RE: NANFA-L-- Preserves...

Subject: RE: NANFA-L-- Preserves...
From: Bruce Stallsmith (
Date: Sun Aug 08 2004 - 11:06:49 CDT

The best fish anesthetic/euthanizer is MS-222, marketed under several
commercial names. It's similar to novocaine, and comes as a fine white
powder. Don't take it in powder form with you on collecting trips,
especially to other countries; it looks very much like cocaine to police...
But it works great, I use it-in-triple strength to put down shiners I've
been collecting. It works within 5 minutes. An alternative is clove oil,-in-
several drops per liter.

As to stabilizing color in preserved fish--it doesn't happen. The American
Society for Ichthyology and Herpetology has published various collections of
curatorial techniques, and the only technique that works even a little is
adding borate to a 5% percent buffered formaldehyde solution (if I remember
correctly) and even that will fade within a year or two. For histological
work I'm doing now we preserve our shiners in 2.5% phosphate-buffererd
formaldehyde, and fish color is still good even in specimens we caught in
March. If you're motivated and have access to various hydrations of sodium
phosphate you can google the recipe for a good buffer system.

--Bruce Stallsmith
alongside the Tennessee
Huntsville, AL, US of A

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: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 12:24:17 CDT