|Library > Diseases and Medications > The Medicine Cabinet > Use of Formalin to Control Fish Parasites|
|Use of Formalin to Control Fish Parasites|
INTRODUCTION - WHAT IS FORMALIN?
Formalin is a generic term which describes a solution of 37% formaldehyde gas dissolved in water. Solutions of formalin for use on fish should contain 10 to 15% methanol, which inhibits formation of paraformaldehyde (discussed below), a highly toxic compound. Two commercial products have been approved for use in aquaculture by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These are Formalin-F sold by Natchez Animal Supply, Natchez, Miss. and Paracide-F, sold by Argent Chemical Laboratories, Redmond, Wash. Both of these products have been approved by FDA for use on food fish (trout, salmon, catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill) as a parasiticide. There is no legal withdrawal time (time after the chemical was used before fish can be slaughtered for food) for either of these products.
HOW IS FORMALIN USED IN AQUACULTURE?
Formalin is used as a bath treatment to control external parasitic infections of fish. It is extremely effective against most protozoans, as well as some of the larger parasites such as monogenetic trematodes. Formalin effectively kills parasites on gills, skin, and fins. It is not the preferred treatment for external bacterial or fungal infections. In addition, high concentrations of formalin are used to control fungi on fish eggs. Formalin is not effective against internal infections of any type.
SPECIAL CONCERNS REGARDING THE USE OF FORMALIN
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