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Effects of environmental pH and calcium on ammonia toxicity in channel catfish

January 1, 1980

The twenty-four-hour median lethal concentrations (24-hour LC50) of total ammonia nitrogen (TA-N) to channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) at pH 7, 8, and 9 (total hardness, 40 mg/liter; temperature, 21–25 C) were 263.6 ± 11.3 (SE), 38.8 ± 1.8, and 4.5 ± 0.2 mg/liter, respectively. The 24-hour LC50 of un-ionized ammonia nitrogen (UIA-N) concentration at pH 8 was significantly higher (1.82 ± 0.06 mg/liter) than at pH 7 or 9 (1.39 ± 0.06 and 1.49 ± 0.12 mg/liter). Enrichment of the water to 440 mg/liter total hardness at pH 7 significantly increased the 24-hour LC50 of TA-N and UIA-N (356.3 ± 16.4 and 1.79 ± 0.07). Fish exposed to 25 mg/liter TA-N for 12 hours at pH 7 and 8 showed no differences from control fish in hematocrit, percent total plasma protein, or plasma and muscle chloride. Plasma sodium showed no difference between control and experimental groups at pH 7; however, a significant decrease occurred in fish exposed to 25 mg/liter TA-N at pH 8. No differences in blood pH were found between the control groups and fish exposed to 100 and 200 mg/liter TA-N at pH 7, and to 10 and 25 mg/liter TA-N at pH 8. Plasma sodium depletion is suggested as a contributing mechanism of ammonia toxicity.

Publication Year 1980
Title Effects of environmental pH and calcium on ammonia toxicity in channel catfish
DOI 10.1577/1548-8659(1980)109<229:EOEPAC>2.0.CO;2
Authors J.R. Tomasso, C. A. Goudie, B.A. Simco, K. B. Davis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Index ID 70006968
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center