Zebrafish husbandry education courses sponsored by the Zebrafish Husbandry Association (ZHA) are now available at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Course content was developed by a team of thirty-six ZHA members with expertise in optimal zebrafish husbandry practices for the biomedical research setting. The goal of the course is to encourage standardization of husbandry methods and research results.
Participants are divided into groups of five to seven (de novo each day) to allow each participant to have maximal interaction with instructors and to have plenty of time to develop each hands-on skill taught. Each group rotates through 12 stations, with 3 to 4 stations offered each day. Each station is led by 2 to 3 instructors, who will guide the participants to learn the covered tasks using live zebrafish and/or facility equipment. Instructors present the most up to date information available on each husbandry topic as well as personal tips from their experience. Participants will also interact with biologists and representatives from many of our sponsors. There will be onsite stand-alone racks from our vendor sponsors, and participants are encouraged to take advantage of this time to examine these. This is useful to those starting up new programs and selecting equipment.
Sessions last 2 hours and include Introduction to Aquatic Systems; Live Feeds 1 and 2; Spawning and Larviculture 1, 2, and 3; Cleaning, Disinfection, Quarantine, and Health Monitoring; Occupational Health and Safety in the Zebrafish Facility; Water Chemistry 1 and 2; Recognizing Sick Fish and Necropsy; and Anesthesia and Euthanasia. Hands on activities for participants include sexing fish, setting up spawns, harvesting embryos, collecting gametes, performing in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation of sperm, harvesting of live feeds, performing necropsies, measuring water quality parameters, and anesthetizing and euthanizing fish.