Research Institute of fish Culture and Hydrobiology /RIFCH/

The Research Institute was established in Prague in 1921. In 1953 it was moved to the town of Vodňany in South Bohemia. Since 1996 it has been part of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice.

About Laboratory of Aquatic Toxicology and Ichtyopathology

Laboratory unites experts in the field of Veterinary Medicine, Aquatic Toxicology, Hydrochemistry and Biochemistry, who are engaged in basic and applied research, university teaching, and consulting and advisory activities. Laboratory deals with the research programs of centre CENAKVA: WP 3 Innovation of intensive production methods of economically important fish species and species important for angling and WP 5 Innovation in monitoring the occurrence of extraneous substances in environment, evaluation of the influence on exposed organisms and possibilities of elimination in clearing processes.

The wokplace toxicology and hydrochemistry are important parts of this laboratory.

On workplace toxicology, acute toxicity test on fish, daphnia, freshwater green algae, and white mustard seeds are routinely performed. On the basis of obtained data, ecotoxicological properties of substances, chemical products and wastes are assessed. Moreover, for scientific purposes are performed sub-chronic and chronic toxicity tests on fish, crayfish and their early-life stages.

Toxicological aquarium room (left), Toxicity test on roach (right)

Workplace hydrochemistry performs analysis of basic parameters of water quality for research institutes and fish farmers. Every year laboratory successfully participates in inter-laboratory comparison tests organized by the Centre for Assessment of Laboratories ASLAB at T. G. Masaryk Water Research Institute, public research institution (TGM WRI) in Prague and obtain a certificate of participation. In this way, continual external control of both laboratories is guaranteed.
Staff of the laboratory also provides manufacturing and service of Combi sets which are used for field analysis of water. Moreover carries out analysis of total mercury in biological materials and sediments.

Combi set
Basic and applied research of the Laboratory of Aquatic Toxicology and Ichtyopatology is focused on the three main areas:

Study of influence of xenobiotics on aquatic organisms
Mainly studies aimed at evaluating the effects and mode of action of xenobiotics (e.g. pesticides, drugs, nitrite, cyanide) on physiology of fish and crayfish are carried out. Recently the laboratory is focused on monitoring the occurrence of endocrine disrupting chemicals, especially synthetic progestin’s in the aquatic environment, and assess their effects on fish. The effect of xenobiotics present in the aquatic environment on aquatic organisms is mainly assessed by analysis of selected haematological and biochemical indices, activity of detoxication and antioxidant enzymes, gene expressionand histopatological assessment of tissues.
Workplace is equipped for these purposes with modern devices such as: double-beam spectrophotometer SPECORD 210, plate-reader with fluorescent and luminescent module Infinite M200PRO (TECAN), biochemical analyzer of blood plasma VETTEST, analyzer of blood gases Radiometr ABL90 Flex, biohazard flow-box, real-time PCR thermocycler MX3005P Agilent, PCR thermocycler with temperature gradient Biometra, 2100 Bioanalyzer and micro-volume UV-Vis spectrophotometer NanoDrop 2000.  In 2013, workplace was equipped with complete facilities for the preparation of histological sections (tissue processor Histomaster (Model 2052/1,5), modular tissue embedding center (Leica EG1150), semi-automatic rotary Microtome, automatic slide staining system (TISSUE-TEK® DRS™ 2000, SEKURA) and microscopy combined with camera system MOTIC).
Common carp after triazine exposure
Blood taking of the Siberian sturgeon (left), field sampling (right)

Prevention and therapy of fish diseases
This is mainly focused on verification and the development of strategies in the treatment of the most common diseases in aquaculture. Therapeutical and rearing procedures aimed at minimizing of losses caused by various pathogens are designed for fish farmers. At present attention is mainly paid to the possibility of using peracetic acid in the aquaculture, including verification of spectrum efficiency and application possibilities. Results of laboratory and field experiments were used for preparation of methodology entitled „Possibilities of using peracetic acid in the aquaculture ˮ.
The koi herpes virus (KHV) is an important issue that laboratory staff is engaged in. In cooperation with the Genetic Fisheries Centre of the faculty (FFPW) and Veterinary Research Institute (VRI Brno), testing of resistance of pure breeds and hybrids of common carp to KHV under laboratory conditions are performed. The aim is to identify breeds and hybrids, which have showed the highest survival in experimental infections, to expand their use in the production of fisheries and thus contribute to reduction of the risk of occurring and spreading of koi herpes virus in the Czech pond aquaculture.
Moreover, staff of the laboratory performs basic pathological and parasitological examinations of freshwater and aquarium fish for fish farmers.

Parasitological investigation of fish (left), determination of intensity of mold Saprolegnia parasitica infection in brook trout (right)

Monitoring the impact of aquaculture management on water quality in ponds
The staff of laboratory solved the project NAAR entitled „Environment friendly and effective pond management with maximal utilization of current trophic potential and sustainable good water quality and fish production“, focused on monitoring water quality in ponds in relation to the method of fish farming. The aim of project was to answer the question whether it is possible meet the water quality parameters (pollution standards) in ponds.

Results of five years monitoring showed that very problematic appears respect BOD value, that has been exceeded in more than 50% even in cases of very low initial stocking without feeding. In contrast, as the no problem appeared concentrations of total nitrogen and his forms. Water quality parameters such as CODCr, total phosphorus and suspended solids are negatively affected by the level of stocking and feed applications. The proportion of unsatisfactory values of different water quality parameters in relation to the initial stocking of fish are shown in the following graphs:

The staff of laboratory in collaboration with colleagues from the Veterinary and Pharmaceutical University Brno published a book Aquatic Toxicology for Fishermen in 2014. This book summarizes the knowledge about pollutants in aquatic environment and their effect on aquatic organisms, toxicity tests on aquatic organisms; investigation fish kill poisons and natural toxin.

Staff and contacts

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Zátiší 728/II, 389 25 Vodňany Tel. +420 387 774 601 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Branišovská 1645/31a, 370 05 České BudějoviceTel. +420 387 774 601 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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