With their beauty, energy, and ease of care, it’s no wonder Zebra Danios are very popular in the fish-keeping world. Also know as Zebrafish or by their scientific name danio rerio, they’re great for both beginner and experienced fish-keepers alike! But understanding the essentials of Zebra Danio care is of utmost importance to make them happy.
In this article, we’ll learn everything you need to know in giving Zebrafish the best care possible. So, keep reading!
Zebra danios are extremely beginner friendly, making them a great choice if you’re getting started. They’re social so do best in groups of 5-6. When choosing a tank, aim for one that is more horizontal than high and 10 gallons or bigger. Remember to keep the temperature between 64-78°F and the pH between 6.5-7.5.
They’re omnivorous by nature so you can feed them both plant matter and animal matter, however, tropical fish flakes should be the staple of their diet.
Zebrafish are relatively hardy fish, but they can be susceptible to some diseases, such as fin rot and ich. It is important to keep the water quality in their tank high to help prevent these diseases. And with proper care your zebra danios can live for up to 8 years.
When it comes to tank mates any friendly and peaceful fish are a great choice. So consider harlequin rasboras, common corydoras, neon tetras, cherry barbs and small dwarf gouramis.
Are Zebra Danios Easy To Keep?
Zebra Danios are incredibly easy to care for, making them an ideal choice for beginners and even busy fishkeepers. They can adapt to different water conditions, are easy to feed, and get along well with other fish. So if you’re looking for an easy beginner fish, they’re your best choice.
These little fish are quite hardy and can adjust to a wide range of water conditions, including temperature and pH changes,so they’re going to be a lot more forgiving when it comes to mistakes.
Second, Zebra Danios aren’t picky eaters. They enjoy a variety of foods, including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen options. In fact, they’re easy diet requirements make it incredibly easy to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need!
Additionally, Zebra Danios are peaceful and social fish. They generally get along well with other non-aggressive fish, making them perfect for community tanks.
And lastly, taking care of Zebra Danios is simple. You don’t need any fancy equipment or a complicated setup; just give them space to swim and a few hiding spots, and they’ll be happy.
I also asked the Facebook Community what they thought about caring for Zebra Danios. And here was a few of the answers!
|Name||Zebra Danio/Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)|
|Cost||$1.99-2.99+ Per Fish|
|Origin||South East Asia (Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh)|
|Tank Size||10 Gallons|
|Feeding||Fish Flakes, Live Food, Blanched Vegetables|
|Tank Level||Top Level|
|Plants||Java Fern, Anacharis, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, Java Moss|
|Tank Mates||Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, Cherry Barbs, Pearl Gouramis|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
Zebra Danios are famous for the awesome black and white stripes all over their bodies and fins, just like zebras. Their stripes definitely make them stand out in any aquarium and catch everyone’s attention.
Both males and female Zebra Danios have awesome stripes, but there are slight differences. The males are slimmer in shape, whilst females are a bit rounder in the belly area, especially when they have eggs.
Apart from this they just have the standard pectoral fins and dorsal fins which are dark blue in color.
But let’s not forget about their eyes—they’re captivating! Zebrafish have bright, small eyes that don’t miss a thing. They’re like little underwater detectives, always exploring.
It’s also possible to buy albino zebra danios too, which are more pink in color with red eyes. However, I’ve found in the UK they can be difficult to find, but there might be better luck in the US
And lastly, there are also long-finned varieties of this fish which you can buy too!
Leopard danios are a variant of zebra danios that are slightly different in looks. Just like zebra danios have the markings of a zebra, leopard danios have the markings of a leopard!
Zebrafish are small fish that usually grow to about 1.5 to 2.5 inches long. They may be tiny, but they’re full of energy and bring so much happiness to your aquarium.
Though they’re small, Zebra Danios love to swim fast! They zip around the tank, making things exciting and fun to watch.
Because Zebra Danios are small, you don’t need to buy the biggest tank for them. A well-maintained tank that’s around 10 gallons is all they need to thrive!
Zebra Danios are sociable and active little fish. They enjoy swimming in groups, exploring their surroundings, and hanging out near the top and middle parts of the tank. With their lively personalities, they bring excitement to any fish tank.
As we previously mentioned, zebra danios will spend most of their time near the top and middle parts of the tank. They’re really good swimmers and spend most of their time there. As you look at your tank, you’ll catch them gracefully gliding through the water or playfully chasing each other around.
And when it’s feeding time, Zebra Danios are not picky eaters. They happily eat different types of fish food, like flakes or pellets. Just make sure to give them a balanced diet to keep them healthy and satisfied.
Zebra Danios normally live for 3 to 5 years, but with good care, they can live even longer. By maintaining a clean tank, providing a balanced diet, and keeping them in a stress-free environment, you can ensure their well-being and extend their lifespan.
To help your Zebra Danios live longer, it’s important to create the right conditions for them. Keeping their tank clean and healthy is crucial. Regularly changing the water, using a good filter, and keeping the water quality right will make a big difference in how long they can live.
Feeding them a balanced diet will also help them to live longer. Give them a mix of high-quality fish food, like flakes or pellets, and occasionally some live or frozen treats. This will provide them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Stress can also affect how long your Zebra Danios will live. So, it’s important to keep their tank peaceful and comfortable. Avoid overcrowding the tank, provide hiding spots or plants for them to relax, and maintain a calm environment.
And remember, each Zebra Danio is unique, and genetics and environment can play a role in their lifespan.
Zebra Danios Water Parameters
When it comes to the water parameters for your Zebra Danios, here are a few key things to remember to create the best environment for these beautiful fish.
|Tank Size||10 Gallons|
Zebra Danios can handle different pH levels, but they prefer slightly acidic to neutral water. So, aim for a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5 to keep them comfortable and thriving.
Zebra Danios are adaptable and can tolerate a range of temperatures. However, it’s recommended to keep the water temperature between 64°F and 78°F for them to be at their best.
Now, let’s talk about water hardness. Zebrafish can live in different levels of water hardness, but they generally like it slightly on the harder side. So, keep the water hardness in your tank between 5 and 12 dGH to meet their needs.
As a general guideline, a minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of 5 Zebra Danios. This will give them enough swimming space and keep them happy. However, if you plan on keeping a larger group or adding other fish to the tank, it’s always best to go for a larger tank.
Adding more fish means you need more space to keep the water clean and give everyone enough room to swim comfortably. A bigger tank, like a 20-gallon or even a 30-gallon tank, would be great if you want to have a larger group of Zebra Danios or if you want to have other fish along with them.
What Do Zebra Danios Like In The Wild?
Originally from Southeast Asia, Zebra Danios love swimming in clear streams and rivers. They thrive in slightly acidic to neutral pH levels and temperatures from 65°F to 77°F. Zebra Danios need hiding spots, pebbles, driftwood lots of plants, and other Zebra Danios to feel secure and happy in their environment.
In their natural habitat, Zebra Danios are freshwater fish that appreciate having plenty of places to hide and lots of vegetation. They always look for places with plants, rocks, and driftwood, which provide them with shelter, spaces to explore, and opportunities for breeding.
Additionally, Zebra Danios are sociable fish that form groups in the wild. They feel more secure and less stressed when they’re around other Zebra Danios. Being part of a group allows them to display their natural behaviors and reduces their risk from predators.
How To Setup A Tank For Zebra Danios
If you want to make your Zebra Danios happy whilst in captivity, make sure to set up a comfortable tank for them! Now you know what zebra danios like in the wild, you can match the tank conditions in your tank to mimic this! With that in mind, here are some steps to help you create the best home for your Zebra Danios.
Choosing the Right Tank Size
Setting up a tank for Zebra Danios starts with picking the correct tank size. Because these active fish need plenty of space to swim, a tank with at least 10 gallons is recommended to give them enough room to move around comfortably.
- GLASS AQUARIUM KIT: Glass aquarium with low-profile hinged hood houses energy efficient white LEDs to create a natural underwater shimmer effect
After this step, it’s time to choose the right equipment.
Zebra Danios like the water to be between 64°F and 78°F, so don’t forget to use an aquarium heater to keep the temperature steady and ensure your fish are comfortable.
- Modern Aesthetic: M-Series heaters combine modern aesthetics with reliable Italian construction. Employing an ultra-slim profile, these heaters are a welcome departure from traditional, bulkier designs.
Good aquarium filters are essential to keep the water in the tank clean and healthy. So, choose one that suits the size of your tank and follow the instructions to set it up. A well-functioning filter will remove dirt and harmful substances in your tank, keeping the environment safe for your Zebra Danios.
Make sure to clean or replace the filter media regularly according to the instructions to keep it working effectively.
- LED indicator light flashes when water cannot pass through the cartridge, generally indicating it’s time to change the cartridge
Choose gravel or sand as substrate at the bottom of your tank. Substrates not only look nice but also provide a natural environment for your fish. With the right substrate, beneficial bacteria will grow and help maintain water quality.
- Fluval Stratum is made of mineral rich volcanic soil
- Stimulates strong aquarium plant growth
- Promotes neutral to mildly acidic pH
- Suitable for live plants or shrimp
- 4.4 lb bag
Before adding water to the tank, use a water conditioner. This will remove chlorine and other chemicals that can be harmful to your Zebra Danios. When doing this, be sure to follow the instructions on the conditioner bottle to use the right amount.
- POWERFUL TREATMENT: Seachem Prime is a complete and concentrated conditioner for both freshwater and saltwater fish tanks, working hard to remove chlorine and chloramine.
Adding Gravel and Water
Once the tank equipment is set up, add the substrate and water. Spread a layer of gravel or sand evenly on the tank’s bottom. Then, fill the tank with water treated with a water conditioner to remove harmful chemicals.
Testing the Water
Regularly test the water in your tank using an aquarium test kit. This helps you monitor levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and other important factors. By keeping these levels in check, you’ll ensure a healthy environment for your Zebra Danios.
- Contains one (1) API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT 800-Test Freshwater Aquarium Water Master Test Kit, including 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 color card and 4 tubes with cap
Make your Zebra Danios’ tank more appealing by adding live aquatic plants. These plants not only enhance the tank’s appearance but also provide hiding spots and shelter for your fish. They also help maintain water quality by absorbing nitrates and adding oxygen to the water.
Regulating the Temperature
Monitor the tank’s temperature using an aquarium thermometer. Adjust the heater as needed to maintain a stable temperature within the range that Zebra Danios prefer. Take note that sudden temperature changes can stress or harm your fish, so keep your temperature consistent.
Providing a Balanced Diet
Give your Zebra Danios a balanced diet to keep them healthy. Feed them high-quality flake or pellet food made for tropical fish. Occasionally, offer them small live or frozen foods as treats, such as brine shrimp or daphnia.
If you’re new to fishkeeping then setting up a fish tank can be confusing. Here’s a complete guide on how to setup your tank from start to finish!
Male Vs Female
While it can be challenging to determine the sex of Zebra Danios when they’re not breeding, here are some noticeable differences between males and females to help you identify their gender.
Size and Body Shape
In terms of size and body shape, male Zebra Danios tend to be slimmer and smaller, while females are generally larger and have a more rounded belly, especially when they’re carrying eggs.
When it comes to colors, male Zebra Danios normally have more vibrant hues. Their striking colors stand out with bold, horizontal stripes running along their entire body. However, females may appear less colorful, and their stripes are less obvious.
There’s also a glofish version available to which comes in a variety of colors!
Another difference in Zebra Danios can also be seen in their fins. Males have longer and fancier fins, especially the back and bottom ones. Meanwhile, you’ll notice that Females have shorter and rounder fins.
Male Zebrafish are energetic and often chase each other. They love to show off their fins, and it’s even common to see them fight to protect their territory.
During courtship and breeding, males also tend to be more active and may chase females around the aquarium. On the other hand, female zebra danios are noticeably calmer.
However, generally, they have great a temperament, so you can keep them happily in community tanks!
Zebra Danios Diet
Providing a mixed diet is crucial for your Zebra Danios’ health. By giving them a mix of commercial flakes or pellets, protein-rich foods, and occasional vegetable treats, you ensure they receive a wide range of nutrients for optimal health.
Zebra Danios are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and small organisms. So a zebra danio diet should consist of a balanced mix of high-quality flake or pellet food designed for tropical fish. These commercial foods provide essential nutrients to meet their dietary requirements.
However, to mimic their natural diet, it’s important to supplement their meals with protein-rich foods. This can include live or frozen options like brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and all other manner of invertebrates. Protein sources like these can help promote their overall health, and your zebra danios will love eating them!
Zebra Danios also love having vegetable matter in their diet. So, feel free to offer them small portions of blanched vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, or peas. These vegetables provide additional fiber and essential vitamins to keep them healthy.
During their feeding time, observe your Zebra Danios closely to ensure they’re actively eating and not leaving excess food uneaten. If you notice food at the bottom of the tank, reduce the portion size in the future to avoid water pollution.
- TROPICAL FORMULATION: Highly digestible flake blend for use as staple food for all tropical fish.
Zebra Danios Tank Mates
As you find suitable tank mates for your Zebra Danios, choosing fish that get along well with them is very important. So, here are five of the best tank mates that are a great fit for your Zebra Danios!
Neon Tetras are small, peaceful fish that go well with Zebra Danios. They have bright colors that look nice next to the black and white stripes of the Danios. They also like living in groups and can live happily together.
Harlequin Rasboras are friendly and active fish that enjoy swimming in schools. They have orange-red bodies with black markings, which add some color to the tank and complement your Zebra Danios’ lively behavior.
Corydoras Catfish are cute and helpful in keeping the tank clean. In fact, these fish like to stay at the bottom of your tank and eat leftover food! Also, they’re calm and get along well with Zebra Danios, making them great companions.
Cherry Barbs are colorful fish that add excitement to the aquarium. Their red and gold colors contrast nicely with the black and white stripes of the Danios. They’re generally peaceful and enjoy the company of active fish.
Pearl Gouramis are graceful fish that can be a centerpiece in your tank. They have shimmering scales and a calm nature. Their elegant movements create a peaceful atmosphere in the tank, which complements the energetic nature of your Zebra Danios.
Other Great Tank Mates Include:
- Cardinal Tetras
- Amano Shrimp
- Kuhli Loaches
- White Cloud Mountain Minnows
- Siamese Fighting Fish
Best Plants For Zebra Danios
When setting up your Zebra Danios’ tank, adding live plants not only makes it look nicer but also provides several benefits for your fish. So, here are 5 of the best plants for Zebra Danios, and why they’re great choices!
- Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller fish and invertebrates
- Make your fish tank look natural and beautiful; Perfect for aquariums of any size
- This Java Fern s a great and easy way to attaching Java fern to driftwood, rocks, etc
Java Fern is a popular choice for Zebra Danios’ tanks, mainly for its broad leaves that give your fish places to hide and rest. It’s easy to take care of and can handle different water conditions, which is perfect for beginners.
- 3-4 stems of live Anacharis.
- Due to the inability of us to control your aquarium conditions, returns on this product are not accepted.
Anacharis, also known as Elodea, is a fast-growing plant that Zebra Danios love. Its long, thin stems provide hiding spots for the fish and help keep the water clean by absorbing extra nutrients. Anacharis also adds a nice splash of color to the tank.
- You will get 1 bundle, each bundle contains 3 stems. The plants will be similar to the one that you see on the picture of the listing. I will also include a mystery plant of my choosing.
- Live Arrival and Satisfaction Guaranteed
Hornwort is another good plant for Zebra Danios. It’s easy to grow and helps keep the water well-oxygenated, which is good for the fish and other tank inhabitants. The dense foliage of Hornwort gives the Zebra Danios a sense of security.
- Easy live aquarium plant specie for any freshwater aquarium
- Create a natural habitat in your aquarium for your fish and invertebrates
- Make your fish tank look natural and beautiful
- Provide natural resting and hiding places for your smaller fish and invertebrates
- Perfect for 10+ gallons aquariums
Amazon Sword is a well-known choice for larger tanks. Its wide leaves resemble the ones in your Zebra Danios’ natural habitat, making them feel more at home. This plant also acts as a natural filter by absorbing nitrates, keeping the water cleaner.
- LIVE AQUARIUM PLANT – 1 Java Moss (Taxiphyllum Barbieri) golf ball size portion
- LIVE ARRIVAL GUARANTEE – We guarantee live arrival on all of our livestock. If a plant ever arrives dead send us a clear photo of the plant in the unopened bag and and we will replace once verified.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – We do our very best to respond fast and ship happy, healthy plants. If you have any questions or concerns please message us we are always happy to help!
- Care instructions: place moss on rock, wood, or a structure and then wrap thread around it to secure the moss so it doesn t go all over the place in the tank
- Sunlight exposure: Partial Sun
Java Moss is an easy-to-care-for plant that adds a touch of green to the aquarium. Zebra Danios enjoy swimming through its dense branches. Java Moss also provides a place for the fish to lay their eggs and gives young fry a spot to graze on.
If you want to breed Zebra Danios, it’s an easy process. These small, active fish can reproduce in a well-maintained tank. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process:
First, set up a separate breeding tank or create the right conditions in the main tank. You can use a smaller tank or a breeding net to separate the breeding pair. Make sure the water is clean and well-filtered, with a temperature between 64°F to 78°F.
Next, select a healthy male and 2-3 healthy female Zebra Danio’s. The male will be slender and has bright colors, while the female is plumper with a round belly. Put them in the breeding tank and watch their interactions.
After choosing the healthy group, make sure to provide suitable places for spawning, like small marbles, a mesh spawning mop, or fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss. These surfaces will keep the eggs safe from the adults who are known to eat their own eggs.
Now to encourage breeding, provide proper lighting and a natural day-night cycle. Slightly increase the water temperature to mimic the breeding season. You can also offer live or frozen foods like daphnia, brine shrimp, or high-quality flakes.
After spawning, carefully remove your danios from the breeding tank to prevent the adults from eating the eggs. And make sure to use an air stone or gentle filtration to keep the water flowing around the eggs.
The eggs will hatch within 48-72 hours. During this time, the fry will survive on their yolk sacs. After a few days, you can introduce infusoria or commercial fry food. And don’t forget to keep the water clean by doing regular water changes and removing uneaten food.
One thing to note: It can be a good idea to use a fine mesh cover over for your filter to ensure that the filter doesn't suck up the baby danios!
As the zebra danio fry grow, you can start feeding them finely crushed flakes or baby brine shrimp. Make sure to keep the fry in a separate tank or net until they’re big enough to avoid being eaten by adult Zebra Danios. ‘
And to make them most comfortable, provide hiding places and gentle filtration in their tank.
Zebra Danios Common Diseases
Here are some of the most common diseases for Zebra Danios that you need to watch out for, how you’ll spot them, and what you can do to cure your sick fish.
|Disease||Symptoms or Causes||Suggested Action or Treatment|
|Ichthyophthiriasis||White spots on body and fins||Isolate infected fish and treat with aquarium salt or medication|
|Fin Rot||Tattered, decaying fins||Maintain clean water conditions and treat with antibiotics|
|Dropsy||Swollen abdomen, pinecone-like scales||Quarantine affected fish and treat with antibiotics|
|Columnaris||White patches, frayed fins||Improve water quality and treat with antibiotics|
|Velvet Disease||Fine yellow or grayish-gold dusting||Increase water temperature and treat with medication|
|Swim Bladder Disorder||Inability to maintain balance or swim||Adjust diet, avoid overfeeding, or treat with Epsom salt baths|
|Gill Flukes||Rapid gill movement, labored breathing||Treat with specialized medication for parasites|
How Many Zebra Danios Can You Keep Together?
When keeping your Zebra Danios in a tank, it’s always best to have at least five of them together. Zebra Danios are social fish, and they feel more comfortable and happy when they have company.
When it comes to their living space, always consider the size of your tank. For a small group of five Zebra Danios, a 10-gallon tank is perfect. However, if you want to keep more of them, you’ll need a bigger tank to support their needs. It’s very important to give them enough room to swim around and explore.
And to keep things balanced in your tank, it’s important to have a good mix of males and females. For every two or three female Zebra Danios, have one male. This prevents any fighting and keeps things calm and peaceful, and prevents any unnecessary fights between the males.
Facts About Zebra Danios
- Zebra Danios are small fish that live in freshwater. They come from countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.
- They’re called “Zebra” Danios because they have stripes that look like those of a zebra, running across their bodies.
- These fish are super fast and agile. They can zip around their tank really quickly, which makes them fun to watch.
- Zebra Danios have lots of babies! They lay eggs that stick to plants or other surfaces. The parents don’t take care of the eggs or babies, so it’s a good idea to have a separate tank for breeding.
- Zebra Danios are social creatures and like to be in groups. They swim together in patterns, almost like a synchronized dance.
- Zebra Danios are jumpers! They have a tendency to leap out of open aquariums, so it’s important to have a secure lid or cover to prevent any accidental escapes.
- Zebra Danios are often used in scientific research. Due to their hardiness, small size, and ability to breed easily, they have become a popular model organism for various studies on genetics, development, and behavior.
Are Zebra Danios Good For Beginners?
Zebra Danios are a perfect choice for beginners because they’re tough, easy to care for, and friendly fish that are full of surprises!
First of all, these little fish are very tough and can handle different water conditions. So, if you’re just starting out and still figuring things out, they’re a great option.
Plus, they’re easy to take care of. They eat regular fish food without any hesitation, and they don’t need a fancy tank setup. Now, another reason why they’re great for beginners is that they’re friendly. They get along well with other calm fish, so you have plenty of choices for tankmates.
Lastly, if you’re interested in seeing fish babies, Zebra Danios can give you that experience too. They like to lay eggs, so you’ll have the exciting experience of having cute little ones hatch in your tank! It’s a great way for beginners to learn about fish reproduction.
(If you want to know about more great fish, then here are 15 of the best fish for beginners! Voted by over 150 fish keepers!)
How Many Zebra Danios Should Be Kept Together?
When it comes to keeping Zebra Danios together, it’s best to have them in a group of at least five. Having a bigger group of Zebra Danios helps them feel less stressed and more active, which is good for their health.
However, remember not to have too many Zebra Danios in one tank. It can make the water dirty and stress them out. Always make sure your tank is big enough and has a good filter to handle the number of Zebra Danios you want to keep.
Are Zebra Danios Right For You?
Zebra danios are going to be the perfect choice for anyone who wants a lively and energetic fish in their tank. Due to how easy they are to care for, they can be kept by all fish keeper’s beginners and experts alike! Just make sure you have a tank which is wide rather than high.
Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about caring for Zebra Danios!
How Many Zebra Danios In A 10 Gallon Tank?
In a 10-gallon tank, it’s best to keep a small group of Zebra Danios, around 5 fish. This tank size gives them enough space to swim and explore without getting crowded. Remember not to put too many fish in the tank, as it can stress them out and make the water dirty.
How Many Zebra Danios In A 20 Gallon Tank?
In a 20-gallon tank, you can have a slightly larger group of Zebra Danios, preferably around 12 of them. With the extra room, they’ll have more space to swim and show off their natural behavior.
Are Zebra Danios Hard To Take Care Of?
Zebra Danios are not difficult to take care of. They’re actually one of the easier fish to keep. As long as you provide them with a good home and take care of their basic needs, Zebra Danios will be happy and healthy in your aquarium.
Taking care of Zebra Danios is a rewarding experience. By providing them with a proper tank setup, feeding them a balanced diet, and creating a suitable environment for them to live in, you can ensure their health and happiness. With the right care, your Zebra Danios will thrive and bring excitement to your tank.