How to acclimate your fish! I know there are millions, upon millions of articles out there on how to acclimate your fish. Out of all the different methods out there, I found that using the drip method, is by far the best way to acclimate your new fish to your tank.
The drip method is the preferred method when adding saltwater fish to your tank. I, however, have found that I have had a 100% survival rate using this exact same method with my freshwater fish. I do not recommend using this method on anything smaller than a 10 gallon tank! This method can be used for one fish, or multiple fish!
1 5 gallon bucket ***
1 section of airline tubing
1 Air Control Valve
2 Suction Cups
1 Fish Net
The bucket should be brand new. Their cheap at Home Depot. 5$! If you do not wish to buy a new bucket, make sure that the container you are using has never been introduced to chemicals that may still be in the bucket.
Do NOT float your new fish in your tank. Open the bag, and release the fish and the water into the bucket. Throw the bag away.
Grab your airline and secure one end inside the tank using one of the suction cups. You will want to make sure that you have the line low enough in the tank to have the ability to continually keep removing water from the tank.
Cut the tubing to length so that it will flow the water into the bucket. Secure the line using the remaining suction cup. Insert the air control valve into the tube of the end that goes into the bucket.
Start the suction going. Use the air control valve to that the water will drip at approx. 1 to 3 drops per second. The size of your tank will determine how much water you will drip into the bucket.
I usually bring home fish on the day I am ready to do a water change. So this makes makes for a great situation!
For a 10 gallon tank, you would only want to drip about 2-3 gallons into the bucket (20% of the tank)
For a 20 gallon tank and up, it will be ok to go ahead and drip a full 5 gallons into the bucket.
This method can take several hours on larger tanks. Once you have dripped enough water into your tank, top off your tank with water to bring the level back up to normal operating levels. Grab your fish net and safely net your fish and release into your tank. The water that is in the bucket can be poured down the drain, or used to water your outside plants!
*** You can use smaller items like a small 2 gallon tank, but you will have to remove the water that comes into it once it gets full. The idea is to completely dilute the water the fish came in and replace it with the tank water. This is why I recommend a 5 gallon bucket so you wont have to keep removing water.
Doing this method will get your new fish acclimated to the new water parameters and temperature of your existing tank.