By: Tommy Lam & Leah Luzano
Acclimating new shrimp properly for your existing tank is a very important step in shrimp keeping. If not done properly it can cause unnecessary stress and even death for your shrimp. However, with a bit of planning and patience you’ll have no problem doing it using this easy guide.
Prepare your tank : Decide what shrimp you are going to get and adjust the parameters of your tank to fit that species. For example: For crystal red shrimp, adjust the setup of your tank to have a pH between 6-6.8, gH of 3-5, and TDS of 100-200. You want your shrimp to come home to an ideal environment.
Plan your purchase day accordingly. Try to plan your day properly so that your shrimp spend as little time as possible traveling and in the transport bags. Ideally once you purchase your shrimp, head on home. It may not be the most convenient choice for you, but it is the best for your shrimp. You spent the money on getting them, so don’t waste it by stressing them out by taking them on a road trip. The more time they spend in the bag the more likely they will be to get stressed out, sick or even die.
Bring a Small Cooler to the aquarium shop with you. Putting your new shrimp in a cooler while traveling minimizes temperature change, and darkness means shrimp being less spooked which means less stress.
Shrimp Buying Tips: Be Picky! – Be weary of the signs in store tanks for sick, stressed out, dying shrimp.
These signs include:
- dead shrimp
- shrimp that have parasites
- shrimp that have heavily faded colors
- shrimp that have opaque flesh
Buying healthy active shrimp should always be your goal. Introducing diseased livestock into any tank will always end up in disaster and death.
At the store pack your shrimp with netting or a bit of moss and secure them firmly in the cooler. This minimizes injury due to reckless water movement (water sloshing around everywhere like the wave pool at wonderland) and the moss/netting gives them something to cling on for stabilization and safety.
CONGRATS, YOU GOT YOUR NEW SHRIMP HOME! NOW WHAT?
Dim your lights, and turn off your tank lights. Any sudden bright lights will spook the shrimp increasing overall stress.
Check the difference in temperature of the bag water and your tank water, if there is a considerable difference (more than 5 degrees Celsius), float the bag in your tank for 15min -20 min MAX, to equalize it. Any Longer will stress your shrimp more.
ACCLIMATE YOUR SHRIMP USING THE DRIP METHOD – You will need a bucket, airline hose, a control nozzle and a shrimp net.
Empty your shrimp from the bag into the bucket. One side of the hose goes to your tank as intake and the other with the control nozzle goes into the bucket with your shrimp. Adjust the control nozzle so that you get about 2 drops of water every second.
Be Patient. It may take roughly 1-4 hours. You want to approximately triple the initial water volume in the bucket. The drip method is encouraged to minimize any sudden water parameter shifts. It minimizes Stress by giving the shrimp the chance to adjust slowly overtime.
Once the water in the bucket has doubled or tripled you can net the shrimp out softly with the Borneowild shrimp net and introduce them into your tank. The remaining water in the bucket can be tossed out, or recycled by watering your plants or lawn etc. – just don’t put store water in your tank. It can introduce all sorts of parasites, disease, bacteria into your tank you do not want! Once those things are get in your tank it’s difficult to get rid of them, so be very careful.
If everything went well during the process the shrimp in your tank should be active, exploring and searching for food. CONGRATULATIONS! All that’s left now is to admire your new shrimp and pat yourself on the back for doing a good job.