Policy & Procedures

The Aquatic Toxicology Facility (ATF) is a low toxicity research facility. That is, all experiments will be restricted to those compounds with relatively low acute toxicity to workers and whose effluents can be disposed of with minimal or no treatment. The ATF consists of two sheltered rooms for experimentation and an outdoor area designated for holding fish. The experimental rooms currently have five groups of tanks ranging from 30 gallon aquariums to 275 gallon fiberglass tanks. The holding area will initially consist of four 380 gallon rectangular fiberglass tanks. Additional tank space may be added if the need arises.

Prospective facility users must submit a User Application Form that contains the investigator’s contacts and experimental protocols in order to assure compatibility with the facility and obtain approvals from appropriate regulatory bodies. An orientation process is an integral step in the use of the facility. During which, ATF staff will coordinate facility needs of experimenters, including contact with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) if necessary, and determine feeding and maintenance schedules. Investigators are ultimately responsible for their animals and experiments conducted at the facility, therefore it is the investigators responsibility to obtain approvals from Animal Resources and EH&S. ATF users should check on animals to perform routine maintenance and/or monitor their health and condition as determined in the orientation process (typically at least once/week).

Facility Guidelines

  1. Investigators are responsible for obtaining their own research animals and diets. (ATF staff can assist in locating suppliers for both. We will have storage space for diets and limited space for holding of live feeds). Delivery of animals must be coordinated with ATF staff along with quarantining and/or disinfecting procedures.
  2. Investigators are also responsible for disposal of their animals throughout use of facility and at termination of project. Unless otherwise notified (during orientation) dead fish will be placed in a common disposal bin for removal.
  3. An advisory board shall be established to recommend policy and review proposed projects to be conducted within the facility. The advisory board will meet as needed in order to review projects. Investigators should submit user application forms for planned experiments at least one week prior to the expected start of their experiment(s).
  4. Use of the facility will be granted after a User Application Form is received by ATF staff and approval is given from the advisory board.
  5. Investigators shall provide ATF with the following in the User Application Form:
  •  Brief written description of research to be conducted at ATF.
  •  List of all chemicals to be used at ATF along with their MSDS.
  • Name, address and phone number of contact person(s). This person(s) are responsible for all activities associated with their group’s experiments conducted at ATF.
  • Provide a primary and secondary contact (name and phone number) in case of emergency at ATF.

6.  Each investigator will be issued one key to the facility and automatic gate into CEHT compound.

7.  Investigators are responsible to ensure discharge from experimental tanks meet EH&S and DEP standards. Effluent filtration may be arranged but costs will be primarily born by the investigator.

8.  Holding of research animals is to be :

  • Restricted to the outside (courtyard) area
  • Due to limited space and resources, holding research animals is to be limited to 60 days as calculated from the start date on the application. “Eviction” shall take place 7 calendar days after ending date listed on application form, if space is requested by others.
  • ATF staff will feed fish Monday through Friday (except holidays), perform routine tank maintenance (i.e., tank cleaning) and conduct general water quality testing periodically in accordance with facility maintenance.
  •  Investigators are ultimately responsible for animals and should check the health and condition of animals at least once/week (ATF staff can assist if time allows).

9. Coordination of space and facility resources (i.e., freezer/cold storage, tank space, etc.) will be performed by ATF staff. ATF staff will be responsible for maintaining overall facility (i.e., central aeration, water supply, lighting, etc.). Investigators are responsible for setting water flow rates, toxicant administration, feedings, tank maintenance, etc. during experiments. Assistance from ATF staff can be rendered Monday through Friday (except holidays) as time allows.