Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Poecilia reticulata (guppy fish): an important biotic component of food chain

Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in Poecilia reticulata (guppy fish): an important biotic component of food chain

Muhammad Uzair Khan, Moinuddin Ahmed, Kanwal Nazim, Saquib Ejaz Hussain

ORCID IDs: M.U.K. 0000-0003-1765-0803; M.A. 0000-0002-9502-5328; K.N. 0000-0002-3684-0779; S.E.H. 0000-0003-2022-3845

Marine Reference Collection and Resource Centre, University of Karachi, PAKISTAN
Department of Earth and Environmental Systems, Indiana State University, IN, USA
Society for Environment & Mangrove Protection Welfare Association, PAKISTAN
E.H.S. Services, Karachi, PAKISTAN


Fish are the important part of aquatic food chain and also the essential part of protein in human beings. They have capability to accumulate pollutants from ambient water which directly or indirectly poses the adverse effect on humans. The present study reveals the significant effects of untreated industrial wastes on fish species Poecilia reticulata. For this purpose an aquarium-based trial was conducted with five different types of industrial wastes including chemical industry sludge, chemical industry ash, boulder slag, converter slag and marble waste powder for five heavy metals, i.e. Zn, Fe, Co, Mn and Pb. The water and tissue samples were analyzed to check the possible accumulation of metals in the food chain. Converter slag showed overall better results in terms of growth among treatments while chemical industrial sludge-ash showed deleterious effects on overall growth parameters of the species as number of fry > number of adult > dry weight > fresh weight. The number of adults and fries of P. reticulata were significantly reduced (p<0.001) while, fresh and dry weights were also reduced significantly (p<0.05, fresh wt and p<0.01, dry wt) in ash treatment. Fish showed greater capacity to accumulate metals when compared to ambient water with the highest accumulation for Fe and the lowest for Pb. Studies on fish for heavy metal accumulation are important with respect to the human consumption through the food chain.

Keywords: Industrial wastes, heavy metals, water pollution, Poecilia reticulata, food chain

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