X. tropicalis Housing
Overview of our Facility
There are 3 main areas of our Frog Facility. The kitchen/office area has a sink, dishwasher, work area, storage shelving and a computer desk. Tanks are cleaned and stored here. It is advantageous to have an area away from the noise of the frog room for computer and paperwork. There is also a stand-alone rack here for quarantine. It is not the optimal location, and if we had a larger facility, it would likely be elsewhere.
The Injection and Sorting room has 3 Picospritzers, dissecting scopes, and room to sort embryos. There are 2 small embryo incubators. Again, it is desirable to have this area separate from the noise of the frog room.
Recirculating Water Systems
We currently have two different RW systems. Click the links below for more information on each.
The majority of our frogs are housed in the main Frog Room. We currently have a recirculating water system with 14 racks, housing adults, juveniles and tadpoles.
Note: This was originally a Marine Biotech System. It is serviced by Aquatic Habitats, as they bought the company. We have made significant modifications to the system, especially the tanks. Please read this section for more information.
Note: Marine Biotech was bought by Aquatic Habitats, and this system is no longer available. We include information on this system as the general information may be useful.
It has been our experience the main problem with any system housing X. tropicalis is managing the amount of waste generated. The re-circulating systems were originally designed for zebrafish, which produce a relatively small amount of waste. X. tropicalis produce vastly greater volumes of waste due to the increased bulk of feed, and copious skin sheds from the animals. The amount of waste depends somewhat on the amount of feed given. We feed five days a week. If you feed less, there will be less waste, but it will still be an issue.
The sticky mixture of waste and skin adheres to every pipe and crevice, blocking tank outflows and drain pipes, and taxing the water filtration system. We have made various modifications to the tanks to try to address the problem of waste accumulation, water quality and system maintenance. Our main modifications involve changes to the drainage and baffle systems of the tanks themselves. One example is removing the baffle included with some tank designs, and using a piece of large hole mesh or screen over the back of the tank to allow more waste to escape, yet preventing frogs getting out.(need image)
Preventing frog escape is an issue of concern. The 0.75 liter wet rack tanks are supplied with a mesh drain plug which readily falls out. We have modified these tanks with a piece of plastic screen glued in place of the plug.
Overall, modifications improve the situation, but waste management continues to be the main problem we deal with on a daily basis. You should expect no system you purchase will be perfect, and will likely require some type of modification on some level for your situation. You should also expect to spend significant time manually clearing the waste from tanks and pipes.
Contributed by Michael Slocum and Maura Lane, 08/2010