FAQ

Zebrafish housing

 

What are the housing conditions used in your facility?
What measures do you take to ensure a good sanitary level of my fish population?
What is included in the housing fee?
Is it possible to have the fish housed in the quarantine room for several months?
What if my animals need special care?
Who will pay for shipping?
• Can I request additional services? 
If I request additional services for one strain, what reference number should I use when I fill in the form?
Must my fish meet specific sanitary status standards to enter the GIGA Facility?
What is the sanitary status of the GIGA facility?
Why do you sanitise embryos?
Which Embryos are sanitised?
What is the sanitisation procedure?
• Do you accept non sanitised embryos in your facility?
Who will pay for the sanitisation procedure?

 

What are the housing conditions used in your facility?
Your fish will be housed for 4 weeks in our quarantine room at 28°C with a 14-h day/10-h night cycle. Chemical and physical properties of the water are: pH = 7.5; conductivity = 500 µSiemens. This setting is optimal for fish health and efficient egg production. After 4 weeks in our quarantine room, the fish will be allowed to breed and the embryos will be sanitised by bleaching. Then, the embryos will be transferred to our main facility.

 

• What measures do you take to ensure a good sanitary level of my fish population?
Adult fish from outside will never enter our main facility. Access to this facility is restricted to bleached embryos from parents housed for 4 weeks in our quarantine room. This procedure greatly reduces the risk of contaminating stocks present in our main facility with infectious diseases.


• What is included in the housing fee?
The fee per aquarium and per week includes examination of the fish upon arrival, transfer to the quarantine room (max 25 fish/3.5L aquarium), and daily feeding and maintenance. After 4 weeks, if you wish, we can breed your fish and bleach the embryos (Breeding Service) so that your strain can be housed in our main facility.

 

Is it possible to have the fish housed in the quarantine room for several months?
As the quarantine procedure requires more maintenance and care, we recommend breeding the fish as soon as possible in order to propagate and maintain the strain in our main facility. Yet if you have any special reason to keep the fish in quarantine for a longer period (e.g. continuous egg production for expression study), please contact us and we will work out an agreement.

 

What if my animals need special care?
Let us know what special care they need (special food...) and we will do what is required.
 
•Who will pay for shipping?
Shipping costs will be charged to the customer
 
Can I request additional services?
After 4 weeks of housing in our quarantine room, we can breed your fish, sanitise the embryos by bleaching, and allow them to grow in our main facility. We can also screen your mutant or transgenic fish to identify heterozygous or homozygous individuals and breed them, either to obtain a new generation or to obtain embryos for expression studies. In each case you just have to fill in the appropriate form. If you have other special requests, please contact the Facility for more details.
 
If I request additional services for one strain, what reference number should I use when I fill in the form?
Each strain arriving at the facility is identified by a unique code number. You should always use that code number when referring to a strain in any request for extra services.
 
Must my fish meet specific sanitary status standards to enter the GIGA Facility?
To date, there is no official consensus on health status standards applicable to zebrafish facilities like that of GIGA. Nevertheless, we take maximum precautions to limit the risk of spreading a disease. To reduce the risk and to facilitate examination of your fish during quarantine, we need you to provide all the information you can think of.
What happens if my fish are ill ?
As soon as we suspect a fish to be ill, we isolate it from the others to prevent propagation. If the line is already in the main facility, we euthanize the suspect fish after informing you. If the line is not yet in the main facility, we breed the healthy fish of the line, sanitise the embryos and then euthanize the suspect fish. We always keep you informed if we suspect that your fish could be ill.
 
What is the sanitary status of the GIGA facility?

As stated above, there exists to date no official set of sanitary status standards for zebrafish facilities. All our wild-type fish come from the ZIRC (Zebrafish Resource Center of the University of Oregon). No fish born outside of our main facility has access to it. Upon arrival, all fish are examined for external signs of disease and treated if necessary. They are then observed for 4 weeks in a quarantine aquarium before breeding. Eggs are routinely bleached before entering the main facility. Our facility staff is trained for routine examination, and suspect fish are examined by our fish pathologist. We perform routine necropsies on wild-type sentinel fish, and the maintenance and health conditions of our facility are regularly evaluated by an external veterinary.

Why do you sanitise embryos?
We sanitise embryos to avoid any contamination with bacteria, fungi or other parasites that could spread in our facility and cause illness to the fish, so that we can keep our fish stock in good health conditions

Which Embryos are sanitised?
All embryos entering the main facility must be sanitised.

What is the sanitisation procedure?
The embryos are submitted to sequential baths containing 40 ppm of NaClO, as recommended by the Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC), at the Oregon University. The sanitisation procedure is made on embryos between 10 and 30 hpf.

Do you accept non sanitised embryos in your facility?
No, only sanitised embryos can enter the main facility. Non sanitised embryos have to be raised in the quarantine room to sexual maturity. Only their offspring can reach the facility after sanitisation.

Who will pay for the sanitisation procedure?
The customer will have to pay for this procedure. You must be aware that the embryos must be aged less than 30 hpf to be sanitised. If they arrive at the facility after this stage, they will be raised in the quarantine room
 
If you do not find the answer to your question, feel free to contact us. Other frequently asked questions soon.