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Water pH and urinary excretion in silver catfish Rhamdia quelen

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The effect of acute exposure to different water pH levels on urinary excretion and plasma ion levels in silver catfish Rhamdia quelen was analysed. Fish were exposed to pH 4·0, 5·0, 7·5, 8·0, and 9·0 for 4 days and urine was collected. Other specimens were also exposed to the experimental pH for 24 h and blood was sampled. Urine flow rate, urine and plasma pH showed a significant trend to increase with the increase of water pH. Urinary Na+ excretion rate also increased and ammonia urinary excretion rate decreased with the increase of water pH. There was a significant trend to decrease volume, ammonia, Cl and Na+ urinary excretion rate with increasing mass in fish exposed to all pH levels studied. Plasma ammonia levels showed a slight decrease in fish exposed to water pH from 4·0 to 8·0, but those exposed to water pH 9·0 presented the highest ammonia levels. Most plasma ions and urinary excretion changes observed in silver catfish exposed to acidic or alkaline water were similar to those already detected in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. In addition, the kidney and urinary bladder might participate on acid–base balance in silver catfish, since urine pH changed according to plasma pH.
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Keywords: acidic pH; alkaline pH; plasma ion levels; urinary excretion rate; urine

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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