When aclimating new fish, how long do you drip?

When aclimating new fish, how long do you drip?

  • 0.5-1 hour

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • 1-1.5 hours

    Votes: 8 36.4%
  • More than 1.5 hours

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 9.1%

  • Total voters


Premium Member
I just purchased a fish that's been kept at a SG of 1.019, my tank is at ~1.026 (35ppt) and at the current drip rate I think it's probably going to take two hours for the water in the bucket to reach the same SG as my tank. How long do you prefer to drip your fish? Is it better to make the change as slow as possible (within reason) or get it done fairly quickly?
YMMV, but because I buy my fish online, not only is the salinity different, but so is the temperature, oxygen content and Ph. So I usually go between 2.5 and 3 hours. Longer for inverts. I personally think that the slower you make big swings in water parameters, the better the animal does when it hits the tank. I mean at least it's used to the water, now all it has to do is figure out the rest of the livestock, the aquascape, the flow, the lights, etc. etc. :)
I also think I've had better results when I take more time. Minimum is 2 hours, sometimes I take quite a bit longer.
I test the salinity and pH of the bag, and drip until they are matched. Usually at least 3 hours. Many stores keep the salinity of their fish systems very low (1.010), and I have found that the pH is usually low as well (around 8.0). I used to just drip for an hour or two, but I think it's better to test and make sure the water is actually testing the same. pH is easy for me to test because I have a monitor.
It depends entirely on the quality of the water. After floating bags to match temp, I monitor salinity and pH and slowly bring the two together. Some of my fish have spent as long as 3-4 hours acclimating before going into my quarantine tank.