Transportation and Acclimation


Once you have left Fintastic, your animal purchase responsibilities begin immediately. Your purchase should remain in the merchandise bag and not be taken out until you arrive in front of your aquarium. The animals should travel placed in a seat in your vehicle, not on the floorboard, secured such that a rapid stop will not allow the fish to fall off the seat. Vibration and temperature control are problematic when the animals are on the floor of the vehicle. You must ensure the temperature of the vehicle does not move from the 70- 80 degree range. You also would want to have the fish floating in your aquarium within 4 hours .


To minimize stress on your new arrivals and to ensure their long-term success, the acclimation procedure listed below must be followed for all fish, invertebrates and live corals. Please note that following this procedure is mandatory to qualify for our guarantees. Be sure to read this entire procedure – including the Important Facts – before beginning the acclimation process.

Quarantining Aquatic Life

Though not a requirement of our Acclimation Procedure, we highly recommend that all aquatic life, including algae, be quarantined in a separate aquarium for a period of two to four weeks. Quarantining new arrivals virtually eliminates the possibility of introducing diseases and parasites to your tank and allows new tank mates to regain optimal health before its final transition to your aquarium.

Acclimation Procedure

1. Turn off aquarium lights.

2. Dim the lights in the room where the shipping bag will be opened. Never open the bag in bright light – severe stress or trauma may result from sudden exposure to bright light.

3. Float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 minutes (Fig. A). Never open the shipping bag at this time. This step allows the water in the shipping bag to adjust slowly to the temperature in the aquarium, while maintaining a high level of dissolved oxygen.

4. After floating the sealed shipping bag for 15 minutes, cut open the bag just under the rubber band (Fig. B) and roll the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket within the lip of the bag.

This will enable the bag to float on the surface of the water (Fig. C). For heavy pieces of live coral that will submerge the shipping bag, place the bag containing the coral in a plastic bowl or specimen container.

5. Add 1/2 cup (small bags) or 1 cup (8″ or greater bags) of aquarium water to the shipping bag (Fig. D).

6. Repeat step 5 every five minutes until the shipping bag is full.

7. Lift the shipping bag from the aquarium and discard half the water from the bag (Fig. E).

8. Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and proceed to add 1/2 cup (small bags) or 1 cup (8″ or greater bags) of aquarium water to the shipping bag every five minutes until the bag is full.

9. Net aquatic life from the shipping bag and release into the aquarium (Fig. F).

10. Remove the filled shipping bag from the aquarium and discard the water. Never release shipping water directly into the aquarium.

Important Information

• Be patient – never rush the acclimation procedure. The total acclimation time for your new arrival should take no longer than one hour.

• Always follow the acclimation procedure even if your new arrival appears to be dead. Some fish and invertebrates can appear as though they are dead when they arrive and will usually revive when the above procedure is followed correctly.

• Never place an air stone into the shipping bag when acclimating your new arrival. This will increase the pH of the shipping water too quickly and expose your new arrival to lethal ammonia.

• Keep aquarium lights off for at least four hours after the new arrival is introduced into the aquarium or preferably over night.

• Most invertebrates and marine plants are more sensitive than fish to salinity changes. It is imperative to acclimate invertebrates to a specific gravity of 1.023-1.025 or severe stress or trauma may result.

• Sponges, clams, scallops, and gorgonians should never be directly exposed to air. Follow the acclimation procedure, but instead of netting the specimen out of the shipping bag, drain the majority of the water out of the bag allowing the bag to collapse on the animal yet still not allowing any air to touch the animal, submerge the bag underwater in the aquarium and remove the marine life from the bag. Seal off the shipping bag underwater by twisting the opening, and remove it from the aquarium. Discard both the shipping bag and the enclosed water. A tiny amount of the diluted shipping water will escape into the aquarium. Don’t be alarmed; this will have no adverse affect on the tank inhabitants.

• In some instances, your new tank mate will be chased and harassed by one or all of your existing tank mates.

Solution 1 : A plastic spaghetti strainer (found at your local discount store) can be used to contain a tank bully within the aquarium for several hours until the new arrival adjusts to its surroundings. Justfloat the perforated plastic basket in the aquarium. Net the tank bully and place in the floating basket for approximately four hours or overnight if the size of the animal is not too large, while the new arrival adjusts to your aquarium. Never place the new arrival in this basket; the new specimen must get familiar with your aquarium. By placing the tank bully in a perforated basket, you’ll reduce the stress on your newest tank mate.

Solution 2 : A perforated plastic lighting grid (egg crate) can be purchased from Fintastic and cut it down to the width of your aquarium. This grid may be used to section off a small portion of the aquarium to separate territorial or aggressive fish from the newest tank mate. After the new addition adjusts to the unfamiliar environment, the divider can be removed.

• Some live corals produce excess slime when shipped. After the acclimation procedure is followed, hold the coral by the rock or skeletal base and shake the coral in the shipping bag before placing into the aquarium. To avoid damage, please remember never to touch the “fleshy” part of a live coral. Many species of coral will not open for several days after introduction into their new home. Please allow several days for the coral to adapt to the new conditions in the aquarium. Correct water flow over the new specimen will aid in its extending its polyps.

If a Loss Occurs

We go to great lengths to ensure that the aquarium life we pull for you is in the best condition possible. Unfortunately, there are rare instances when aquatic life does not survive during transit or within the guarantee period despite every effort to ensure its well-being.


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