I suppose some people may consider this carelss but...
After floating for temp equalization, I just put them in. I dont know if I would necessarily recommend this to anyone else, but I know my tank is stable enough with good water conditions. I mean, when the acro polyps pop out within 15 mins, you know you must be doin something right
FWIW, it's what I do, you can do what you want..
Minotaur15 on #reefs
Captive propagation will be our salvation. Do your part.
This is an interesting question. I believe in the float and slowly add water over time method for fish, ( adjusting pH and salinity and others ) but what about corals?
When your Retailer, wholesaler, shipper, MO store get in 25 - 100+ pieces at a time, do you think they are spending an hour with each acclimating them? I don't think it is likely. (I have seen it in action at many levels) Many just float for a few minutes to acclimate temp and then do a coral dip and drop it in. This can happen several times to each peice as it goes through the channels of shippers. Of course many will say that all of these parties are planning on keeping the animal only a short period of time. But if there is continuos dieoff, that party won't be in business long.
That being said, I have been keeping reefs for over 20 years and salt for 30. A few years ago I started experimenting with my new corals. (LFS only, I have just ordered my first MO corals, more on that in another post) I would buy similar species from the same store, at the same time and acclimate one the "long" way and one the "quick" way in the same tank. Place them in similar areas of the tank and wait and see.
I have only done this about 15 times, so it is hardly the kind of numbers we will see at an LFS, but I have had only 1 death of the 15 or so corals "quick" dipped. That's a 93.3% success ratio. Not bad....
I've MO over 20 SPS frags (anywhere from 1" to 7") the past year. All I've done is float them in the tank for about 10 minutes to equalize temperatures, then put them straight in. Some extent their polyps immediately while others take a day or so. Not one has died on me and all are growing like mad. Just my experience.
Temperature shock is important, but salinity shock is also an important parameter. It can easily rupture the cell walls given a large enough osmotic pressure gradient. Granted, many of the sps folks keep their salinities very close to NSW, so they can usually dump temp acclimated corals into the tank with impunity. But that's provided that the supplier also keeps their water very close to NSW.
But good accliamtion procedures are important for the beginner to intermediate reef keeper, just to stay on the safe side.
BTW - don't forget that the temperature of the accliamtion container can drop dramatically during the drip process. So if you do this, make sure to re-equilibrate the temp at the end of the process.
I currently work in a LFS and have had to land quite a few fish in my time. I was originally a subscriber to the "Air line drip method" of acclimating, but have since moved on to the "straight into the water" landing method. I've found that survival rates are always better if the fish/inverts make it away from the water they were shipped in ASAP. I generally let 'em float for about 20 min. or so and then take a razor, slice the bag and let them go. The shipment I landed last night consisted of about 50 fish and 220 inverts... outside of 2 nudibranchs that were Doa everything has survived.
Corals on the other hand are still landed in a more old fashioned way. I agree that quick changes in salinity can bother corals and anemones so they are more gradually acclimated, no straight dumping for them...
They float, I introduce one shot of our water (about 1/2 the amount they are shipped in), float a bit more and off they go.