Drip acclimation is the most gradual, and therefore the safest, method of acclimating fish to new water with potentially different parameters (for more on these parameters, see our WATER CHEMISTRY page).
If your fish came home in a bag, you will need to transfer him/her into your bucket to begin with. Sit the bag on the bottom of the bucket and roll down the top edge of the bag to within a couple of inches of the water level in the bag. Then, holding the top edge of the bag so that it doesn't collapse, grasp one bottom corner and lift it up to gently pour the water and fish into the bucket.
Situate the bucket/vase/cup containing your fish and his pet store water on a stable surface near his new tank so that the water level in the bucket is below that of the tank.
|3.||Cut a length of air line tubing long enough to reach from inside your acclimation bucket/cup into the new tank and about 4-5 inches below the water' s surface.|
If you are have an air line valve, cut your length of air line tubing at its middle and connect each end to the valve. Open the valve completely.
Open the lid of the fish's new tank and insert one end of the air line tubing down 4-5 inches below the water level. Tape the airline tubing to the outside of your tank to secure it,
if needed, or hold it in place by closing the tank lid on it.
Watching the tube closely so as not to ingest any water, take the other end of the air line tubing in your mouth and suck very gently to start water flow, drawing it down the tube to
some point beyond the air line valve. This flow can be paused by placing your finger over the end of the tube.
Screw the air line valve almost completely closed until water is coming out of the air line tube at 1-2 drips per second. Place the end of the air line into your acclimation bucket so that it hangs above the surface. Secure with tape if necessary.
Once the water volume has doubled (ie: an amount equal to the water the fish originally came home in has been dripped into your acclimation container), use your turkey baster to remove and discard half of the water in your acclimation container.
Increase the drip rate to 2-4 drips per second and allow the water volume in the acclimation container to double again.
At this point, you can prepare to release your fish. Using your turkey baster, remove much of the water from your acclimation container, leaving enough to gently pour your fish into
the tank without leaving him out of water while pouring.