20 Types Of Danio (And How To Keep Them Happy)

Last Updated on 2023-08-11

Danios are famous in many hobby aquariums. These colorful and beautiful schooling fish dash around the tank and interlace with one another. This activity and their coloring provide a beautiful aquascape.

These fish come from the entire swath of Southeast Asia from places like Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Burma, Bhutan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar. They’re peaceful, hardy, and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. This makes them excellent for beginners.

What Are the Different Types of Danio?

Although there are many different species of danios, the ones listed below are not only very popular among hobbyists but also the easiest to keep.

I personally would recommend zebra danios if you’re just starting out, especially the long finned variety. However, Celestial pearl danios are some of the best looking danios (in my opinion).

Celestial Pearl Danio

celestial pearl danio care

Celestial pearl danios are not just some of the most beautiful danios, but beautiful fish you can keep, making them extremely popular in home aquariums. These are shoaling fish, so they should stay in a group of six or more.

The males have much brighter coloration than females, especially in the fins. The females are more bluish-green and dull on the body with a tint of yellow on the belly. Both males and females have small pearly dots all over. Celestial Pearls have an expected lifespan of up to five years.

In the wild, Celestial Pearl Danios live in marshy areas fed by small ponds or springs with dense vegetation. These areas are usually cool and are among high altitudes in places like Taunggyi and Burma. This water is slightly alkaline and tepid.

They have small mouths, but they aren’t picky eaters. Celestial Pearl Danios will eat high-quality flakes, pellets, and granules. Because they love to swim in the middle of the tank, pellets that sink slowly are best. They also love frozen or fresh brine shrimp, daphnia, white worms, or bloodworms.

NameCelestial Pearl Danio
pH6.6-7.5
Temperature72-78°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size0.8″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Emerald Dwarf Danio

Emerald Dwarf Danio Care Sheet

The Emerald Dwarf Danio, is a sociable, peaceful fish that loves the company of its own species and can live up to five years. Any other breeds within the tank must be the same size or smaller with a similar temperament as they tend to be timid and are easily spooked.

Their insecurity lessens with plenty of plants to hide in and tank mates that like the upper regions of the water. However, it’s not unusual to see nipped fins between danios when their needs aren’t being met. Fortunately emerald dwarf danios don’t usually nip other breeds of fish, just their own kind.

With that in mind, they love being in groups of 10 or more. In fact, one thing to note is that if you’re not keeping enough of these fish, or you’re keeping too many in a small space, then aggression between them is likely to increase.

Emerald Dwarf Danios have pale copper heads with a pink-orange or coral body and up to 15 blue-green iridescent bars down their flanks. They also have one black copper-rimmed spot at the base of the caudal fin. What I love most about these fish is their sort of stocky appearance with a vivid set of emerald green fins.

Indigenous to Lake Inle in Myanmar, they love a neutral environment that’s slightly alkaline. The waters are clear and shallow, with a very rich, loamy substrate. There’s dense vegetation and plenty of tree roots.

They love to eat brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, micro worms, daphnia, and bloodworms. They also like micro pellets, flakes, and algae wafers, so long as these things are small enough to fit in their mouths.

NameEmerald Danio
pH7.0-8.0
Temperature68-76°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1-1.5″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Fireline Danio

What They Look Like

A reasonably hardy, active, and peaceful variety of danios, the Fireline, or Devario Sondhii, is rather new to the aquarium hobby. They’re an excellent choice for any community fish and best case scenario they can live up to eight years old. When keeping Fireline danios make sure to keep them in groups of 6 or more.

Fireline’s come from Myanmar where they live in shallow, pristine, and transparent water among wetlands and ponds rich with plants and dense vegetation. Because of this, they have a delicate nature, so make sure you’re adding them to an already established tank. Plus, because these particular danios tend to be skittish, they will jump out of the tank. So, a cover will be necessary too.

They love water that’s well-oxygenated, properly filtered, and has a moderate water flow. The sides and bottom of the tank should have plenty of plants with a wide-open space in the center.

Fireline Danios aren’t fussy about food and will accept most offerings. Anything like high-quality flakes, granules, or pellets is great for the base of their diets. But, also include things like daphnia, artemia, and bloodworms.

NameFireline Danio
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature68-79°F
Tank Size60 Gallons
Size2.6″
Lifespan8 Years

The Giant Danio

Giant Danio Care Sheet

The Devario Aequipinnatus, otherwise known as the Giant Danio, is a semi-aggressive, active fish and the largest danio. When considering them for your tank, remember, they need tons of room to move around and a tight-fitting cover since they like to jump.

They thrive best with five or more of their own kind and can live for around five to seven years in good conditions. They’re fabulous members in a community tank with other breeds that match their size and temperament.

These beautiful torpedo-shaped fish have iridescent blue bodies that reflect a pale turquoise background. But this is only visible when a Giant Danio quickly changes direction, so it’s brief but gorgeous. They have gold blotches and stripes running from the length of the gills to the tail. These fish also have gray, transparent fins that are round with a forked tailfin.

Giant danios come from Sri Lanka, Nepal and the West coast of India where they love streams and ponds in hilly areas that are fast-flowing. With this in mind low light tanks with clear waters and a gravel or sandy substrate are ideal.

This fish loves to eat flakes, granules, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, brine shrimp, chopped earthworms, and daphnia. They prefer live meats over frozen, and you can give them veggie flakes to create a more well-rounded diet.

NameGiant Danio
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature72-81°F
Tank Size55 Gallons
Size4-6″
Lifespan5-7 Years
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Glowlight Danios

Glowlight Danio care sheet

A peaceful, stunning, and beautiful fish, Glowlight Danios, or Celestichthys choprae, are idea fish for a community tank. They aren’t demanding with water parameters, can live with just about any other breed, but have a lifespan of only three years.

Since they are schooling fish, they do best in a group of eight to 10 or more and develop their own pecking order. The more friends they have, the less nervous they will be. It also offers less dominant fish some respite from more aggressive males.

The small torpedo shape of these fishes possess blue vertical bars on their green-gold bodies. They also have a blue horizontal bar located dorsally across the entire body. Their translucent fins have a black and gold tip at the end of the caudal fin with a yellow line that runs horizontally on the dorsal fin. The anal fin has a white line across it.

Glowlight Danios come from the rivers and small, rocky streams of Northern Myanmar. They prefer gravel substrate, several sizes of rocks, and ideally very dense plant cover.

It’s also important to make sure you create a light water flow. You can accomplish this with powerheads or filter outlets. Just make sure it isn’t a torrent-like current. It’s also a good idea to include different-sized rocks and gravel with smooth boulders as the substrate. These danios love plants attached to décor along with branches and driftwood. The tank should have a tight-fitting cover because they can jump even through the smallest of gaps.

Glowlight Danios aren’t too picky about what they eat and will accept almost any type of food. They love flakes and granules as the base of their diet. But they also enjoy other meaty selections like daphnia, artemia, and bloodworms.

NameGlowlight Danio
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature68-79°F
Tank Size15 Gallons
Size1″
Lifespan1-3 Years

Leopard Danio

Leopard Danio Care Sheet

The Leopard Danio, also known as Danio Rerio Var. Frankei, is a friendly, peaceful, attractive, and hardy fish. They’re great in any community tank, especially with other danios. As with most species of these fish, they love being in groups of six or more of their own kind and can live as long as five years.

One thing to note about leopard danio’s is that they’re actually a variant of zebra danios.

Leopard Danios display beautiful golden brown metallic bodies with grey-blue spots and long fins that flow and an extended tail.

Leopard Danios come from places around Asia, living in the fresh, still waters of ponds, streams, canals, and ditches. These places often have rocky substrates, shaded areas, and dense vegetation. But, their habitat depends on the season.

They live in large communities within rice paddies and seasonal pools during the wet season, when they feed and reproduce. Afterward, adults migrate to faster-moving waters where their young follow them once they reach maturity.

These fish must have a balanced diet of pellets, flakes, plant-based foods and live or frozen meats. They have high nutrient requirements so they have to have several feedings a day.

NameLeopard Danio
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature65-75°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan4 Years

Orange-Finned Danio

What They Look Like

Danio Kyathit, or Orange-Finned Danios, are a peaceful fish ideal for a well decorated community tank. They aren’t demanding with the water parameters, so they can live with most other fish. Unfortunately, they don’t live as long as others and have an expected lifespan of around three years.

Because they’re schooling fish, like many other danios, they should have about eight to 10 buddies with them. Big schools will help keep them happy and reduce nervousness. And interestingly the males are going to exhibit some of the best colors when aggressive, especially if battling for a female.

Since they’re expert jumpers, Orange-Finned Danios should have a tight-fitting cover. If you don’t keep a lid on the tank, then you may end up losing some.

They aren’t fussy about food and accept most high-quality pellets, flakes, and granules. But they also love feasting on daphnia, bloodworms, and artemia.

NameOrange Finned Danio
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature65-77°F
Tank Size30 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan3 Years

Blue Danio (Danio kerri)

Blue Danio Care Sheet

When it comes to keeping your Blue Danio happy, creating a comfortable environment is key. These curious swimmers love to explore, so make sure to provide them with plenty of open swimming space in your tank. 

Also, adding plants like Water Sprite or Hornwort and decorations like driftwood and rocks will give them places to hide and play.

Your Blue Danios have big appetites and enjoy a varied diet. They happily eat high-quality flakes, small pellets, and live or frozen foods. But to ensure their nutritional needs are met, offer them a mix of protein-rich foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and vegetable-based flakes or pellets. 

Blue Danios are peaceful and friendly fish that can be housed with other small, non-aggressive fish. Good tank mates include peaceful community fish such as Tetras, Rasboras, Guppies, and Corydoras Catfish. However, avoid aggressive fish that could cause stress or even harm your Blue Danios.

NameBlue Danio
pH6.5-7.0
Temperature73-77°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1.5-2″
Lifespan4 Years

Dwarf Spotted Danio (Danio Nigrofasciatus)

What They Look Like

To keep your Dwarf Spotted Danios happy, ensure they have a clean aquarium that mimics their natural habitat. Which means you need to have a well-planted tank with lots of open areas, and some driftwood or rocks to create hiding spots and replicate their natural environment.

When it comes to feeding, Dwarf Spotted Danios are not picky eaters. They eagerly accept high-quality flakes and pellets as their main diet, but don’t forget to also give them a variety of small live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia for additional nutrition.

Dwarf Spotted Danios are peaceful community fish that enjoy the company of other Danios. They also get along well with other small, non-aggressive fish that prefer similar water conditions. Consider adding other Danios, tetras, rasboras, or peaceful dwarf shrimp as their tankmates. 

NameDwarf Spotted Danio
pH6.5-7.0
Temperature74-82°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1.5″
Lifespan3 Years

Gold Ring Danio (Brachydanio tinwini)

Gold Ring Danio Care Sheet

To create the best home for your Gold Ring Danios, give them a well-maintained aquarium with clean water and an effective filter. It’s also crucial to have a nice balance of open swimming areas and hiding spots in their tank through plants, driftwood, rocks, and caves to make them feel comfortable.

Because Gold Ring Danios are omnivores, they love to eat almost all kinds of food. From flake food, vegetable-based foods, and small pellets to live or frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and brine shrimp, variety is key! 

Your Gold Ring Danios can be kept with other small, peaceful fish. Just don’t keep them with large aggressive fish as they may be eaten by them. Some good tank mates include peaceful community fish like Guppies, Mollies, swordtails, and small Gouramis. 

NameGold Ring Danio
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature68-80°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size1-1.5″
Lifespan2-3 Years

Moustached Danio (Danio dangila)

Moustached Danio Care Sheet

With their unique long, flowing barbels, Moustached Danios, are another easy danio to take care of! Add floating plants like Water Sprite or Hornwort that can provide shade and mimic their natural habitat. Don’t forget to also use an efficient filter to maintain good water quality,

Moustached Danios are omnivores and have a big appetite for many different kinds of food. They will happily eat foods such as mosquito larvae, Mysis shrimp, high-quality flakes, and small fish pellets. 

Moustached Danios are peaceful and will be happy with other peaceful community fish like Tetras, Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, and small Gouramis. However, don’t keep them with larger, aggressive fish or fin-nipper’s that can stress them out.

NameMoustached Danio
pH6.0-7.5
Temperature60-75°F
Tank Size55 Gallons
Size6″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Panther Danio (Danio aesculapii)

What They Look Like

Panther Danios are naturally found in shallow streams with a substrate of gravel, pebbles, rocks and leaf litter. When kept in an aquarium, it’s best to replicate those conditions to make them happy.  Use rocks, driftwood, and plants like Java Ferns or Anubias to decorate their tank and create their perfect home.

As omnivores, it’s always best to feed your Panther Danios with a combination of high-quality flakes, micropellets, and live or frozen foods for their health. However, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and vegetable-based flakes or pellets will also help in keeping them satisfied. 

Panther Danios are sociable fish that can be housed with other small fish with similar water parameters like Panda Garras, Tetras, peaceful barbs and loaches.

NamePanther Danio
pH6.8-7.2
Temperature72-81°F
Tank Size15 Gallons
Size1-1.5″
Lifespan4 Years

Pearl Danio (Brachydanio albolineatus)

Pearl Danio Care Sheet

Pearl Danios are easy to keep, but they need the best water conditions to thrive. You can use either a sand or gravel for their substrate with a moderate to high water flow from the aquarium filters. It’s best to add plenty of plants in their tank, as well as a lid since these fish are known to jump. 

When it comes to feeding, it’s great that Pearl Danios are not very picky. Give them high-quality flakes, small pellets, and live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae and tubifex.

Due to their peaceful nature, Pearl Danios can be kept with other non-aggressive fish in a community aquarium. Some good tank mates include Peaceful barbs, Gouramis, Tetras, Angelfish, Corydoras and even Cherry Shrimp.

NamePearl Danio
pH6.5-7.0
Temperature64-75°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan10 Years

Rose Danio (Danio roseus)

What They Look Like

Rose Danios are vibrant fish that thrive in well-planted community tanks. Their substrate should be a mix of smooth rocks, gravel, and pebbles. Adding plants like Waterweeds, Anubias or Amazon Sword can provide shelter and create a natural feel in their tank. 

Because they’re not finicky eaters, your Rose Danios will eat almost all kinds of food given to them. High-quality flakes and pellets should be the staple of their diet, but for variety, feed them small live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex.

Although they are generally peaceful, it’s very important to choose compatible tankmates for your Rose Danios glowto have a successful community aquarium. Some peaceful fish, from Tetras, Rainbowfish, Loaches, and Gouramis, are great choices for their tankmates.

NameRose Danio
pH6.0-7.0
Temperature68-77°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size1.25″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)

zebra danio care sheet

Zebra Danios, with their iconic black and white stripes, are great additions to your aquarium, and one of the best fish in general for beginners. To keep them happy, keep them in a well-maintained tank that feels like their natural habitat. They prefer a spacious aquarium with open swimming areas and plants like Java Moss or Hornwort for hiding places.

If you want to keep your Zebra Danios healthy and happy, you should give them foods that replicate the mixed diet that they eat in the wild. Good quality flake foods are supplemented with occasional live or frozen foods, from brine shrimp, daphnia, blood worms, and algae. 

As schooling fish, Zebra Danios love to socialize, so keep them in groups of 6 or more. Some great tankmates for them are Barbs, Rainbowfish, Clown Loaches, and Plecos. However, avoid keeping them with aggressive tank mates that may put them under stress or even hurt them.

NameZebra Danio
pH6.5-7.5
Temperature64-78°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Gold Longfin Danio (Danio rerio)

What They Look Like

Gold Longfin Danios are truly beautiful with their shining golden body and long, flowing fins, In fact, they’re just a long finned gold variety of the standard zebra danio!

To ensure their happiness, give them plenty of swimming space in their tank, with a mix of open areas for exploring, plus driftwood and plants such as Java Fern or Vallisneria for places to rest.

Like other danios, Gold Longfin Danio are easy to care for and thrive on commercially prepared omnivore flake food which should then be supplemented with protein-rich live or frozen brine shrimp, tubifex, and daphnia. These additions provide variety and help maintain their vibrant colors.

Gold Longfin Danios are peaceful and sociable, making them excellent community fish. They coexist well with other peaceful Danios, tetras, rasboras, and shrimp. However, avoid aggressive or territorial fish that may nip at their flowing fins.

NameGold Longfin Danio
pH6.5-7.0
Temperature64-75°F
Tank Size10 Gallons
Size2″
Lifespan4 Years

Glofish Danio  (Danio rerio)

What They Look Like

To ensure the happiness of Glofish Danios, it is important to provide enough space in the upper and middle areas of the tank for them to swim freely. Additionally, they enjoy having plants and a nice substrate of either sand or gravel too, so make sure to have those in your tank.

If you want to keep your Glofish Danios’ vibrant colors, make sure to feed them a nice mix of live, frozen and dried foods such as flakes or pellets. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, or mosquito larvae can be given to them occasionally to supplement their protein needs.

Glofish Danios have several compatible tank mates, including other Danios, Corydoras catfish, white cloud minnows, and some compatible tetras. These peaceful fish coexist harmoniously, adding to your vibrant and diverse aquarium community.

NameGloFish Danio
pH6.5-8.0
Temperature75-80°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size2-3″
Lifespan5 Years

Black/Black Barred Danio  (Danio absconditus)

What They Look Like

With their unique striped patterns, Black Barred Danios stand out in any aquarium.  They enjoy open swimming areas with hiding places created by driftwood and plants like Java Fern, Hornwort, or similar plants, so don’t forget to add those to your tank to make them feel comfortable! 

Also, don’t forget to secure a lid or cover to your tank, as these Danios are notorious jumpers.

Black Barred Danios enjoy a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, brine shrimp, bloodworms, spinach, and zucchini. Ideally, feed them small portions throughout the day and remove any uneaten food to maintain clean water in your tank.

Black Barred Danios are friendly and get along well with other small, non-threatening fish. You can keep them in the same tank as Tetras, Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, and small Gouramis without any issues. However, avoid housing them with larger, more aggressive fish to keep the peace in your tank.

NameBlack/Black Barred Danio
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature69-79°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size3″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Bengal Danio (Devario cyanotaenia)

What They Look Like

Bengal Danios will love a tank full of plants and open swimming spaces that replicate their natural habitat. Also, adding live plants like Java Moss or Anubias can provide shelter and hiding places for them to relax. 

Although Bengal Danios are adaptable to various water conditions, it’s crucial to always have a clean tank so make sure you’re using a filter and changing the water regularly for their continued health and happiness.

Bengal Danios should eat high-quality flakes as the staple of their diet, but, to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients and keep them happy, it’s recommended to mix up their diet with small pellets, live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, Artemia, Daphnia, and blanched vegetables.

When keeping your Bengal Danios in a community tank, it’s best to house them with other peaceful fish. Consider adding skirt tetras, platies, mollies, swordtails, and other fish with similar water parameter needs in their tank.

NameBengal Danios
pH6.0-8.0
Temperature60-79°F
Tank Size35 Gallons
Size4″
Lifespan3-5 Years

Malabar Danio (Devario Malabaricus)

Malabar Danio Care Sheet

For Malabar Danios to thrive, keep their tank water pristine by conducting regular water changes and using a good filter. Use a secure lid to prevent jumping, and create a safe and relaxing environment with fine gravel or sand substrate, plants, smooth rocks, driftwood, and stones.

Malabar Danios are omnivores and enjoy eating high-quality flakes, shrimp pellets, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and daphnia. It’s also important to occasionally give them vegetable treats to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

In choosing your Malabar Danios’ tankmates, always go with peaceful fish with similar tank requirements. Tetras, Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, and small Gouramis are great choices. 

NameMalabar Danio
pH6.2-7.8
Temperature72-77°F
Tank Size20 Gallons
Size4″
Lifespan5 Years

FAQ

How Many Types of Danio Are There?

There are 27 different types of true danios. But, there are other genera that expand on these types. For instance, there are 43 species within the Devario genus and the newest genus, Celestichthys, which currently has about two known species.

How Many Danios Should Be Kept Together?

Danios are schooling fish, so you should always be keeping them in groups of 6 or more. When you don’t keep your danios in a school that’s big enough, it’s going to result in them becoming stressed and even aggressive.

Can Different Types of Danio Breed?

It’s entirely possible for different types of danio to breed. However, crossbreeding can resut in things going wrong, so if your danios have crossbred you’ll need to keep an eye on the fry as they may not be healthy.

What Danios Are Best for a 5 Gallon Tank?

To put it simply, 5 gallon tanks are too small for danios. Danios need plenty of space to swim and 5 gallon just isn’t enough. If you want danios, then you’re going to need to keep them in a 10 gallon tank or bigger.

What Danios Are Best for a 10 Gallon Tank?

When choosing danios for a 10 gallon tank, your best choices are celestial pearl danios, zebra danios, or pearl danios. Try to keep 5-6 of these fish together if possible so you have a complete school that will feel safe.

Recap

As a mostly non-aggressive and peaceful fish, Danios are always on the move. What makes them so special is their ability to develop a hierarchy along with their amazing palettes of colors. They’re fairly simple to care for, and they aren’t often fussy eaters, so they’re great for beginners to the hobby.

With over 27 true species to pick from, you can’t go wrong with whichever one you choose. But, be mindful when deciding on other species for tank mates if you hope to keep a peaceful and calm environment for all fish you intend to have.

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