The Model Unit

The model fish unit is equipped with recirculation systems tailored for raising zebrafish and medaka, facilitating diverse studies. Furthermore, we provide flow-through systems specifically designed for infection and toxicology studies.


Danio Rerio

Zebrafish is a tropical fresh-water fish species of the minnow family. Natively widely spread in the Indian peninsula, zebrafish have become increasingly important to scientific research. 

Molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, genetics, cancer research, and drug discovery are only the few of the research fields that employ zebrafish as a model animal. 

The main reasons for the popularity of zebrafish are the relatively low cost of maintenance, their short generation interval, the transparency of the embryos, and the readily available tools to manipulate the genome.

Zebrafish - Danio rerio
Japanese Medaka - Oryzias latipes

Japanese Medaka

Oryzias latipes

Japanese medaka (also known as ricefish) are commonly found in ricefields, channels and ditches in East Asia. Medaka are commonly kept as ornamental fish in Japan. They are deeply engrained into Japanese national culture with references going as far back as 17’th century. 

Today, medaka are used across the world in vertebrate development and biology studies, as well as toxicology studies. Small size and short life cycle make medaka easy to maintain in a model fish laboratory setting. 

Importantly, medaka have a couple of features making them an attractive model fish for salmonid aquaculture studies: (1) they are euryhaline species (lives in fresh water, but can tolerate high salinity) and (2) they tolerate low temperatures.

Why use small model fish?

Our Unit

Divided into 5 specialised rooms, our model fish unit can house approximately 10 000 fish.

Two husbandry rooms equipped with state-of-the-art Techniplast systems and automated feeders house either zebrafish or medaka. In addition, the unit includes a quarantine room, an infection room, and a toxicology room, each equipped with stand-alone and flow-through systems.

For specialized studies, we offer a photoperiod rack designed for studying light effects, enabling independent adjustments of intensity and photoperiod duration for different aquarium rows. In addition, our unit holds a specialized behavior room equipped with cutting-edge Daniovision and EthoVision XT systems from Noldus. These systems enable advanced capabilities, such as 3D tracking of fish. Complementing these rooms are two fully-equipped laboratories. The first laboratory is specialized for injection procedures, featuring four state-of-the-art micro-injection systems from Eppendorf. The second laboratory is dedicated for sampling and biological analyses, housing various instruments, including bright-field and fluorescent microscopes.

Our unit goes beyond mere infrastructure; we offer a range of services, including comprehensive training in diverse techniques, such as blood sampling, egg injection, tissue dissection, and imaging. Additionally, we provide expertise in genotyping and the creation of new transgenic lines, ensuring our clients have access to a full spectrum of resources for their research needs.

Your Unique Projects, Our Custom Tools.
Arturas Kavaliauskis

infection room

behavior room

toxicology room

imaging room

Our Services

Toxicology studies

We offer comprehensive assistance in testing potential toxic molecules or drugs, examining their integration into fish, assessing accumulation in the body and their interactions with fish biology. Our expertise ensures a thorough understanding of the impact and implications of these substances on aquatic animals.

Infection studies

We provide you with the opportunity to explore the impact of a pathogen on fish biology. Investigate the pathogen's mechanisms of infection, replication, and swiftly identify symptoms or markers for rapid detection. Our capabilities empower you to gain in-depth insights into the dynamics of pathogen-fish interactions.

Environmental studies

We offer assistance in testing various environmental factors to explore their integration, regulatory effects on fish biology, and predict how fish will adapt to changes in environmental conditions. Our expertise allows for a comprehensive examination of the intricate relationships between environmental variables and fish physiology.

Behavioral analysis

We can assist you in identifying nuanced differences in behavior through our advanced video tracking system. These behavioral changes often serve as valuable indicators of stress status, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of the subject under observation.

Biological analysis

We can aid you in discerning alterations in gene expression, shifts in cell distribution, or anatomical changes using our well-equipped laboratories.


We offer comprehensive support in the development of novel transgenic fish lines, employing techniques such as plasmid or CRISPR/Cas9 injection in freshly fertilized eggs. Alternatively, if you prefer, we can also take care of the entire development process for you.


Unlock the gateway to specialized training programs designed to launch your exploration into the field of fish studies or elevate your proficiency in laboratory work. Whether you're embarking on a new journey or seeking to enhance your existing skills, our programs are meticulously crafted to empower you with the knowledge and expertise essential for navigating the captivating realm of fish research.


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