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Danio - Danio rerio

Scientific name: Danio rerio

Common name: Zebra danio

Family: Cyprinidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 5 - 7 cm (1.97 - 2.76 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.2

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 12°N (71.43 - 214.29ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 18 - 26 °C (64.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South Asia

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


The Zebra Danio can be found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar and Nepal.


Danio rerio can live for approximately 5 years.

Short Description

You may find on some profiles that this fish sis also classed as Brachydanio rerio, they are still the same species but classifications change all the time so bear this in mind.

Danio rerio is a good species for amateur aquarists to begin with. It is a hardy fish that is not demanding when it comes to water conditions. Décor in the aquarium is not critical bit to get the best out of these fish it is wise to add them to a planted aquarium. They are a schooling fish so should be kept in small groups, the size of the group is dependant on the water volume of the aquarium but a minimum of six fish per school is recommended.

They do accept a wide range of water parameters so the temperature of the water is not critical, they are quite happy in cooler temperatures as well as medium temperatures but higher temperatures may affect their metabolism so should be avoided. The pH of the water is also not too critical, ranges from 6.0 to 8.0 is perfectly acceptable but as with all species of fish water quality should be maintained to the highest level possible buy performing regular water changes. A small water flow will be appreciated by the Zebra Danio but this aspect of the set up is not too crucial.

The zebra Danio is classed as a peaceful species so can be housed with other peaceful species making them an ideal candidate for a community set up


Zebra Danios are omnivorous fish that enjoy live foods such as small insects and worms. They should also be fed algae to aid in digestion. It should be noted that these fish only have small mouths so feed them twice a day on smaller meals rather than one large meal per day.


Male Zebra Danios tend to be slimmer with gold and blue striping. Females are generally plumper with silver and blue stripes, females will also tend to be slightly larger than the males.


The zebra danio are typical of all danios and are egg scatterers, they will show no parental cares once spawning has completed. Keep the breeding tank dimly lit and use larger grained gravel for the substrate to allow the eggs to slip into the spaces provided by the gravel preventing the parent fish from eating them as soon as they are laid. These egg layers will produce up to 500 eggs in on spawning. Parents should be removed from the aquarium shortly after the eggs are laid The eggs will hatch within 72 hours and the fry can be fed liquid or powdered fry foods.


The following questions&answers were moved here from aqua-fish.net/answers on March 24th 2011 due to merge.

Why are my zebra danios chasing each other?

Answer: This is perfectly normal behavior for these boisterous fish. They always seem to play a chasing game, especially when the males are chasing the females for courtship reasons.

How can I tell if my female Danio is ready to breed?

Answer: The body of the female will start to swell when she is in breeding mode; this is due to the eggs being carried ready for laying.

When will danios breed?

Answer: Danios are one of the easiest egg laying fish to breed, they will be ready at about 3 months old but a lot of keepers do not realize they have started breeding as they will scatter their eggs around the tank, only for the eggs to be consumed by the other fish.