Application Exchange

Simulations of Fish Swimming

Michele Curatolo, Luciano Teresi, Roma Tre University

We submit two different COMSOL5.2a models which simulate the swimming of a fish, specifically, the carangiform swimming in a virtual aquarium. The flexural motion of the fish is obtained by using a time-dependent field of distortions, meant to represent the action of fish muscles. Both models make use of both the moving mesh technique and the remeshing feature, and require about 10 Gb of RAM, and more than a day to run. The models are not yet solved (to avoid huge file upload), but are ready to run.

The principal differences between the two models are in the geometry and the activation law for the fish muscles. The model Fish_COMSOL_a.mph is more indicated for robotics applications and runs about for 30 hours, while simulation of Fish_COMSOL_b.mph is more indicated for biology studies and runs for about 50 hours.

It is possible to change the final time of simulation so to have shorter run times, or choose coarser mesh (Remark: fish swimming direction may change with a coarser mesh).

UPDATE: We uploaded the files using the new version of COMSOL. We also submit a new file: Fish_COMSOL53_a_light.mph with a coarser mesh to run faster simulations (computation time ~ 4 hours) but do not trust in the final result.

Further details in:

M. Curatolo, L. Teresi.
Modeling and Simulation of Fish Swimming with Active Muscles. Journal of Theoretical Biology, (2016).
Doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.08.025

User Comments

Mar 5, 2017 at 2:05pm UTC

good job!

Mar 8, 2017 at 5:54pm UTC

I was very impressed when I read the blog that described this work. I am looking forward to take a closer look at your models. Thanks.

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Apr 28, 2017 at 1:50am UTC


Apr 29, 2017 at 5:23pm UTC

incredible work. Amazing model configuration

wenwu yang
Jun 22, 2017 at 12:42pm UTC

very good job! Thanks!

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Jul 6, 2017 at 3:38am UTC

Thank you!

云 李
Jul 10, 2017 at 7:43am UTC


文杰 陈
Jul 11, 2017 at 2:37am UTC

I's so sad that my comsol can not work the fish-download,because the version is 5.2.

卫旺 林
Jul 19, 2017 at 1:10am UTC

i am impressed by the model,it give me a chance to the mgaic of the simulation skill and arise my interest to devote my time to do this

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Jul 22, 2017 at 1:46pm UTC

Thanks everyone for your good comments! I hope you will enjoy the model and possibly improve it!

@Wenjie I am sorry, I don't have an older version of the model, I hope you can find a way to get a newer license to download it.

bin zhao
Aug 26, 2017 at 7:29am UTC


Aug 30, 2017 at 4:04am UTC

Can I use them directly with 5.3? It seems don't work.

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Sep 6, 2017 at 8:14am UTC

@photoon We uploaded the files also with the version COMSOL 53. They both worked for me.

Sep 14, 2017 at 6:23pm UTC

The original code worked and it took more than 3 days. After then, it never succeeded due to memory shortage. My computer with 32GB RAM seems not good enough. Anyhow, the code is great.

Sep 17, 2017 at 10:34am UTC

This is nice study. Can you upload the Comsol, 5.2 file.
Thank you.

Sep 22, 2017 at 8:26pm UTC

I tried lighter version and it seems working well with two and half hours. I wonder whether you can also do that for 5.3b

Thank you!

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Sep 24, 2017 at 1:24pm UTC

@photoon You can write me a private email for the file; there is no enough space to upload another model on the web.


习波 郝
Dec 19, 2017 at 12:33pm UTC

quite intriguing and impressive, thanks for your sharing.

易斯 刘
Jan 2, 2018 at 1:42pm UTC

It's interesting!

Yubin Shi
Jan 16, 2018 at 1:50pm UTC


May 15, 2018 at 7:08pm UTC

It's prefect

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
May 19, 2018 at 1:59pm UTC

Thanks everyone!

晨骏 吴
Jul 24, 2018 at 4:35am UTC

It is amazing research. I have a question. Where is the moving mesh applied? According to your description, both moving mesh and re-mesh technologies are employed. However, I just see the later in solver.

杰 姚
Aug 1, 2018 at 7:30am UTC

It is a very amazing job!!! Thanks for your sharing.

Fan Jiang
Sep 1, 2018 at 2:07pm UTC

Good job, Thanks!

晓 陈
Jul 15, 2019 at 2:07am UTC

Perfect project!
Whether the results can be directly output or I need to recalculate it?
Thank you!

衍举 魏
May 16, 2022 at 12:51am UTC

Great job! thanks for sharing!!

家 胡
Sep 25, 2022 at 6:26am UTC

great and funny model

M. Curatolo
Entry submitter
Feb 7, 2023 at 8:24pm UTC

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Don't forget to cite our works on this topic:

M. Curatolo, L. Teresi.
Modeling and Simulation of Fish Swimming with Active Muscles. Journal of Theoretical Biol- ogy, vol. 409, pp. 18-26, (2016).
Doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.08.025.

M. Curatolo, L. Teresi.
The Virtual Aquarium: Simulation of Fish Swimming, Proceedings of the European COMSOL Conference, Grenoble, France, (2015).

Thanks again everyone and enjoy the model!

Wenhua Xu
May 29, 2023 at 12:01pm UTC

@M. Curatolo
hi, could you please send me the source files? I really want to learn this simualtion but I can't download from this page due to some network issues. Thank you!
my email is

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