Follow us:

Panorama Newsletter


Alba Aparicio Fernandez, Facility Manager, was involved in the Aquatic facility project at Biozentrum Centre in Basel

As a facility manager in Alex Schier Laboratory at the Biozentrum, the role of Aparicio Fernandez was to ensure the wellbeing of the animals so the research could take place.

She was involved in the project to define the goals as a fish facility and to supervise that those goals and requirements were achieved.

Can you tell us more about the new project in the Biozentrum Aquatic Facility?

We are a big lab with lots of different projects, but our two main research activities focus on developmental biology and behaviour. We have a well stablished zebrafish colony and we’ve recently introduced cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika (Africa). The idea of the project was born from the necessity of creating a fish facility in a new research building that could accomplish the expectations and requirements of a very dynamic and groundbreaking laboratory. Important for us was the capacity to house different species, the maximization and intelligent use of the space, a reliable emergency system, and the standardization and refinement of the different husbandry elements to create an ideal environment for both fish and research.

What were your initial impressions with the Tecniplast CLS system compared to other systems you have worked with?

I’ve worked with several systems in the past, and what I like best from Tecniplast is the capacity to maintain a healthy stable environment for the fish that is constantly measured and controlled in real time. In the research field you want to have stable conditions to optimize your results, and our systems are always alert to ensure that for us.

Another great feature is how user friendly and intuitive Tecniplast systems are; from basic things like taking tanks in or out of the system, up to technical procedures like replacing a mechanical filter.

We want our fish to be healthy, productive and happy, because happy fish make for happy research!

Therefore, for us it is very important to have a reliable system that maintains a good environment for our fish.

Tecniplast has great features to help with this: robot feeders, automatic dosing tanks, self-filling reservoirs, remote access...

What about training and technical support, how important is user training when you first started working with the equipment; also can you comment on the importance of ongoing training?

User training and ongoing training is fundamental and it should be mutual. I had experience with fish systems before, but nevertheless, I benefited from the training Tecniplast technicians offered me when we started running our new facility. In the same way, Tecniplast experts were open to ideas and willing to help based on our requirements.

What about access to local technical support? 

Monitoring and emergency systems are critical. You have to assume that complications will occur, that’s inevitable.

What you can do, is to make sure that you will be able to detect a possible problem as soon as it arises so you can, therefore, minimize the consequences and resolve it before it affects your fish and research.

What recommendations do you have for other institutes embarking on a similar project?
Think thoroughly on what your needs and goals are, define your objectives, talk and listen to everybody (researchers, techs, users, experts…), be open minded and willing to learn. And good luck!