When adding new corals and critters to your tank, it's always best to take the time to acclimate them to your water's parameters. Acclimation is the process of slowly adding your tank water to the water that came with your new coral or critter. We do this because it ensures we do not shock or damage the corals or critters, by letting them slowly adjust, instead of just plunging them into your tank and hoping for the best.
You will need:
Your new coral or critter, in the bag, unopened.
Two non metal bowls or buckets. One of your buckets should be large enough to hold triple the amount of water that is in your coral/critter bag.
A drip acclimation hose, or a very small gauge hose, or a small scoop such as 1/4 cup.
A towel to clean up any spills
Turn off your tank lights before you begin. Leave them off for about 4 hours, to allow your new corals/critters to acclimate.
The first step in acclimation is bringing the new coral/critter up to the temperature in your tank. Do not open the new bag yet, simply float the bag in your aquarium. After about 15 minutes for small bags and 30-45 minutes with larger bags, they should be up to your tank temperature.
Next open the coral/critter bag. Very gently pour the contents into the larger bucket. Gently pour off excess water into second bucket. make sure your corals have at least 2 inches of water above them, and for critters about 4 inches of water above them.
If using a drip acclimation hose, Set it up between your tank and bucket and set it to about 1 or 2 drops per second. Once your water has tripled in volume you can move to the next step.
If using a small gauge hose, such as air tubing, set it up between your tank and bucket. Start siphoning from the tank water into your bucket. Allow the water to flow for about 10 seconds. Stop the flow and wait about 5-10 minutes. Repeat until your water has tripled in size.
If using a 1/4 cup scoop, add 1 scoop every 5-10 minutes until your water has tripled in size.
Next, if you have corals, I would recommend dipping them to kill any unwanted pests. Once pests get into your tank, it is hard to remove them. Please click here to refer to our blog post about coral dipping to learn more.
After your corals are dipped, you are ready to add them to your tank!