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Implantable pellets of methyl mercury chloride were tested in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to appraise the effectiveness of the method for chronic studies of mercury. Two dosing regimes of 15 and 1.5 grams/CH3HgCl pellet (test 1) and 1 and 0.1 grams/pellet (tests 2–3) of methyl mercury chloride were used in three tests. Additional pellets containing only matrix were used as controls. The pellets were inserted into the peritoneal cavity along with a microchip for identification. Three methods of incision closure: sutures and two types of surgical glue, were tested. Pellets used in test one released the dose too fast, resulting in premature death of the fish. Results from tests 2 and 3 show blood mercury concentrations over time and tissue levels at necropsy consistent with dose suggesting that this is a viable method of dosing fish.
methyl mercury, tilapia, fish, pellet, chronic dose
PhD. Candidate, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Research Scientist, Savannah River Ecology Lab, Aiken, SC
Research Physiologist, USGS-BRD Caribbean Science CenterUniversity of Florida, GainesvilleGainesville, FLFL