Effects of ammonia and nitrate concentration on hematologic and serum biochemical profiles of hybrid striped bass (Morone chrysops × Morone saxatilis)

Terry C. Hrubec From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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John L. Robertson From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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Stephen A. Smith From the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effects of poor water quality on hematologic and biochemical analytes in hybrid striped bass.

Animals

Hybrid striped bass (reciprocal cross: female Morone chrysops × male M saxatilis) maintained in 2,000-L tanks with undergravel filters.

Procedure

Fish were acclimated to high ammonia (0.15 mg/L) and nitrate (200 mg/L) concentrations for 6 weeks prior to sample collection. Hematologic and biochemical profiles were determined for these fish and for fish kept under normal conditions (control). Comparisons were made among the 3 water qualities and with reference intervals determined previously.

Results

Significant differences in hematologic and biochemical analytes were observed between fish in the various groups; however, most of the values were within established reference intervals. All values from fish in the high ammonia concentration tank were either within the reference interval or not significantly different from control values. Fish from the high nitrate concentration tank had higher serum creatinine values and lower chloride values than did control fish, and both analytes were substantially outside the reference intervals.

Conclusion

High ammonia concentration of 0.15 mg/L did not affect any of the blood analytes measured. The hypercreatininemia and hypochloremia observed in fish from the 200 mg of nitrate/ml tank were considered to be pathologic changes associated with the high nitrate concentration.

Clinical Relevance

Determining the effects of water quality on hematologic and biochemical values helps to develop clinical pathology as a diagnostic tool in fish. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:131–135)

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the effects of poor water quality on hematologic and biochemical analytes in hybrid striped bass.

Animals

Hybrid striped bass (reciprocal cross: female Morone chrysops × male M saxatilis) maintained in 2,000-L tanks with undergravel filters.

Procedure

Fish were acclimated to high ammonia (0.15 mg/L) and nitrate (200 mg/L) concentrations for 6 weeks prior to sample collection. Hematologic and biochemical profiles were determined for these fish and for fish kept under normal conditions (control). Comparisons were made among the 3 water qualities and with reference intervals determined previously.

Results

Significant differences in hematologic and biochemical analytes were observed between fish in the various groups; however, most of the values were within established reference intervals. All values from fish in the high ammonia concentration tank were either within the reference interval or not significantly different from control values. Fish from the high nitrate concentration tank had higher serum creatinine values and lower chloride values than did control fish, and both analytes were substantially outside the reference intervals.

Conclusion

High ammonia concentration of 0.15 mg/L did not affect any of the blood analytes measured. The hypercreatininemia and hypochloremia observed in fish from the 200 mg of nitrate/ml tank were considered to be pathologic changes associated with the high nitrate concentration.

Clinical Relevance

Determining the effects of water quality on hematologic and biochemical values helps to develop clinical pathology as a diagnostic tool in fish. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:131–135)

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