Zebra Research

Maintaining Zebrafish Systems

Products to Start-up and Maintain Zebrafish Systems

Dear Zebrafish Researcher,

Are you spending too much time trying to keep your zebrafish alive or maintaining your zebrafish systems when you would rather be doing research? DrTim’s Aquatics may be able to help you. We are experts at closed aquatic life support systems and we manufacture products to start up and maintain these systems, including zebrafish research systems.

Below are answers to several FAQs about zebrafish and zebrafish systems in relation to water quality and maintenance. If your question is not there feel free to contact us at info@drtimsaquatics.com for assistance. We’re here to make it easier for you to maintain your fish and system so you can spend more time doing research.

We sell direct to Universities and Research institutions via our online store that can be accessed here.


DrTim’s Aquatics


How can I add fish to my system sooner but safely?

A new zebrafish system needs an active biological filter to remove the fish wastes (ammonia and nitrite) from the water. An active biological filter contains the proper nitrifying bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria are slow growing and it can normally take 30 to 35 days for the biological filter to become established and be able to remove convert the ammonia to nitrite to nitrate.

However, that time period can be virtually eliminated by using DrTim’s One & Only Live nitrifying bacteria. Our nitrifying bacteria are used by public aquaria, fish farmers and hobbyists – this product contains nothing but live nitrifying bacteria that will quickly establish your biological filter.

Our nitrifying bacteria are unique and the result of years of scientific research. No other company comes close to our published research record and our experience with nitrifying bacteria.

I need to sterilize my system but need to add fish asap – what can I do?

DrTim’s Aquatics One & Only Nitrifying bacteria can be used in brand new systems and after a system has been sterilized. Also it can be used after a disease treatment. If you already have an established system but are going to be adding a lot of fish at one time, using DrTim’s Aquatic One & Only Nitrifying bacteria will help keep ammonia and nitrite in control.

My fish always seem to die after handling – what can I do?

More than likely the handling of the fish is causing stress, resulting in disease and eventually their death. We recommend using DrTim’s Aquatics First Defense when handling zebrafish. Add First Defense to the fishes’ holding water before and after handling. Let the fish bathe in this solution for 1 hour after handling. First Defense contains immunostimulants, vitamins and a slime coat replacement that help fight stress and assist the fish with coping with traumatic handing.

It seems I am always cleaning the system – what can I do?

Overfeeding is commonly the reason for having to spend lots of time cleaning the filter, fighting algae buildup and constantly unclogging filter pads. DrTim’s Aquatics Waste-Away sludge removing bacteria can help with all these problems. Our sludge reducing bacteria were isolated from fish culture systems and optimized to grow at the same water temperature as Zebrafish (other brands bacteria grow best at 37°C).
Our sludge reducing bacteria go after uneaten food that is not easily removed, the gunk on filter pads and particulate organic material that is in the water column.
A regular dose every two weeks will help keep filter pads cleaner, the water clearer and result in less time spent on system maintenance.

I received my One & Only Bacteria – now what do I do?

You received your shipment of One & Only Live Nitrifying – how you use it:

1) Make sure your system is running and the UV system is off.

2) Make sure the water is chlorine-free, either by adding a dechlorinator or using reverse osmosis/deionized water.

3) Remove the fine mechanical filter so the bacteria will not get trapped in there.

4) Shake the bottle of bacteria well and then add the bacteria into the biological filter compartment

5) Replace the fine mechanical filter

6) Add fish or dose with ammonium chloride within the next few days