[Zbrafish] IACUC approval for commercial vendors

Bill Trevarrow via zbrafish%40net.bio.net (by trevarro from uoneuro.uoregon.edu)
Mon Jun 23 16:00:20 EST 2008

Greetings DMA,

There are many facets to your recent post. Here 
are some considerations that occurred to me:

With respect to a pet store source of fish:
- There are several considerations; availability 
and expense, fish genetics and fish pathogens.
- Some pet store fish are extremely robust and fecund.
- Pet stores in general do not always get their 
fish from the same source. The store may get them 
from different wholesalers and each wholesaler 
may get them from different producers. Petco, 
however, being a large corporation, is probably 
getting their ZF from a single source with a long 
term contract.
- The quality and genetics will vary as the sources change.
- Large non-laboratory fish sources are probably 
more likely to harbor diseases.
- Passing fish through pet stores in general 
(including large corporate fish stores) often 
exposes them to the diseases of fish that have 
passed through the fish store in the past.
- These fish may also be easier to get through 
the larval stages and therefore useful in 
initially developing nursery care.

With respect to how your facility is operating:
- It sounds like you have a very small set-up and 
are not breeding your next generation of fish. 
You just want to purchase them. This reduces the 
importance of maintaining a completely disease 
free facility. The losses you might have in your 
worst case scenario (all fish dead, pathogens in 
all tanks) can be relatively easily fixed (bleach 
everything, re-establish proper functioning of 
your filtration, and buy new fish).
This won't work in a large facility maintaining 
many different lines, some of which may be 
genetically unique. Even if the establish lines 
are available, getting them and quarantining them 
into the facility is a big hassle.
- However, this does not remove your 
responsibility of taking good care of your fish, 
trying to get healthy ones, and avoiding sick 

With respect to the IACUC:
- Try using common sense with the IACUC. What has 
the history been of the fish you got from that 
source? How many other approved fish sources are 
out there? What are the requirements for approval 
and how realistically relevant are they to your 
zebrafish colony? Records such as longevity of 
the different groups of fish may be useful in 
these discussions.

With respect to the intended use of the fish:
- If you are not using them for genetics then pet 
store fish maybe fine, however, if your are doing 
molecular biology them you are doing genetics and 
it could matter. Also other factors (such as 
disease) may effect experimental results.

>Hi all, especially those of you with insight into veterinarians.
>I have an approved protocol to work with fish embryos; my
>"colony" (school ?) of fish consists of two ten gallon tanks with
>filters etc, about 20 fish, and it is in my lab, not the animal
>quarters.  In that protocol I listed ZIRC as the source of the
>adults.  I have found, however, that my local Petco sells perfectly
>healthy fish for about $1 each, and shopping there has the advantage
>that I can pick out big fat females and good looking males, and I
>don't have to buy in pairs.
>Here's the but - Petco is not an "approved vendor" and the vet on my
>IACUC committee (on which, by the way, I serve as the fish & amphibian
>expert) has put a hold on my purchasing of new fish until I can get
>some kind of health certificate.
>Has anyone figured out a workaround for this problem ?  I'm trying to
>get in contact with the store manager, but it's a Petco for pete's
>sake - what is the likelihood that they will have the kind of
>documentation needed for an IACUC committee composed almost entirely
>of mouse people ?
>Does anyone else just use pet store wildtypes ?  Am I making a huge
>mistake by doing that ?  (I don't do any genetics, so I don't need
>Any wisdom or practical advice will be very welcome.
>Zbrafish mailing list
>Zbrafish from net.bio.net



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Bill Trevarrow
Thoren Aquatics
944 Almaden Street
Eugene, OR 97402
Cell: (541) 844-9054
e-mail: trevarro from uoneuro.uoregon.edu

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