DAO 66:15-20 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao066015

Treatment of ichthyophthiriasis after malachite green. II. Earth ponds at salmonid farms

Päivi Rintamäki-Kinnunen1,*, Mika Rahkonen2, Heikki Mykrä2, E. Tellervo Valtonen2

1Department of Biology, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, 90014 University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland

ABSTRACT: We tested formalin, chloramine-T–formalin and Desirox™–formalin, for use against white spot disease (ichthyophthiriasis) caused by Ichthyophthirius multifiliis at 3 salmonid farms (Salmo salar and S. trutta smolt reared in earth ponds). I. multifiliis disappeared from most individuals 4 to 5 wk after the first treatment (and after the first I. multifiliis were found) with all chemicals, indicating that combinations of these chemicals, and even formalin alone, can be used to lower the parasite burden in earth ponds to such a level that no mortality occurs. This was the case when the fish were treated frequently at the beginning of the infection. Treatment can be stopped once the fish have achieved immunity to ichthyophthiriasis. The developing immunity was also revealed by the distribution of ciliates in the course of the disease. At the beginning of the infection I. multifiliis individuals were randomly distributed among the fish, but after 2 to 3 wk, when all the fish were infected, ciliates had increased in numbers and were aggregated in such a way that some fish carried quite heavy burdens. However, over 60% of the fish were free of the parasites after 4 to 5 wk, and had few or no ciliates, meaning that the distribution was even more aggregated. Sea trout had fewer parasites than salmon, and they also recovered from infection earlier even though the treatments and ponds were similar, indicating variation in resistance to I. multifiliis between fish species. It was also evident that the chemicals and their concentrations must be planned carefully to suit the conditions at each farm.

KEY WORDS: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis · Salmo salar · Salmo trutta · Fish farming · Immunity ·Alternative chemicals

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