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Effects of Salinity, Formalin Concentration and Buffer on Quality of Preservation of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) Larvae

John W. Tucker, Jr. and Alexander J. Chester
Copeia
Vol. 1984, No. 4 (Dec. 18, 1984), pp. 981-988
DOI: 10.2307/1445343
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1445343
Page Count: 8
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Effects of Salinity, Formalin Concentration and Buffer on Quality of Preservation of Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) Larvae
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Abstract

Shrinkage, distortion and deterioration of preserved fish larvae can be minimized by judicious choice of fixative/preservative solutions. A seven year factorial experiment was conducted with Paralichthys lethostigma larvae fixed and preserved in 12 different solutions comparable to those used in ichthyoplankton collections. The factors were: salinity (0‰, 35‰), formalin (4%, 7%, 10%) and buffer (none, sodium borate). During the experiment, preserved larvae had standard lengths that ranged from 90.6% to 100.7% of live SL. Salt water caused significant shrinkage (to 90.6-94.8% of live SL). Unbuffered 4% formalin in fresh water caused the least change from live length (97.4-100.7% of live SL). Unbuffered and buffered 10% formalin in salt water caused the least change after fixation (92.7-94.8% of live SL). pH ranged from 3.9 to 8.9. Only unbuffered saltwater solutions maintained nearly suitable pH (6.9-8.0), but only for the first year. Unbuffered freshwater formalin preserved pigment the best but apparently decalcified the skeleton. Buffered saltwater formalin preserved the skeleton but bleached pigment. From this experiment and data from more than three years of additional observations with acetate buffered formalin, we conclude that a solution suitable for fixation and preservation of fish larvae is 4% formalin in distilled water buffered with 1% sodium acetate.

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