The Zoology Aquatics Facility, otherwise known as the Initiative for the Study of the Environment and its Aquatic Systems (InSEAS), is an aquatic animal research facility designed to foster research, and the development of fisheries and aquaculture in western Canada. InSEAS is a 33,000 sq. ft. flexible aquatics research laboratory designed to address emerging and important questions critical to innovation (see Figure 1). The InSEAS research facility has the capacity to manipulate and precisely control environmental conditions to systematically test the effects of variation in rearing conditions on the growth and performance of a variety of fish species at any life stage. This facility consists of two, large-scale aquaculture laboratories, 14 aquatic research laboratories, two analytical labs, and ten environmentally controlled chambers, all providing precise control over environmental conditions including water temperature and water chemistry (pH, ionic composition, O2, CO2, ammonia, nitrate). The large-scale aquaculture laboratories, combined, consist of seven replicate recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), each with replicate rearing tanks (Figure 2). The facility employs two, full-time dedicated staff members, who provide 24/7 for aquatic life support via internet accessible computer monitoring.
Through partnership with industry, provincial and federal government agencies, scientists, and other stakeholders, InSEAS researchers aim to develop critical knowledge resources, technologies, and innovations in fisheries and aquaculture.
Large recirculation systems
There are 7 large recirculation systems (five in room 1248 and two in room 1202) which all work independently from each other. Each system holds 15000 liters of water and consists of two 8’ wide tanks and two 3’ wide tanks as well as a sump. There are 2 main components of the recirculation system: Dirty water loop and Clean water loop. When water exits from the tanks it drains into the radial flow separator located on the dirty side of the sump in the basement. A pump distributes the dirty water back upstairs into a sand filter and then to a biofilter. After the biofilter, the cleaned water enters the clean side of the sump where another pump delivers the cleaned water through a UV sterilizer and heat pump (or chiller) before it enters the fish tank. The recirculation systems are designed to maintain water temperatures between 8C to 28C and with the help of an oxygen generator, can provide oxygen saturated water to each system. These systems are capable of handling both freshwater and saltwater.
Small recirculation systems
There are 6 smaller recirculation systems (three in the south wing rooms 1308, 1312, and 1314, and three in the west wing rooms 1208, 1205, and 1223) which all work independently from each other. Each system (with the exception of room 1208) holds 10000 liters of water and consists of ten 3’ wide tanks and two 4’x8’x1’ flood tables as well as a sump. The filtration systems in both the large and small recirculation systems are similar with the exception of size. These systems are built similarly as the larger recirculation system and are capable of reaching similar specifications.
Stand alone rooms
There is a total of 6 stand alone rooms, 3 in the south wing and 3 in the west wing. All rooms have photo period control but no temperature control. They range from 130 square feet to a maximum of 410 square feet. The larger rooms will have a sink with chlorinated hot and cold water, however, the two smallest rooms only have a dechlorinated water supply line. All rooms have floor drains and electrical outlets.
There is a total of 10 environmental chambers (3 in the south wing and 7 in the west wing of the facility). All chambers have photo period and temperature control. Room temperature can reach from 6C up to 30C. Each chamber will have a large stainless steel sink with a foot print of 30" x 51". The sink will have both chlorinated hot and cold water as well as cold dechlorinated water supply. The environmental chamber door opening measures 36" x 78" and the room measures 160" x 126" and 87" tall. Located on the ceiling, there are 16 power outlets (110 volt) but a total of 4 breaker circuits; there are multiple power outlets connected to the same breaker. All the breakers are 15 amp breakers and have built in Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor (GFCI). All power in the chambers are on emergency back up power. On the ceiling, there is central building compressed air which supplies the room and there are 2 drains; one in the center of the room and the other is in the sink.
Before anyone can bring in any animals into the aquatics facility, animal holding space must first be secured by completing the Request for Space form. It is strongly advised that your request be submitted at least three months in advance, but if that is not possible we will do our best to accommodate your request. Please complete the request form and submit it to the facility manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)