Product Review: The AccuDrip Acclimator by Innovative Marine
A simple but helpful little gadget. Shop for the AccuDrip on Amazon.com.
This is a small exaggeration, but the Innovative Marine AccuDrip Acclimator is one of my favorite aquarium gadgets under $15. Elegantly simple and makes one of the most exciting times in the hobby a little easier.
The best time in the hobby is the 30-minute period right before and after you add a new saltwater fish, shrimp or coral to your aquarium–and now I use the Innovative Marine AccuDrip to make drip acclimation a bit easier.
How I used to acclimate fish before the Innovative Marine AccuDrip:
I wrote about acclimating fish previously. This is how I used to acclimate fish:
I used to take a length of airline tubing and insert one end into the aquarium and drape the rest of it down into the acclimation bucket. About one out of every three times, the line would fall out before I could close the glass lid and pinch it inside. Not the biggest issue ever, but a small hassle, nonetheless.
Then I would use a turkey baster to suck the air out of the airline tubing to start the siphon. This was slightly tricky, because if you didn’t remove the air fast enough, the siphon wouldn’t start.
If you sucked the air out too quickly, the water would rush through the tube, which made the next step…a bit wet.
Then I would tie a knot in the airline tubing to restrict the flow.
- Airline tubing (enough to fit inside the tank by a few inches and extend down to the ground)
- Turkey baster
While imprecise and certainly inexpensive, my old technique worked well but was a bit sloppy.
The first upgrade
For a period of time, I did “upgrade” my gear to include an airline valve. The reason for adding the valve was to make it easier to adjust the flow of the water–but it also made it more difficult to start the siphon, because the turkey basters never quite fit properly.
The second upgrade
Determined to find a better way to restrict the flow, I found a tubing clamp. It’s actually a medical device, but it works fairly well. You slide the tube through the clamp and close the clamp to restrict the flow.
The part of the tube I would put inside the tank would still fall out occasionally, and the small clamp would get misplaced, but all-in-all, the set up worked.
What I use now
What I found a year or two ago and use now is the Innovative Marine AccuDrip Acclimator. The AccuDrip is an all-in-one drip acclimation device.
What I like about it is the rounded, hard plastic end that you insert into the tank. It fits right over the lip of the tank. No more slips, no more spills.
Next, the restrictor clamp is a little wheel you move with your thumb. I can very precisely control the drip with ease–and the clamp never gets lost, because it’s right there, on the line.
There’s a little reservoir here, where the water collects, so it gives you a chance to restrict the flow before the onslaught of water makes its way all the way through the tube
- Drip acclimation is a breeze, and I feel like a nurse or scientist, using the proper tool, rather than like a hack, causing a mess with some strange contraption.
- No more spills, no more misplaced gear.
- For a small plastic device, the Innovative Marine AccuDrip is a bit expensive–but the price does vary some–check out the prices now
- The diameter of the tubing is pretty narrow. That’s not a big deal, because it also means even at peak flow, the water flow rate is still in the right range for acclimation, but what I have found is that the tube never dries out–and it is too narrow to hook up to an air pump–so the water just sits there.
- The way I deal with that is that I try to remember to flush the line out (into a waste container) prior to dripping the water into the tank, but you and I both know that there is some stuff growing in the tube if it never dries out.
See for yourself
Check out the product video here. You may want to turn the sound down…haha…the music got to me
If you’re looking for a moderately priced gadget for your birthday, Christmas or other holiday that will class up your drip acclimation, the AccuDrip by Innovative Marine is a well crafted tool that legitimately makes the job better and lets you spend a little more time focused on your new fish, shrimp or coral and a little less time drying your hands and cleaning up drips.
Check out the Innovative Marine AccuDrip Acclimator on Amazon for the latest prices and to send yourself a present. You deserve it.