Drip Acclimation

Why it's important

Dwarf shrimp are very sensitive to changes in their water parameters, such as going from hard water to soft water, acidic to alkali, hot to cold, etc.

Cherry shrimps are pretty hardy and will usually be able to adapt to a wide range of water chemistry, provided they're acclimated slowly enough.

It's a good idea to try and find out what parameters the shrimps are currently living in so that you can try and replicate those conditions in your tank, or at least to have some idea of how long the acclimation process will need to take.

If you rush acclimation, or move shrimp into different water without letting them adjust to it, you'll be putting them under a large amount of stress that could cause death or molting issues.

Drip acclimation is the process of setting up a small tube to slowly drip your new water from a cycled tank into their current water until the majority of the water is new.

Getting started

A simple setup for drip acclimation will require a few easy to source items.

What you'll need

  • Airline tubing
  • A jug, or container for the new water
  • (Optional) Airline valve

How to drip acclimate

  1. Fill a jug with around 3x the amount of water the shrimps are currently in. e.g. if your new shrimp have come in a bag with 500ml of water in, collect 1500ml of new water
  2. Place the jug on a shelf, or somewhere higher than the container with your new shrimp in
  3. If using an airline valve then attach it to one end of the airline tubing, otherwise tie a knot in the tubing to reduce water flow
  4. Put one end of the airline tube into the new water source/jug and suck on the other end until you've created a siphon and the water flows on its own into the lower container with the shrimp in
  5. Aim for around 1-2 drops per second coming through the tube by tightening the knot or adjusting the valve
  6. Keep the other end of the tube dripping until 75% of the water is new
  7. Net the shrimp out into your new tank, this is to avoid potentially contaminating your tank with anything bad that might be in their old water

This process should typically take 1-2 hours depending on how different the water is, but if the water is drastically different or your shrimp species is sensitive then a longer acclimation is highly recommended.

What to look out for

If all of the shrimp are swimming around frantically:

  • Your new water might be being added too quickly
    • Try to slow the dripping
  • Your new water might not be ready to use
    • Test the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are safe