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Water Quality and Fish Health

Water Quality and Fish Health

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Published by Dr. Subhendu Datta
Good Water quality is the prime factor for keeping the fish healthy. Environmental changes can cause stress to fishes. Alakalinity, tubidity, dissolved oxygen, hardness, dissolved solids, ammonia, nitrite, hydrogen sulfide, metal, pesticide even change temperature can deteriorate helath of fishes. all these are described in this presentation.
Good Water quality is the prime factor for keeping the fish healthy. Environmental changes can cause stress to fishes. Alakalinity, tubidity, dissolved oxygen, hardness, dissolved solids, ammonia, nitrite, hydrogen sulfide, metal, pesticide even change temperature can deteriorate helath of fishes. all these are described in this presentation.

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Published by: Dr. Subhendu Datta on Oct 14, 2009
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Water Quality and FishWater Quality and FishHealthHealth
Dr.Dr.SubhenduSubhenduDattaDattaSr. ScientistSr. Scientist
Kolkata, IndiaKolkata, India
IntroductionIntroduction
Health condition of any animal deteriorates when the environmentHealth condition of any animal deteriorates when the environmental conditional conditionis not congenial.is not congenial.A simple example may be when the temperature started dropping duA simple example may be when the temperature started dropping during thering theonset of winter season, we face all the symptoms associated withonset of winter season, we face all the symptoms associated withcold andcold andcough (e.g. sneezing, running nose occurs).cough (e.g. sneezing, running nose occurs).Good water quality is the key to successful fish/prawn productioGood water quality is the key to successful fish/prawn production.n.Fish andFish andprawn under normal condition is in a state of equilibrium with iprawn under normal condition is in a state of equilibrium with its environmentts environmentand diseaseand disease--producing organisms.producing organisms.Any alteration in the environment disturbs this equilibrium resuAny alteration in the environment disturbs this equilibrium resulting in stress tolting in stress tothe fish/prawn and they become more vulnerable to disease producthe fish/prawn and they become more vulnerable to disease producingingorganismsorganisms..The presence of harmful impurities in water is mainly due to natThe presence of harmful impurities in water is mainly due to naturaluralcontamination or as a result of human activities polluting watercontamination or as a result of human activities polluting watermay causemay causehealth problems to fish/prawn.health problems to fish/prawn.A number ofA number ofabioticabioticfactors beyond optimum levels are responsible for poorfactors beyond optimum levels are responsible for poorhealth of fish/prawn.health of fish/prawn.
 
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TemperatureTemperature
Fish/prawn respond to an increase in environmental temperatureFish/prawn respond to an increase in environmental temperatureparticularly in summer season byparticularly in summer season byincreasing the respiration rateincreasing the respiration rateasaswell aswell ascardiac ratecardiac rateand cardiac output.and cardiac output.Fish/prawn eventually dies from abnormally high temperaturesFish/prawn eventually dies from abnormally high temperaturesbecause ofbecause oflack of oxygenlack of oxygenand malfunction of enzyme systems.and malfunction of enzyme systems.Most of the tropical species may die when temperatures drop beloMost of the tropical species may die when temperatures drop beloww66°°C. Exotic carps and Indian major carps cannot survive atC. Exotic carps and Indian major carps cannot survive attemperature above 50temperature above 50
00
C.C.Optimum water temperature range for major carps is 20Optimum water temperature range for major carps is 20°°--3838°°C.C.Fish/prawn can tolerate upward changes in temperature better thaFish/prawn can tolerate upward changes in temperature better thanndownward changes.downward changes.It is always advisable toIt is always advisable togradually acclimatize fish/prawn to watergradually acclimatize fish/prawn to watertemperature changetemperature changeof 3of 3°°C in either direction.C in either direction.
TemperatureTemperature
((contdcontd))
During extreme summer due to high temperature fishes/prawnsDuring extreme summer due to high temperature fishes/prawnsrefuse feeding or become easily prone to intestinal inflammationrefuse feeding or become easily prone to intestinal inflammation..When temperature exceeds tolerance capacity,When temperature exceeds tolerance capacity,excitability andexcitability andconvulsive movement of fishesconvulsive movement of fishesare observed withare observed withdarkdarkcolourationcolourationthroughout the gillsthroughout the gillsfollowed by collapse and death.followed by collapse and death.Low temperature affected byLow temperature affected bycold shockscold shocks(3(3--55°°C) with the symptomC) with the symptomof disturbances in fish equilibrium causing damage of skin,of disturbances in fish equilibrium causing damage of skin,oedemaoedema,,intestinal damages,intestinal damages,haemolysishaemolysisand death due to paralysis ofand death due to paralysis ofrespiratory centres.respiratory centres.Sudden drop of water temperature causes pathological changes inSudden drop of water temperature causes pathological changes ingills resulting impaired respiration and abnormally copious mucugills resulting impaired respiration and abnormally copious mucussproduction,production,gills turn whitegills turn whiteindicating circulatory disorders and it alsoindicating circulatory disorders and it alsocauses disarray in the embryonic development in fishes.causes disarray in the embryonic development in fishes.
 
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OxygenOxygen
It is the most important environmental factor influencing the heIt is the most important environmental factor influencing the healthalthcondition of fish/prawn in a water body and thus being the limitcondition of fish/prawn in a water body and thus being the limiting factoring factorin fish production.in fish production.Dissolved oxygen value ofDissolved oxygen value of55--1010ppmppmis optimum for normal growthis optimum for normal growthandandreproduction in tropical waters.reproduction in tropical waters.At levelsAt levelsbelow 3below 3ppmppmfish/prawn may live but will not feed or growfish/prawn may live but will not feed or growbutbutthe concentrationthe concentration< 1< 1ppmppmis lethalis lethalto many species if sustained for ato many species if sustained for along period.long period.Low oxygen levels are frequently a problem during the summer dueLow oxygen levels are frequently a problem during the summer duetotohigh temperature with heavy algal and or phytoplankton bloom.high temperature with heavy algal and or phytoplankton bloom.As a result of photosynthesis during bloom period the dissolvedAs a result of photosynthesis during bloom period the dissolvedoxygenoxygenvalues fluctuate during the day with maximum values during latevalues fluctuate during the day with maximum values during lateafternoon (2afternoon (2--3 PM) and minimum values in early morning because3 PM) and minimum values in early morning becauseduring night dissolved oxygen in water is utilized for respiratiduring night dissolved oxygen in water is utilized for respiration but noon but noproduction of oxygen due to lack of photosynthesis.production of oxygen due to lack of photosynthesis.
OxygenOxygen
((contdcontd))
On the other hand, during day time both production andOn the other hand, during day time both production andutilization of oxygen takes place by photosynthesis andutilization of oxygen takes place by photosynthesis andrespiration respectively.respiration respectively.Typically, theTypically, thefish/prawn will be found dead or in severe stressfish/prawn will be found dead or in severe stressat dawn when oxygen levels may approach zeroat dawn when oxygen levels may approach zero. Typically. Typicallylarger fish die first and water often changes in smell and coloularger fish die first and water often changes in smell and colour.r.Inadequate supply of oxygen leads to embryonic mortality.Inadequate supply of oxygen leads to embryonic mortality.Sudden death of vegetation and blooms further complicate theSudden death of vegetation and blooms further complicate theproblem by increasing the biological oxygen demand (BOD)problem by increasing the biological oxygen demand (BOD)ininthe decay/decomposition/oxidation process.the decay/decomposition/oxidation process.Algae growth is restricted in the winter that is whyAlgae growth is restricted in the winter that is whylow oxygen islow oxygen isnot a problem during colder monthsnot a problem during colder months..

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