Theses and Dissertations

Title: The toxicities of several rotenone formulations to nine species of warmwater fishes

Name: Hester II, Francis Eugene

Degree: PhD

Chair: Dr. John S. Dendy and Dr. Homer S. Swingle

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1959

Pages: 109

Keywords: Toxicities,Rotenone Formulations,Warmwater Fishes.


Experiments were conducted in aquaria in the laboratory and in outdoor concrete ponds to determine the effectiveness of Sulfoxide and piperonyl butoxide as synergists to rotenone for fish poisons. The synergized formulations were compared to non-synergized formulations containing 5.0 per cent rotenone and to powdered cube. Except for powdered cube, all formulations were in liquid form and contained emulsifiers. The following formulations, designated by their principal toxic components, were tested: (1) 5.0 per cent rotenone(2) 2.5 per cent rotenone plus 2.5 per cent Sulfoxide(3) 2.5 per cent rotenone plus 5.0 per cent Sulfoxide(4) 2.6 per cent rotenone plus 7.5 per cent Sulfoxide(5) 2.0 per cent rotenone plus 4.0 per cent piperonyl butoxide(6) 2.5 per cent rotenone plus 2.5 per cent piperonyl butoxide(7) 2.5 per cent rotenone plus 5.0 per cent piperonyl butoxide (8) powdered cube (7.3 per cent rotenone).In the laboratory, the following eight species of fish were used: carp, Cyprinus carpio: largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides: fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas: goldfish, Carassius auratus: bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus: green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus: golden shiners, Notemigonus crysoleucas: and speckled bullheads, Ictalurus nebulosus marmoratus. Experiments with gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum, were conducted in concrete ponds. In laboratory experiments at 70oF., largemouth bass and carp were the most susceptible species, and golden shiners and speckled bullheads were the most resistant, while fathead minnows, green sunfish, goldfish, and bluegills were intermediate in tolerance to the poisons. At 40oF. carp, fathead minnows, and bluegills were killed by smaller concentrations of the poisons than were golden shiners, speckled bullheads, and goldfish. Water temperature was found to be an important factor in determining the length of time required for a given concentration to kill the fish. When 40oF. tests were continued beyond the 72-hour test period, the kill of goldfish and fathead minnows at the end of 21 days was approximately the same as that at the end of 3 days at 70oF., indicating that these toxicants might give the same results at 40o and 70oF. if given unlimited time, and if the toxicants did not dissipate. When tests were limited to 72 hours, however, 1.3 to 8.0 times as much of each rotenone formulation was required to kill fish at 40oF. as at 70oF. The formulations containing 5.0 per cent rotenone were more toxic than any of the synergized formulations or powdered cube, with the following exceptions:(1) Largemouth bass were killed by smaller concentrations of all synergized formulations than of 5.0 per cent rotenone formulations or powdered cube.(2) In a series of experiments with bluegills using formulations from one company the synergized formulations were more toxic than the one containing 5.0 per cent rotenone, but in another series with similar chemicals the reverse was true.(3) Formulations containing 2.6 per cent rotenone plus 7.5 per cent Sulfoxide, and 2.5 per cent rotenone plus 5.0 per cent Sulfoxide were approximately equal in effectiveness to formulations containing 5.0 per cent rotenone when tested against fathead minnows. With all species, smaller concentrations of rotenone were required to kill fish when the synergists were added. The synergists were most effective against largemouth bass, and least effective against carp. In tests with speckled bullheads and goldfish, large fish were more resistant than small fish to three rotenone formulations. There appeared to be sufficient differences in the tolerance of the various species and sizes to allow selective poisoning. The addition of 2.0 p.p.m. of potassium permanganate completely detoxified 1.0 p.p.m. of Pro-Noxfish and 1.0 p.p.m. of Noxfish, but only partially detoxified 1.0 p.p.m. of powdered cube (7.3 per cent rotenone). Exposure of 4,000 p.p.m. Noxfish in a glass flask to strong sunlight for 3 1/4 hours reduced the toxicity to goldfish 66 per cent.

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