Acclimating corals is always recommended in the hobby, its to reduce further shock to the coral allowing the stress of it from shipping to decrease and have them flourish in your tank. Many aquarists recommend the use of quarantine tanks for corals in the same way fish should be quarantined. Although the issue when having a smaller system, water parameters can be harder to balance. Whether you are adding Large Polyp Stonies ( LPS Corals) or Small Polyp Stony Corals (SPS Corals) or Soft Corals such as Zoas or Mushrooms, it is highly recommended to acclimate the corals from the bag of water they were in to your water.
When acclimating, you are gradually allowing the coral to adjust to the new water parameters from your tank. The three which create the biggest problems are pH, salinity and temperature.
First, put sealed bag into the top of your system either display tank, QT, or the sump at the bottom of your tank. After approximately 30 minutes open bag and begin to drip .25-.5 cup of your tank water to bag. This allows it the bag water parameters to adjust to your tank making the success rate greater for the live stock.
After adding water to bag approximately 5 times over an hour, gently remove coral from bag and place in system. Discard the bag water and place coral into recommended zone. **We usually recommend at the bottom of the tank and slowly increase to desired spot in tank with watching the coral closely to understand what it wants and needs.
**Remember, 24-36 hours of travel, change in the water, touch by humans, new tank, new roommates, bright blinding light would be enough to retract for days and stop eating.
During the course of the next 2-3 days, many reduce the hours and the intensity of the system. This allows the coral to gradually grow accustomed to the lighting.
**Remember if the coral is photosynthetic it MUST have lighting to grow. If lighting is not provided, the corals energy needs will not be met only allowing it do die cause the coral to “employ” additional staff members of internal algae, increasing the brown pigmentation of the coral, hence the change in color you may have seen in corals not properly housed.
Common mistakes is allowing the bag water in your tank, Never allow bag water to enter your tank. Coral can be cause extreme chemicals and cause death and destruction to your entire system.