Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 837–849 | Cite as

Nitrogenous and phosphorus excretions in juvenile silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) exposed to different water hardness, humic acid, and pH levels

  • Jaqueline Ineu Golombieski
  • Gessi Koakoski
  • Alessandra Janaína Becker
  • Ana Paula Gottlieb Almeida
  • Cândida Toni
  • Isabela Andres Finamor
  • Maria Amália Pavanato
  • Tielle Moraes de Almeida
  • Bernardo Baldisserotto


This study examined ammonia, urea, creatinine, protein, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphorus (P) excretion at different water hardness, humic acid, or pH levels in silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen) juveniles. The fish were exposed to different levels of water hardness (4, 24, 50, or 100 mg L−1 CaCO3), humic acid (0, 2.5, or 5.0 mg L−1), or pH (5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, or 9.0) for 10 days. The overall measured nitrogen excretions were 88.1 % (244–423 μmol kg−1 h−1) for ammonia, 10.9 % (30–52 μmol kg−1 h−1) for creatinine, 0.02 % (0.05–0.08 μmol kg−1 h−1) for protein, 0.001 % (0.002–0.004 μmol kg−1 h−1) for urea, 0.5 % (0.64–3.6 μmol kg−1 h−1) for nitrite, and 0.5 % (0.0–6.9 μmol kg−1 h−1) for nitrate, and these proportions were not affected by water hardness or humic acid levels. The overall P excretion in R. quelen was 0.14–2.97 μmol kg−1 h−1. Ammonia excretion in R. quelen usually was significantly higher in the first 12 h after feeding, and no clear effect of water hardness, humic acid levels, and pH on this daily pattern of ammonia excretion could be observed. Water hardness only affected the ammonia and P excretion of R. quelen juveniles in the initial and fifth days after transfer, respectively. The exposure of this species to humic acid increased ammonia excretion after 10 days of exposure but did not affect P excretion. An increase in pH decreased ammonia and increased creatinine excretion but did not change P excretion in R. quelen. Therefore, when there is any change on humic acid levels or pH in the culture of this species, nitrogenous compounds must be monitored because their excretion rates are variable. On the other hand, P excretion rates determined in the present study are applicable to a wide range of fish culture conditions.


Ammonia Acidic water Alkaline water Waterborne calcium Humic substance 



B. Baldisserotto received a CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) research fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaqueline Ineu Golombieski
    • 1
  • Gessi Koakoski
    • 2
  • Alessandra Janaína Becker
    • 1
  • Ana Paula Gottlieb Almeida
    • 1
  • Cândida Toni
    • 2
  • Isabela Andres Finamor
    • 2
  • Maria Amália Pavanato
    • 1
  • Tielle Moraes de Almeida
    • 3
  • Bernardo Baldisserotto
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Fisiologia e FarmacologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em FarmacologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de QuímicaUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil

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