Oxygen Levels and Fish
Name: Lisa C.
Why do fish die in different oxygen levels of water? I am
having a hard time finding out where we need to look for the research
part and if there is a book or web site out there where we can find this
information out. Could you please help?
The gills of a fish are not all that different form our lungs. The basic
principle is that their needs to be enough dissolved oxygen in the water to
favor diffusion of oxygen from the water through the gills into the blood of
the fish. When the oxygen falls below a certain level this passive diffusion
fails to be able to drive the oxygen into he blood and the fish suffocates
much like a mammal might at the top of mount Everest.
You will probably find it useful to look in an advanced (e.g., college level) general chemistry
text for the relationship between dissolved oxygen levels and temperature. At higher temps,
there is less oxygen dissolved in the water.
Paul Mahoney, PhD
This web site may be of some help.
Click here to return to the Zoology Archives
Update: June 2012