Human and ecological disorder experienced in industrial settlements as a result of improper disposal of chemicals such as textile effluent calls for careful surveillance on the state of the environment. This study investigated the toxicity of textile effluent discharge using biochemical and cytogenetic responses to ascertain the acute and sub lethal effects on Clarias gariepinus. The 96 h LC50 of C. gariepinus exposed to the textile effluent was 8.203 ml L(-1). Fourteen day exposures to 1, 2, 4 and 6 ml L(-1) doses were conducted and several toxicological endpoints were evaluated. Sub lethal genotoxicity and biochemical study was also carried out for fourteen days. The genotoxicity studies utilized micronucleus test while the biochemical studies quantified serum anti-oxidant status Total Protein (TP), Catalase (CAT), Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) of the exposed fish. Toxicity factor indicates that the 96 h LC50 was significantly more toxic than the 24 h LC50 (p < 0.05). The textile effluent at the tested concentrations induced micronucleus and nuclear abnormalities in the peripheral blood of exposed fish. Micronucleus, notch and binucleated cell formation were significant (p < 0.05) compared to control while lobed and blebbed cells were insignificant (p < 0.05). SOD, TP and CAT significantly (p < 0.05) decreased compared to control group while MDA increased compared to control but was insignificant (p > 0.05). The results obtained from this study showed that textile effluent increase cytogenetic damage and altered anti-oxidant status in C. gariepinus. Chemicals in the effluent can be bioaccumulated and biomagnified in the aquatic organism hence affecting man.