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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Small, Brian
item Wolters, William - Bill

Submitted to: North American Journal of Aquaculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/21/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Small, B.C., Wolters, W.R. 2003. Hydrogen peroxide treatment during egg incubation improves channel catfish hatching success. North American Journal of Aquaculture 65:314-317.

Interpretive Summary: Commercial channel catfish farmers typically report average hatch rates of 60 to 70%; however, fungal and bacterial egg infections are a significant problem for hatcheries, resulting in highly variable hatching success. Potential infections are often controlled with chemical therapeutics such as formalin. Although formalin is an effective therapeutic, concerns of safety exist among users due to its suspected carcinogenicity and odoriferous nature. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)has been shown to be a cost-effective alternative treatment to control diseases on fish eggs. In the present study, hatching success was improved approximately 30% by conducting once daily hydrogen peroxide baths to control egg infections. Following the management recommendations presented, commercial catfish producers could realize as much as 300 million more fry annually.

Technical Abstract: Three trials were conducted to evaluate the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment on channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus hatching success when administered during egg incubation as a 15 min. bath or as a flow-through treatment. In the first trial, initial treatment with 100 ppm povidone iodine followed by daily 15 min. baths of 250 mg H2O2/L yielded a 26% increase (P < 0.05) in hatching success above controls. In the second trial, daily 15 min. baths with H2O2 (250 mg/L) yielded a 30% increase (P < 0.05) in hatching success compared to povidone iodine treated controls, and significantly improved hatching success compared to formalin treated (1600 mg/L) eggs. In the third trial, hydrogen peroxide was administered in flow-through hatching troughs. Egg masses treated with 70 mg H2O2/L had significantly (P < 0.05) improved hatching success compared to untreated controls (68.3 and 24.2%, respectively). The results of this research show significant improvements in channel catfish hatching success can be obtained through the use of hydrogen peroxide as a cost-effective alternative to formalin.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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