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Choosing a Danio

By: Dr. Amy Wolff

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Danios are a popular addition to the aquarium because of their active nature and flashy appearance. Native to India, danios are easy to keep and feed and tolerate a wide range of water conditions. This is a good fish for beginning hobbyists

Appearance and Behavior

Danios are a peaceful schooling fish. They will do best when kept in numbers of three to five per 10 gallons of water. When kept as individuals, danios have a tendency to harass other fish in the tank. They are fast swimmers and prefer a longer tank for maximum room. A few plants will provide cover and encourage breeding. Danios are monogamous breeders. The female will lay 400 to 500 eggs that hatch in 2 to 3 days.

There are several commonly kept species of danios that differ in appearance.

  • Zebra Danio: Easily recognized by blue and silver horizontal stripes. length 1 to 3 inches

  • Pearl Danio: An iridescent pearl color with a hint of red on the belly of the male, length 1 to 3 inches

  • Spotted Danio: Similar to the zebra but the strong horizontal stripes are replaced by a spotted pattern on the belly of the fish, length 1 to 2 inches

  • Leopard Danio: Rather than silver, these fish are more gold in appearance with black spots top and bottom, length 1 to 3 inches

    Feeding and Tank Requirements

    Danios are easy to feed and not particularly picky. They are omnivores by nature, which means they eat protein and vegetable foods. They will readily accept flakes, tubifex worms, bloodworms, algae and lettuce.
    Water temperature should be kept between 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, pH 6.5 to 7.5.

    Special Concerns

    This is a very easy fish to find in local aquarium stores and keep successfully. Try keeping several of the species together for a nice color and pattern display. Keep these fish with any other peaceful community fish such as hatchets, rasboras or rainbows.

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