Wood, H., Voros, G. B. 2023. Increasing the psychological wellbeing of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) at the Cleveland Clinic. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 11(6) (November/December), 38-40.

With the increased use of aquatic animals in research, especially zebrafish and African clawed frogs, there has been an increased interest in how to best address their psychological wellbeing. In this article, we have shown various ways to improve the aquatic animal’s psychological well-being, which includes social housing, foraging, imagery, and in-tank objects or toys as environmental enrichment. These aquatic animal enrichment methods were easy to institute, require little maintenance, and are cost effective. Staff can get creative with food and environmental enrichment by switching the type of feeds or using multiple feedings of different items. The use of water repellent wallpaper that has natural looking designs of the animal’s natural (or close to it) environment can spruce up the primary enclosure along with overhead lighting designs. Toys can easily be created for the fish and frogs to swim through and around. We hope this article has provided some insights into creating a novel enrichment program for growing aquatics programs across the many institutions that utilize these species and others.