Cadmium from industrial effluents pollutes sea and river water and hence may effect the fish population therein. The present investigation shows that resistivity is greater in case of air-breathing fishes as compared to non air-breathing fishes with regards to their duration of survival and growth when exposed to a cadmium containing environment. Under sub-acute levels of cadmium exposure, they respond differently so far as the activities of their liver, gill and intestinal lysosomal enzymes are concerned. Though both species show a definite stress condition on cadmium exposure, the two anatomically different fishes respond differently towards carbohydrate metabolism as observed from liver and muscle glycogen content, liver microsomal glucose-6-phosphatase activity and serum glucose level. © 1980 Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers.