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Acclimate your fish!


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On 7/25/2021 at 8:32 AM, Daniel said:

Plop and drop baby! ūüôā

With extra emphasis on the "drop" in that case.

If you ever watch how fish are handled before they get to us, the stuff we do makes little sense. I watch a lot of YouTube videos on fishkeeping, wholesaling, catching in the wild, and retailing, and it's pretty amazingt that any fish lives long enough to get to the customer. Wild caught fish are typically caught in pretty murky water. Then they get transported to an exporter who plops them in fresh clean water with little to no acclimation. Then into a bag, often with new fresh water with no acclimation, then into a box and off they go to an importer. Then at the importer they're plopped into new water yet again with little to no acclimation.  Then as they're shipped to the regional distributor they get put into bags filled with fresh water again and off they go. At the regional distributor all fresh water again with little to no acclimation. Then off to the local retailer where they get all new water yet again. Then finally, off to the customer who babies them as he/she slowly acclimates them. Some online retailers even bag their fish in fresh water before shipping them to you rather than the tank water they were holding them in and that the fish were at least somewhat acclimated to. It's not an easy life being a fish.

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On 7/25/2021 at 9:10 AM, gardenman said:

With extra emphasis on the "drop" in that case.

If you ever watch how fish are handled before they get to us, the stuff we do makes little sense. I watch a lot of YouTube videos on fishkeeping, wholesaling, catching in the wild, and retailing, and it's pretty amazingt that any fish lives long enough to get to the customer. Wild caught fish are typically caught in pretty murky water. Then they get transported to an exporter who plops them in fresh clean water with little to no acclimation. Then into a bag, often with new fresh water with no acclimation, then into a box and off they go to an importer. Then at the importer they're plopped into new water yet again with little to no acclimation.  Then as they're shipped to the regional distributor they get put into bags filled with fresh water again and off they go. At the regional distributor all fresh water again with little to no acclimation. Then off to the local retailer where they get all new water yet again. Then finally, off to the customer who babies them as he/she slowly acclimates them. Some online retailers even bag their fish in fresh water before shipping them to you rather than the tank water they were holding them in and that the fish were at least somewhat acclimated to. It's not an easy life being a fish.

Which goes to show that much of what we hobbyist do is really not needed.

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From studying people and the industry. I believe this is the exemplification of "it can't hurt so why not" mentality. It started 50 years ago with float for temperature, to spend 6 hours acclimating essentially. Over time lots of things escalate into a fallacy of more is better if you disregard other factors, like time, and money etc. This is how we get 3 fx6, rated for 400 gallon tanks on a 125 gallon tank etc.

The biggest slight to the hobby is that those not doing critical thinking and going on good recommendations are spending the time without the result. If you're going to spend an hour acclimating. Most scenarios would have been better off with spending the hour the day before servicing their tank and filter. Then plop and dropping the next day. Heck even breaking up that 1 hour into 5 minutes per day to have a bucket of mosquito larvae outside. The live food is likely to help transition a fish better than the acclimation process.

 

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On 7/25/2021 at 12:18 PM, Cory said:

From studying people and the industry. I believe this is the exemplification of "it can't hurt so why not" mentality. It started 50 years ago with float for temperature, to spend 6 hours acclimating essentially. Over time lots of things escalate into a fallacy of more is better if you disregard other factors, like time, and money etc. This is how we get 3 fx6, rated for 400 gallon tanks on a 125 gallon tank etc.

The biggest slight to the hobby is that those not doing critical thinking and going on good recommendations are spending the time without the result. If you're going to spend an hour acclimating. Most scenarios would have been better off with spending the hour the day before servicing their tank and filter. Then plop and dropping the next day. Heck even breaking up that 1 hour into 5 minutes per day to have a bucket of mosquito larvae outside. The live food is likely to help transition a fish better than the acclimation process.

 

I agree with you completely. Just like weekly water changes. I remember when I first started a goldfish tank in 2007 people on the Internet would tell me 10x or 20x flow with 2 filters was a must. Nowadays I have a sponge filter in my tank and a HOB with filter floss and my nitrates are never more than 10 ppm. 

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I think this is the best forum on the internet.  When I decided to get back into the hobby at the beginning of 2021 live plants never crossed my mind.  After discovering Cory and Aquarium Co-Op on the internet I’ve learned so much especially about the benefits of live plants.  I purchased my first plants from the Co-Op and now I would never have a tank without them.

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Back when I first starting buying fish 50+ years ago, fish were put into the white boxes with the metal handles that are used for Chinese food these days. (Photo below.) There was no way to float them to temperature acclimate. The fish were caught, plopped into the box with some tank water, the top of the box was folded closed,  the price was written on the box and off you went holding the box by the handle to check out your new fish. When you got them home you'd just open the box and pour the fish and water into your tank. When plastic bags became more common for fish the first talk of the need to temperature acclimate them came along. Before that everything was plop and drop.

1132096.jpg

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:06 AM, gardenman said:

Back when I first starting buying fish 50+ years ago, fish were put into the white boxes with the metal handles that are used for Chinese food these days. (Photo below.) There was no way to float them to temperature acclimate. The fish were caught, plopped into the box with some tank water, the top of the box was folded closed,  the price was written on the box and off you went holding the box by the handle to check out your new fish. When you got them home you'd just open the box and pour the fish and water into your tank. When plastic bags became more common for fish the first talk of the need to temperature acclimate them came along. Before that everything was plop and drop.

1132096.jpg

I’m old and have been buying fish for a long time, but never got a fish in a box before!

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On 7/26/2021 at 6:06 PM, Odd Duck said:

I’m old and have been buying fish for a long time, but never got a fish in a box before!

I'm old also. I set up my first tank in 1970. I was grown.

Trouble is I can't remember what stores put fish in back then. I can remember the store but the container?

Nope, I forgot that tidbit of info decades ago.

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It could have been a WT Grant thing as that's where I got most of my fish back then, but the fish and hamsters were put in those boxes for transport. They'd use a hole punch to make air holes for the hamsters and it was always a race to get one home before it chewed it's way out of the box. Their pet department used to have a stack of the boxes alongisde of the tanks for the fish and hamsters.

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On 7/26/2021 at 9:11 PM, gardenman said:

It could have been a WT Grant thing as that's where I got most of my fish back then, but the fish and hamsters were put in those boxes for transport. They'd use a hole punch to make air holes for the hamsters and it was always a race to get one home before it chewed it's way out of the box. Their pet department used to have a stack of the boxes alongisde of the tanks for the fish and hamsters.

I got my first tank at WT Grant.

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@gardenman¬†How long ago were¬†you getting your fish in boxes? ¬†My first tank was¬†in 1975 when I was a tween and I got my fish in plastic bags. ¬†It was a long, slow¬†process to stock my tank working with only my allowance money. ¬†Probably why my fish survived with no issues for what was technically a fish in cycle. ¬†ūüėܬ†

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On 7/26/2021 at 10:08 PM, Odd Duck said:

@gardenman¬†How long ago were¬†you getting your fish in boxes? ¬†My first tank was¬†in 1975 when I was a tween and I got my fish in plastic bags. ¬†It was a long, slow¬†process to stock my tank working with only my allowance money. ¬†Probably why my fish survived with no issues for what was technically a fish in cycle. ¬†ūüėܬ†

I was born in 1958 and was keeping fish myself from the mid-sixties on. My grandfather had been a fishkeeper and gave me my first tank when I was around six or so. I've been keeping fish ever since then. My grandfather died when I was eleven and I inherited his fish tanks and stuff then. Our old WT Grant store had a rack of metalframe fish tanks in their pet department and that was my primary fish buying site in my early years. There was also an older couple in a nearby town (Evan's Tropical Fish) who operated a fish store out of their back room. They bred their own fish in their basement and were very helpful. They'd often throw in an extra fish or two for free. Most of the fish back then were cheap, so even with a minimal allowance I could afford most of what I wanted. I think neons were like ten for a dollar on occasion, so stocking a tank wasn't a huge issue.

I hit pretty much every fish store in the Delaware Valley in my younger days and there was an endless variety of good stores. Mantua Tropical Fish and Pet Island was a favorite of mine. Maryann was the owner (along with her husband) and they carried everything including lots of live food. I bought tanks and supplies at Discount Aquarium off of route 202 in Delaware. Every now and then I'd make a run to Worldwide Aquarium in Upper Darby a wholesale/retail operation where you could save a fortune on stuff and buy it from the same people the local retailers were buying stuff from. I'd occasionally make a run to Martin's Aquarium in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Martins expanded to a second store in Cherry Hill in the 80's, but both stores closed a few years later. They were the best fish store around. Anytime I was around Cherry Hill I'd also hit up Tisa's pet shop on route 38. There were a couple of aquarium stores in Berlin NJ that I'd hit up when in the area. In Vineland there was Chick and Barbs. Every mall had a Doctor's Pet Shop with a good fish selection.

Echelon Mall had a huge aquarium store in it for a while. They actually got a baby sea turtle in a shipment once while I was there and the owner was worried if he could legally keep a sea turtle or not. He had a marine fish supplier who ran a diving school in the South Pacific and when the diver didn't have students he'd collect marine fish for the store and ship them to him. The store paid something like $300 per box and never knew what they'd be getting. It was just whatever the guy could catch. The sea turtle had the store owner very concerned though. 

It was a great time and place to grow up as a fishkeeper. You had endless variety, good shop owners, competitive pricing, and lots of people willing to share their experiences with you. It's become something of a fish desert these days with very few stores other than the occasional Petsmart/Petco. There's still one old school type store in the Aquarium Center in Clementon, NJ, but most of the good local places are gone now. 

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On 7/27/2021 at 7:12 AM, gardenman said:

I was born in 1958 and was keeping fish myself from the mid-sixties on. My grandfather had been a fishkeeper and gave me my first tank when I was around six or so. I've been keeping fish ever since then. My grandfather died when I was eleven and I inherited his fish tanks and stuff then. Our old WT Grant store had a rack of metalframe fish tanks in their pet department and that was my primary fish buying site in my early years. There was also an older couple in a nearby town (Evan's Tropical Fish) who operated a fish store out of their back room. They bred their own fish in their basement and were very helpful. They'd often throw in an extra fish or two for free. Most of the fish back then were cheap, so even with a minimal allowance I could afford most of what I wanted. I think neons were like ten for a dollar on occasion, so stocking a tank wasn't a huge issue.

I hit pretty much every fish store in the Delaware Valley in my younger days and there was an endless variety of good stores. Mantua Tropical Fish and Pet Island was a favorite of mine. Maryann was the owner (along with her husband) and they carried everything including lots of live food. I bought tanks and supplies at Discount Aquarium off of route 202 in Delaware. Every now and then I'd make a run to Worldwide Aquarium in Upper Darby a wholesale/retail operation where you could save a fortune on stuff and buy it from the same people the local retailers were buying stuff from. I'd occasionally make a run to Martin's Aquarium in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Martins expanded to a second store in Cherry Hill in the 80's, but both stores closed a few years later. They were the best fish store around. Anytime I was around Cherry Hill I'd also hit up Tisa's pet shop on route 38. There were a couple of aquarium stores in Berlin NJ that I'd hit up when in the area. In Vineland there was Chick and Barbs. Every mall had a Doctor's Pet Shop with a good fish selection.

Echelon Mall had a huge aquarium store in it for a while. They actually got a baby sea turtle in a shipment once while I was there and the owner was worried if he could legally keep a sea turtle or not. He had a marine fish supplier who ran a diving school in the South Pacific and when the diver didn't have students he'd collect marine fish for the store and ship them to him. The store paid something like $300 per box and never knew what they'd be getting. It was just whatever the guy could catch. The sea turtle had the store owner very concerned though. 

It was a great time and place to grow up as a fishkeeper. You had endless variety, good shop owners, competitive pricing, and lots of people willing to share their experiences with you. It's become something of a fish desert these days with very few stores other than the occasional Petsmart/Petco. There's still one old school type store in the Aquarium Center in Clementon, NJ, but most of the good local places are gone now. 

Wow, you're extremely local to me, and it's surreal to see all these places I recognize. I haven't been to Echelon Mall in ages, but it became a ghost town the last time I checked it out. I now shop at Aquarium Center all the time, and it's my main store (I'm down in Salem County) due to proximity and really good selection. Hi, Neighbor!

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On 7/27/2021 at 8:44 AM, laritheloud said:

Wow, you're extremely local to me, and it's surreal to see all these places I recognize. I haven't been to Echelon Mall in ages, but it became a ghost town the last time I checked it out. I now shop at Aquarium Center all the time, and it's my main store (I'm down in Salem County) due to proximity and really good selection. Hi, Neighbor!

Hi back neighbor! Another Salem Countian here. The South Jersey region was great for tropical fish hobbyists for most of my life. Sadly, most of the good places are now nothing but memories. I wasn't sure if the Aquarium Center was still open or not until a few days ago. I would check out their website whenever I was heading that way to see what they had in stock and they hadn't updated the website since mid-April so I thought they might have closed. (They had been doing weekly updates on new arrivals until then.) Just a few days ago I stumbled upon them on Facebook and saw they were posting regularly there, so I was happy to see they were still open. I may have to make a trip up there in the coming weeks now that I know they're still open. (They should put a note on their website that they're now updating their stock list on Facebook instead of the website. I'm probably not the only person who thinks they might have closed.)

There was a fish store over on Governor's Prince Boulevard in Delaware that was amazing back in the day. They were pricey, but had a gorgeous fishroom largely lit by nothing but the light from the tanks and every tank was like a show tank. They even had indoor ponds in the middle of the room. It was the prettiest fish store I'd ever seen. Most fish stores are kind of blah, but that was a fish showroom and very impressive. The tanks were all built-in and they had a huge display tank on the far wall with a big Arowana and assorted other large fish in it. It was like buying fish in a fancy public aquarium. Sadly, even that building is gone now.

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On 7/27/2021 at 9:07 AM, gardenman said:

Hi back neighbor! Another Salem Countian here. The South Jersey region was great for tropical fish hobbyists for most of my life. Sadly, most of the good places are now nothing but memories. I wasn't sure if the Aquarium Center was still open or not until a few days ago. I would check out their website whenever I was heading that way to see what they had in stock and they hadn't updated the website since mid-April so I thought they might have closed. (They had been doing weekly updates on new arrivals until then.) Just a few days ago I stumbled upon them on Facebook and saw they were posting regularly there, so I was happy to see they were still open. I may have to make a trip up there in the coming weeks now that I know they're still open. (They should put a note on their website that they're now updating their stock list on Facebook instead of the website. I'm probably not the only person who thinks they might have closed.)

There was a fish store over on Governor's Prince Boulevard in Delaware that was amazing back in the day. They were pricey, but had a gorgeous fishroom largely lit by nothing but the light from the tanks and every tank was like a show tank. They even had indoor ponds in the middle of the room. It was the prettiest fish store I'd ever seen. Most fish stores are kind of blah, but that was a fish showroom and very impressive. The tanks were all built-in and they had a huge display tank on the far wall with a big Arowana and assorted other large fish in it. It was like buying fish in a fancy public aquarium. Sadly, even that building is gone now.

That's really sad. I wish I could have seen those shops. I've heard great things from another member here about a shop up in Bucks County near Peddler's Village, but that's a bit of a hike for me (especially since I have small kids). I know of a few shops in Delaware and across 322 in Pennsylvania, but none of them have had the selection or stock of Aquarium Center so I always go back.

Definitely follow their facebook because they update there consistently, and often have more stock than what is listed. If I'm looking for something specific I'll give them a call first.

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@gardenman Wow!  You had lots of options!  I was born in 1962 so we’re not that far off in age.  My parents bought me a well used, leaky, slate bottom, metal framed aquarium for my 13th birthday.  After that, it was all my responsibility.

We had an older couple that ran a fish store from their basement.  They also bred some of their fish and regularly bred angels.  They were mostly very patient with a tween trying to learn about fish from very limited resources.  I must have made them a bit crazy asking questions.  We also had a tiny fish dept. in the local Woolworth’s store where everything always looked borderline sickly.

For anything else, we had to drive at least an hour to get to a larger city and they didn’t have much more than the basement fish room people.  For anything more, it was about a 5 hour drive to Denver or to Lincoln or Omaha.  I was in my 20’s before I got to a fish store that wasn’t in my tiny home town.

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Yeah, the South Jersey, Delaware, Southeastern PA region was great for fish hobbyists in the sixties, seventies, eighties, and into the nineties. I was very lucky growing up here. There are still a few good places around. Just Fish over in Delaware is reportedly a nice local fish store, but they don't open until noon and I tend to be done shopping and on my way back home by noon, so I've never hit them. I may have to make a special trip sometime. That Pet Place in Lancaster, PA is fantastic, but about a two hour (or so) drive. Aquarium Center is the best "local" place now, though it's still about an hour away. We used to have a small store locally owned by a guy named Woody that was quite nice. There's a small petshop locally now but their fish tend to look horrible. I'll buy frozen food there, but that's about it. Their fish never look good and their staff is a bit clueless much of the time.

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