Zebra Danio

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Danio rerio - (Hamilton, 1822)
Zebra Danio

The quintessential beginner's fish for generations of freshwater aquarists. JJPhoto.dk


The Zebra Danio has been kept by tropical fish fanciers for more than a century and still ranks as one of the best-liked and hardy beginner’s species. When kept in schools, as it should be, it puts on a constant show of flashing stripes without threatening other peaceful fishes. A variety of color morphs and long-fin varieties have been commercially developed, including albino, veiltail and leopard varieties. Zebras are extensively used in scientific genome research.

Family: Cyprinidae

Other common name(s):

  • Zebra Fish

Native range:

Habitat: The Zebra Danio prefers a well-lighted aquarium with good circulation. Include plants on the sides and back, with lots of open area in the center for swimming. Decorate with driftwood or a few rocks and a fine-grade gravel substrate.

Maximum length: 6 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Throughout the aquarium.


Omnivore. Will accept most aquarium foods, including flakes, freeze-dried and frozen. Supplement their diets with Spirulina-based foods. Treat occasionally with live foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Zebra Danio is an active schooling species that should be kept in groups of at least three.


Males are torpedo shaped, while females are usually larger and more full-bodied. The Zebra Danio is an easy species to propagate--the first egglaying species for many beginning breeders.

Danios are all egg scatterers, releasing and fertilizing non-adhesive eggs that sink to the bottom. Breeders cover the bottom of the tank with marbles or insert a plastic grid to keep the parents from gobbling up their own spawn.


They are jumpers—keep under a tight-fitting cover.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW