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Thread: Preserving fish

  1. #1
    Don't Tread On Me davo's Avatar
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    Question Preserving fish

    I was looking into preserving fish.... you know the dead specimen in a formaldehyde filled jar. Well, as i think thats a carcenogenic(?) what would be used as a substitute that i would be able to access and not have to do anything special to have. Would it be part ethanol/proponol or mixed with something? I heard of using a 70% ethanol solution with something else.

    Anyway ideas





  2. #2
    Cobra Snakehead wizzin's Avatar
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    I have a huge container of formaldehyde However, I think you can use a strong mixture of pickling salt and borax. Don't know what the water would look like after a while though It would definitely prevent decomposition though.

    I think alcohol would work too. Have fun
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    Feeder Goldfish
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    my friend once found a oppossom mom that died and he put the dead babies in alcohol and its lasted well over 5 years i didthe same with still-born rat pups and they lasted years. my fiance has a kidney and heart from a disection of a cat in high school that was in 04 they are still fine. so long story short use alcohol like you clean cuts with it will last forever
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    Great Barracuda Horiyoshi III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizzin;874773;
    I have a huge container of formaldehyde However, I think you can use a strong mixture of pickling salt and borax. Don't know what the water would look like after a while though It would definitely prevent decomposition though.

    I think alcohol would work too. Have fun
    I would get 100% Ethanol not Isypropyl,Isypropyl is a wood alchohol and i don't think it would be good.100% Ethanol i have no idea how you would get it,but im shure it would stay clear forever and not disintergrate specimens.
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  5. #5
    AKA " Brooklamprey " Polypterus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davo;874706;
    I was looking into preserving fish.... you know the dead specimen in a formaldehyde filled jar. Well, as i think thats a carcenogenic(?) what would be used as a substitute that i would be able to access and not have to do anything special to have. Would it be part ethanol/proponol or mixed with something? I heard of using a 70% ethanol solution with something else.

    Anyway ideas
    The general process for alcohol fixing a specimen is to first soak in 25% ethanol for a week or so, Take it out and then soak in 50% ethanol for a week or so then remove and place in the final solution of 70% to 80% ethanol.

    ethanol concentration is always diluted with distilled water.
    Last edited by Polypterus; 05-22-2007 at 7:35 PM.
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  6. #6
    Preservation
    I use 70% alcohol for preservation (or at least maintenance of perservation) of our specimens...this is diluted from the 95% stuff we keep on hand in the lab. the actual preservation/fixation, however, is done with formaldehyde. if the fish is larger than just a few inches then i cut the belly so the chemical can enter into the insides of the fish and preserve everything. the fish stays in the form. solution for a couple days. if its a gar or bichir, a fish that has rigid bony scales, then i take the fish out after 2-3 days and just let it air dry. the fish is now dry preserved.

    if im doing a standard preservation i take the fish out after 2-3 days and let it sit in a container of water to soak out the formalin. after a day in the water the fish is removed and placed into a container of 70% alcohol for long-term preservation.
    as far as using other alcohol, i think as long as its relatively pure and the proof is about 140 you should be ok...in theory
    There can never be too many bichir creature keepers

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  7. #7
    Wels Catfish CHOMPERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveprovot;874775;
    my friend once found a oppossom mom that died ...
    I think everyone has had dead oppossum babies in a jar. I am not sure if I still have mine. They will last forever in rubbing alcohol.
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  8. #8
    Annie the Sun Conure Fabio's Dad's Avatar
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    I use 70% for all sorts of things like spiders, fw fish, midgets. But I've never been successfull with sw fish with that method.
    "The most useless thing in the world is the answer to a question not fully understood, fully posed."
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  9. #9
    Annie the Sun Conure Fabio's Dad's Avatar
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    I was just being silly. However, as I read that last post, I realized that it may have been quite offensive to many people. I'm really sorry if anyone was offended by that.
    "The most useless thing in the world is the answer to a question not fully understood, fully posed."
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  10. #10
    Wels Catfish CHOMPERS's Avatar
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    SW fish are ok if you are going to eat them later. Fw fish will taste funny. Midgets are too stringy...
    Nerd Herd
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