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I am currently exploring the sonification of weakly electric fish, such as the Black Ghost Knifefish, partially cos it's fun (see ENKI, by Tony Hall). but there is examples of using the frequency analysis to monitor water quality

Basic Setup



Nice travelling edition for the HLab14 Tourdigrade

IMG 2593.JPG


Version 0.1, exploring a simple LM386, with 200 gain (the extra 10µF cap) and adding another locally available cheap PowerAmp kit from the electronics store, Audio. works fine... using a small 12V battery to remove weird 50Hz hums form the lifepatch crap cabling listrik staayle.

FishHacking-amp v1.JPG

Maybe i should use an instrumental differential amplifier? like this one (luckily i have a bunch of them in my Mobile Lab)

Inspired by these BioSignala she-geeks in the UK

More info about Op-ampology


I am just slowly trying to understand all that shielding issues... learning from wikipedia

Cables and electrodes

from openEEG and olimex

Fish 2 pd Interface

Fish oscilloscopeNew.pd- - -home-dusjagr-Documents-pd 311.png

Download patch:

Fishuino aka Arduino based direct Hz, gender and chirp detection

Seemingly you can detect the gender of the knifefish by analyzing the chirps, frequency shift, amount and duration.

from [1]

using our recent frequency counter that works on the BabyGnusbuino aswell as the Arduino, we might build a standalone detector - visualizing unit. More about Frequency measurements

IoF aka Internet-of-Fish

Let's connect them through the internet!

Waveform generation



Using the FreqMeasure library from paul

More info:

and the groove 4-digit display, which can be adressed by software serial:

Fishuino on GitHub

working on it...

First Sonification experiment


Please note that the clicks are not communication, but wiggles in the wiring... see chrips in the pic above, detected with pd.



I am planning to make some nice crafted device for selling it in some local aquarium stores in yogyakarta. and of course a t-shirt


Literature on Biomonitoring using weakly electric fish

  • M. Thomas et al, Water Research Volume 30, Issue 12, December 1996

Real-time biomonitoring of water contamination by cyanide based on analysis of the continuous electric signal emitted by a tropical fish: Apteronotus albifrons [2]

  • M. Thomas et al, Environmental Technology, Volume 18, Issue 11, 1997

The Effect of pH and Conductivity on the Electric Behaviour of Apteronotus Albifrons (Family Apteronotidae) in a Pollution Monitoring System [3]

  • J. Clausen et al, Environmental Technology, Volume 33, Issue 10, 2012

Weakly electric fish for biomonitoring water quality [4]

  • G. Troy Smith, July 1, 2013 J Exp Biol 216

Evolution and hormonal regulation of sex differences in the electrocommunication behavior of ghost knifefishes (Apteronotidae) [5]

  • related - DAkkS - ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH

General use of living systems for biomonitoring ISO, Seems like the fish test was banned in germany due to animal rights issues... [6]

  • related - Test No. 202: Daphnia sp. Acute Immobilisation Test

This Test Guideline describes an acute toxicity test to assess effects of chemicals towards daphnids (usually Daphnia magna Staus). Young daphnids, aged less than 24 hours at the start of the test, are exposed to the test substance at a range of ... [7], [8]