Aquaculture operations over the years have suffered a dramatic change because of the increasing levels of industrial and agricultural contaminants in the aquatic environment. Several methods have been studied to reduce the negative contribution of contaminated effluents in the ecosystem. The method studied in this research was the use of activated carbon sorption as a feasible method to reduce the influent and effluent load of heavy metals and other harmful pollutants present mainly in fresh water aquaculture installations. The sorption of Cd, Cu, Ni, Hg, Pb, and phenol-based compounds was evaluated using batch adsorption isotherms and breakthrough experiments in packed GAC vertical columns. Both experimental facets are commonly used as scaling up techniques in the waste water treatment technology. Adsorption of Cd, Cu, Pb, and phenol occurred at different rates for each toxic contaminant, with Cd being the most readily adsorbed pollutant. The analytical determination of nickel and mercury presented some difficulties, possibly due to the analytical procedures followed. Analysis of the breakthrough curves for Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and phenol, after the samples were passed through the columns showed that the concentration of all contaminants was reduced to a minimum value. These results support similar conclusions mentioned by several authors in the literature. The results of this research proved that activated carbon technology can be applied in aquaculture; its use however will be limited because of the high costs involved in design and development, particularly in large scale aquaculture practices.