Humane Treatment of Fish & Aquatic Life.
azgardens.com is committed to humane treatment of animals, and as a distributor of GloFish® fluorescent fish, we will make every effort to provide an exemplary, healthy environment for our fish throughout their life cycle. We encourage our customers to remember that, while unique, beautiful, and interesting, these GloFish are living creatures and not toys, and should be treated with the utmost care.
Above: photo taken under natural light and still show the brilliance of GloFish® fluorescent fish.
photo credits www.glofish.com
The Science of GloFish®
Where do GloFish® fluorescent fish come from?
GloFish® fluorescent fish were originally bred to help detect environmental pollutants. By adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish, scientists hope to one day quickly and easily determine when a waterway is contaminated. The first step in developing a pollution-detecting fish was to create fish that would be fluorescent all the time. Scientists soon realized the public's interest in sharing the benefits of this research, a process which lead to GloFish® fluorescent fish.
How common is the use of fluorescent fish in science?
For over a decade, fluorescent fish have been relied upon by scientists worldwide to better understand important questions in genetics, molecular biology, and vertebrate development. Fluorescent fish have been particularly helpful in understanding cellular disease and development, as well as cancer and gene therapy.
Where does the fluorescent color come from?
The fluorescent color in our fish is produced by a fluorescent protein gene, which creates the beautiful fluorescence that can be seen when looking at the fish. The fluorescent protein genes occur naturally, and are derived from marine organisms.
Do you have to add a fluorescence gene to every fish before it hatches?
No. Today's GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of fluorescent fish that were originally developed several years ago. Each new GloFish® fluorescent fish inherits its unique color directly from its parents, maintains the color throughout its life, and passes the color along to its offspring.
How exactly do GloFish® fluorescent fish help in the fight against pollution?
To achieve their goal of helping to fight water pollution, scientists are hoping to one day develop a ‘switch’ that will cause always-fluorescing fish to selectively fluoresce in the presence of environmental toxins. A non-fluorescing fish will signal that the water is safe, while a fluorescing fish will signal trouble. To help further the research, a portion of the proceeds from sales of all GloFish® fluorescent fish goes directly to the lab where these fish were originally created. For more information on this project, please review the article entitled “Zebrafish as Pollution Indicators,” by the National University of Singapore.
What are the differences between fluorescent fish and other fish?
Aside from their brilliant color, fluorescent fish are the same as their non-fluorescent counterparts. This includes everything from general care and temperature preferences to growth rate and life expectancy.
Does the fluorescence harm the fish?
No. The fish are as healthy as other fish in every way. Scientists originally developed them several years ago by adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish eggs before they hatched. Today's GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of these original fish.
Exactly how is the fluorescent protein gene added to the fish?
Every line of GloFish® fluorescent fish (i.e. Starfire Red®, Electric Green®, Sunburst Orange®, Cosmic Blue®, and Galactic Purple®) starts with a single fish. The general process of developing fluorescent fish, as illustrated in this chart, begins by adding a fluorescence gene to the fish before it hatches from its egg. Once the gene integrates into the genome (i.e., genetic code) of the embryo, the developing fish will be able to pass the fluorescence gene along to its offspring upon maturity. Because of this, the gene only needs to be added to one embryo; from that point forward, all subsequent fluorescent fish are the result of traditional breeding.
Are you going to create more fluorescent fish?
Scientists all around the world are working with fluorescent fish, whether it's to help protect the environment or come up with new disease-fighting drug therapies. As more fluorescent fish become available, they may be offered for sale to the public.