Ammonia and nitrite waterborne toxicity of ...

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Title Ammonia and nitrite waterborne toxicity of commercial rainbow trout
Author(s) David J. Speare, S. Backman
Journal Canadian Veterinary Journal
Date 1988
Volume 29
Issue 8
Start page 666
Abstract In the spring of 1988 more than 30% of 13 000 market weight rainbow trout died on a trout farm in southwestern Ontario. The fish showed signs typical of oxygen deprivation with listlessness, crowding of water inlets and gasping at the water surface. Water temperature, pH and oxygen levels were normal, but there were toxic levels of un-ionized ammonia (> 0.04 mg/litre) and nitrite (> 0.8 mg/litre). PM examination revealed severe congestion and chocolate-coloured blood suggestive of nitrite poisoning with methaemoglobin production. The water supply passed through ponds which normally acted as biological filters. The breakdown in this nitrification process was assumed to be related to run-off from a fertilised field combined with the use of chemotherapeutics..

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