Synonyms: Cyprinus rerio, Danio rerio, Perilampus striatus
Physical description: A slender fish with two pairs of barbels. The back is brownish-gold, while the body has gold and blue alternating, lateral stripes. The fins have the same coloration, and the belly is white. The fins may be elongated depending on the variety. The mouth is up-turned toward the surface.
Size/Length: To 2.4" (6 cm)
Similar species: Spotted Danio ( B. nigrofasciatus )
Habitat: Clear, fast-flowing streams; and rice patties in Eastern India and Bangladesh.
Aquarium: A tank measuring 30" (76 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 gallons (75-98 L) is recommended for a school of Zebra Danios, although a 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallon tank is possible. The tank should have large, open swimming areas and a tight-fitting cover. A substrate of coarse gravel or pebbles is recommended. Use planting along the sides and back of the tank. This species is a jumper-so cover the tank well.
Water chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.0), 2-20 dH (8), 64-75°F (18-24°C)
Social behavior: An active schooling species which can be kept in almost any community tank. Do not combine the Zebra Danio with species that are frightened with constant movement. The Zebra Danio forms pairs, and will often not spawn with different partners.
Suggested companions: Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, Bala Shark, Loaches, Corydoras, Loricarids, tetras.
FOOD: Flakes; live; Drosophila , other insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; occasionally algae.
Sexual differences: Males are smaller and slimmer. Often they are more colorful.
Breeding techniques: Use warmer water with a temperature from 75-79°F (24-26°C). Use a tank with a water level of four to six inches deep, with heavy planting and a substrate of marbles. Condition the pair with insect larvae and Brine Shrimp. Add the female to the tank first, with the male being added 12-24 hours later. The pair usually will spawn with the coming of morning sunlight. 400-500 eggs are scattered on plants. The pair can be fed on white worms to keep them from consuming their spawn. After spawning is complete, remove the pair. The fry hatch in two days and are free-swimming after 5-7 days. Start feeding with paramecia, and a couple days later with powdered dry foods.
Breeding potential: 4. A prolific, easily bred species.
Remarks: The Zebra Danio was introduced to the hobby in 1905. Several selectively-bred varieties are available. These include a long-finned variety, a gold morph, and an albino type. Virtually all specimen sold in fish stores are captive-bred.
Difficulty of care: 2. A robust species that makes an attractive addition to any hobbyist's community tank.
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