the present study compared losses of weight and length in specimens of atherinella brasiliensis (quoy & gaimard, 1825) after fixation in formalin 10% during ten days, and posterior preservation in ethanol 70% for 45 days, in two solvents: freshwater and marine water. additionally, correction factors were proposed to calculate the correction for weight and length from preserved specimens. the specimens were weighted and measured after collection (fresh), and with 10, 20, 27, 34, 41 and 55 days of fixation plus preservation. the largest losses in weight occurred during the first 20 days (10.35 ± 0.31% - freshwater; 11.29 ± 0.44% - marine water), continuing with lesser intensity up to the 27th day in freshwater dilution, and up to the 34th day in marine water dilution. weight losses stabilized by the 34th day for both freshwater (11.77 ± 0.33%) and marine water (13.62 ± 0.41%). the largest losses in the total length for the two methods were also observed in the first 20 days (7.42 ± 0.27% - freshwater; 9.76 ± 0.26 - marine water), stabilizing after the 27th day in freshwater (8.60 ± 0.26%) and 20th day in marine water (9.76 ± 0.26%). the losses of weight and total length were significantly dependent on fish size, with smaller individuals suffering the most significant losses. complete regression equations were proposed for the retro-calculation of fresh weight and total length from the preserved specimens for freshwater (wfresh = 1.0536wp + 0.0416; tlfresh = 0.9588tlp + 5.8437) and marine water (wfresh = 1.0868wp + 0.0451; tlfresh = 0.8621tlp + 10.425).