OBJECTIVES: Anaesthetics are used in aquaculture to prevent stress and mechanical damage to fish during handling or the treatment of fish in breeding, blood sampling and other veterinary interventions. Clove oil and 2-phenoxyethanol are used in the Czech Republic in a water bath for the short-term immobilization of the fish.
DESIGN: Acute toxicity tests were performed on aquarium fish Danio rerio, which is considered to be one of the model organisms most commonly used in toxicity testing. The semi-static method according to OECD No. 203 (Fish acute toxicity test) was used for testing juvenile fish. Embryo toxicity tests were performed in zebrafish embryos (D. rerio) in compliance with the OECD No. 212 methodology (Fish, short-term toxicity test on embryo and sac-fry stages). The results obtained (the number of dead individuals at particular test concentrations) were subjected to a probit analysis using the EKO-TOX 5.2 programme in order to determine LC50 clove oil and 2-phenoxyethanol values. The statistical significance of the difference between LC50 values in juvenile and embryonic stages of D. rerio was tested using the Mann-Whitney non-parametric test implemented in the Unistat 5.1 programme.
RESULTS: The LC50 clove oil mean value was 18.8 +/- 5.52 mg.L-1 in juvenile D. rerio, and 15.64 +/- 3.30 mg.L-1 in embryonic stages of D. rerio. The LC50 2-phenoxyethanol mean value was 338.22 +/- 15.22 mg.L-1 in juvenile D. rerio, whereas in embryonic stages of D. rerio it was 486.35 +/- 25.53 mg.L-1.
CONCLUSIONS: The study proved statistically significantly higher (p<0.01) sensitivity in juvenile fish to 2-phenoxyethanol compared to the embryonic stages. Acute toxicity values of clove oil for juvenile and embryonic stages were comparable.