Zantiks AD

Model organisms

The Zantiks AD unit is ideal for measuring the behaviour of small fish and small rodents.



Zantiks units are increasingly popular with labs worldwide. All the different types of unit are built along the same principles, enabling high throughput and easy-to-run experiments. The benefits of choosing Zantiks are that each unit:

  • Provides an isolated and stable environment for consistent results
  • Is networked and controlled via the web browser of any device
  • Generates live video view, provides real-time video recording
  • Includes software, uses the Zanscript language for experiment specification
  • Provides real-time results processing and output in .csv format
  • Has an integrated camera, computer, experimental chamber and built-in stimuli
  • Takes up little laboratory space as it is compact
  • Requires only 12V power and a network connection
Ad Tanks Insert

Target studies

The Zantiks AD unit is suitable for:

Find out how Matt Parker's lab, at University of Portsmouth, used Zantiks AD units with adult zebrafish for appetitive and aversive learning and for spatial alternation in a paper in Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

Please contact us if you have any specific behavioural studies in mind.

17 Zantiks Adbig
18 units in operation in the Brennan lab, Queen Mary University London

Zantiks AD kit

Overall unit size (external, approx. mm): 220 width, 300 length, 500 height

Tank / cage size (internal, mm): 140 width, 200 length, 150 height (water to 100)

Technical specification

Integrated unit Tank inserts Built-in stimuli
computer 3 lengthwise dividing inserts overhead lights
software 3 widthwise dividing inserts visual images (floor / ceiling screen)
camera food magazine insert mild electric shock
experimental chamber (tank/cage) 5-aperture insert solid and liquid delivery (motor)
motor (operation of peristaltic pump or solid food delivery)
2 metal shocking plates
screen (under tank)

Tank inserts

A set of tank / cage inserts for either fish or mice are supplied, these will create different environments for testing, for example a food hopper and 5 apertures for the 5-choice serial reaction time task and arena dividing inserts for aversive learning.

The five aperture and food hopper inserts are used together in one tank to create the experimental environment for the 5-CSRTT in zebrafish. The food hopper insert is designed to form an area for the fish to enter and collect food reward, without the food escaping into the remainder of the tank, as well as an entry point for initiating trials. The five aperture insert creates five distant entry points at the opposite end of the tank from food delivery. The five holes act in a similar fashion to the five nose poke holes in a rodent version of the task.

The dividing inserts are used to create four separate testing compartments for tracking four fish in one unit, as required in CPP study on zebrafish. Stimuli are presented from the integrated screen below the testing tank. The stimuli can be comprised of colour, shapes, or images and be both biased and unbiased in presentation (see the video below where green and blue light stimuli are used).

Stainless steel shocking plates are also provided which can provide a mild shock to fish.

If you would like a different insert please contact us. Further inserts and tanks can be ordered on request, e.g., Y-maze

Racks for multiple units are under development.

Tank And Food Hopper 5 Choice Inserts
AD tank which fits the adjacent food hopper and 5-choice inserts
Ad Tanks
AD tanks
Ad Tank 3 Width Inserts
AD tank set up with 4 width chambers
Ad Tank W Shocking Plates And Insets
AD tank set up with shocking plates and 4 length inserts

Side screen

An extra side screen can be bought as an add-on to the AD unit, which allows for lateral presentation of images against the back wall of the unit. The side screen plugs in to the unit and is operated in the same way as the screen underneath the tank. Only one screen can be used at a time. For details on how to set up the side screen go to the AD Manual page and click down to the 'Setting up the side screen' section. To see a demo script demonstrating how the side screen works, click through to the Side screen demo page. Or, please email your enquiry to

The side screen comes with a black tank, which has a clear base and back wall, and a two choice insert which enables the back screen to be split into 2 different zones. This photograph is taken in the AD unit and shows the side screen viewed through the tank's clear wall and 2-choice insert.

The side screen can sit at the front of the chamber underneath the food hopper, so the lateral presentation of images can take place in the same location as the delivery of solid food.

Zantiks AD side screen with tank and 2-choice insert

Add-on equipment

The AD unit is very versatile and can take a variety of different inserts. We are consequently always developing new set ups for researchers, such as the Y-maze for zebrafish researchers. If you don't see inserts for the set up you need for your studies please email us,

Y Maze Adunit Insert
Y-maze designed for adult zebrafish in the AD tank
Y Maze In Ad Tank
Y-maze inserted into an AD tank
Novel Tank Inserts For Ad Unit
Inserts for the AD unit for novel tank diving with fish (from left to right): stand, tank, funnel, foam door
Light Dark Box Insert In Ad Unit
Inserts that create a dark box within the AD tank, a gap at the bottom of the tank allows fish to swim between light dark zones

Built-in stimuli

  • Solid and liquid delivery – both solid and liquid food reward, as well as chemical liquid stimuli (ie alarm substance) can be supplied when specified by the Zanscript script.
  • Visual stimuli – supplied on a screen from underneath the tank. These can be specified with sizes, shapes, colours, locations and bitmaps. As they are displayed via a screen, response times and update times can be controlled up to the 60Hz refresh rate of the display.
  • Overall illumination – supplied from above the tank. This can be used to provide ambient lighting, circadian rhythm and/or light flashes to elicit startle responses. Colour brightness and duration can be specified with ms accuracy.
  • Aversive mild electric shock – supplied with controllable voltage and duration.

How to Operate

The Zantiks AD is simple to operate. Fully networked, Zantiks units are supplied with a router and controlled via a web browser, allowing users to operate them from their own phone, tablet, laptop, PC, Mac or Chromebook. From the web browser on your device you can edit scripts, start and stop chosen services, view live video, download results (.csv files).

To operate a Zantiks unit connect to the same network as the unit and open up the home page of the Zantiks unit, the Zantiks Control Console, by typing in the IP address of the unit in the browser (this is displayed on the AD's screen when you boot up). From this home page you can operate all your networked units.

For details on how to use the Zantiks Control Console on your device, look at the Zantiks Control Console manual.

High-throughput studies are easy to conduct with multiple units. All units are operated via the same web browser and can run identical experiments consecutively.

Slide 1

Tracking and video recording

Tracking of up to 4 single housed zebrafish, or similarly sized model organisms, can be carried out in the AD using the tank inserts.

Scripts can be controlled for operant studies by the presence of the fish in a zone or for mice a nose poke to a zone, and they can be programmed to deliver real-time processed results which can be downloaded from the unit as a .csv file. The summary data that can be collected includes measuring distance moved, time spent in arenas / zones, number of times a zone is entered.

Video recordings may be made simultaneously and these can be downloaded from the unit as a .avi file.

Screen Shot 2018 04 17 At 17 10 28
Illustration of the type of real-time processed results data you can download as a .csv file

An adult zebrafish in the AD unit, 5-choice serial reaction time task

A mouse explores the AD unit, the cage has food hopper and 5-choice inserts

Two singly-housed adult zebrafish in the AD unit, in a y-maze test of perserveration and repetitive alternation. The fish were monitored in this way to see if they showed reductions in spatial alternations.