A portable bio-amplifier for electric fish research: design and construction

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2006
Authors:Wells, J. K., Crampton W. G. R.
Journal:Neotropical Ichthyology
Start Page:295
Type of Article:Scientific note

The weak electric organ discharges (EODs) of gymnotiform knife fishes can be readily amplified with a wideband amplifier connected to submerged electrodes. The output from such an amplifier can then be monitored with audio speakers or digitized for subsequent analysis. Commercially available devices are expensive and usually require mains electrical power. Here we provide design notes and instructions for the construction and calibration of a cheap, portable, battery-powered, AC-coupled wideband bio-amplifier. This device was designed to allow electric fishes to be located in the field, and also to permit the relatively noise-free acquisition of EOD waveforms from specimens held in temporary captivity. This contribution is intended to encourage students of neotropical ichthyology to explore electric signaling in gymnotiform fishes.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith