[Zbrafish] Re: Help needed with Fish room practices

jason.cockington from gmail.com via zbrafish%40net.bio.net (by jason.cockington from gmail.com)
Sun Oct 8 20:51:52 EST 2006

HI Becky,

Although here in adelaide we have a different standard for animal
health, i am sure the basic ideals behind the two groups are similar,
although i imagine that my situation is perhaps a little less
restricted than yours.  I have attempted to answer your questions in
relation to how things are managed here.

1)       Does a University Animal Care group run your facility?  If
not, how much input do they provide?

I have been appointed to the managment position of the Adelaide
Zebrafish Facility, and as such it is my responsibility to ensure that
our facility measures up to the animal ethics committie's (AEC)
Because i am in this position, the AEC takes a very over-your-shoulder
view on how the facility is run.  So long as i provide the committee
with up to date reports with regards to the animal heath, handling, and
use, they pretty much leave us alone.
Being a fish facility, we are governed by different rules from other
animal houses, and we are assessed on a case by case basis with regards
to the keeping conditions of our fish.
Just this year we did have our rules change however. This was in
response to the large increase in interrest in Zf from other groups.
As a result of this increased interrest, our facility has gone into an
expansion phase, as we now need to accomodate a much larger range of
scientists.  Because of this increase in different projects working on
the fish, the AEC has requested that each individual project apply for
ethics approval.
The result of this procedure means, we no longer maintain one core log
for the facility, but instead have to have seperate logs for each
project to record animal usage.  So while the AEC pretty well leaves me
to my own devices, i have to ensure everyone is sticking to the rules
with regards to their individual project limitations.

2)       Are you required to wear disposable lab coats, booties, and/or
face masks to enter your facility?

We are not required to wear anything like that for the majority of our
work, however when we are dealing with the transgenic animals there are
rules about keeping contaminants in the facility.  In this situation we
have a specialy coloured lab coat we are required to wear, that must be
removed before exiting the facility.

3)       What do you label your tanks with?  Does anyone else use tape?
Is this an issue?

We are now required to be able to quickly identify a tank of fish, and
it's user/project.  As a result we have begun adding a barcode system
to our tanks, so that we can easily bring up information from our
Aside from this new requirement, we label our tanks with a PVC tape,
that is easy to transfer from one tank to the next (as fish move from
hatchery to juv tanks, to adult tanks)  This label has the fish strain
id and a date of birth recorded on it.  The rest of the info can be
aquired through the database.
The AEC is currently happy with this arrangement.

4)       How do you deal with rust in your facilities?

We don't really like rust, but occassionally we do get a build up.  if
it is just a stray spot here and there, it is monitored but unless it
seems to be more than a stain, it is pretty much left alone.  However,
in the situation where we do get a build up of rust, it is cleaned and
removed as best as possible.  if it continues to be a problem, then we
may need to look into replacement of that part.

5)       How do people feel about using paint or other chemicals that
leave fumes in the facility?

Well, i haven't contemplated using paint, but we did have a bit of an
incident early in the year with a PVC fire comming from a remote
heating source.  The room filled with nasty PVC smoke,  enough to make
me get head spins etc a good hour after the fire had been contained and
We were all very worried about the effect such noxious fumes would have
on the fish, fortunately we have a well circulated air flow comming
from the airconditioning, and a large fan in the room that keeps the
air moving.  So after the fire had been cleared, the facility door was
proped open for an hour or two, until the smoke cleared.
although i moved vital lines out of the facility onto a lab bench for
the night, we did not get any death occuring in any of the tanks that
remained in the facility, with the exception of the very young fry in
the hatchery, and even then it was not a total mortality.
To be honest, i don't know how the fish would respond to paint fumes,
but i was surprised how well they dealt with the PVC smoke.

well, i hope that this info has helped at least a little,

if you have nay questions feel free to contact me, and i'll answer them
as best i can.

kind regards,


More information about the Zbrafish mailing list