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Tips for Introducing Invertebrates Into a Reef Aquarium

Invertebrates are vital to the continued success of a balanced, healthy aquarium ecosystem. Since they feed on many smaller algae and waste particles, they’re the perfect ways to manage excessive algae growth and ensure that all your marine pets get the nutrients they need. But if you’re going to get them to thrive in your tank, you need to know how to properly acclimate them. Here are our tips for introducing invertebrates into a reef aquarium.


Pick the Right Types of Invertebrates

To ensure your new invertebrates live in harmony with the rest of your fish and corals, you must first purchase the right types of organisms. There are hundreds of different invertebrate species to buy. However, not all of them will be good fits for the setup you want and the fish or corals you already have. Some invertebrates may act aggressively toward others, while other types are naturally more docile. So make sure you look for some easy invertebrates to add to your aquarium to get the best results.

Float New Arrivals for Temperature Adjustment

Once you bring your new invertebrates home, we recommend floating them immediately along the surface of your tank. Much like new fish, invertebrates can be temperature sensitive, requiring some time to adjust to the conditions in their new habitat. Floating them for at least 20 minutes guarantees that they’ll slowly become accustomed to the temperature before you start the next steps of the acclimation process.

Let Them Slowly Acclimate to the Proper Salinity

Then, you can start getting them used to your tank’s overall water parameters. Invertebrates are particularly sensitive to changes in water salinity. In fact, sudden fluctuations can cause them to become ill. Because of this, getting them used to it slowly with the drip acclimation method is vital.

Set up a drip applicator to systematically drip water from your tank into a separate container. This will help your pets acclimate to the new salinity at their own pace rather than shocking them with a sudden increase or decrease.

Introduce Invertebrates Without Their Acclimation Water

Another important tip for introducing invertebrates into a reef aquarium is to transfer them into your tank without the water to which you’ve acclimated them. Because the water in your drip acclimation bucket is a combination of tank and transportation water, there’s an increased chance that this water contains something harmful. Transferring them by net or hand prevents cross-contamination and protects the rest of your marine pets in the long run.

Owning your own reef aquarium can be incredibly rewarding, especially when your pets are happy and healthy in their environment. By using these tips, you’re setting yourself and your invertebrates up for a successful transition.

Emma Radebaugh

Emma is a writer and editor passionate about providing accessible, accurate information. Her work is dedicated to helping people of all ages, interests, and professions with useful, relevant content.

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