Population density can clearly affect the environment that the fish live in. In an aging colony, as individual fish die and are removed from a tank, the overall population density in that tank will be altered. This may confound studies when comparisons are made among different tanks. Thus, one should consider their experimental goals if this is an important issue. One method to minimize the impact of population density changes is to replace a dead fish with another fish. We typically use another zebrafish strain that we can clearly identify as different from the experimental strain (e.g., longfin versus shortfins).
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