The aquatic toxicology facility (ATF) is a 1,700sq-foot multi-purpose laboratory designed to hold and maintain aquatic organisms for biological studies.
Located within the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology compound, the facility is primarily setup to perform toxicological studies using fish as animal models, it is also capable of housing a wide range of aquatic species for a variety of purposes. Together the facility contains approximately 40 tanks consisting of more than 4,400 gallons of fresh water and thus comprises the largest such facility on the University of Florida’s main campus.
The facility is designed for flexibility allowing a wide range of experiments to be performed simultaneously. Presently, 500 square feet has been allocated for short term holding of animals. This area is isolated from the rest of the facility in order to minimize possible contamination. The dosing areas contain our research tanks and are organized into systems or groups of tanks for recirculation or flowthrough operation. Multiple or individual tanks may be run through effluent filters to remove toxicants or chemicals used during experiments. Alternative space is also available to setup any additional facilities or special environmental controls to fit investigator’s needs.
In addition, the ATF provides services to aid investigators and help ensure successful experiments. These include water quality testing kit, access to compound and dissecting microscope, conventional refrigerator and freezer space for food and specimen storage along with basic tools and a shop area for fabrication. ATF staff is also available to lend assistance with culture procedures, disease diagnosis and treatements, fish location, transport and handling, and routine aspects of experiments such as feeding.
A user application form is required along with a short review process for new experiments to be performed within the ATF. This enables the ATF to determine if the proposed experiment(s) are within the scope and capabilities of the facility.