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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

EFFECT OF MS-222 DOSAGES ON SEDATION AND RECOVERY TIME OF TWO NON-GAME FISHES

Abstract

MS-222 is a common fish anesthetic used in fisheries research and management. Although several studies have evaluated its usefulness and effects on commercial and sport fishes, few studies have assessed its effects on non-game fishes. Through a repeated measures design, this study investigated the effect of MS-222 dosage (70, 110 and 150 mg/L) on the sedation and recovery times of two common stream-dwelling fishes, banded sculpin Cottus carolinae and warpaint shiner Luxilus coccogenus. Fish (n = 30 per species) were divided into six 10-gallon holding tanks with blocking implemented by fish total length. Three trials were conducted separately for each species. Using robust ANCOVA to account for effects of fish size, no significant differences (banded sculpin: P = 0.161; warpaint shiner: P = 0.721) between treatment groups were detected for recovery times of both species, although sedation times differed significantly (banded sculpin: P = 0.037; warpaint shiner: P < 0.001) among dosage treatments for both species. In testing for species-level effects, recovery times were significantly lower (P = 0.002) for banded sculpin (x ̅=180.1 sec) than compared to warpaint shiner (x ̅=249.5 sec). Similarly, sedation times were significantly higher (P < 0.001) for banded sculpin (x ̅=213.8 sec) than warpaint shiner (x ̅=104.1 sec). Results indicate that fishes respond differently to MS-222 on a species level but that fish size might have a greater impact on fish recovery after anesthesia than dosage. Moreover, protocols for the use of MS-222 in fish anesthesia should not be generic across species but should account for size and species effects. Differences between species may be partially explained by differences in metabolic and respiration rates. Future work will expand testing to other native fishes for a more comprehensive species comparison.

Acknowledgements

Young Harris College Dept. of Biology

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