Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Effect of species, life stage, and water temperature on the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide to fish
Rach, J. J., Schreier, T. M., Howe, G. E., and Redman, S. D., 1997, Effect of species, life stage, and water temperature on the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide to fish: Progressive Fish Culturist, v. 59, no. 1, p. 41-46.
Hydrogen peroxide is a drug of low regulatory priority status that is effective in treating fish and fish eggs infected by fungi. However, only limited information is available to guide fish culturists in administering hydrogen peroxide to diseased fish. Laboratory tests were conducted to determine (1) the sensitivity of brown trout Salmo trutta, lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, fathead minnow Pimephales promelas, walleye Stizostedion vitreum, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, and bluegill Lepomis machrochirus to hydrogen peroxide treatments; (2) the sensitivity of various life stages of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to hydrogen peroxide treatments; and (3) the effect of water temperature on the acute toxicity of hydrogen peroxide to three fish species. Fish were exposed to hydrogen peroxide concentrations ranging from 100 to 5,000 mu L/L (ppm) for 15-min or 45-min treatments every other day for four consecutive treatments to determine the sensitivity of various species and life stages of fish. Except for walleye, most species of fish tested (less than or equal to 2 g) tolerated hydrogen peroxide of 1,000 mu L/L or greater. Walleyes were sensitive to hydrogen peroxide concentrations as low as 100 mu L/L. A correlation was found between the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide and the life stages of rainbow trout; larger fish were more sensitive. Generally, the toxicity of hydrogen peroxide increased for all species as water temperature increased. The results of these experiments demonstrate that it is important to consider the effects of species, life stage, and water temperature when conducting hydrogen peroxide treatments.