DanioVision is a complete system, including the Observation Chamber with white light, IR-light, and IR-sensitive camera. It also includes a fully functional EthoVision XT license. With this system you can perform a wide range of experiments. However, you might want more. That is why we offer a range of add-ons to further broaden your experimental options. 

CCS-vandenbos zebrafish research with DanioVision

Customer quote

"I love working with DanioVision"

Dr. A. Mustafa|Uppsala University, Sweden


Add-ons for DanioVision

Temperature control

Temperature is an important element in zebrafish research, having a large impact on health, but also on mobility and other parameters. Sometimes, especially during relatively longer trials, it can be tricky to keep the environmental temperature of your zebrafish larvae at a constant.

The Temperature Control Unit is a separate unit that connects easily to the DanioVision Observation Chamber. It controls the exact temperature of the water surrounding the well plates in the Observation Chamber. This way, you prevent temperature changes, without the need to work in fully climatized rooms.

DanioVision Temperature Control Unit

Temperature distribution

The DanioVision Temperature Control Unit is a flow-through system: water flows evenly underneath the well plate at the temperature of your choice. The temperature is the same all throughout the well plate.

The Temperature Control Unit allows you to setup trials that last several days.

In this video, you can see how the flow-through system works. (Blue dye is added to visualize the effect.) After you have set the temperature, the water will quickly spread out evenly underneath the well plate.

Zebrafish collage

Tapping Device

Zebrafish larvae display a robust startle response. Because this is mediated by neural pathways in a way similar to the process in higher vertebrates, startle response testing can be applied to a wide range of neuro-scientific studies.

The startle response can be evoked in different ways, such as via a light stimulus or a vibration stimulus. The former is standard in the DanioVision chamber.

To add a vibration stimulus, a small instrument called the Tapping Device can be inserted at the bottom of the basin where your well plate or petri dish is placed in the DanioVision Observation Chamber.  (In the photo above, the cover plate is removed so you can see the built-in stimulus. In a functioning Observation Chamber, this part is covered.)

DanioVision Tapping Device

Stimuli at different levels

Taps from this device cause vibrations in the water, evoking a startle response in your animals. You can set the stimulus intensity at different forces – there are eight levels – with a higher force resulting in more water movement. You can also adjust the tapping rate to a maximum of three taps per second. Settings are made using EthoVision XT software.

The Tapping Device can be combined with other add-ons and stimuli such as the white light stimulus.

DanioVision tapping device 2

The Tapping Device provides an even stimulus for all animals, no matter the location in the well plate or other testing arena. Testing showed no difference in response rate between animals in top versus bottom rows or in 96- versus 48-well plates. Beta testing also showed that the startle response can be detected from the age of 3 to 9 dpf, for all stimulus intensities. Tests carried out on 5 and 6 dpf larvae showed no significant differences in the degree of response between days 5 and 6 (ANOVA, P >0.5).

*We acknowledge the kind collaboration of the following researchers and their groups: Dr. Stefan Spulber, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Dr. Edor Kabashi, Insitut du Cerveau et de la Moelle, Paris, France; Dr. Hiroko Nakatani, URM INSERM 788, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.



Optogenetics allow scientists to control the activity of specific neurons and study their downstream influence on a variety of biological processes, including behavior. In rodent studies this technique requires optical fiber implantation, but as they are transparent, fiber optics are not needed in studies with zebrafish larvae. Light simply needs to shine in the right direction, making it easy to study the role of specific neurons in behavior.

The method of optogenetics was invented to activate or even inhibit small groups of neurons, using the light of specific wavelengths. This allows scientists to control the activity of these neurons and study their influence on a variety of biological processes, including behavior.

DanioVision Optogenetics add on

LED light source

Application of optogenetic stimulation in zebrafish larvae does not require fiber optics, but it does require the correct wavelength (color) of light. When using the DanioVision Observation Chamber, the Optogenetics Add-on provides a way to accurately control and precisely time the application of optogenetic stimulation to up to 96 individuals simultaneously (working with 96 well plates).

The Optogenetics add-on for DanioVision is an optogenetic LED light source based on the Prizmatix Modular LED system. It consists of two different LED wavelengths, producing blue and yellow light, or a combination of both colors.


Program with EthoVision XT

The Optogenetics add-on can be programmed and controlled using the EthoVision XT software included with your DanioVision system.  You can set user-defined time conditions for the optogenetic stimulation. In comparison to manual control, this offers far better temporal precision and adds efficiency to longitudinal studies. 

You can also combine optogenetics with other DanioVision add-ons.


DanioVision Toplight Unit

Some studies require lighting from a more ‘natural position’ of light. For example, some animals experience conflicts in their innate orientation systems, when exposed to light from beneath. Lighting from above is also essential in some photobiology studies*. For these purposes, the Toplight Unit was designed.

DanioVision unit 3 colors toplight

Recent studies have shown that zebrafish are able to discriminate between different colors, and that wavelength and color influence their development, growth, and survival. These findings provide opportunities to test learning, memory, anxiety, and more. 

Read more about color discrimination in zebrafish studies here.


zebrafish mirroring in the floor flipped

Multifunctional design

The DanioVision Toplight Unit has a multifunctional design: one side consists of white LEDs, while the other side contains red, green, and blue LEDs. You can set the intensity of the white light to a maximum of 30,000 lux.

Besides being able to continuously run the Toplight unit, it can also be easily programmed and controlled based on timing or animal behavior using EthoVision XT.

You can combine the DanioVision Toplight Unit with other add-ons, such as the Tapping Device.

*Information kindly provided by Kristin Tessmar-Raible from the Max. F. Perutz Laboratories/ University of Vienna, Research Platform Rhythms of Life, Vienna Biocenter, Austria.

Light-dark grid

As research evolves, so do research needs. If you are interested in a custom solution, don’t hesitate to contact us!

One recent example of a custom solution is a light-dark grid, commonly used to investigate anxiety behavior in zebrafish. The grid is placed underneath the well plate (available for 6, 12, 24, 48 or 96 wells) and creates a dark and light half in each well. The grid is IR light translucent, leaving the tracking of the zebrafish unaffected.

  DanioVision light dark grid