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[Zbrafish] Food Withholding in Zebrafish whilst Off-system

Burdine, Rebecca D. via zbrafish%40net.bio.net (by rburdine from Princeton.EDU)
Tue Nov 1 10:27:42 EST 2011

I'd be interested in any feedback you get on this Diana.

I've been told by every aquaculturist I hire that we way overfeed our fish in general.  I get squeamish about cutting down feeds because I am convinced fish won't lay, but my current manager convinced me to do so and it hasn't affected egg production at all.

We feed adults once a day with a mixed food. Babies and Juveniles are feed three to four times per day because we need them to grow.  We do give a shrimp feed to fish we want to produce regularly in the afternoon but it isn't necessary.  Fish being fed once a day usually produce very well when we set them up, even if they haven't been set up for weeks.

That being said, we typically don't feed fish off-system at all, but we also restrict them being off system for more than three days.  After that we recommend putting them in 1L tanks and back on the system.  But I STRONGLY encourage people to do finclip and genotyping in 24-48 hours and this typically happens.

Is there a reason the researcher doesn't want the fish fed?  If you are going to do the feeding and water changing, I am not sure why it is an issue?  WE don't do it because it's a lot more work and we might lose fish in the water changing if we aren't careful.


Rebecca D. Burdine, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Molecular Biology
Princeton University
Washington Road Mof 433
Princeton, NJ 08544 
Phone: (609) 258-7515
Fax: (609) 258-6730
Email: rburdine from princeton.edu
Admin Assistant: Anna Schmedel (609) 258-5028

-----Original Message-----
From: zbrafish-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu [mailto:zbrafish-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Diana
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 5:55 PM
To: bionet-organisms-zebrafish from moderators.isc.org
Subject: [Zbrafish] Food Withholding in Zebrafish whilst Off-system

Hello All,

We have a researcher who would like us to not feed the fish housed off-
system. This involves fish held individually in breeding cages pending
identification following either observation of embryo phenotype
produced, or genotyping results after being fin clipped.
Since some of the phenotypes do not appear until day 4 or 5 and some
individuals take longer to perform the genotyping than others this
would involve some fish not being fed for 5 days.

I have been asked to find out what is common practice in the field.

In the past, we have always fed fish housed off-system every day, but
only one feeding instead of their normal three. We also perform water

In your zebrafish colonies:
1) Are there guidelines as to how long can fish be held off-system?
2) Are the fish fed whilst off-system? If so, what frequency?
3) Is the water changed whilst off-system? If so, what frequency?

I am also interested in hearing personal observations, opinions, and
direction to any peer-reviewed literature that comments on extensive
food-withholding in zebrafish. I would really appreciate hearing back
with your collective wisdom.

With Best Wishes, Diana

Diana Baumann
Stowers Institute for Medical Research

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