the fish?
If you're going the route of drip acclimation, it seems that a dark covered bucket or similar container is the way to go. I used to drip directly from the tank, topping it up when the level went down in the tank iteslf, at the same time taking scoops out of the bucket I was acclimating the fish in.. For those concerned about temperature, I personally set the drip fast enough to exchange water with the tank so there was never any major difference besides the initial change. The fish feel very safe in a dark bucket not subjected to light or movement and by the time I'd scoop them in and put them in the tank they'd be eating within minutes and colour up.
 

Zeus.

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Got 30 Amanos, 20 Green Neon tetras and six Salt and Peeper Corys today from LFS, popped them in tank straight away about 4hrs before CO2 on. Then ran CO2 as normal.
LFS has the same tap water as me but no CO2 injection on their stock tanks. Then pH drop over 1.0pH in just over 30mins no signs of distress from the Amanos, Tetras or Corys. Can easily spot the new critters as new amanos have blue tinge due to their diet whilst mine are a dull brown and new Tetras and Corys are the smallest ones of their type in the tank. I have never seen any of the same speices/types as the new stock which have been in my tank for over two years ever show any signs of issues with big and fast pH drops. So I was confident about added them.
If I had got some more Harlequin Rasboras as mention here in post 6, I would have been a little more cautious OFC
 

JoshP12

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I will just give a tiny update: I have deduce that my fish death was to just the co2 — I was too impatient (the bane) and having to work on Monday, I adjusted the co2 too drastically (I should have waited and left the co2 at its levels and the next weekend slowly crept it up) — the algae I saw was due to lighting and co2 mismatch and I think the bloom of algae was coincidental with when I added co2 as I was adjusting water parameters.

I have dropped my co2 down to non-zero but lower levels and dropped my lighting. My remaining livestock is fine and if I wish, I could add more co2 and slowly adjust.

I decided to start a new tank while keeping this one going and I feel much less stress to optimize this one because I have another to putter and plan on ... being the only tank I had, I went to crazy-ville.

Thanks to all of you for your help; I will be referring to this thread when acclimating fish to the new 20 gallon long (which I started a post about and would love all your feedback).
Cheers,
Josh
 

jaypeecee

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I have deduce that my fish death was to just the co2...
Hi @Plants234

Good to hear from you again!

Would you be able to estimate the CO2 concentration that proved lethal for your fish? If we knew the pH and KH of the tank water, then that would help. And, just remind me, what fish did you lose?

JPC
 

JoshP12

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Hi @jaypeecee,

Thanks!! I am happy to be posting!

I lost 9 neons - the alpha survived - and 6 Amano - 2 Amano survived.

It wasn’t necessarily the concentration - it was the jump. I moved from turning it on 2 hours before the lights to 4 hours before the lights. The swing was about 1.2: kh 4-4.5 ph from 7.7ish - 6.3 ish. I was pumping probably 50-60-70 ppm with my inaccurate testing methods.

I attached the ph profile as I think it was that one.

So my swing was about 20ppm higher - my original 7 neons lasted the first day. Even upon decreasing to 2.5 hours before the lights, it was too much for the rest, and then again with my bubble count the concentration was too much.
Josh
 

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jaypeecee

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I moved from turning it on 2 hours before the lights to 4 hours before the lights. The swing was about 1.2: kh 4-4.5 ph from 7.7ish - 6.3 ish. I was pumping probably 50-60-70 ppm with my inaccurate testing methods.
Hi @Plants234

OK, no wonder your fish and shrimps didn't survive.

I see that you're using Vernier LabQuest. I'd be interested in knowing more - with which sensors, etc. are you using it? Are you using a Vernier pH sensor? I guess you must be. Perhaps it would be worth starting a new thread in the Hardware & DIY section? Incidentally, I can't read the scale on the horizontal axis.

JPC
 
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