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Thread: No need to fear the pheromones (!?)

  1. #21
    Tategoi bobbysuzanna's Avatar
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    I am not proposing that anyone do this but:

    I have seen mentioned that potassium permanganate and malachite green can denature pheromones and both have been used to stop koi from spawning.

    I don't have any studies or personal experience on large numbers of koi, maybe someone else can give their experience. Certainly water changes would seem to be the safest way to go.

  2. #22
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbysuzanna View Post
    I am not proposing that anyone do this but:

    I have seen mentioned that potassium permanganate and malachite green can denature pheromones and both have been used to stop koi from spawning.

    I don't have any studies or personal experience on large numbers of koi, maybe someone else can give their experience. Certainly water changes would seem to be the safest way to go.
    Yes, the safe bet is water changes. Pheromones being one broad term for chemicals used by animals for communication, detection, protection, and aggregation, it would probably have to be a unique solution to a specific pheromone. In our case, it is pheromones from koi. Wondering if they can be gassed off, or metabolized/remineralized/broken down by bacteria, or simply filtered off by specific filter.

    An example of a filter is one that I use as part of a drinking water filter attached to the kitchen sink. It's called a kdf filter. According to Wikipedia, KDF-55 " is known to kill algae and fungi, control bacteria growth, and remove chlorine, pesticides, organic matter, rust, unpleasant taste and odour, hydrogen sulfide,iron, lead, nickel, chromium, cadmium, calcium, aluminium, mercury, arsenic, and other organic compounds." Wonder if it will filter off pheromones.

  3. #23
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I know that pheromones/hormones do break down over time, which means they no longer act as pheromones/hormones but remain part of the dissolved organics contaminating the water. What I do not know is how long it takes for the many different ones to break down under particular conditions. You may recall news articles on hormones from contraceptives being detectable in waterbodies that are a source for drinking water in some locales. It would seem that some endure for quite some time. I expect most break down rather quickly.

  4. #24
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    To be sure, we'll have to thrown the kitchen sink at them pheromones. Water changes, good bacteria, some gassing off, maybe a dose of malachite green or potassium permanganate occasionally? Just depends on how desperate we feel about getting rid of something we can't see nor measure.

  5. #25
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    I know as much about this subject as the rest of you, that is to say that I know next to nothing! But it gives me a chance to rattle my head (and probably kill yet another thread).

    Pheromones in goldfish and carp are pretty well studied, you can google it and when you slog your way through some of the papers (like the one I linked in the first post) you will see that “pheromones suppressing growth”is never mentioned. You can find statements that pheromones suppress growth at all of the koi websites, but none of it is anything other than anecdotal.

    So think about what a pheromone is: a specific chemical signal that communicates a specific message from one creature to another (usually in the same species) conveying information that is valuable to both. Evolution is funny; she is very picky about investing time, energy and genetics for the purpose of benefiting others (such kinship effects in fish, like Schreckstoff, are tenuous at best). What is the cost/benefit to the receiver of a message not to compete to reproduce? Why respond to such a message if sent?

    So I don’t see where the concept that pheromones suppress growth is supported. However there are plenty of studies (once again just google it) that indicate that overcrowding and stress have negative consequences. And the number one ingredient in most koi foods is fish meal which we feed our koi hundreds of pounds annually (google ”mercury in pet food” or “Ethoxyquin”, etc.). So I say again don’t fear the pheromones, their growth inhibiting effects, if any,are lost in the noise.

  6. #26
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    I'm happy to not have to worry about that. There's still the immunity-suppressing effect though that Mike had mentioned. But then, I'm hoping that it is just a matter of association and not causation. Lack of water changes could lead to a higher concentration of pheromones, but it also leads to increase in other contaminants and wastes, among them nitrates, pathogenic bacteria, and DOCs. I'd have to go back to reading what Mike referenced.

  7. #27
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I hear you, Rob. But differentiating between pheromones and hormones is something most hobbyists don't do.

  8. #28
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Bumping up this thread in connection with Reza posting about a new book concerning scientific studies on the subject of fish pheromones/hormones.

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