All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Stephen Watts

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences


EVALUATION OF FEED INTAKE, GROWTH, AND REPRODUCTION IN THE ZEBRAFISH, DANIO RERIO, FED A GEL-BASED DIET THOMAS LOGAN HOLFELDER BIOLOGY ABSTRACT The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a valuable pre-clinical model, aiding human health understanding and translational aquaculture. Comprehensive documentation of the culture of this model exists, with ongoing efforts to optimize husbandry requirements, particularly in the areas of diet and nutrition. Labor or mechanical costs related to feeding are high in most laboratories and alternative protocols to reduce feed handling would be beneficial and could allow the capability to monitor feed consumption. A commercially produced gel-based diet has a high moisture content, mimicking natural live prey. This diet maintains its physical integrity in the water, and one daily ration can be consumed over 24 hours. The present study goal was to evaluate D. rerio fed gel-based diets relative to (1) feed intake parameters, (2) long term growth, survival, reproductive success, and (3) efficacy when fed during larval development. We found that adult D. rerio readily accommodate to the gel diet. In addition, feed intake is highest in the morning after lights-on, although they continue to feed during the dark period. Feed intake was density dependent, with higher levels of feed intake observed at the highest densities tested (5 individuals/L). Juvenile D. rerio were fed one of three diets over a 12-week period, including a dry granulated reference diet, a commercial gel diet, and a dry granulated form (dehydrated and ground to the same physical form of the reference diet) of the gel diet. Survival was > 95.8% in all diets and supported growth and reproductive success. Terminal measures of weight and length in females fed the reference diet or gel-based diet did not differ significantly, whereas males fed the reference diet had the highest terminal weight and length measures. Reproductive success was similar among treatments, with all treatments exhibiting substantial egg production and embryo viability. Early replacement (at 6dpf) of a live diet for a gel-based diet negatively impacted survival and final weights. However, the gel diet supported survival and growth when fed at 12dpf or higher. Our study supports the use of a gel-based diet in daily D. rerio colony maintenance, but further nutritional assessments are necessary.

Available for download on Tuesday, November 05, 2024