Some of the most exciting animals you can keep in a saltwater aquarium are shrimp! If they are put in the correct aquarium, most of the shrimps available to aquarists are reasonably easy to keep too. However, they do need some time to acclimate to a new environment. For them, this phase is a very stressful one, which is why you need to take all the appropriate steps to make it smooth and simple for them. If you fail to take the process of acclimating seriously, there is a high and very real, chance that many of your new shrimp will not survive. So what is the best way to acclimate your shrimp?
Whilst there are several methods you can use to acclimate shrimp, we strongly recommend the Drip Method. It is proven to be the best and most effective approach to ease the transition for your new shrimp. It normally only takes a few hours if you follow the instructions carefully.
Why Do I Need To Acclimate Shrimp?
Changing the atmosphere is extremely stressful for shrimp. If you speed up the process and add a lot of your aquarium water with a bottle, for example, it could lead to shock and death. With the Drip Method of acclimation, you’ll give your shrimp the best chance to adapt to new water parameters and the potential climate. Of course, this can’t remove all the potential stress for them, but it does significantly reduce all the potential risks that come with acclimation.
To give your shrimp the smoothest acclimation, it helps to have things planned in advance to ensure you are prepared and ready. This means planning your day of purchase or, if you are buying online, having a flexible schedule in preparation for their arrival so that you can dedicate the necessary time to the process. The Drip Method of acclimation will take at least 2 hours, but potentially more if this is your first time using this method.
First Steps to Acclimate New Shrimp
You must prepare a few things before you begin acclimating your new shrimp. Simple things that can help greatly reduce stress for your shrimp include:
- Turn off the lights on the main display tank or your quarantine tank and dim the room lights.
- Do not have bright light aimed directly into the transport box.
- Carefully open one side of the transport box to allow a small amount of light in. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Slowly open the box over the next 5-10 minutes to fully acclimate the shrimp to the light of the room.
For the actual process of acclimation, you will need the following pieces of equipment:
- A bucket
- A clothes peg
- Airline tube
This approach is considered to be more advanced. It is typically targeted at vulnerable inhabitants, such as corals, shrimps, starfish, and of course shrimp.
NOTE: DO NOT ALLOW ANY WATER FROM THE TRANSPORT BAG TO ENTER YOUR AQUARIUM!
- Get a bucket or container and ensure it is thoroughly washed and rinsed.
- Use the scissors to cut all the transport bags and empty all the water and shrimps from the transport bags into the bucket.
- Use a clothes peg to secure an airline hose to the rim of your aquarium.
- Tie a loose knot into the airline, then suck on the hose end nearest the bucket to start the flow of water from the aquarium.
- The tightness of the knot will set the drip rate. Aim for 2-4 drips per second. The looser the knot, the faster the drip rate.
- Allow the water height in the bucket to double, then remove 50% of the water and dispose of it.
- Repeat step 6 for 40-60 minutes.
- Use the net to remove the shrimp from the bucket and slowly place them into your aquarium.
- Dispose of the water in the bucket.
Remember, always follow the acclimation procedure even if your new arrival appears to be dead. Some shrimps can appear as though they are dead when they arrive and will usually revive when the above procedure is followed correctly.
If you’re looking to add shrimp to your aquarium but not sure which species to go for, check out our other blog piece on ‘Top 5 Best Shrimp for Your Saltwater Aquarium’.