We have constructed a modified Schlieren optical pathway to digitally record the movements and behaviors of small (~2mm >) organisms. Using 3 expanded and collimated HeNe lasers, we can observe the 3 dimensional coordinates of all particles larger than 3 um within a volume of 45 ml. Magnification is easily adjusted to provide a pixel resolution ranging from 1.5 um/pixel to 55 um/pixel. The light source and cameras are aligned to record from 3 perpendicular angles simultaneously. This redundancy ensures that the 3 dimensional location of any object can not be shadowed by another object.
Analysis of the images obtained from this system allows for detailed characterization of the reactions of aquatic organisms to different environmental conditions. This data provides information on the overall activity, swimming patterns, foraging and prey search behaviours. These behaviors are directly relevant to the development of appropriate rearing environments and to evaluate different combinations of rearing conditions.
Please click on the image to obtain further details about this equipment.