Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. J. Kwekel

Second Reader

Dr. Sharon Hamilton

Third Reader

Dr. A. Motley


Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a tropical, freshwater fish that serve as a key research model for human health and disease. The anatomical and genetic similarities shared by humans and zebrafish make establishing a zebrafish laboratory advantageous for undergraduate research and coursework. Zebrafish feeding protocols utilize two primary food types: dry (flake or pelleted) food and live prey such as artemia (brine shrimp) or rotifers. Adopting a feeding protocol that incorporates both dry and live feed optimizes considerations of nutrition and cost for maintaining healthy fish. Best practices for feeding were adapted from authoritative sources in the current literature and published standards. Source, amount, regularity, and scheduling were optimized for our new zebrafish laboratory.

Breeding zebrafish is necessary to maintain stock during ongoing experiments involving necropsy as well as studying developmental changes in zebrafish. Breeding protocols utilize a collection of special apparatus and environmental cues that produce the appropriate behavioral conditions for spawning. The key environmental cues are the onset of light in the morning, controlled by room light timers and angled and shallow breeding tank apparatus to imitate the shallow waters zebrafish naturally spawn in. A special slotted, false bottom tank is used to isolate eggs away from the natural predation of adult zebrafish. Eggs are collected by siphoning several hours after lights on and numbers are estimated by volume. Best practices for zebrafish breeding were tested and adapted to optimize egg and embryo production. Optimizing and adapting these protocols for our new laboratory are necessary for establishing a successful zebrafish laboratory with standard operating procedures in supporting future research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.



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