Getting started

This section provides new users with a set of run-through tasks to familiarise themselves with the Zantiks unit. We recommend that users conduct this run through after they have set up the Zantiks unit and familiarised themselves with the Zantiks Control Console (the unit's home page) and the Zanscripts & uploading services functions.


Familiarise yourself with the unit

The Zantiks unit comes loaded with several demo scripts. More demo scripts are available on the website, or direct from Zantiks (send your enquiry via email to Each of these demo scripts shows you specific features of the unit, tests the features work properly and shows you examples of how to write scripts.

Some of these demo scripts will require assets. Check that any assets included in the script can be found in the Assets Directory folder (which is found under the Administration section on the Home page).

Download each preloaded image to ensure it is correctly loaded. Descriptions of some of the sample assets are provided below.

  1. To start to familiarise yourself:
    1. With the AD unit: first insert the testing tank into the recessed area above the screen in the system ensuring it is slotted securely in this area.
    2. With the MWP unit: insert a multiwell plate either into the recessed area at the bottom of the chamber, or place the supplied stand in the recessed area. Take care that all the stand's legs slot into the recessed area. Then place the multiwell plate onto the stand, ensuring it is slotted securely in place.
  2. Click through to the Live Video page from the link on the homepage. You should be able to see the live image of the tank within the unit.
  3. Click Capture Image to take a still image of the camera’s current view.
  4. You can find this image in the Media Directory by going to the home page and clicking the Media Directory link in the bottom left corner of the Administration section.
  5. The file named “capture.jpg” located at the top of this page is the image you have just captured.
  6. It is advisable to delete this image as you don’t need it for your later experiments.

    • With the AD unit: You can configure the various inserts inside the tank and take pictures to see the many ways the tank can be set up.

Running services with 'fake fish'

We recommend that you run through demo scripts, and new scripts, using 'fake fish' (or 'fake mouse') so you can check automated stimuli and data collection. Once you have built the script as a service, and are checking the service, take care during the first 30 seconds or so of the service when the unit is collating an auto reference image, to enable it to track model organisms. Keep the stick flat and, during the auto reference period, move it a little at the top of the chamber. The fake fish are mounted on clear acrylic sticks, that catch and reflect light if not moved flat in the unit, and if too close to the bottom screen (and infrared light). The auto reference image will have bright patches across it from the stick if it isn't held high in the chamber during this initial period.

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Create new services

To create new services from the demo scripts you need to upload the zanscripts as services, if not preloaded into a service slot. Instructions on this, and writing scripts, are included in the Zanscripts & services manual.

A variety of demo scripts and tutorials are available from the support section of the website. The demo scripts demonstrate how the commands work together to track and output behavioural data. You should run these scripts to help familiarise yourself with the features of the scripts and how to edit various aspects of the commands.

Ensure you keep the bottom of the tank/ well plate dry

When using the units, especially with model organisms placed in water, make sure the tank / well plate is dry before placing in the chamber. It is advisable to keep a cloth by the unit and wipe down the tank / well plate before placing in the unit.