a Aquatics

Zebrafish

Behaviors

 

exploratory, fleeing, shoaling, hiding

Social Structure

Zebrafish are social animals that aggregate together in groups.  They prefer shoaling.  Shoaling is behavior that is defined as animals aggregating together for social reasons.  Zebrafish may shoal for foraging reasons, social reasons, or  to avoid predators. Zebrafish also exhibit a behavior called schooling. Schooling is a more synchronized way of swimming as a defense mechanism to avoid predators.  Schooling occurs when fish swim in same direction in a group.

Zebrafish also exhibit dominant, submissive relationships. Dominant fish stay towards the top of tank, submissive hang around bottom of tank more often.

Abnormal Behaviors

sinking, increased startle responses, stereotypic swimming

Feed aggression is common among groups.  Enrichment items such as igloos, artificial plants, lily pads give the submissive animals shelter in case of aggression.

AALAE zebrafish pic

African Clawed Frogs

Behavior

fully aquatic, nocturnal, filter feeders, sit motionless at the top or bottom of substrates

Social Structure

Male xenopus frogs will establish dominant submissive hierarchy.  The dominant male makes the first breeding call to the females.

Abnormal Behaviors

unclear

 

Feed aggression is common among groups.  Enrichment items such as PVC pipes artificial plants, lily pads give the submissive animals shelter to decrease aggression.

Group of african clawed frog

Enrichment for Aquatics

Enrichment items that promote  shelter, and floating such as igloos, lily pads, small caves, PVC pipes, and, and artificial plants.  

Lily pads like this provide shelter for submissive frogs to decrease aggression.
Lily pads like this provide shelter for submissive frogs to decrease aggression.
This is an underwater breeding ritual between frogs.  Male develops mating pads.  The mating embrace is pelvic.
This is an underwater breeding ritual between frogs. Male develops mating pads. The mating embrace is pelvic.
Gravel stickers have shown to be a great form of enrichment for zebrafish.
Gravel stickers have shown to be a great form of enrichment for zebrafish.
Igloos provide shelter for submissive fish during feed.
Igloos provide shelter for submissive fish during feed.

Resources

Featured studies related to refinement, enrichment, handling, behavior management, and training techniques.

AALAE FORUM

Join The Conversation

Our AALAE Forum is open to all lab animal professionals with the intent to serve as a think tank for new enrichment ideas, behavior management practices, as well as innovative enrichment/behavior management techniques.  It’s imperative to push the conversation around animal welfare in a positive way.