Department of Fish Biology and Ecology, Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, Abbassa, Abo-Hammad, Sharqia, Egypt
Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Benha University, Benha, Egypt
Heavy metal (HM) pollution is one of the major problems that adversely affect the aquatic ecosystem and inhabiting biota. Heavy metals adsorption by low-cost adsorbents is one of the techniques used for HM removing from polluted water. In the present study, agricultural wastes (AW), i.e., rice straw, sugarcane bagasse, and maize stalks, were washed with distilled water, dried in a dry-oven, cut into small pieces (<0.5 cm long), and immersed at 1.0 g/L in aquaria containing synthetic mixture of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.), fingerlings (25.2 ± 0.88 g) were stocked at a density of ten fish per 100-L aquarium for 72 h, during which fish were fed on a fish diet containing 25% crude protein ad libitum twice daily. Samples of water, AW, and fish were collected at different times to determine HM concentrations. The HM removal from polluted water was depending on the type of the metal ions, AW, and the contact time. However, HM concentrations in aquaria waters of all AW treatments decreased significantly by increasing contact time up to 24 h after which their concentrations were almost the same. Concentrations of waterborne Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn in AW-containing aquaria were significantly lower than those of AW-free aquaria. The presence of any AW reduced significantly HM concentrations. In AW-free aquaria, HM-exposed fish accumulated more HM in their body than those reared in AW-containing aquaria. The results of this experiment showed that all AW had the capability to remove HM levels from the polluted water and reduce their bioaccumulation in fish body. However, rice straw was the more efficient adsorbent for all metals.