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Gas bubble disease in farmed fish in Saudi Arabia
  1. M. O. Saeed, BSc, MS, PhD1,1 and
  2. S. A. Al-Thobaiti, BSc, MS1
  1. 1 Fish Farming Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Water, PO Box 9612, Jeddah 21423, Saudi Arabia


Four outbreaks of gas bubble disease were encountered among farmed fish in Saudi Arabia. Two of them occurred among subadult (52.5 g) saltwater tilapia (Oreochromis spilurus), the first affecting about 50 per cent of the stock and resulting in about 30 per cent mortality, and the second affecting about 25 per cent of the population with about 5 per cent mortality. Another outbreak occurred among adult (270 g) brackish water (0.5 per cent salinity) tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), affecting about 40 per cent of the population with about 25 per cent mortality. The fourth outbreak occurred among three-month-old (15 g) grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) and resulted in 10 per cent mortality. In all cases the total water gas pressure ranged between 111.2 and 113.4 per cent saturation and nitrogen was supersaturated while oxygen was undersaturated. The outbreaks were alleviated by reducing the gas pressure by splashing the source water or by switching to a source of water with lower gas pressure. However, in O niloticus the conditions of gas supersaturation resulted in a heavy infection by monogenetic trematodes which was treated with formalin at 40 mg/litre for seven hours on five successive days.

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  • Dr Saeed's present address is Research and Development Center, PO Box 8351, Al-Jubail 31951, Saudi Arabia

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