Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
The Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio (Danio rerio) is a genetically modified Zebra Danio, that has been genetically modified with a fluorescent protein gene and selectively bred to enhance the naturally occurring but rare fluorescent coloration. Scientists were able to take the fluorescent protein genes which occurs naturally in some marine organisms and implant it into multiple species of freshwater tropical fish. GloFish® sold within the aquarium hobby today are bred from the offspring of fluorescent fish that were originally developed several years ago. Each new GloFish® fluorescent fish inherits its unique color directly from its parents, maintains the color throughout its life, and passes the color along to its offspring. Hobbyists should not confuse modern GloFish® with dyed or injected fish that were impregnated with a fluorescent dye below their skin. Dyed fish would lose their color over time, were generally less healthy due to the dying process and considered by many to be subjected to inhumane treatment.
Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio do well in a diverse amount of aquarium environments ranging from simple desktop aquariums of a couple of gallons, all the way to large planted tropical aquariums. The natural habitat of Danio varies depending on seasonal rains as they spend the dry season in larger streams and tributaries, while venturing out into floodplains and smaller water ways during the wet season. They do not have specific aquarium decor requirements, but will appreciate the presence of plants, driftwood, rocks and other similar decor in order to give them someplace to retreat when threatened. Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio have only basic needs when it comes to filtration and water movement, with any aquarium designed to house tropical community fish being suitable. Tank mates should include other peaceful to semi-aggressive fish species that are not large enough to consider the them as food. Danio school in nature, thus they prefer to be kept in groups of 8 or more individuals. They will typically live longer if kept in groups or small schools and are generally considered more interesting to watch while swimming in tight groups. While Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio are genetically modified for appearance and selectively bred to enhance that appearance, they are just like Zebra Danio in terms of aquarium care, tank mates and feeding.
Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio have the same feeding requirements as non-genetically modified Danio species. All Danio species are omnivorous, thus require a varied diet containing both meaty and vegetable matter. In the wild they are considered a micro predator since they prey on small insect larvae, crustaceans and other small invertebrates. They also consume algae and plant matter by picking at vegetation and decaying material on the substrate. Sunburst Orange GloFish® Danio are very easy to feed in the aquarium environment and will readily consume a very wide variety of commercial foods. Their staple diet should consist of quality flake foods, freeze-dried foods, blood worms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp along with some frozen foods designed for tropical omnivores. They should be fed a couple of times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a couple of minutes.
More about the Science of GloFish®
Science of GloFish® materials reproduced from www.glofish.com
Where do GloFish® fluorescent fish come from?
GloFish® fluorescent fish were originally bred to help detect environmental pollutants. By adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish, scientists hope to one day quickly and easily determine when a waterway is contaminated. The first step in developing a pollution-detecting fish was to create fish that would be fluorescent all the time. Scientists soon realized that the public interest in sharing the benefits of this research, a process which lead to GloFish® fluorescent fish.
How common is the use of fluorescent fish in science?
For over a decade, fluorescent fish have been relied upon by scientists worldwide to better understand important questions in genetics, molecular biology, and vertebrate development. Fluorescent fish have been particularly helpful in understanding cellular disease and development, as well as cancer and gene therapy.
Where does the fluorescent color come from?
The fluorescent color in our fish is produced by a fluorescent protein gene, which creates the beautiful fluorescence that can be seen when looking at the fish. The fluorescent protein genes occur naturally, and are derived from marine organisms.
Do you have to add a fluorescence gene to every fish before it hatches?
No. Today GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of fluorescent fish that were originally developed several years ago. Each new GloFish® fluorescent fish inherits its unique color directly from its parents, maintains the color throughout its life, and passes the color along to its offspring.
How exactly do GloFish® fluorescent fish help in the fight against pollution?
To achieve their goal of helping to fight water pollution, scientists are hoping to one day develop a switch that will cause always-fluorescing fish to selectively fluoresce in the presence of environmental toxins. A non-fluorescing fish will signal that the water is safe, while a fluorescing fish will signal trouble. To help further the research, a portion of the proceeds from sales of all GloFish® fluorescent fish goes directly to the lab where these fish were originally created. For more information on this project, please review the article entitled (Zebrafish as Pollution Indicators,) by the National University of Singapore.
What are the differences between fluorescent fish and other fish?
Aside from their brilliant color, fluorescent fish are the same as their non-fluorescent counterparts. This includes everything from general care and temperature preferences to growth rate and life expectancy.
Does the fluorescence harm the fish?
No. The fish are as healthy as other fish in every way. Scientists originally developed them several years ago by adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish eggs before they hatched. Today GloFish® fluorescent fish are bred from the offspring of these original fish.
Exactly how is the fluorescent protein gene added to the fish?
Every line of GloFish® fluorescent fish (i.e. Starfire Red®, Electric Green®, Sunburst Orange®, Cosmic Blue®, and Galactic Purple®) starts with a single fish. The general process of developing fluorescent fish, as illustrated in this chart, begins by adding a fluorescence gene to the fish before it hatches from its egg. Once the gene integrates into the genome (i.e., genetic code) of the embryo, the developing fish will be able to pass the fluorescence gene along to its offspring upon maturity. Because of this, the gene only needs to be added to one embryo; from that point forward, all subsequent fluorescent fish are the result of traditional breeding.
Are you going to create more fluorescent fish?
Scientists all around the world are working with fluorescent fish, whether it is to help protect the environment or come up with new disease-fighting drug therapies. As more fluorescent fish become available, they may be offered for sale to the public.
GloFish® and the Environment
Which federal agencies have reviewed these fish?
We have submitted detailed information regarding our fish to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which has jurisdiction over biotech animals, as set forth here, as they consider the added gene to be an ďanimal drugĒ. Consistent with the findings of scientists worldwide, the FDA, working in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture and United States Fish & Wildlife Service, found no evidence that our fluorescent fish pose any more threat to the environment than their non-fluorescent counterparts. If you would like to read the FDA statement regarding our zebrafish, please click here.
Have any other governmental agencies reviewed GloFish® fluorescent fish?
In addition to the Federal review described above, our fish have been reviewed by various state agencies, including the Florida Division of Aquaculture and other state agencies. In accordance with the findings of the FDA, these reviews have concluded that our fluorescent fish are as safe for the environment as their non-fluorescent counterparts. To review their specific analyses, as well as those of independent third party experts, please see the GloFish® Science section of our website.
What will happen if a GloFish® fluorescent fish escapes into the waterways?
GloFish® fluorescent fish are tropical fish and are unable to survive in non-tropical environments. Their non-fluorescent counterparts have been sold to aquarium owners worldwide for more than fifty years. Despite all these years of widespread distribution, they are only found in tropical environments. At the same time, please remember that GloFish® fluorescent fish are intended for use as aquarium fish only, and should never be intentionally released into the wild.
What if a GloFish® fluorescent fish is eaten in the wild by another animal?
For an animal in the wild, eating a fluorescent fish is the same as eating any other fish. Their fluorescence is derived from a gene that is already found in nature and is completely safe for the environment. Just as eating a blue fish would not turn a predator blue, eating a fluorescent fish would not make a predator fluoresce.
Do GloFish® fluorescent fish glow?
Fluorescent fish absorb light and then re-emit it. This creates the perception that they are glowing, particularly when shining a black light on the fish in a dark room. For tips on the best way to display your fish, please visit our GloFish® Display page.
What types of black lights work best with GloFish® fluorescent fish?
In general, we have found that an actinic (blue wavelength) light is ideal, as this can be used in both light and dark rooms. This type of light can be found in most stores that sell aquarium fish. Another great option for a completely dark room is a standard 18 inch black light bulb, similar to the one pictured here. (For black light to optimally display the fish, it is important that the room be completely dark.) Black lights can be readily purchased at many retail locations and will fit in many existing aquarium hood fixtures. For additional information on the best ways to display your fish, under black light, actinic light, and natural white light, please visit our GloFish® Display page.
What can I do to maximize the brightness of my GloFish® fluorescent fish?
Please refer to our GloFish® Display page for tips on how to ensure that your fish are displayed as vividly and brilliantly as possible.
Where to Purchase GloFish®
Where can I buy GloFish® fluorescent fish?
GloFish® fluorescent fish are sold in retail locations across the country. Please click here to visit our GloFish store locator. Because inventories change relatively frequently, please check with your local retailer for details on availability and pricing.
What colors of GloFish® fluorescent fish are currently available?
GloFish® are currently available in Starfire Red®, Sunburst Orange®, Electric Green®, Cosmic Blue® and Galactic Purple®. If you would like to see spectacular photos of our fish, please visit our GloFish® Photos page.
Why are GloFish® the only fluorescent fish that can be sold in the United States?
Because fluorescent fish are unique, their sale is covered by a substantial number of patents and pending patent applications. The providers of GloFish® fluorescent fish, 5-D Tropical and Segrest Farms, are the only distributors that have the necessary licenses to produce and market fluorescent fish within the United States. The production of fluorescent fish by any other party, or the sale of any fluorescent fish not originally distributed by 5-D Tropical or Segrest Farms, is strictly prohibited. For additional information regarding GloFish® fluorescent fish license details please click here.
Are GloFish® fluorescent fish available outside of the United States?
GloFish® fluorescent fish are currently available for purchase only within the United States. We have no plans to ship our fish to other countries at this time, but we will update this web page if this status changes.
Why canít I buy GloFish® fluorescent fish in Australia, Canada, or Europe?
At present, Australia, Canada, and Europe prohibit the marketing of any genetically modified organisms, including our tropical fluorescent fish, until they are cleared through an extremely complex and costly review process. For now, due to the time, expense, and uncertainty involved with the approval process, we have no plans to submit an application in either Canada or Europe.