How To Care For Zebra Danio Fish?

Written by Dennis

Danio FishThose aquarium hobbyists who possess a love for zebra danio because of their incredible beauty and physical brilliance may find it interesting that danio fish is the first vertebrates to be cloned.

This tropical freshwater zebrafish from minnow family is also the favorites of the scientists because of its regenerative abilities. Native to the Himalayan region these fishes are largely found in parts of India, Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.

Caring for this fish with zebra stripes is very easy as they are hardy in nature and demand very low other than a clean tank and adequate food. But to increase the lifespan of your pet danio, you need to take care of certain things.

First start with, knowing your pet better and then we will move to do the caring procedures.

How Does A Danio Behave In Aquarium?

In its natural habitat, these fishes love to swim in groups. In a fish tank also, I will highly recommend you to keep them in groups, bearing at least 5 to 6 in number. However, the bigger the school is, the better for your fishes.

In case you are keeping your danio fish alone, then you can easily notice that it will try to hide in the shady areas, for the maximum of time. The timid fish can often leave eating because of stress and soon will die.

While keeping in groups, you may notice territoriality at the breeding time, as the male zebras will often indulge in chasing and attacking each other. The best way to solve it is to separate the female (obviously, if you don’t want to breed).

Other Popular Breeds Of Zebrafish:

The fusiform shape of these fishes with the laterally compressed body and the upwardly pointed mouth have uniform, horizontal, pigmented, blue stripes on the both side of the body which extend to the end of the caudal fin.

These unique body features have variations in the different breeds, according to which the breeds are named differently.

  • Longfin Gold Danio:

This long fin danio breed is highly active in nature and love to play near the surface of the water. The golden-orange stripes on their entire body are the reasons of its name.

  • Pearl Danio:

To take care of this breed which has a glowing pearly skin, you need a plenty of fresh water. So the use of a good external canister filter is unquestionable.

  • Leopard Danio:

The leopard longfin danio breed has black spot pattern in the entire body which often interbreed with danio rerio.

  • Blue Danio:

This breed which is believed to be descended from the leopard danio has the combination of mottled blue and white in the body.

Zebrafish Life Cycle:

After mating the female fishes can spawn in every 2 to 3 days. The eggs are relatively larger than any other same sized fish and a single clutch can contain hundreds of eggs.

The fertilization occurs externally and one can see the development of the one celled zebrafish embryo to an offspring, under a dissecting microscope.

This development is so fast that after the hatching of the eggs, within 36 hours the fully developed larvae display food-seeking behavior. The generation time of an adult danio fish is 3 months. For more information on lifecycle, you can read this.

Proper Housing; Zebrafish Natural Habitat:

As these Zebra danios fish love to stay in schools, you need at least a 20-gallon fish tank to pet them. It will give them enough room to swim and play hard. Danios are not at all aggressive in nature so you can easily keep other tank mates who are similarly calm and polite.

The below fishes can become great tank mates of Zebra Fish:

  • Rainbows
  • Gouramis (equally sized)
  • Clown
  • Swordtails
  • Yoyo loaches
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Pleco
  • Redtail shark

Now when the aquarium and the tank mates are ready you need to make a list of the important machines that you will need to set the aquarium properly.

  • Adequate Filter
  • Air pump
  • Aquarium light
  • Thermometer
  • Heater (Optional)
  • pH test kit

Decorative and essential stuff include:

  • Shallow bed of gravels
  • Plastic plants
  • Hiding Houses
  • Freshwater Salt

When everything is ready to set make sure you follow the below instructions:

  • Do not separate your danios from themselves.
  • Adding gravel and plants will give them the feeling of natural habitat.
  • The temperature level should be between 70 – 75 degrees F. You can use the heater to adjust the temperature.
  • Use the test kit to measure the pH of the water. The pH level should be between 6.5 – 7.2.
  • Fresh water salts work well to keep your fish safe from disease. Apply it according to the label.
  • While choosing the filter, make sure it allows enough water movement as danios love that.

The hiding houses are very crucial for the fishes as, whenever you try to acclimatize them with new breeds or fishes, it may be the case that it creates stress in them. The houses will help them to hide and calm their stress.

Also at the time of breeding, you may see a little aggressiveness among the males, where fighting will become a common matter. Then, these houses will be their favorite hiding places.

Filtration is crucial for zebrafishes, so do not choose a cheap filter, otherwise, they will often fell sick.

Zebra Danio Care – How To Breed Danios?

Breeding danios is not an overwhelming task, which is why for the beginner aquarium hobbyists, these fishes are always among the popular choices.

If you want to trigger zebra danio breeding in the group then the first thing you need to identify, is that, if there are enough males and females in the school. To identify the females from the males, you can always compare the body shape, as the females are round and fatter.

I say females are the cutter version of the males. To trigger matting you can dim the light of the aquarium and change the 50% of the water as it will give them the impression of the first rain of the season which is for them the best breeding condition.

Taking Care Of The Pregnant Danios:

When you are sure of the fact that the female danio fish is carrying eggs, it’s time to prepare another tank for them. Take a 10-gallon tank and set it adequately. A shallow bed of gravel is essential as when the females start spawning eggs, after 2 – 3 days, the eggs will settle at the bottom while passing through the cracks of the gravels.

Keeping the eggs hidden, from the hungry mothers is essential, as they love to eat anything they get. After the eggs are laid, separate the mothers to the previous tank and now wait for the eggs to hatch.

Feeding The Larva:

After 36 hours of hatching, the larva will form. Now you will need to feed them so that they can grow into healthy adults. You can feed them really small pieces of live foods, or you can powder the frozen foods after thawing.

Zebra Danios Care – Adult Feeding:

Zebra Danio fishes are not picky about food. They literally eat anything they found, even their eggs. The best recommended zebra danio food is the floating flake food. Also, the frozen and dried blood worms or the mosquito larvae will be a great choice for zebra danio diet.

You can easily find these foods in the pet shop. Though zebrafish love to eat live foods like fruit flies, black worms, brine shrimp etc.

Typical Diseases:

Danio fish is mostly affected by infectious diseases and easy target of the fungus and bacteria. The pneumatic duct serves as the portal for systemic bacterial and fungal infections. The gas bladder of the zebra danio becomes the primary organ to be affected by the disease.

The symptoms that show, your danio is sick are a swollen body, the formation of lump for a longer period of time, discoloration of the body and tired swimming of the fish.

How To Prevent Infectious Diseases?

To prevent your tropical fish zebra from such hazardous diseases, you need to keep your tank clean and well-filtered. A less cleanly tank will easily become the home of various bacteria and fungus.

That is why I always recommend you to buy the best filter possible for your fish tank. Also, the use of freshwater salt will protect your fishes from these diseases.

However, if your fish is already affected by the diseases, it is strongly recommended to quarantine it as it may spread the infection to the other fishes.

Make sure nitrates are controlled. Else the fishes will behave abnormally for sure!


How long are zebra danios pregnant for?

  • They carry their eggs for 2-3 days.

How to tell if zebra danio is pregnant?

  • Generally, the females are wider in physic than the males, so if you notice that they are getting fatter than before and the temperature of the tank is 70 degrees Fahrenheit then they are definitely pregnant.

Though it is better to keep an eye on them to confirm if the lump is caused by some disease or not.

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