WATER POLLUTION AND ITS EFFECT ON BLOOD PARAMETERS OF GOLDFISH : Carassius
Sarkar and Bhavna Upadhyay
College, Agra (India)-282001
The term pollution broadly refers to any
undesirable change in the natural quality of environment brought
about by physical, chemical, or biological
factors. The Yamuna
River in Agra(U.P.) India was highly polluted in recent years. 40
days of experiments were conducted in the laboratory to examine the
effect of polluted water of river Yamuna at Agra on blood parameters
of goldfish, Carassius auratus. Fishes were divided into Group I
and Group II. In Group I, fishes were held in Yamuna River water and
in Group II, fishes were held in groundwater (unpolluted) for the 40 days
between April 1 to June 10. The effect of polluted water on R.B.C.Count,
W.B.C. Haemoglobin % and MCHC % were investigated in the goldfish. Our
results suggested that in group I, survival rate of fishes were low,
due to pollutants, R.B.C.s and W.B.C.s. Haemoglobin and MCHC %
decreased in Group I in comparison with Group II due to the polluted
Keywords: R.B.C, W.B.C, Haemoglobin , MCHC etc.
The many sources of water pollution cause devastating consequences to
marine life. Fish and marine mammals at the top of the food chain are
exposed to higher levels of toxins due to the fact that they are
exposed to toxins directly from the water and toxins from eating
other fish exposed to toxins in the water (Smith,1997). The river
pollution caused by industrial effluents also affect its flora and
fauna (Pandey, 2001). Concern over impaired reproduction is justified
by available experimental evidences (Gross, 1975). Pollutant
administered to adult fish at later stages of their sexual maturation
have caused spawning failure or lowered spawning success (Rowe et
al., 1983. Haematological characteristics have been widely used
in clinical diagnosis of human and domestic animals and their
techniques have proved valuable for fishery biologists in assessing
the health of fish and monitoring stress response (Soivio and
The mechanism by which contaminants can affect fish reproduction are
several. Some pollutants are known to influence directly the
reproductive hormones in fish or interfere with the egg formation
process; they may damage reproductive tissues and impair their
functions (Sangalam and Freeman, 1974). Sangalang and O'Halloran
(1972), reported extensive hemorrhagic necrosis in tests of brook
trout exposed to 25 ppm Cadmium in water. The tests ability to
synthesize steroid hormones in vitro had also been affected by the
cadmium: the gonads were unable to produce testosterone.
In small tests fish exposed to given pollutants over the course of
their lifetime have exhibited reproductive impairment ranging from
undeveloped gonads to decreased egg production and abnormal law at
offspring (Makin, 1985).
pollution is an unfavourable alteration of our surroundings due to
direct or indirect activities of man. The high rate of increase
of human population, rapid expansion in industrial and
urbanactivities and modernization of agriculture has resulted in the generation of a high volume of waste material causing gradual
deterioration of valuable resources of biological productivity (Rowe
Due to rapid industrialization, application of synthetic fertilizers
and use of various insecticides and pesticides, natural water
resources are fast degrading in water quality. Aquatic ecosystems
that run through agricultural or industrial areas have a high
probability of being contaminated by run off and ground water
leaching a variety of chemicals (Todd and Leuwen, 2002).
Agricultural pesticides are released into the atmosphere by way of spray
drift, post application, volatilization and wind erosion of soil (Qiu
et al., 2004). Ventura et al. (2008) reported that pesticides
present in aquatic environments can affect aquatic organisms in
different ways. In India, more than 70% of the chemical formulations
used in agricultural practices find their way to freshwater
bodies to ultimately affect non-target organisms (Bhatnagar et al.,
MATERIALS & METHODS
Sexually mature goldfish were collected from commercial dealers (mean
weight 45±2.5 gm) and were kept in an aquarium until the experiment began
in April. Aerated and dechlorinated water with flow rate of
1.5 L min-1 9 ppm dissolved oxygen, 7.8 pH and 102 mg as
CaCO3 total water hardness was used. The experiment lasted
for 40 days. The fishes were fed twice daily with a commercial fish
meal based extruded diet (diameter/mm; 55% Crudeprotein 14% Crude
lipid, 4296 Cal g-1 diet gross energy) at 3.5% body weight
at 10:00 am and 14:00 pm. One hour after feeding uneaten feed
was removed by the sandpipe at the bottom of the tank. Fishes were
transferred in a glass aquarium size 4 x 4 x 2 feet. Two aquariums were
used, one was filled with Yamuna River water and twenty fishes
were kept in each aquarium. In second aquarium fishes were kept in
ground water (pure and unpolluted) in natural conditions. Bottom of
the aquarium was covered with sand, submerged plants and stones.
Blood samples were collected by caudal peduncle excision.
R.B.C. and W.B.C.count through the blood from the caudal vein from
control and treated fishes was collected for haematological investigation.
R.B.C. and W.B.C.by (Wintro, 1967) mean corpuscular haemoglobin
concentration (MCHC) were determined according to Dacie and Lewis
(1975), haemoglobin content (Vankampen, 1961).
Statistical analysis - Results were subjected to T test and
Duncan's multiple range test for comparison of the means among
different concentrations studied at the 5% probability level.
Results and Discussion
Fig - I : City map of Agra Showing different Yamuna
Fig - II: Effect of polluted water of River Yamuna on various
parameters of Goldfish polluted water (Group I) and unpolluted water
W.B.C. Count (mm3 x 103)
3.42 ± 0.36
5.88 ± 0.24
R.B.C. Count (106 mm-3)
1.02 ± 0.09
1.86 ± 0.1
4.1 ± 0.59
6.98 ± 0.38
8.6 ± 0.26
12.2 ± 0.15
All data are presented Mean ± Sem for GSI %, R.B.C. Count, W.B.C.
Count, Hb, and MCHC %. All data are differed significantly P<0.05.
Fig - III : Showing values of different blood parameters of
Goldfish, error bars indicates Standard error of mean.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Fishes are in indirect contact with their surrounding environment and any
change in the environment will be reflected as changes in their
physiological processes and survival. Fishes possess shorter
development time compared to mammalian species (Peakall, 1992).
Fish are one of the most widely distributed organisms in an aquatic
environment and being susceptible to environmental contamination may
reflect the extent of the biological effects of environmental
pollution in waters. Monitoring of blood parameters, both cellular
and noncellular may have considerable diagnostic value in assessing
early warning signs of pesticide poisoning (Pant et al., 1987). It is
well known that water pollution is an issue beginning to receive more
attention recently. Discharging into the rivers, discharging of
sewage of fish growing fields are major sources of pollution. But no
considerable steps have been taken for fish growing fields in the
country and the sewage water pouring into rivers. Since rivers
constitute main sources of fresh water used in agriculture,
drinking, and industrial applications, everything that causes the
water pollution can be considered as an important issue to be
In this study when fishes were held in polluted water in
aquariums(Group-I and in ground water (Group-II), the changes in the
morphological appearances and the change in haematological parameters
of the fish were observed.
In group I, 5 fish died due to pollutants present in river
water so the survival % in group I was less than group II. R.B.C., W.B.C. count, MCHC % and Haemoglobin content also decreased
significantly (p<0.05) in comparison with group II in which fishes
were held in unpolluted ground water. Our results concluded that
water pollution in river and other water bodies is very harmful for
fishes because of pollutants present in water, polluted water reduced
survival, blood parameter levels in Goldfish. Water pollution is
an issue beginning to attract more attention recently; discharging of sewages,
effluents from houses, industrial water, industrial wastes. Pesticides
from fields also polluted rivers and lakes and this polluted water is
harmful for fishes to survive and reproduce so it is our duty to stop
polluting the water to save fishes. Water
pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation
and revision of water
resource policy at
It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of
deaths and diseases.
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