Gendron, M. E., Buston, P. M. 2023. Review of housing and husbandry of anemonefishes for use in research. Journal of Fish Biology 103(5), 924–938.

Anemonefishes of the genus Amphiprion are emerging as a model organism for marine science, so there is potentially a lot for the research community to gain by optimizing and standardizing housing and husbandry protocols. Here, we conducted a literature review and a questionnaire survey regarding the housing and husbandry of anemonefishes for use in research. The questionnaire survey was completed by 27 laboratories, with a 45% response rate, across 11 different countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Results from the literature review identified that housing and husbandry protocols varied widely in terms of tank volume, diet composition and lighting type for the housing of broodstock pairs. These results also emphasize the significant impacts that variation in housing and husbandry protocols have on fish. Results from the questionnaire survey confirmed this. We identified multiple opportunities for improvement of protocols, including the potential for exchange of larvae between laboratories to create strains and reduce pressure on natural populations. In conclusion, our research suggests that the anemonefish research community should be discussing the optimization and standardization of housing and husbandry or, minimally, recognizing that housing and husbandry influence a wide range of traits and will influence the results and conclusions drawn from experiments.

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