Biotope: specialist veterinary consultancy putting welfare first

Our view

It is an old veterinary truism that at least 90% of effective disinfection is cleaning. This is borne out by the Government advice to ask your hands.

I have used Vetark Ark-Klens on my consulting table, room and lab and my equipment for over 25 years. For at least 15 of these I was seeing high risk psittacosis cases and unlike some other avian vets never caught the disease!


Ark-Klens has now been tested and shown to be effective against FLU viruses.


A disinfectant is a product applied directly to an inanimate object which destroys or irreversibly inactivates most pathogens.
Antiseptics broadly do the same when applied to living skin.

Biocides/germicides are chemical agents which kill microorganisms.
The suffix -cide implies a killing action, while -stat or -static implies inhibition in some way

Sanitizers reduce the number of microorganisms to safer numbers, they often combine detergents and disinfectants.

Contact time

This is the big issue with products designed for on farm use. The commonly used iodophors are cheap and easy, have a built in colour indicator but have longish contact times. Whilst they look great in a food bath, really a shelf with a selection of magazines to read whilst you stand there would also be helpful.

Fish disinfection with Virkon Aquatic

Virkon Aquatic is our preference for true disinfection on fish farms. Virkon Aquatic has been developed from the standard form in a safer carrier such that it can even be used as a water treatment whilst fish are still present.

As a footdip or surface disinfectant it has a very short contact time and so gets over this major hurdle, and its general safety covers the other. It doesn't eat the shoes of visitors, nor does it damage the undersides of vehicles (see the Virkon website for Thatcham test).

Virkon Aquatic is tested and shown to be effective against KHV.

It can be purchased from the eshop or by telephone.

Pets, birds & reptiles

In the home or zoo setting the task of disinfection is more straightforward than the open fish farm. Here we recommend an approach:
Cleanse using Vetark Ark-Klens, a superb cleanser disinfectant which is very safe and non-scented so doesn't put animals off. It is also a very good deodorizer by breaking down the fatty acids in skin secretions and urine which 'hold' odours. This kills psittacosis and all the significant bacteria and some viruses and fungi. It has been independently tested and shown to kill Flu viruses.

On a monthly basis or for quarantines of new animals then a terminal disinfection using Tamodine E, which is an iodophore, this has a contact time of about 20 minutes but has a major benefit in that since it is light-brown you can see exactly where you have put it.


Recommended for the disinfection of eyed salmonid eggs and newly stripped nonhardened eggs. Effective against IPN, VHS and IHN. IPN can slip through if the embryo itself is infected.



A colourless liquid containing 5% hydrogen peroxide in a glycerol base, useful for disinfecting eggs against Flavobacterium psychrophilum.