Mass, post frag swap aclimation - my way ... what's yours?

Discussion in 'Coral' started by Vincerama2, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Hi guys, so after coming home from the frag swap, I have a bucket of little containers of coral. All with their own little amount of water. The water is getting stale and each and every container needs to be acclimated.

    So the question is, what's a good way to do it?

    What I USED to do is take all the frags, and their water, and dump it into a 5 gallon bucket, then semi-drip acclimate the bucket. I didn't actually drip (which would be better), but I'd scoop up maybe a half cup of tank water and dump it into the bucket. After there was "a lot of water" in the bucket, I called it good. Then I'd take each frag and stick it into the tank. I may or may not dip the coral, depending on if I remembered to or not.

    The problem is the initial mixing of all the different water and all the corals, which may touch each other. This seems sub-optimal. Starting with a small volume of random water doesn't allow you to run a heater either as there is not enough water and you can easily cook your corals.

    drip acclimating each container could be done too, with multiple drip lines, which is possible. You could set up ten drip lines, and just drip into each container, allowing it to overflow as needed until the water in each container was more or less entirely your tank water.

    This time I did something different which is similar, but not quite.

    I came up with something that seems to work well, but of course can be refined. Here's what I did, I call it the "Leaky Lid Acclimation".

    I started with a 5 gallon water change, but I kept the "old" water.

    I took each container, and with a thumb tack, poked holes around the rim of the lid so the lids were leaky. Then I put all the containers into the old water and went to watch TV. Occasionally, I gave each container a little squeeze so a bit of water squirted out, then sucked back in. SORT of like osmosis, but not really. However MAYBE there is some osmotic action here as the salinity of the water in the container matches the salinity in the bucket. I dunno ... I'm not sure a leaky lid counts as a "membrane".

    After some netflix watching, I took the containers out and floated them in the main tank for temperature matching, then uncermoniously removed each frag, tossed it's hybrid water and put it on a frag rack in the tank. If I remembered, I'd maybe have dipped them.

    So the advantage here is that;
    1) starting with 5 gallons of water, you can put a heater in the bucket which slowly helps the containers to reach the water temp.
    2) the holes are small and maybe even without squeezing them (ie; more tiny holes used) they would have slowly mixed water with the bucket.
    3) The different water salinity, ph and whatevever can mix into a much larger volume of your tank water, to the point where I THINK that the water will have much much closer specs to your tank water.

    Sure you have to toss the lids after, or you can keep them and the next time re-use these containers OR transfer new frags and their water into your perforated containers (or swap lids).

    Anyway, that's how _I_ did it. How did you guys mass acclimate your corals?

  2. I went a different route. I considered the corals, how fragile or hardy the species was and whether it was one of the ones I picked up that I either didn't have an example of or was very excited about. Those that fell in the excited and/or fragile catagory I individually bucket acclimated. The more common and hardy corals I tossed together and acclimated.
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Acclimate? ummm I take them out of the container, and tossed them in the frag tank for corals "because I don't trust anyone's stuff to be pest free", they acclimate to the temperature of the room for about 4 seconds as I place them in the tank and they further acclimate from there :D
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  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    At this point, since I don't have a coral at tank anymore (all these "temporary" holding tanks taking up all the room and eq).

    I put in 2g of nsw into the tank, then pull 1g out into a bucket. Poured Bayer in then pulled each coral off its plug (if I can). Coral goes in to the Bayer bucket for 15mins. I blast them with a turkey baster often. Taking each one out and making sure it gets full blasts of dip and inspecting for bite marks or areas showing missing flesh.

    Then out into 3 wash buckets of a total of 1g (making up the 2g I put in). And into the tank they go after a close inspection for egg sacks.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I USED to QT corals in their own tank with skimmer, lights, etc. But not anymore, as I don't have the energy.

    If I get frags on plugs, that's cool. If I get them on rocks, I'll take a second look as they are more likely to have aiptasia... though it can grow anywhere.

    When the frags go in the tank, they are place on racks, rather than rocks (mostly) so I can see if any aiptaisa molecules are hanging out.

    It should be noted that acclimation and qt have two purposes ... one for the well being of the new frag, and one for the safety of the tank.

  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Oh please note, I was not getting high and mighty about a coral QT tank, I'm just saying I can't be bothered with acclimation, just throw them in the tank. Being as the tank was literally empty (it was holding frags I brought to the swap) I didn't even bother with any sort of iodine or Bayer insecticide dips.

    The QT tank is setup up now because the display is mostly aiptasia at this point and sometime in the future I'd like to super nuke (bleach, muriatic acid, etc) all that rock and then have some corals to put in (that don't have aiptasia)
  7. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    If you've got too many frags to acclimate individually, you might want to measure the salinity across all your samples and acclimate the ones with similar salinity together.

    The main thing to avoid is salinity shock from systems if they run a dramatically different salinity than yours.
  8. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    NSW from mixing bucket to tank (mixed night before) and then take the same amount of tank water out. Water is then used to fill 10 oz. cups up where the corals are then placed (all source water is displaced at this point). Bayer (enough Bayer where I can't see the frag - 2 capfuls or so) is then added to the cups along with a drop of Flatworm eXit and swirled to get everything mixed. Wait 15-30 minutes while swirling the cups every once in awhile. More water from mixing bucket is then added to the tank and same amount is removed from the tank. Water used to fill two new sets of 10 oz. cups. Frags are then lifted via tongs and squirted with a turkey baster and finally swirled in the cup for the final time. Frags are then drop into the new set of 10 oz. cups. They are then inspected under 2.5x magnification and brushed as needed. Frags are then returned to a new set of 10 oz. cups for a final rinsing and then eventually into the tank on the sand bed.
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  9. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Ibn ... Holy Crap! That's a ton of work...however, good for you. They are living creatures so I want to acclimate them for their sake. I guess a lot of what you are doing is defending your current tank from bugs as well. If I could get away with it, I'd run a frag tank again. But it may result in my untimely demise.

    Maybe I've been gone too long from aquarium forums, I never heard of the Bayer treatment. I used to use the Povidone... I guess it's time to google. ..
  10. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I normally will testing the group of corals and if they are approximately in the same range I will drip acclimate, then use revive and a micro pump and turkey blaster. Then multiple rinses of tank water.

    I have my 12Gal Coral QT tank setup and after a week or two of inspection it will go into the display.
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  11. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer


    Had to go to wedding reception after the frag swap. Stuck all the cups in gallon ziplock bags and float in sump for stable temperature.

    After that I use larger cups and add water to each for water acclimation. Then dip them all together.
  12. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

    I focus more on vector control versus acclimating. My standard procedure:

    1. Remove frag from container, dump the water it came with. Initial visual and smell check out of water. If piece smells bad or has too much bryopsis, Cyanobacteria, etc. throw in trash; otherwise continue to step two.

    2. Grabbing base of frag or plug, submerge entire piece in a large clear Pyrex cup containing R/O FRESHWATER. While swirling around in a brisk washing machine motion, observe various hitchhikers fall off. 10 seconds for delicate Acropora and Montipora, up to 60 seconds for mushrooms or other less sensitive corals. If 60 seconds, just let it sit in container first, then swirl for last 10 seconds.

    3. Move frag into bucket containing 1gallon tank water or new saltwater mixed with Iodine, Lugol's Solution, Bayer, etc. Soak for 20-30 minutes. 10 minutes or less for delicate corals. Repeat steps 1-3 with any other frags.

    4. Remove frag from bucket, suspend frag upside down with fingers in a clear Pyrex cup containing saltwater for second visual inspection. Either remove plug, or take a toothbrush and scrub plug vigorously in water until clean, being careful not to damage coral. Be diligent about removing all algae and flatworms. Water will turn cloudy from scrubbing.

    FYI, toothpaste & soaps contain chemicals and surfactants/detergents that can kill coral, so make sure to use a dedicated aquarium only toothbrush.

    5. Turn off all tank filters & pumps. Before arranging frag on rock work, hold frag in tank under water's surface near glass under the brightest part of tank light. Third and final super slow precise visual inspection preferably with magnifying glass. If algae still detected, go back to scrubbing. If living parasites are still detected, go through dipping again or throw frag away. Especially if living red or black bugs on Acropora coralites are detected = trash. Montiporas are inspected for nudibranchs & egg sacks. Trust your gut feeling, if the frag doesn't feel right just throw it away. Infecting display tank with bugs isn't worth it. If you have a setup that allows this close visual inspection in a separate 2 gallon glass tank on a worktop that's even better. Repeat steps 4 & 5 with remaining frags.

    6. Keep a close eye on new frags for 24 hours. Heavy slime coat production is normal but will clear up in a couple of hours. However, ejection of color or algae, turning into a shapeless blob, or bleaching of coral is not normal. If frag is bleaching over 25% of surface area immediately throw it away or it will trigger a chain reaction in other corals. Sometimes cutting off the dead parts and remounting the healthy section rescues the frag. Also observe the established corals in the tank for any adverse reactions possibly caused by stinging, blocked currents, or chemical warfare. Smell the tank water, it should smell like the ocean or a freshly shucked oyster. Stinky water = dead critter poisoning tank.

    7. Buy a small Halichoeres melanurus wrasse.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
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  13. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Interesting. I SHOULD be more careful of pest/disease vectors, but for me, I want the coral to survive so I try to acclimate for it's comfort. I can't get myself to chuck a frag in the garbage because ... it's a living creature and WILL die out of saltwater.

    I think actually that the best solution is setting up a QT/Frag tank. This thread has given me much to think of. Before the next club frag swap, I'll try and set up a frag tank (luckily my garage if full of useable, if old, equipment). Both to house healing frags before the swap, and also to house new frags for QT purposes. The only problem is how to hide the tank from my wife! LOL!

  14. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Gonna have to go back under the house I think!
  15. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

    I don't recall the dilution ratio, maybe someone here knows or call John the owner of "Your Reef" for details. Use at your own risk....
  16. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I just pour in enough till I can barely see the coral. I go by the "use less but longer dip" method.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. Benaminh

    Benaminh Guest

    Thanks Vincent, how long do you leave it in the Bayer, SPS versus LPS?

    Be careful buying the Bayer @ Home Depot, the company makes many different insecticides with slightly different looking labels, be sure the label matches the above picture exactly. I don't recommend mixing the Bayer with other chemicals, it should be a separate dip & baste step, but multiple frags can be done at once. It is a poison so handle & store carefully.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Depending on fragility, 10-20mins.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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