ZIRC Health Services Shipping Instructions
To ensure that the specimens arrive in the best possible condition and to prevent leakage of fixative during shipping, we recommend that you pack the fish in rigid, unbreakable containers further enclosed in a double layer of sealable plastic bags. Fish can be placed in fixative in containers such as 15 or 50 ml conical centrifuge tubes or plastic scintillation vials. The opening of the container should be large enough to accommodate a spatula to facilitate easy removal of the fish. Multiple fixed fish may be combined in a single tube if they have the same fish identification information or are from a single disease outbreak. The tube should be labeled clearly to correspond to the submission form information. Parafilm should be wrapped around the outside of the container lid to help prevent leakage and the loosening of screw-cap lids in route. Use of an absorbent packing material around the sealed containers is recommended. Please take reasonable precautions to prevent crushing and leakage during shipping.
Fixative Shipping Restrictions
If restrictions on shipping specimens in fixative are encountered or anticipated, fish can be shipped without the liquid fixative in the containers. The specimens should be preserved in Dietrich's fixative for a minimum of 3-4 days. After this period the fixative can be poured off or exchanged for 70% Ethanol. The specimens must remain moist. If shipping in liquid is not permitted, the fixed fish may be wrapped in a tissue soaked in 70% Ethanol and then sealed tightly in a 15 mL conical tube or other suitable container. The diagnostic value of the specimens will not be compromised if the samples are well preserved and don't dry out during transit.
It is important that you contact us prior to shipping live fish. If possible, food should be withheld from fish for 24 hours prior to packaging and shipping. The water used for shipping should be held separate from the fish before packaging. Sodium chloride may be added to the shipping water at a rate of 2 ppt (2.0 g NaCl per liter water) to help reduce osmotic stress. Fill shipping bags 1/3 full of clean water and gently place fish into the bag. The bag should be sealed such that an approximate ratio of 1/3 water and 2/3 air is maintained. Bags are typically sealed by twisting the top and then folding the twisted end over and securing it onto itself with a rubber band. The bag is then placed within a second bag and sealed in the same manner. Place the bag in an insulated shipping container. Live specimens should be shipped early in the week to ensure arrival and adequate processing time.
Address speciments to:
Zebrafish International Resource Center
1307 Franklin Blvd.
5274 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5274
Phone: (541) 346-6028