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DIY In Tank Fish Acclimators? Anyone use them?


Juiceman

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My biggest killer of new fish in my tanks are their tankmates! I've been brainstorming ways of making an acclimation chamber that I can keep the new fish in for about a week while their tank mates get used to them without chasing them and nipping their fins, etc!

Anyone have anything that they've used or a similar system where your new fish is isolated but the other fish can see them?

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I've used a divider a few times but it's a hassle. The advantage though is the fish is able to establish a territory and hiding places in the rock. If your fish are really that aggressive you might consider calling yout tank fully stocked hmm.png

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There are some floating/suction cup ones available and I've used them with success. The only real downside is they are small; like 4x6.

There are also those floating breeder net things too.

As far as DIY; I guess you could make one out of acrylic. Or, if you have a Aquaclear 110 HOB filter you could drill some holes in it and turn it around. They are grey so you dont get the full "I see you but cant get to you" benefit.

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I use a Medium to Large Critters Box to do this. It is the clear box with colored top that RCA puts their Eels in to keep them escaping the tank or getting at tank mates.

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I use a Medium to Large Critters Box to do this. It is the clear box with colored top that RCA puts their Eels in to keep them escaping the tank or getting at tank mates.

I was thinking about trying one of those!

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The club recently received an Accli-Mate for review, but depending on the fish it may be too small for extended acclimation.

They have an XL model but it's super expensive.

The one that belongs to the club is available for check out by Premium Members. PM me if you would like to arrange a pickup to try it out. The only commitment is to do a product review for it afterward.

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based on tank and fish size a really cheap, really quick fix is a hamster ball. or guinea pig ball if your fish is bigger. i tie off mine to the side with fishing line so it doesnt drift with the current and bump into everything.

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based on tank and fish size a really cheap, really quick fix is a hamster ball. or guinea pig ball if your fish is bigger. i tie off mine to the side with fishing line so it doesnt drift with the current and bump into everything.

Hmm, That might work really good!

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Well I'm giving it a shot. I went to petsmart and looked and the hampster balls, the 7" was too small, then it jumps up to 13" which is waaaay too big.

I decided to get one of the medium critter travel cages. It's 11" x 7" x 6"

It has all the slits in the top but I drilled some holes in the sides too for added circulation (be careful when drilling plastic, almost destroyed the whole thing on the first hole!)

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It floats ok, but I used an extra medium mag float I had to hold it in place.

I put a piece of PVC and a rock with some nori rubberbanded to it, and acclimated my new Yellow Tang.

My Purple Tang and Sailfin Tang went for him immediately, and normally would have gave him a nice run, but they can't hurt him, and he's not stressing. Food goes through the holes fine to he can eat along with everyone else fine too. So so far so good!

I'll wait for me to not see anymore aggression towards him, then let him loose. I'm guessing a few days.

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Ok, so in retrospect, the only issue I'm running into is collection of Detrius at the bottom of the container. I'm thinking I'm going to add some more holes on the bottom and lower down the sides to allow flow to the bottom surface of the acclimation chamber. I'm going to isolate him one more day and make sure he's nice and fat before I release him tomorrow.

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I would dremel a large hole out and then glue down some netting leave about 1/2 all the way around the bottom and then have a net floor.

I'll bet the netting that I used for my Bio Pellets would be great! It would be even better if I had a dremel.

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Do you have a drill and saw? Drill 4 holes then connect them with the saw and the center will fall out :)

If not you can always grab a rotary tool from harbor freight for about $20.

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Ok, I released the yellow tang last night. He didn't even realize I took the top off and lowered it into the tank. I had to turn it sideways to let him swim into the tank. That way I didn't net him or Anything to get him in the tank. He swam in when he was ready.

Once the container was out, it had grown a lot of film algae. I gave it a good rinse and drilled the new holes and started my next acclimation in my other tank. I'll post a pic when I get home of my new juvenile majestic angel that I got from the dome.

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Well he's 2 days in after a 7 day isolation. I'm seeing normal territory aggression between the Sailfin, Purple, and Yellow, but it's nothing compared to the pure attacks that I've seen from my purple towards my previous yellows. But he's eating with everyone and if anything, I see Yellow starting some of the aggressive showings. I'll watch him and make sure he's always eating, but I'm not nearly as worried about him as my previous ones.

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I drilled some additional holes in the bottom and in the lower part of all the sides to aid in water movement inside the container. Isolation take 2!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the Yellow Tang has done very well. He is eating along with everyone else and doesn't get chased anymore. The previous 2 yellow tangs that I added without the acclimation chamber week didn't make it through one day! I think it served it's purpose well!

The majestic angel that I did in my other tank didn't fair as well but is still here and eating. I had him in QT for a week, then in the acclimation chamber for a week. He had been eating well and so I let him loose after a week had past. My Koran and my Flame Fin Tang tore him up. He keeps to the top corner of the tank now, but I no longer see them chase him and he's now eating along with everyone else. Makes me wonder what it would have been like had I put him straight in. I think I'll definitly use this system from now on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, It worked great for the Yellow Tang in the 200. The Majestic Angel didn't make it in the 90 Gallon system. I believe the reason why is because he spent the majority of his time hiding in the PVC and not out being seen.

I then did a Chocolate Tang in the same tank, and had the PVC in for 4 days, and took the PVC out for 4 more days to make sure the other fish could see him. When I let him go, he didn't even get chased when I let him loose!

It's time for the real test!! I got my first order from Live Aquaria today, and I'm trying my most wanted fish. I'll post a pic later after he's done drip acclimating!

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