If all fish look alike, how can you tell them apart?
In the past, many researchers have used pit tags, microchips and maybe even suture material. These can travel or fall out and may not be suitable for small subjects. Also, it may be difficult to identify the fish without catching them out to get a closer look or to scan them.
So what’s the newest method of giving the fish a unique identity?
The newest method uses Visible Implant Elastomer Tags (VIE tags). There are several advantages for using this method:
-can be used in very small animals,
-a variety of colours available,
-some are fluorescent so you can use UV light to identify them (very useful if they are nocturnal creatures),
-tend not to migrate,
-little host reaction to the material (see picture below, a green VIE with only a mild granulomatous reaction exists).
Check out this site for more detailed information.
NB: Dr Loh, The Fish Vet, did not receive any financial gain for writing this post.