The complete and updated “rotifer polyculture method” for rearing first feeding zebrafish

Lawrence, Christian, Best, Jason, Cockington, Jason, Henry, Eric C., Hurley, Shane, James, Althea, Lapointe, Christopher, Maloney, Kara and Sanders, Erik (2016) The complete and updated “rotifer polyculture method” for rearing first feeding zebrafish. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2016 107: e53629.1-e53629.1. doi:10.3791/53629

Author Lawrence, Christian
Best, Jason
Cockington, Jason
Henry, Eric C.
Hurley, Shane
James, Althea
Lapointe, Christopher
Maloney, Kara
Sanders, Erik
Title The complete and updated “rotifer polyculture method” for rearing first feeding zebrafish
Journal name Journal of Visualized Experiments   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1940-087X
Publication date 2016-01-17
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3791/53629
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 2016
Issue 107
Start page e53629.1
End page e53629.1
Total pages 1
Publisher Journal of Visualized Experiments
Language eng
Subject 1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1500 Chemical Engineering
2400 Immunology and Microbiology
2800 Neuroscience
Formatted abstract
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a model organism of increasing importance in many fields of science. One of the most demanding technical aspects of culture of this species in the laboratory is rearing first-feeding larvae to the juvenile stage with high rates of growth and survival. The central management challenge of this developmental period revolves around delivering highly nutritious feed items to the fish on a nearly continuous basis without compromising water quality. Because larval zebrafish are well-adapted to feed on small zooplankton in the water column, live prey items such as brachionid rotifers, Artemia, and Paramecium are widely recognized as the feeds of choice, at least until the fish reach the juvenile stage and are able to efficiently feed on processed diets. This protocol describes a method whereby newly hatched zebrafish larvae are cultured together with live saltwater rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) in the same system. This polyculture approach provides fish with an "on-demand", nutrient-rich live food source without producing chemical waste at levels that would otherwise limit performance. Importantly, because the system harnesses both the natural high productivity of the rotifers and the behavioral preferences of the fish, the labor involved with maintenance is low. The following protocol details an updated, step-by-step procedure that incorporates rotifer production (scalable to any desired level) for use in a polyculture of zebrafish larvae and rotifers that promotes maximal performance during the first 5 days of exogenous feeding.
Keyword Developmental biology
Issue 107
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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