Info on quinaldine effect on corals (fwd)

Bruce Carlson carlson at
Sat Oct 19 20:20:21 EDT 1996

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 13:59:04 -1000 (HST) 
From: Bruce Carlson <carlson at> 
To: Nicolas James Pilcher <nick at> 
Subject: Re: Info on quinaldine effect on corals 


OK, that was a bit terse.  Sorry.  I just get more and more upset at 
conclusions tossed out without data to substantiate them.  Quinaldine has 
been such a subject for decades.  Most of the arguments that I have seen 
have been based on emotion and assumption, whereas most of the scientific 
data have indicated that it has little if any environmental impact -- and 
no impact on the fish if applied correctly.   

Now the subject comes up again and the same baseless arguments arise.  I'd 
like to see some real data.  My own experience with the anesthetic 
indicates that it has little if any effect on surrounding organisms.  Yes, 
occasionally other fishes ares stunned, but either I collect them too or 
they just recover on their own in a minute or two and swim away.   

I have not used any qunialdine in a long time, but it is very useful in 
collecting Cirripectes blennies and some deep reef fishes, or to 
anesthetize them prior to handling during tag and release studies, such 
as the research I conducted. Some of the fish I studied were captured and 
released multiple times using quinaldine.  This fish feeds on live 
coral and I photographed the coral during the study.  There was no effect 
on the coral due to the quinaldine -- there was, however, a significant 
negative effect on the coral due to the fish feeding upon it! 

I would hazard a guess that quinaldine and MS-222 are on the shelves of 
many(most?) ichthyologists who work on coral reefs who have to safely 
capture their fish and release them for study.  Nets can be used but too 
often damage the fish.   

By the way, I do not condone nor advocate breaking of coral to capture 
fish.  And, as I stated before, I would advocate regulations or licensing 
of people who intend to use quinaldine on a reef to ensure that they know 
how to mix it and use it properly.  In my opinion, it should be used only 
for research.  Virtually all aquarium fish that hobbyists might want can 
be collected by an experienced collector using nets. 


On Sat, 19 Oct 1996, Bruce Carlson wrote: 

> Nicolas 
> Prove it. 
> Bruce 
> On Sat, 19 Oct 1996, Nicolas James Pilcher wrote: 
> > In reply to Bruce's recent comments, and in light of the fact that this is 
> > now warming up to the extent of actually sidestepping the original request 
> > for info, my I draw your attention ot the following: 
> >  
> > I AM convinced that quinaldine in any dosage has an effect on these delicate 
> > ecosystems, no matter how permenent, and THAT (the fact that there IS an 
> > effect) is the real issue.  Quinaldine in small doses to catch other small 
> > fish -aside from that it was not what was originally in question - has an 
> > adverse effect on the nearby small fish that were not intended for capture. 
> > In many cases these are then helpless to defend themselves, and get eaten by 
> > the larger, not anaethesised fishes. That IS permanent.  Removing coral fish 
> > that are asleep inside coral crevices in many cases also results in the 
> > breakage of corals to get to them (not always, but it definitely happens), 
> > and again, that IS permanent.  Standing to reason is that we are all in this 
> > for the longevity of the reefs and their inhabitants - incuding those who 
> > want to remove the fish for whatever purposes, and ANY man-made effect on 
> > the reef should be out of the question!  Let's face, if the reefs were 
> > supposed to have little squirts of quinaldine, don't you think they'd have 
> > figured it out by now? 
> >  
> > Happy ruminating this one..... 
> >  
> > Nick 
> > !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
> > Nicolas J. Pilcher 
> >  
> > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation 
> > Universiti Malaysia Sarawak 
> > 94300 Kota Samarahan 
> > Sarawak, Malaysia 
> >  
> > Tel ++ 60 82 671 000 Ext. 181 
> > Fax ++ 60 82 672275 
> > E-mail nick at 
> > !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
> >  
> >  

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