what do you
think about this?
Where do GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish come from?
GloFish® fluorescent zebra 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 our waterways are contaminated. The first step in developing these pollution detecting fish was to create fish that would be fluorescent all the time. It was only recently that scientists realized the public's interest in sharing the benefits of this research. We call this the GloFish®fluorescent fish.
How common is the use of fluorescent zebra fish in science?
For over a decade, fluorescent zebra fish have been relied upon by scientists worldwide to better understand important questions in genetics, molecular biology, and vertebrate development. Fluorescent zebra 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 fluorescence in our fish is produced by a fluorescent protein gene, which creates the beautifully colored fluorescent protein that can be seen when looking at the fish. The fluorescent protein genes are naturally occurring genes which 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 zebra 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 also passes the color along to its offspring.
How exactly do GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish help in the fight against pollution?
To achieve their goal of helping to fight water pollution, scientists are in the process of adding a "switch" that will cause the always fluorescing GloFish® zebra 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. Although these fish are not currently available, scientists hope to complete this work soon. 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 created. For more information on this application, please review the article entitled “Zebra Fish as Pollution Indicators,” by the National University of Singapore
on our GloFish® Science
What are the differences between fluorescent zebra fish and other zebra fish?
Aside from their brilliant color, GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish are the same as other zebra fish in every way. 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 zebra 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., GloFish® Starfire Red™ Zebra, GloFish® Electric Green™ Zebra, and GloFish® Sunburst Orange™ Zebra) starts with a single fish. The process, illustrated in this chart
, begins by adding a fluorescence gene to the fish when it is a minutes-old embryo. 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.
» GloFish® & The Environment
Which U.S. Federal governmental agencies have reviewed these fish?
We have submitted detailed information regarding our fish to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which has jurisdiction over biotech animals, as they consider the added gene to be an animal drug. Consistent with the findings of scientists worldwide, the FDA, working in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Fish & Wildlife Service, found no evidence that our fluorescent zebra fish pose any more threat to the environment than wild-type zebra fish. If you would like to read the FDA statement regarding our fish, please click here
Have any other governmental agencies reviewed GloFish® fluorescent fish?
In addition to the Federal review described above, our fish have been reviewed by various state agencies, including the State of Florida Transgenic Aquatic Species Task Force and the California Department of Fish & Game. In accordance with the findings of the FDA, these reviews have concluded that our fluorescent zebra fish are as safe for the environment as wild-type zebra fish. To review their specific analyses, as well as those of independent third party experts, please visit our GloFish® Science
What will happen if a GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish escapes into the waterways?
Zebra fish are tropical fish and are unable to survive in non-tropical environments. They have been sold to aquarium owners worldwide for more than fifty years. Despite all these years of widespread distribution, zebra fish are only found in tropical environments, such as their native India. However, it is important to remember that GloFish® fluorescent fish are intended for use as aquarium fish only, and should never be intentionally released into the wild.
What if a GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish is eaten in the wild by another animal?
For an animal in the wild, eating a fluorescent zebra fish is the same as eating any other zebra fish. Their fluorescence is derived from a gene that is already found in nature and is completely safe for the environment. Just as eating a blue fish would not turn a predator blue, eating a fluorescent fish would not make a predator fluoresce. However, please remember that fluorescent zebra fish are not intended for human consumption.
Can these fish be eaten by humans?
GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish, like all ornamental fish, are NOT intended for human consumption; they should never be eaten.
How can buying these fish help in the fight against pollution?
Fluorescent zebra fish have already existed for several years and were originally developed to help fight pollution. By marketing these existing fish, we will allow people to have their own fluorescent fish while promoting the beneficial scientific goals behind their development. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from sales will go directly to the lab where these fish were created in order to further their research—research we hope will help to protect the environment and save lives.
» GloFish® Care
Are GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish freshwater fish or saltwater fish?
Like any other zebra fish, GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish are freshwater fish.
Where can I find detailed information about GloFish® fluorescent fish?
In general, guidelines for maintaining a happy and healthy GloFish® fluorescent fish can be found on our GloFish® Care
page. Another great general resource for detailed care information about zebra fish is this web site
. Remember, our fish are cared for in the exact same way as non-fluorescent zebra fish, so this resource will directly apply to our fish.
Who can I talk with regarding specific questions about my fish?
If you have specific questions about your particular fish that are not answered in either of the web sites noted above (including concerns about odd behavior and possible illness) the best suggestion we can offer would be to contact your local fish store. They are almost always the best resource for fish specific questions.
Is my GloFish® fluorescent fish pregnant?
Aside from their color, fluorescent zebra fish are the same as other zebra fish in every way. This includes everything from general care and temperature preferences to growth rate and life expectancy. Accordingly, all females will carry unfertilized eggs upon reaching maturity, resulting in a "pregnant" look.
How can I distinguish between males and females?
Male GloFish® fluorescent zebra fish are longer and more slender around the stomach, while females have a rounded, whitish looking stomach, and carry unfertilized eggs upon reaching maturity. This will often result in a "pregnant" look.
What types of fish are GloFish® compatible with?
Like non-fluorescent zebra fish, our fish are community fish and will "play well" with other fish. However, not all fish are this way, so we generally advise that people check with their local retailer for specific information on whether their existing fish can peacefully co-exist with fluorescent zebra fish. Alternatively, for a partial, but still significant listing of other community fish, please see the following web site
. Please note that zebra fish are listed on this page as “Zebra Danio”.
I think my fish is acting a little funny...what should I do?
Like any other animals, fish are individuals with their own unique “personalities”. While their actions may sometimes seem strange to us, there is a relatively wide variety of behaviors that zebra fish can normally display. However, if you have any doubts as to whether your fish’s behavior is normal, please do not hesitate to contact your local fish store, as they are a fantastic resource for fish specific questions.
» GloFish® Display
Do GloFish® fluorescent fish glow?
Fluorescent fish absorb light and then re-emit it. This creates the perception that they are glowing, particularly when shining a black light on the fish in a dark room. For tips on the best way to display your new GloFish® fluorescent fish, please visit our GloFish® Display page.
What can I do to maximize the brightness of my new GloFish® fluorescent fish?
Please refer to our GloFish® Display
page for tips on how to ensure that your fish are as vivid and brilliant as possible.
What types of black lights work best with the fish?
In general, we have found that a standard 18" black light bulb, similar to the one pictured here
, can be readily purchased at many retail locations and will fit nicely in many existing aquarium hood fixtures. Another great option for mixed light viewing (i.e., both light and dark rooms) is an actinic (blue wavelength) light. For additional information on the best ways to display your new fish, under black light, actinic light, and natural white light, please visit our GloFish® Display
» GloFish® Purchase
Where can I buy a GloFish® fluorescent fish and how much do they cost?
GloFish® fluorescent fish are now on sale at retail locations across the country. The suggested retail price is approximately $5.00, however, actual prices may vary. Please check with your local retailer for details on availability and pricing.
Are GloFish® fluorescent fish available outside of the United States?
GloFish® fluorescent fish are currently available for purchase only within the United States. At present, we have no plans to ship our fish to other countries, but we will be sure to update this web page if this status changes.
What colors of GloFish® fluorescent fish are currently available?
Our fish are currently available in Starfire Red™, Sunburst Orange™, and Electric Green™. If you would like to see spectacular photos of all three lines together please visit our GloFish® Photos
Why are GloFish® the only fluorescent fish that can be sold in the United States?
Because fluorescent fish are unique, their sale is covered by a substantial number of patents and pending patent applications. The providers of GloFish® fluorescent fish, 5-D Tropical and Segrest Farms, are the only distributors that have the necessary licenses to produce and market fluorescent fish within the United States. The production of fluorescent fish by any other party, or the sale of any fluorescent fish not originally distributed by 5-D Tropical or Segrest Farms, is strictly prohibited. For additional information regarding GloFish® fluorescent fish license details please click here
Why can’t I buy GloFish® fluorescent fish in Australia, Canada, or Europe?
At present, Australia, Canada, and Europe prohibit the marketing of any genetically modified organisms, including our tropical fluorescent zebra fish, until they are cleared through a formal review process. Although we are currently reviewing our options for working through this process, we have no definite plans to submit an application at this time. Please continue to monitor our website for any updates on availability in these areas.
Who can I contact about wholesale opportunities?
For more information about becoming a wholesaler or retailer of our fish, please contact 5-D Tropical, at www.5dtropical.com
or Segrest Farms at www.segrestfarms.com
» GloFish® Media
Where can I find some photos of your fish for my publication?
Please feel free to use any of the photos posted on our GloFish® Photos page at www.glofish.com/photos.asp
. Please credit the photos to www.glofish.com
or simply glofish.com. It is not necessary to contact us for specific permission.
Who can I contact regarding museum or other exhibition displays?
If you are interested in displaying our fish in a public exhibition, we would love to hear from you. Please send us a message through our Contact Page
, and we will reply back to you as quickly as possible.
For more detailed information on the science behind GloFish® fluorescent fish, please visit our GloFish®Science