24/7 adult zebrafish behavior analysis

Are your zebrafish doing well?

The task of a zebrafish facility manager is to preserve the investment of their medical research institution by caring for tens of thousands of zebrafish. This requires keeping the fish facilities in top health conditions. However, tools available today are limited to the control of physical and chemical water quality and post-mortem analysis of sentinel fish, and are unable to provide insights into the health of the fish facilities.

The health of zebrafish facilities are equally important for PIs who want to conduct reproducible experiments and want fish that lay reliably.

CanaryTank provides 24/7 insights into fish facility health and wellbeing

CanaryTank is designed to serve the needs of fish facility managers and Principal Investigators (PIs) alike.

The CanaryTank system records zebrafish in their tanks 24/7. The WatchYourFish™ service analyzes the recordings in real time to monitor behavior and generates daily reports and alerts when important events are detected. The service provides PIs and facility managers with data they could not otherwise obtain, including replayable videos.

How CanaryTank works

The CanaryTank system video-records a standard fish tank using a down-facing camera equipped with a band pass filter. The tank is immersed within the larger CanaryTank container and illuminated horizontally by an extra wide, collimated, infrared laser beam. The horizontal laser beam combined with the camera filter creates darkfield illumination despite the presence of the normal fish facility.

The camera records continuously using Martineau & Associates’s ground breaking Remanent Imaging technology. Images are recorded back to back at a low frame rate so that when sequences of images are stacked the fish motion appears as right trajectories over a dark background. Not only can these simple images be analyzed in real time, they can also be stored using a fraction of the storage space required by standard video. This enables web-based transmission at very low latency; for example multiple sequences of images can be replayed side by side in order to compare different days, different epochs, or different events.

How to deploy CanaryTank

In the context of a fish facility, CanaryTank is best used in pairs with a sentinel population in each water system, one system located at the water inlet and the other at the water outlet. The behavior of the two populations are compared in real time. Any detected differences may suggest an issue as the water circulates through all the tanks of the facility.

On the other end, a PI will be interested in the behavior of specific tanks and will use a CanaryTank for each of the tanks of interest. Different groups can be monitored at different points in time by replacing the study tanks in the CanaryTank container.

A typical CanaryTank system deployment consists of several CanaryTank containers and a central recording and storage system. Each CanaryTank container is to record a specific study tank and is fully equipped with a camera and laser illumination assembly. The study tank is plunged in the CanaryTank container while remaining connected to the main watering system.

Each CanaryTank unit is connected to the central recording and storage system using a single Ethernet cable that brings power and carries image data. The central recording system, which can be located outside of the fish facility, consists of a small Linux computer and a Network Attached Storage device. Facility managers and PIs access the data via our WatchYourFish web service from a cloud-based server and data can be leveraged to create alerts in your own SCADA system.

For each installation, we will first set up an initial visit to survey the site and propose the most effective solution.

To book a consultation, please reach out to