Mussel biologists and fisheries managers have developed propagation techniques to duplicate the natural glochidia infestation on host fish. However, in intensive culture situations, fish diseases may threaten the survival of both fish and their attached glochidia and chemical treatments may be required to control a disease epizootic. Five therapeutants were evaluated for their safety to largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides encysted with mussel glochidia by comparing the number of sloughed glochidia in the chemical treatment groups with that of an untreated control group. Largemouth bass were infested with glochidia from the plain pocketbook mussel Lampsilis cardium and treated with 20 mg chloramine-T/L, 2 mg Cutrine/L, or 200 mg formalin/L (trial 1) and 200 mg formalin/L, 100 mg hydrogen peroxide/L, or 20,000 mg sodium chloride/L (trial 2). Chemicals were applied for 60 min (15 min in the case of sodium chloride in trial 2) once every other day, for a total of three treatments (six in the case of formalin in trial 2). After the first treatment, aquaria were siphoned each weekday to determine the number of sloughed glochidia or transformed juveniles. In trial 1, the initial mean number of glochidia per fish ranged from 257 to 294, and approximately 94% of the glochidia transformed to juveniles. In trial 2, the initial mean number of glochidia per fish ranged from 97 to 115, and approximately 91% of the glochidia transformed to juveniles. The mean percent of sloughed glochidia varied by less than 2% among all test groups in each trial. There were no significant differences (P < 0.05) in the number of sloughed glochidia or transformed juveniles among control or treatment groups in either trial. Therapeutic treatment of diseased fish with chloramine-T, Cutrine, formalin, hydrogen peroxide, or sodium chloride at the treatment regimens evaluated are viable options for enhancing the survival of fish encysted with glochidia.
Additional publication details
Safety of fish therapeutants to glochidia of the plain pocketbook mussel during encystment on largemouth bass