Chronic effect of copper on the bluntnose minnow,Pimephales notatus (Rafinesque)

  • W. B. Horning
  • T. W. Neiheisel


A laboratory chronic toxicity test in which bluntnose minnows were exposed to copper in laboratory dilution water with a hardness of 200 mg/L as CaCO3 indicated that copper adversely affected fry survival, fry growth, and reproduction. The maximum acceptable toxicant concentration (MATC) for total copper based on reproductive impairment at 18.0 μg/L was between 4.3 (control concentration) and 18.0 μg/L.

The 96-hr LC50 values from three acute toxicity tests ranged from 0.22 to 0.27 mg/L total copper with a mean value of 0.23 mg/L. The application factor (MATC/96-hr LC50) for bluntnose minnows and total copper was estimated to lie between 0.02 and 0.08.

Bluntnose minnows held in control water for nine months ceased to spawn when they were exposed to 119.4 μg/L total copper. Fish exposed to 119.4 μg/L total copper for the same nine-month period began to spawn 60 days after being transferred to control water.


CaCO3 Acute Toxicity Toxicity Test Control Water Chronic Toxicity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. B. Horning
    • 1
  • T. W. Neiheisel
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Research Laboratory-Duluth, Newtown Fish Toxicology StationU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyCincinnati

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