Abstract This study focuses on the detection of four nitrofurans (NFs) and their metabolites (NFMs) correspondingly by high-performance liquid chromatography with a diode-array detector (HPLC-DAD) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) in samples of water and sediment slurries of aquaculture ponds. Results indicated that both the NFs and NFMs could be simultaneously detected in the water and sediment. The limits of detection (LODs) of the NFs were 0.05–0.1mgL−1 in the waters and 0.2–0.6mgL−1 in the sediment slurries. The sorption extents of NFs in the sediment slurries were 66.1–75.1%. The recoveries of NFs were 100.1–102.1% and 72.9–82.7% in the waters and the sediment slurries, respectively. Furthermore, the LODs of NFMs were 0.2–0.4 and 0.2–0.6μgL−1 in the waters and the sediment slurries, respectively. The sorption extents of NFMs in sediment slurries were 8.7–54.5%. The recoveries of NFMs were 92.3–102.3% and 90.4–100.2% in the waters and the sediment slurries, respectively. Adding NaCl significantly increased the extraction efficiencies of the NFM derivatives. The methods can potentially screen numerous aquatic environment samples with various salinities.