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Egg to egg in 47 days

Dallas E. Weaver, Ph.D. deweaver at gte.net
Mon Jul 30 11:01:17 EST 2001

Just as an experiment, we wanted to see how fast we could turn 
over a generation in zebra danios.  Most of our conversations with 
our customers (zebra fish researchers) indicated that they were 
requiring 90 days or more to go from egg to new generation eggs.  
Our commercial production was also running about 90 - 110 days 
at 22-24 C, but we have no need for short generation times.  

We set up three tanks. Tank C1 at 23-24 C was the control at a 
density of 100/liter (1000 liter production tank) and the 
experimental tanks at 8/liter (60 liter tanks) with one at 28 C and 
the other at 22-23 C ( all 100K+ larva were from the same 

The trick to getting the fast growth was 100% live feeds.  We 
started with protozoan culture and went to sifted moina (we have 
some cultures of specific pathogen free live feeds -- wild live feeds 
have a high risk of bringing in some nasty problem organism, don't 
use the pet shop live feeds). The experimental tanks  had 
continuous live foods available.  The systems were only serviced 
(feed) once per day with tank cleanings once per week (most of our 
customers seem to be spending too much effort on multiple 
feedings of the tanks per day).  

We got viable eggs (only a few hundred on the first try) on day 47 
counting from the spawning date of the parents (not hatch date) for 
the 28 C tank. The 22 C tank is now up to about 23-24 and needs 
another week.  We dropped the density to only about 1/liter on day 
40. The overall survival was 79% in both experimental tanks from 
hatched larva.  

Live feeds and low densities with excellent water quality could 
almost double the productivity of some types of research where 
you need very fast generation turnover to detect the impact of your 
genetic changes.  

Dallas E. Weaver, Ph.D.
Scientific Hatcheries
5542 Engineer Dr.
Huntington Beach Ca,
(714) 890 0138  deweaver at gte.net
(714) 890 3778 fax

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