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This months profile was written by Chris
an active contributor
to the site.
Photo courtesy of Glowfish.com
Genetically altered from the ever-popular Zebra Danio, GloFish® were
originally created to aid in waterway testing and gene research. By
combining a naturally occurring fluorescence gene found in anemones,
with the hardy and energetic Zebra Danio, scientists sought to efficiently
determine whether or not waterways had become polluted by following
the health and glow of these little beacons. Eventually, they realized
there was a strong public interest in this beneficial research, which
lead to commercial sales of fluorescent GloFish. Around the world, scientists
continue to work with these fluorescent fish in protecting the environment
and developing new disease-fighting drug therapies.
Fluorescent Zebra Danios have existed for over a decade, and a portion
of the proceeds from direct sales have gone toward furthering the genetic
research through which they were created. This has brought additional
breakthroughs in molecular biology, vertebrate development, understanding
cellular disease, as well as cancer and gene therapy.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 2in (5.5cm).
|| 30in + (15gal +).
||Generally upper and mid-level.
||6.8 - 7, tolerates wide range.
||Soft to moderately hard (0 to 18°DH)
||72°F to 80°F (22°-27° C)
Classification of wild stock:
Distribution of wild stock:
Asia: India to Bangladesh.
General Body Form:
The GloFish was created by combining Zebra Danio genes with those of
a certain luminescent anemone to emit a bright neon glow. With the same
long and slender body, it retains the classic fish shape of Danios.
There are really no differences genetically or behaviorally between
GloFish and Zebra Danios. Their mouth still angles upward slightly,
with the same two sets of barbels. While female GloFish continue to
grow larger with a more rounded belly, in general.
GloFish were originally altered to emit a bright pink color; however
green, yellow and orange coloration's have since been created and bred.
The glowing coloration of the GloFish will never fade or change, as
it remains within their genetic structure, and will actually be passed
on to their offspring should they spawn. The fry would have the same
color of one of the parents, and some combinations of colors have been
found. It is recommended that a strong light be kept on during daylight
hours, and replaced by a black-light at night in order to see them "glowing"
at their best. Though GloFish do require varying amount of light and
darkness, like any other fish, so be sure not to leave the lights turned
on overnight. GloFish were originally available in three official colors:
Starfire Red, Electric Green, and Sunburst Orange.
The original Zebra Danio.
Having been originally from varying Asian regions, and altered in laboratories,
GloFish flourish in waters similar to their relative Zebra Danios. They
are extremely active, always racing around and providing a spectacle.
An ideal tank would be at least 30in. (76.2cm) in length, decorated
tank with plants and rockwork; however one should also leave plenty
of room for swimming. They eat all types of commercial food: live, flakes,
and frozen. They are a low maintenance and hardy species that do not
require extremely precise water conditions. Because of this, GloFish
also make the ideal fish for the cycling a tank.
Biotopeof wild stock:
Zebra Danios, found in fast flowing streams, tend to enjoy wide-open
spaces around mid to upper water-level. So too do GloFish. They also
do very well in community tanks with like-minded fish. They are strictly
tropical freshwater fish and are unsuited for cool, non-tropical environments.
GloFish can exist in a fairly wide temperature range of 64-86°F (18–30°C),
but temperatures of 72-80°F (22-27°C) are much preferred. This will
most likely demand a heater in the tank in order to maintain a consistent
warmer climate. It is crucial that one avoid drastic temperature changes,
as that is stressful, and can be fatal to any fish. Like Zebra Danios,
GloFish are schooling fish which should ideally be kept in groups, though
not overcrowded. And never keep any solitary fish in a small bowl without
circulation and filtration.
GloFish can be very easy fish to breed should your tank meet certain
requirements. Provide the best food possible, a low stress and clean
environment, as well as a separate tank for the process (Preferably
5-10 gallons) if possible. Lay gravel or marbles on the tank floor,
and keep the water level low to prevent the fish from eating the eggs
as soon as they lay them. Introduce several conditioned GloFish into
the tank to ensure both male and female fish are included. After the
spawning has ended, the marbles will protect the eggs that were laid
as they sink between the marbles. Remove the adult fish from the breeding
tank, and the eggs should hatch after a day or two. Once the fry are
swimming they can be fed finely ground flakes, paramecium, inforusia
or commercial liqui-fry. Today, GloFish found in stores and online have
been bred from the offspring of the original fluorescent Zebra Danios.
The remarkable colors of each GloFish are inherited from the parents,
remain throughout their lifetime, and passed on to their fry.
GloFish have been analyzed and reviewed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration,
which has jurisdiction over biotech animals, United States Department
of Agriculture and United States Fish & Wildlife Service, all of which
found no evidence that fluorescent fish pose any more threat to the
environment than wild-type Zebra Danios. In addition to the Federal
review, GloFish have since been reviewed by state agencies such as the
State of Florida Transgenic Aquatic Species Task Force, and the California
Department of Fish & Game.
Zebra Fish as Pollution Indicators