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The Fish Facility is intended for the rearing and maintenance of zebrafish to accommodate the needs of investigators studying problems of development and cancer biology, neurobiology and regeneration. The Fish Facility supports research projects from six research institute laboratories. In addition, investigators from Northwestern University (Chicago and Evanston campuses), DePaul University and University of Illinois at Chicago have used facility resources.
The Fish Facility is outfitted with the Aquanee ring system for the rearing and maintenance of zebrafish. Four separate systems accommodate over 2,200 tanks for fry and adult fish, and provide optimal conditions for maintenance of up to 25,000 adult fish. All tanks are constantly supplied with water through inlet valves at a rate at which the water in the tanks is exchanged about three times per hour.
The filtration system assures optimal water quality: tap water is purified by the Reverse Osmosis System, UV sterilization tower, particle prefilter, fine particle filter, and biofilter. Ten percent of fresh water is added to the system daily. Water quality (pH and conductivity) is monitored automatically. Water flow is also automatically controlled, and water level sensors with an alarm system are installed. The filter system requires minimal maintenance and sustains high water quality.
A very important part of the Fish Facility is a 120 square foot Zebrafish Manipulation and Observation Room. This room is equipped with Zeiss motorized compound and dissecting microscopes for observation in regular and fluorescent light. These microscopes are outfitted with high-end digital cameras allowing them to take still pictures and record time-lapse movies. The Manipulation and Observation Room is additionally equipped with specialized instruments for RNA, DNA and oligonucleotide microinjection, cell transplantation and embryo incubators.