Breeding zebrafish

Jen Matthews jmatthews at
Wed Oct 16 17:59:01 EST 2002

Hi Greg,

Here are a few suggestions that come to mind.

We generally feel that the fish do better when males and females 
are housed together in stock tanks.  

Try setting the fish up in small groups rather than individual 
crosses. We typically set up AB's with 6-8 fish per crossing tank 
(1.35 L). When we use this number of fish we can just randomly 
transfer fish from a stock tank to the crossing tank without having 
to sex them. We only set fish up in individual crosses (one male 
and one female) when we are identifying mutants. The Aquatic 
Habitat's crossing tanks are only about 700 mL, so I would 
recommend cross two pairs per tank. Eggs are usually collected 2-
3 hours after the lights come on and the fish are then returned to 
the stock tank.  Fish should not be left in the static tanks for any 
longer than necessary.  

You may want to try feeding a prepared diet once or twice daily in 
addition to the brine shrimp. Our adult fish are fed four times a day. 
Three of these feedings are a prepared diet mix (Hikari 
Micropellets, Tetramin Flake and Argent Cyclop-eeze) and one 
feeding of newly hatched (30 hour) brine shrimp. Each feeding is an 
amount of food that can be completely consumed within 5 minutes. 

Please let me know if you have additional questions or if problems 

Very best regards, -Jen

Jennifer L. Matthews, DVM, PhD
Zebrafish International Resource Center
5274 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5274     <(()><
(541) 346-6028 ext. 14             <(()><
Fax (541) 346-6151
jmatthews at

From: duttong at ("Greg Dutton")
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002  2:03:36  PM US/Pacific
To: zbrafish at
Subject: breeding zebrafish again

Hi again, I got a lot of great responses to my last e-mail (Breeding
zebrafish, Oct 15) about our difficulties breeding our fish, but I
realize that I need to be more specific.  We house our fish in 9 liter
tanks, with blue lids (to discourage algae growth) and constant
running water.  The water quality is pH 7, temp of 27-28C, and 
conductivity.  Males and females are housed separately. They are 
brine shrimp twice a day.  To breed the fish we put 1 male and 1
female in a small (5Lx4Wx3H, inches) clear plastic tank with an 
with slots for the eggs to fall through.  These breeding tanks are
separate, individual tanks and do not have water flowing through 
Our system was installed last March by Aquatic Habitats.  At the
moment we have only strain of fish - ABC, from Eugene, OR.  All of 
fish we have in our system are the offspring of the original batch of
ABC we obtained from Eugene.
  Of note:  the water in our system is 27-28C and the water in the
breeding tanks reaches 24-25C during Thanks,


On Tuesday, October 15, 2002, at 11:26  AM, Greg Dutton wrote:

> Hi, my name is Greg Dutton from the Ransom lab at Oregon Health
> Sciences University.  About 5 months ago our lab obtained a stock of
> ABC strain fish from the facility in Eugene (birthdate 9/11/01). We
> are having a great deal of trouble getting these fish to lay eggs.
> Our water quality is good, light cyles are never broken, and we feed
> the fish brine shrimp twice per day.  We put a male and a female in
> a small cage to breed them.  I was wondering if perhaps the feeding
> regime could affect the laying of eggs or if you had any suggestions
> about how to set the fish up for breeding.  We're running out of
> ideas, so any you might have would help a lot.
> Thanks very much,
> Greg

------- End of forwarded message -------

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