Acclimation is critical for discus fish. The water that your new discus fish are packaged in has different temperature and pH parameters than your fish tank. Due to the fact that discus fish are very sensitive to even minor changes in temperature and pH, proper acclimation is the key to ensuring their successful relocation.

Points to note:

  • The acclimation process should never be rushed
  • Keep aquarium lights off for at least 24 hours after the discus are introduced
  • Do not feed your new fish for at least 24 hours after receiving them 
*** NEVER add water from the fish bag to your aquarium***

Floating Method

  1. Turn off the aquarium lights.
  2. Dim the lights in the room where the shipping box will be opened to avoid stress.
  3.  Float the sealed bag in the aquarium for 15 minutes to allow the water in the shipping bag to adjust slowly to the temperature in the aquarium.
  4.  Cut open the bag and roll the top edge of the bag down. This will enable the bag to float on the surface of the water.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag.
  6.  Repeat the above step 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 (not to your aquarium)
  8.  Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and proceed to add 1 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag every five minutes until the bag is full.
  9. Use a very soft net to gently catch the discus from the bag and release them into your aquarium.
  10. Remove the filled shipping bag from the aquarium and discard the water. 

Drip Method

This method is considered more advanced. You will need airline tubing and must be willing to monitor the entire process. Gather a clean bucket that has never been used with any kind of cleaning agent or chemicals of any kind.
  1. Carefully empty the contents of the bags (including the water) into the buckets.
  2. Using airline tubing, set up and run a siphon drip line from the main aquarium to the bucket. Use a control valve, to regulate flow from the aquarium.
  3. Begin a siphon by sucking on the end of the airline tubing you’ll be placing into the buckets. When water begins flowing through the tubing, adjust the drip by using the control valve to a rate of about 2-4 drips per second.
  4.  When the water volume in the bucket doubles, discard half and begin the drip again until the volume doubles once more in about one hour.
  5.  At this point, the discus can be transferred to the aquarium. Gently scoop them out of the drip bucket and add to your aquarium. 
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