1. Whole body mineral content and blood parameters were monitored in dying brown trout exposed to acid (pH 4.5) and aluminium (12 mumol l-1) at low external calcium concentration (20 mumol l-1). 2. Fish surviving the treatment had elevated haematocrit, low plasma sodium levels, and low whole body sodium and potassium content. 3. Dying trout had haematocrit and plasma sodium levels similar to treatment survivors, but whole body mineral content was unaffected and moisture content increased. 4. Death was probably caused by redistribution of fluid from the extracellular compartment to the intracellular compartment.