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  1. IACUC approval is needed for all vertebrate animal work. Information on FIU's Animal Care and Use Program can be found on the Department of Laboratory Animal Research's website.
  2. Species-specific Standard Operating Procedures are required for animal work. The facilities basic SOP's can be found here. In recognition of the fact that there are numerous aquatic species from a diverse range of environments, and subsequently a comparably diverse range of captive husbandry requirements, this SOP cannot cover all aquatic species. This document provides guidance on the general issues that must be addressed in an SOP, as well as items such as lab hygiene that are not a variable. It is a good basis to create your specific SOP's. AAALAC also provides some excellent guidelines for aquatic animal work in their Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 2011). Additionally, AAALAC also uses the standards from the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes, Council of Europe (ETS 123, with Appendix A containing the information pertinent to aquatic animal research. As FIU is AAALAC accredited (this covers both vertebrate and invertebrates), these sources should factor highly in planning your experimental animal husbandry, research, and creating a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for your specific research animal needs.
  3. Training is necessary for use of the facility. This training is simply to teach the personnel doing the wet lab work about the operational requirements of the facility. Not only will this help ensure the facility isn’t damaged by user error but also ensures your lab personnel will be able to fully function within the facility to get your research needs met.
  4. Set up. Guidance and basic help for set up are available from the building manager, William Chamberlain.
  5. Wood items, such as used for making tank stands or work benches, need to be sealed with paint or polyurethane. Paint is usually preferable, as it is very obvious to the casual onlooker.
  6. As these facilities are often shared with other researchers, please keep things clean and avoid sprawling equipment, supplies and such outside your assigned area. Avoiding clutter also helps your research area pass routine IACUC inspections.
  7. When done with the facility, the area needs to be left clean. Especially any facility provided equipment, such as tanks, that were used. If not left clean, there will be a charge billed to your lab.
  8. Any problems with facility related equipment should be brought to the immediate attention of the building manager.