How to take care of Danio Fish?

We will talk about danio fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat,types,lifespan,tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare,etc.Everything you need to know about danio fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog

  • Key specifications of danio fish
  • Why is danio fish care important?
  • How many danio fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of danio fish
  • Types of danio fish
  • Different strains or colors of danio fish
  • General and physical attributes of danio fish
  • Danio fish lifespan
  • Danio fish tank set-up
  • Danio fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Danio fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Danio fish daily care and bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Danio Fish?

Daily care tips for danio fish

  • Tall tanks with great surface area.
  • Tank should be covered with the lid properly,they might jump out of the aquarium.
  • Heaters are not required in their aquarium.
  • Danios are small in size so be careful as they can get stuck in the filters.Filters are important for proper oxygen supply and aeration.
  • Feed them once or twice a day by rotating their diets.
  • Feed them balanced meals.
  • Don’t overfeed, they get bloated easily.
  • Remove uneaten food daily by using gravel siphons.

Bi-weekly care tips for danio fish

  • Partial water change once a month
  • Water changes

10%- Per week

25%- Per 2 weeks

  • Substrate scrubbing once a month.
  • Vacuuming must be done once a month.
  • Freeze dried and live food should be given once a week only. 
  • Quarantine new fish for at least 1 or 2 weeks before adding them to the tank. 
  • Quarantine live food for 2 weeks before feeding them.
  • Clean tanks and other tank decors to avoid infections.
  • Trim tank plants weekly or once in 15 days.

Key specifications of Danio fish

Genus Danio
HabitatSoutheast asia (Surface dweller) 
Lifespan3-5 years
Body size
Body shapeSexual dimorphism
2 inches (exceptions- dangila & giant danios-5 inches)Torpedo-shaped bodyBit difficult to differentiate
Another nameMany names for different species of danios
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHAlkalinity70F-78F7.0-7.850 ppm-140 ppm (hardy in nature)
Care levelBeginner/experiencedEasy Ideal beginner aquarium fish
Tank size
Types of tank 
10-25 gallons25 gallons (4-5 danios)Planted tank Community tankNano tanks
Preferred plantsTall and floating Plants
CompatibilityKeep them with Peaceful fish
Number of Danio species found27 species
BreedingCannibalismCaptivity Yes

Why is Danio fish care important?

Danios are hardy species and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and water chemistry.

They are easy to care for and don’t require extraordinary equipment set-ups to thrive in aquarium settings, but we don’t have to be careless about their maintenance.

Danios require a proper diet and a fully oxygenated tank for survival & if they don’t get a balanced-nutritious diet and right water parameters, they might not live longer and we will miss the opportunity to watch this beautiful glowing fish shoal together in aquariums.

How many danio fish should you start with as a newcomer?

There are different types of danios and they are considered as shoaling fish and shoals together in the aquarium like their natural habitat.Its very important to get at least 3 or 5 of them together for your aquarium.

They are peaceful community fish and don’t perform well when not kept in groups or left alone in solitary tanks.They get stressed when left alone or in overcrowded tanks.

Habitat of danio fish

Danios are tropical freshwater hardy species found in the moving,quiet streams and cooler water of southeast asia.Newly found danios are seen in burma.

Types of danio fish

 List of some of the popular species of Danio fish:

  • Pearl danio 
  • Rosy danio
  • White cloud mountain minnow
  • Giant danio
  • Zebra danio
  • Dwarf spotted danio
  • Glowlight danio
  • Malabar danio
  • Goldring danio
  • Bengal danio

Different strains or colors of danio fish

  • Natural silver and blue striped danio
  • Glo morphs- green, orange,pink and purple danio
  • Golden danio
  • Albino danio
  • Transparent (lab made,not yet available)

General and physical attributes of danio fish

  • Danios are tropical freshwater shoaling fish.
  • Danios are surface dwellers,playful and active swimmers.
  • Most of the danios have more or less similar physical appearance.
  • Danio fish are small in size.
  • Danios have torpedo-shaped elongated bodies and small gray and clear fins.
  • Females are silvery in appearance, slightly larger and males have some golden appearance.

Danio fish lifespan

Danios can live up to 6 years if given a proper nutritional balanced diet and pristine water conditions.Lifespan of some famous aquarium danios:

  • Pearl danio -5 years
  • Giant danio-5-6 years
  • Rose danio-5 years
  • Zebra danio-5 years
  • Dwarf spotted danio-3 years
  • White cloud mountain minnow-5-6 years

Danio fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for danio fish

Danios are shoaling fish and perform best when kept in groups.Tank size should be bigger and spacious if they are kept in a group of 6 or 7.

Never accommodated bigger groups in smaller tanks as overcrowding can stress them and overcrowding is the main reasons for aggression and certain infections in the tank.

  • Large sized rectangular shaped tanks are best for danios
  • Tall tanks with great surface area are ideal for danios to shoal together.
  • Bigger tanks will have proper oxygen circulation.
  • You can keep 1 danio in per two gallons of water easily.
  • 10 gallons tank can accommodate- 2-3 danios
  • 25 gallons tank can accommodate – 4-5 danios
  • Provide them plenty of space for shoaling together in the aquarium.
  • Danios are active swimmers and can jump out of the tanks if distressed or threatened.So its very important to cover their tanks with a lid to avoid this leaping behavior.

Light intensity for danio fish

  • Danios need an artificial aquarium light for 12 hours per day.
  • Low or diffused light is best for danios.
  • As per some danios keepers they dont have problem with lightings and can adjust in any lighting conditions.
  • Avoid too much brightness in the aquarium.

Substrate/Decorations for danio fish

In their natural habitat they have small gravels as their substrate,so it would be better to replicate the same substrate for them in aquarium settings too.

Preferred substrates for Danios:

  • Soft sandy or muddy substrate 
  • Small gravels
  • Gravels intermixed

Water parameters for danio fish

Danios are very energetic fish and do well in fast water currents like their natural habitat.

Danios can adjust to a wide range of water chemistry because of their hardy nature.

Filter type for danios- Any simple filter with increased currents can go well with danios tanks.HOB filters can do the needful by providing the currents needed for them to thrive in the aquarium like their natural habitat.

Air pumps are very important in danios aquariums,because they are very active swimmers and need a proper oxygenation or aeration in their tanks.

Temperature for danio fish

Danios need cooler water temperatures like their natural habitat and don’t require aquarium heaters in their tanks.They are known to tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

Sudden fluctuations and dips in temperatures can make them inactive and susceptible to various infections.

Tank plants for danio fish

Keep tall and floating tank plants in danios tanks to make them feel safe and secure.Plants give them a hiding space and acts as a natural purifier by keeping the tank environment clean and healthy.

  • Vallisneria
  • Java ferns
  • Anubias nana
  • Amazon sword
  • Water wisteria
  • Rotala
  • Dwarf lilies
  • Red root floaters
  • Aponogeton
  • Dwarf water lettuce

Tank-mates for danio fish

It’s important to choose tank mates with similar preference to water chemistry,tank-set up and diets.Danios do well with other peaceful fish and with their own community. 

Compatible tank mate includes:

  • Small barbs
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Serpae tetra
  • Skin tetras
  • Red eye fish
  • Bettas 

Tank mates to avoid:

Avoid keeping danios with livebearers,because they feed their fry. They even eat their own newborn babies.Parental care is not seen in Danio fish.

  • Guppies
  • Mollies

Danio fish diet and feeding requirements

Danios are omnivores and accept a wide variety of diets from meaty food to plant based food.

Feeding frequency-Danios should be fed small amounts once or twice a day by rotating their diets.Avoid overfeeding as it can cause ammonia pollution and pollute the water chemistry.

Zebra danios are known to go on without food for 10-14 days and have higher fasting tolerance compared to other danio species.They reserve large fat mass in their body which help them to go without eating for days.

List of food for your danio fish:

  • Tropical flakes
  • Tropical granules
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Color flakes for maintaining their colors
  • Live food/Frozen food (induce spawning)
  • Gel based food commercially available.
  • Fruits/vegetables (green peas,lettuce,cauliflower and broccoli)
  • Algae based flakes occasionally 

Danio fish healthcare and health conditions

  • Gill disease
  • Ich disease
  • Velvet disease
  • Due to lack of oxygen in the aquarium,danios will be seen gasping air on the surface of the tanks due to distress.Its very important to keep the tank circulated with oxygen.
  • Bloating due to overfeeding.Avoid overfeeding at any cost.
  • Danios lose their appetite when stressed.


  • Danios can tolerate different ranges of water chemistry and temperatures.
  • Danios are peaceful,playful,lively and very active aquarium fish.
  • Active swimmers and shoals together in the aquarium.
  • Easy to care for,and a low maintenance beginner aquarium fish.

Frequently asked questions on danio fish 

Do danios need aquarium heaters in their tanks?

No,danios are subtropical schooling fish which come from cool water regions,so they don’t need aquarium heaters in their tanks.

Are danio fish fin nippers in nature?

No danio fish are not fin-nippers.They are very peaceful aquarium fish and rarely seen chasing or troubling their tank mates.

Do danios produce a great amount of biological waste in their tanks?

No danios are not greedy eaters and wont produce waste in their tanks,but if the leftovers are not removed daily from their tanks then surely biological waste will start building up in the tank and will increase ammonia spikes in the tank.