Reason for question. The LFS said only a 1/2 hour to acclamate a perc clown. After doing some reserch I have found that the info is conflicting. The websites are saying 2 to 3 hours. Whos right? What is the rule of thumb?
It depends on so many other things. One thing that you should be aware of, is the the purpose of acclimation is to reduce stress on the critter. Long acclimations can increase the stress of confinement and oxygen deprevation. Short acclimations increase the stress of temperature, salinity, pH changes. If the water in your tank is the same temperature, salinity and pH of the water that the fish is used to, it's better to cut acclimation short. If he's changing any of these variables, you should lengthen the time of acclimation.
My rule of thumb is to test the water that the fish is coming from and vary the time of acclimation based on differences between the water he's used to and the water he's headed for.
I think part of the timing has to do with how close your water matches up with the water the fish is coming from. My clowns came from 1.017 SG water and my tank is 1.025 SG and so I acclimated them over a three hour period. If their water had been much closer to my water, I would have acclimated them in less time.
There are different ways to acclimate but the 2 ways I've done it are to drip 1-2 drops/sec for about an hour or until the water in the bag doubles in volume. Or, you can add 1/2 cup of tank water every 5-7 minutes until the water in the bag has at least doubled. Do this after you temp acclimate for about 15 minutes.
I usually acclimate anything for 2 hours, 3 hours if it is a delicate item. I temp and then add a half cup every 20 or so minutes. Thats how I do mine personally and when I worked at my LFS. I know a lot of people that acclimate long, and I think its better to let your fish get adjusted to its new water without rushing it. Now I do know a couple of people that do a very fast to no acclimation whats so ever with little to no casualties. To each his own but most people take time to acclimate their new arrivals. HTH
All good advice. The fact that salt water needs oxygen is important though. Don't just leave the poor guys in a bag for 2-3 hours in order to equalize temperature. Make sure the water you are adding contains oxygen.
All very insightful advise!
I thank you all and will start to test incoming fish environments!
Hopefully my next additions wont have such a hard time like my clowns did [ tough little guy's struggled] But over came!