Tilapia are cultured worldwide and are increasing in popularity among aquaculturalists in the United States; however, data regarding normal health parameters are limited. Few hematologic and plasma biochemical values of clinically normal tilapia have been reported, but these data may be key for identifying and managing disease issues in recirculating systems. Therefore, blood was collected from clinically normal hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis aureus × Oreochromis nilotica) housed in recirculating systems for the purpose of establishing normal hematologic and plasma biochemical reference ranges. Using standard clinical techniques the following hematologic values were determined: packed cell volume, plasma protein, leukocyte counts, leukocyte differentials, and thrombocyte counts. Additionally, the following plasma biochemical values were determined: albumin, total protein, globulins, albumin/globulin ratio, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, glucose, uric acid, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, urea nitrogen, and creatinine. The condition of the sample was also noted (lipemic, hemolysis, and icterus). The reference ranges reported in this study can be used in the management of cultured tilapia in recirculating systems.
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Vol. 38 • No. 3