Zebra Danio, Everything You Want to Know Series

The Zebra Danios is one of the most popular tropical fish.  Their lively personalities are a ton of fun to watch.  They generally play well with others, although have bee know to nip at fins.  This usually can be avoided by keeping them in a school of 6 or more.  They are also some of the easiest fish to breed.  Zebras are a perfect choice for those beginners in the hobby because of their hardiness.  Read on to see if the the Zebra Danio is the perfect choice for your tank.

Zebra Danio Names:

  • Common: Zebra Danio, Zebrafish
  • Scientific: Danio rerio

Zebra Danio  General Info:

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Origin: India
  • Max Size: 2in (5cm) long
  • Life Span: Up to 5 yrs
  • General Temperament: Peaceful, can be very lively
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallon
  • Tank Region: Middle or bottom
  • Preferred Food: Tropical flakes, blood worms
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Ideal Tank Mates: Many – Danios, Rainbows, Barbs, Tetras, Plecostomus, Clown Loaches, Cory Catfish, Gouramis, Mollies, Platies
  • Schooling: Yes – 6+ ideal

Zebra Danio  Water Ideals:

  • pH: Range 6-8 | Target 7
  • Temp: Range 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C)
  • Hardness: Soft-Med Hard – 5-20dH

Zebra Danio Breeding:

  • Ideal Temp: 78°F (26°C)
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Gender Differences: Females are generally bigger
  • Other Breeding Tip: Zebra Danios will eat their fry.   Zebras are very prolific breeders.  Eggs are laid in gravel bed and hatch in two days.

What’s your experience with Zebra Danio’s?

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30 Responses to Zebra Danio, Everything You Want to Know Series

  1. zak March 4, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    i gotta tell u,zebra dino fish are my MOST favorite fish ever!i am almost, only almost expert(but not quite expert)of the tropical fish stuff.i have had my zebra dinos for a lonnnnggg
    time and they are still as good as new.i recommend to everybody to get zebra dinos!and guppys,well thats a whole new story.but when u are experienced with alot of fish(2-4 years or less of doing regular fish stuff)you can experiment with guppys.they are kinda hard to take care of,in fact my last guppy died today.but on the bright side they breed kinda fast.

    oh and one quick question,how fast do zebra dinos breed?

  2. zak March 4, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    i gotta tell u,zebra dino fish are my MOST favorite fish ever!i am almost, only almost expert at this stuff(but not quite expert)of the tropical fish stuff.i have had my zebra dinos for a lonnnnggg
    time and they are still as good as new.i recommend to everybody to get zebra dinos!and guppys,well thats a whole new story.but when u are experienced with alot of fish

    oh and one quick question,how fast do zebra dinos breed?and what would i put in a tank to seperate them from the other fish?

  3. Eric March 6, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    You can find tank dividers at some aquarium shops, but you are probably better off just getting a breeding, quarantine tank. Zebra’s are known for both being very hardy and easy to breed.

  4. Nicholas April 1, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    How long will Zebra’s carry their eggs before lay?

  5. Eric April 5, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    It depends. A female will not lay her eggs until she finds a male to mate with. Once she settles on the male, she will lay them to be fertilized by the male.

  6. thida May 5, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    everywhere say zebro dinos are middle tank swimmer but all of mine has been staying on top of the tank. i have 5 small tiger barbs, 5 platies, 4 adult mollies and 2 babies, 5 adult guppies and 1 baby guppy, 2 adult angel fishes (wouldn’t even eat the baby guppy), 2 sward tails. All my 7 dinos are staying on top the tank…why? temp is b/n >65 and

  7. Eric May 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    Hi Thida,
    Not really sure. My Zebras usually stick around the middle although many times they are just plain all over the place. They’re fun to watch. Might be feeling crowded by your other fish?

  8. Brooke Anderson June 23, 2008 at 10:40 pm #

    hi i have 2 zebra danios and 1 glow fish and how do i tell the 2 zebra danios wch is a male and a female

  9. Eric June 25, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Hello Brooke,
    Typically male Zebra’s have deeper, brighter colors and are skinnier. Females are more dull in color and are fatter.

  10. Courtney Hamilton June 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    hi, I have a zerba dino who is bending and i don’t know if it is good or not?

  11. Eric July 1, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi Courtney,
    It could be Swim Bladder Disease.
    Many times affected fish have trouble staying upright and pull to the top of the tank. This sort of bends your fish while the tail and head hang. If this sounds like what you have. Treatment involves stopping feeding for a few days since it’s a digestion problem. Also, make sure your water is kept very clean.

  12. harry July 14, 2008 at 7:26 am #

    i love zebra .i have about 9 hundred zebra fish and i have spawn them for over 39 years

  13. michelle July 23, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    I have 2 very small pink zebra fish and a larger (abt 1 inch) black zebra, I have had her for about a year in a 1 1/2 gallon bowl with an air stone and glass stones on the bottom. I have had the 2 pink zebras for about 4 months and for the last 2 weeks the smaller of the 2 pink ones is burrying itself in the glass stones….I try to move the stones and it goes deeper. What gives? The fish does come out to eat and swims around when I force it out from the rocks but I was curious why this is happening…..Any ideas?!?!?

  14. Eric July 27, 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Michelle,
    Could just be for fun but I would look closely for other signs of disease. Sometime scratching or rubbing on things is a sign. I wouldn’t jump to that though without seeing something more.

  15. Michelle July 31, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    thanks Eric. One of them has since died, and the other is on it’s way… Now that I have only one Zebra left what do u suggest? Getting more Zebra to put in there or another breed?

  16. Eric July 31, 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    Zebra’s are great! They’re lively and hardy. They also prefer to be in a group of 3+ (5 or so ideally). Until you figure out what is stressing your fish I wouldn’t add any more though. Test, look for levels that are off and look through this site for suggestions. There is something going on there.

  17. Nancy Smith January 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    i have 1 zebra danio in a 20 gallon fish tank with some friends and i keep the water very clean but for the past couple of days my minno is laying on the gravel what do i do is he sick?

  18. Nancy Smith January 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    i have 1 zebra danio in a 20 gallon fish tank and he has been laying on the gravel still allive and still breathing he has been laying there for about 4 days what do i do should i kill him to put him out of his misiry. or is he just a bit sick? someone tell me what to do.

  19. Nancy Smith January 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    Eric i have a question what should i do if one of my guppies keeps nipping on my zebra danio that is laying ill on the gravel? Eric please help me.

  20. Eric January 3, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Danio’s should be kept in groups of 3 or less, minimum. Preferably 5-6+. The problem you run in to is ht at they start messing with other fish rather than each other. Sounds like your problem now.

    Also, I’d get the sick one out of your tank right away if you can and then look for signs of disease.
    Many times when other fish see a weak or sick fish they’ll start hassling them.

  21. Nancy Smith January 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    thanks Eric i went on the website and did what it said he has beed alone in the 5 gallon plastic fish tank for about 5 hours and he looks a bit better. Thanks Eric!

  22. Nancy Smith January 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Eric i have a 20 gallon tank (tall) and i want to upgrade filters because mine it came with is cheap and loud. i am only 11 and i am in det because of buying fishand no my name is not Nancy that is my moms name i am a boy named Jacob. I was wondering what type of filter for a 20 gallon fish tank do you recomend that is about $20 at petco and prety quiet because i have a gift card for petco that is $20. But if it is $25 or something i am ok with that so tell my what type of filter should i get at petco for about $20 maybe you could send me a link? Thanks for all your help man! From Jacob

  23. Nancy Smith January 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh Eric if this would help i will probably have about 10 medium tropical fish in there and 5 small slim fish in it like zebra danios so not that full so hope that helps. From Jacob

  24. Eric January 4, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Hey Jacob – It’s great to hear you’re getting started in the hobby so young!

    Here’s a link for you. This Marineland filter will work great and is priced well. The 100 GPH will work. If you can swing the 150 GPH, I thing it would be the best choice. They are on sale right now it looks like.


  25. Nancy Smith January 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks Eric! I will be going to Petco by Friday so it will be in the tank by Friday. I will be getting the filter with the 100 GPH because i have some pretty small fish so don’t want to push them away with 150 GPH! So by Friday i will go to petco and get the filter you showed me on the link. (100 GPH) And also thanks for all the help! My guppie that was laying ill on the gravel is doing much better! thanks!

  26. Nancy Smith January 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Oh and this is kind of random but how many fish tanks do you have and how many gallons are they? Also do you have the Marineland filter? Just wondering. I just want to know what experience you have had with it if you have it. So just answer those questions for me! I want to know about that stuff since you have the answer for anything thanks man!
    From Jacob

  27. Nancy Smith January 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    actuakky i found out what GPH means so i will be getting the 150 GPH power filter so i will not be getting the 100 gph filter. So i will be getting the filter that is for tanks up to 30 gallons. (150 GPH) thanks man from Jacob

  28. Nancy Smith January 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    sorry first work should be actually

  29. Nancy Smith January 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Eric i will be getting the filter today!

  30. Nancy Smith January 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Eric i am P.O.D i bought the filter today and i found out that is the ONLINE price not the store so another $15 dollers in det because in the store it is $35! and online it is about $20 but the shipping! it is $10 so iether way you will be paying $35. now i am stuck with a loud filter. and it pushes my fish away. Luckily i will be able to exchange it but they said i can’t get my money back! That filter is crap! total crap and now i gotta pay $40 in det. Now i am really P.O.D looks like i will be doing chores for a couple of weeks.That sucks! I will be writing a review for Petco.com on that crapy filter!