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  • Writer's pictureEmily Kane

Guppy recirculating system

To accommodate all of our new guppies, I want to set up some recirculating systems, similar to how other researchers house Zebrafish. This allows us to house adult females individually, so we can collect and track their babies. Here's an example one of these systems that is used by Drs. Sean Rogers and Dan Bolnick at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for rearing stickleback:

I considered quotes from several companies, but I was concerned that it would be difficult to do experiments with the environmental influence of predation (if I ever have plans to do so) and the shelving is difficult or impossible to disassemble and store or reuse for other purposes. Since I may not always be working on guppies and do not have a permanent animal housing space, I didn't feel comfortable with spending so much money on something that wouldn't grant me the long-term flexibility I need. Since I have money now, but may not in the future, I wanted to make a purchase that I knew I could use for multiple projects, if necessary. So I decided to buy the specialized tanks only, and build the rest of it. I didn't think this would be too challenging since this is exactly what Cameron Ghalambor's lab at Colorado State University, where I did my postdoc, has also done. In fact, I helped assemble one of his systems so I knew it could be done. I have now completed the set up for one rack that will hold 60 fish individually and am working on a second. Here's what our system looks like:

Not only am I a scientist/teacher/advisor/writer/accountant but it turns out I'm also a plumber!

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