Zebrafish are capable of decorating any piece of the underwater world. The intense, briskly flocking all over the aquarium, bioluminescent kids can not help but cause a satisfied smile from the audience.
The chordal ray-finned zebrafish from the Family of cyprinids is a small elegant creature with dense, shiny scales. A slender body and an elongated shape. It is decorated with specks and bright stripes, often smoothly turning into fins. A feature of the species is a shift to the caudal region of the dorsal fin.
Popular varieties of zebrafish are:
- Leopard Danio – the body is covered with specks, similar to a scattering of leopard.
- Danio rerio: One of the most common species in home aquariums. Bearing a bizarre name “ladies’ stockings” fish is the owner of the original striped color. The blue longitudinal stripes are neatly alternate with a light yellow background.
- Glofish individuals were obtained in a genetically modified manner. Scientists introduced a rare bioluminescence gene. Danio – the fish, the maintenance and care of which does not give their owners practically any worries, are famous for their peaceful nature and unpretentiousness to the conditions of detention.
- Flocks of pearlfish are standard on the Malaysian and Malay Peninsulas. The fins have a reddish or green tint. The elongated body is almost colorless, has a bluish color in the back.
- Cherry specimens are separated from the rerio. The difference is entirely transparent fins with a yellowish or red tint. Instead of stripes, you can see bright dark spots of irregular rounded shape.
Less commonly, mention can be made of other species: dangile, Chopra, margaritatus, orangefin, and zebrafish “golden ring.”
For the production of offspring, one female and two to three males are selected, which are placed for several hours in a spawning aquarium. As a rule, this is done in the evening. During fertilization, the female begins to spawn in the morning.
The male actively pursues the female until the eggs fly out of it. Males then fertilize the eggs located under the plants. At the end of the process, calm and tired males go on vacation, and the female noticeably loses the roundness of the abdomen.
On average, the female gives up to 200 eggs. The use of antifungal drugs will help save them in the future. After about 48 hours, the litter matures. Larvae hatching to the light, attached to any nearby surface, and motionlessly freeze. After 5−6 days, you can notice the formation of fry feeding on ciliates.
After two days, the fry willingly absorbs live dust. Adults prefer cyclops and artemia. With adequate filtration, crushed dry food can be given.
Optimal conditions of keeping zebrafish:
- Even though zebrafish love to frolic in algae, the central area of the aquarium should remain as free as possible. Along the edges, you can organize a reliable thick cover of Cabomba or eel. It is important to remember the periodic disinfection of all vegetation.
- A deep layer of gravel covered with granular river sand is perfect for laying. Danio prefers the sand of a dark color. It is essential to thoroughly clean and rinses the soil in a weak solution of potassium permanganate before placing it.
- Water characteristic. Danios feel good and are actively developing in a neutral or slightly alkaline environment. The temperature can vary from 18 to 24 degrees. Preference should be given to medium-hard water. Optimal cleansing produces
- High-performance internal filter. It is required at least once a week to change 25% of the water. General cleaning can be carried out no more than once a month.
- It is optimal to maintain a proportion of 4 liters of fluid per adult. Danios are exclusively schooling fish. Therefore they should be kept in 6-7 specimens. Moving individuals should choose an elongated aquarium. Mandatory is to cover the tank with thick glass. There should be at least 5 cm of free space to the lens, this will reduce the risk of injury to active individuals.
- Aeration and lighting. Fish prefer well-lit aquariums with constant oxygen saturation. Especially relevant is air purging with increasing water temperature.
- Best tankmates for Zebrafish tetras, swordtail fish, mollies, catfish, and betta fish. Contact with goldfish, eels, shrimps, and cichlids should be limited.
Common zebrafish diseases
One of the essential points of keeping pets is information on the main ailments and methods of their treatment. Most often, individuals of this species encounter the following diseases:
- Trihonidoz. The source of origin is ordinary ciliates. Domestic fish rub against objects and plants inside the vessel. The body is gradually covered with a gray coating in the form of flakes. The primary measure is to increase the aeration of the water reservoir. It is recommended to increase the water temperature at this time to 30−31 degrees. Adding a minimum amount of table salt to the water has a beneficial effect. The recovery period can last from 7 to 30 days.
- Plistophorosis. The first symptom is the appearance of vague white spots on the body of the fish. In the absence of therapy, spots turn into ulcers, and fins become sloppy, disheveled. The body of zebrafish depletes its resources. The first aid measure is the complete disinfection of the aquarium and soil. Chloric lime or a five percent solution of hydrochloric acid will serve these purposes well.
During the feeding of fish, a solution of methylene blue, Trichopolum or Erythrocycline should be added according to the instructions.
Laboratory application in science
Zebrafish aquarium fish are widely used as model organisms to study the development of vertebrate creatures and the functions of their genes.
As an object of scientific research, they were proposed by Streisinger George. After that, the importance of the model has been repeatedly confirmed by many genetic studies. Representatives of the species are the few fish that have traveled to space orbit.
The advantages of studying individuals over other vertebrates are:
- High embryo development and passage from the egg stage to the larva in less than three days.
- Healthy, hardy, transparent embryos develop outside the maternal womb, which significantly facilitates the process of manipulation and observation.
- Due to the high speed and convenience of work, zebrafish can act as models for phenotypic screening of developed medicinal substances.
- Several fish systems interact with low molecular weight compounds like humans.
- A study of the toxicity of drugs and pharmacokinetics help to obtain only reliable results.
- Some genetic engineering techniques allow the development of lines that partially imitate a variety of human diseases.
Opened at the beginning of the 20th century, the zebrafish species is widespread among modern fish breeders. An interesting fact is the color change of the translucent body of the fish, depending on the surrounding conditions.
In addition to their remarkable appearance, individuals are of great scientific interest due to their abilities for rapid genetic changes.