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FAQs about Anesthesia and Pet-fishing

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Ms-222 dose     10/19/12
I have a small saddle valentini puffer need to trim teeth have Finquel ms-222 how much do I use in a gallon of water thanks for your time DonaldT
<Mmm, I'd put the string: "Finquel ms-222 dosage" in your search tool/s and read a bit. My fave input here:
"for ornamentals". Bob Fenner>

Puffer Dentistry, anaesthesia for fishes    11/30/08 Hello crew, I have written in the past regarding my puffer and have received valuable advice; thanks! After doing some research on PubMed for the use of clove oil vs. MS-222 as anesthetics for puffer dentistry, I came across this paper (though not peer-reviewed) and thought you may be interested. The study is a comparison between the two drugs and the efficacy of clove oil as an anesthetic for Zebrafish. http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089%2F154585404774101671 Perhaps it may help others to know the results of such an experiment when treating their puffers. Kayla <Hello Kayla. Thanks for the heads-up on this article; very interesting indeed. This is a subject close to my heart. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece for WWM reviewing current (scientific) thinking on fish euthanasia, much of which is at odds with the common practise seen among aquarists. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm This upsets me, to know that many people who genuinely care for their fish end up killing them in painful ways even while trying to end their suffering. It's high time the hobby tackled the subject of fish anaesthesia and euthanasia head on. In any case, the use of clove oil has been around a while, although in relation to pufferfish dentistry it's interesting that some authors don't mention it. The Aqualog pufferfish book for example describes dentistry, but without any mention of sedatives. Now, it is possible to argue this both ways. Pufferfish have evolved to cope with being bitten and then to escape. When gripped they go into a specific "mode", eventually puffing up if they aren't let go. While unarguably stressful, one could make the case that any short-term stress of being held is perhaps less than the stress of being held in a bowl of sedative-laden water for X minutes. So provided you gripped your puffer quickly, trimmed its teeth, and then let it go, would that be any worse than what would happen to it in the wild when some fish bites it and then lets go? For my part, I do use clove oil, and recommend others to do so as well. My feeling is that most aquarists find trimming puffer teeth difficult, and anything that allows them to take things slowly and thereby avoid injuring the puffer (e.g., cutting its lips instead of its teeth) has to be considered a positive thing. Cheers, Neale. (RMF, any thoughts on fish anaesthesia?)><<I've used Quinaldine, MS-222, soda water/Alka-Seltzer and Clove Oil at times... the first two with the most consistent success. I too am glad for this reference... that Clove Oil/Eugenol should be found safe/effective at the stated dosages, MO, and have acceptable recovery times... in controlled experiments. BobF>>

Fish anesthetization in the aquarium  9/9/06 Dear Crew, I have done a fair amount of research on the anesthetization of fish.   I give anesthesia (human) for a living so I understand the chemistry and pharmacology of the agents available. <Ah, good> I need to get a Magnificent Foxface Rabbitfish out of my 300 g. saltwater aquarium. I, and my wife, and my son (who works for the LFS) have tried many times to capture this fish, I have tried to use the bottle trap a number of times... suffice to say that because of the design of the tank and the layout of the live rock (many, many, many hiding places) I have decided to begin researching anesthetizing, or at least sedating the fish just enough so that I can net it, and get it back to the LFS. They pointed me to MS-222, and I have done further research into tertiary amyl alcohol and other agents also including Carbon Dioxide. <Mmm, I would use none of these in an established aquarium. And have used all of these...> All the info I have found so far describes the use of the agent with the fish already in an isolated container. Obviously if I had the fish in an isolated container, I wouldn't have a problem, so what I would like is your view of using some type of agent in the aquarium itself. I realize that this will affect the other fish (One 10" Naso Tang, one 5" Banggai Cardinal, one 3" Lawnmower Blenny, one 3" Blue Spotted Jawfish, one 2" Hector's Goby), the 5 serpent stars and about 30 corals to some degree or another. Any thoughts, or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Dave Harvey <If it were me/mine, I'd first try a fashioned "squeeze net" to push the one fish down toward one end (two inert poles and some reasonable size mesh netting)... and two hand nets once isolated in a smaller, more manageable volume... or "bite the proverbial bullet" and drain the tank down... into containers it can be re-pumped back into the main tank... Bob Fenner>

Re: fish anesthetization in the aquarium  - 09/14/06 Thanks Bob, <Welcome David> have contemplated your suggestions, but without basically dismantling the rockwork even a fashioned net doesn't seem like a workable solution in this tank. If I do drain the tank isn't this at least as much stress on the other fish and corals as any exogenous agent might be? <Mmm, might be> Not to mention this Foxface is really good at locking itself in under rocks- do you just suggest waiting until he is debilitated under these conditions and then removing him? <Mmm... well... best not to wait> Is that really any different than turning all pumps off, waiting for the Oxygen to drop, the fish to get sluggish and taking him out? <Not advised> I'm thinking that at least that way, no denizen will have also been above the water surface and O2 will be immediately be re-established when the pumps are turned back on. <Perhaps... but could also (easily) trigger a chain of reactions resulting in most alls death> I did speak at length with John Hosch, the curator of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California and he says that they use oil of cloves in the field squirted directly at a particular fish when they need to rescue a fish that is hiding in rocks, of course in that situation the volume of diluent is much greater and the effect on the other organisms in the area is much less of a concern. <Yes... can be done> We discussed using a similar approach with a syringe and a soft catheter attached and shooting it directly at the Foxface, then immediately doing a water change and using carbon after the fish is out. Your further thoughts would, as always be greatly appreciated. thanks again, Dave Harvey <You've tried training this fish to dried/sheet algae? With a large plastic framed net under... till classical habituation allows the easy removal... Bob Fenner>

Re: fish anesthetization in the aquarium  9/15/06 Thanks again Bob, <Again, welcome David> Well, this fish will aggressively eat almost anything, and I am also   contemplating soaking some food in a dilute concentration of   midazolam, but in the meantime what does "classical babituation" mean? <Heeeeee! Sorry for the mis-spelling... Shades of Bob (B.F.) Skinner and his "kid in a box"... Habituation... the lack of response to a non-novel stimulus/stimuli. BobF> Dave Harvey Oh, that habituation, of course. Skinner, I know. Thanks again, Dave Harvey <Heeeeee! Any relation to "that" Paul of the same family name? Seemingly similar sardonic sense of humor! Cheers, BobF>

Quinaldine 1/12/2001 Dear Sir, This has reference to the subject product, we would like to introduce ourselves as Manufacturer of the same in India. While going through the web we came across your site & found that Quinaldine is used for Anesthesia of Fish. <Mmm, for treatment as an anti-protozoal> We would like to have your help in the matter & would be highly obliged if you can provide us with the Name & Address of the manufacturers using this product for making the end product. We look forward to your earliest reply. Thanks & Regards Rupesh Kamdar R.K.Impex Office Address : 10/14, Garibdas Street, Ramesh Chambers, 2nd floor, Room no.11, Masjid, Mumbai 400 003 INDIA Telefax : 91 22 3429806 Tel : 91 22 3425910 <I will send your note about to friends/associates in the trade that may be interested, and post on our principal site, www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Painless euthanasia I had to euthanize one of my favorite mollies yesterday. I had recently read about a fish-tagging operation where they used clove oil to anesthetize the fish before they inserted a data recorder into the fish. (My apologies for not being able to find the link right now.) Clove oil has a long history as an anesthetic. It's an old folk remedy for toothache. I found out that works very well as a method for fish euthanasia. I used about a half-teaspoon, perhaps more, perhaps less, in about a cup or two of tank water. (Sorry I don't have more specific information, but I was a bit stressed.) When I put the molly in and swished the stuff around, he was anesthetized and paralyzed almost instantly, and gone within seconds -- literally. And painlessly. The whole thing took less than a minute. <not the case with many techniques! Good to know> The clove oil I used is clove essential oil. It's inexpensive as far as essential oils go; I bought an ounce several years ago for under $3. I would seriously recommend this method to anyone who needs to euthanize a fish. --Ananda <Thank you for sharing with us! Many ways to do this sad act, but none are easy. -Ryan>

Puffer Teeth/MS-222 Question I was wondering if anyone there knows what the proper dosage is, when using ms-222 on a small puffer(2" south American/Brazilian). I also need to know the duration of the anesthetic, maximum tolerated exposure time, and recovery time. Any information on this would be very much appreciated. thanks! <There is a wide range of possibilities in using tricaine methanosulfonate. Please see here: http://biowww.clemson.edu/biolab/MS222.html Bob Fenner>


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