Zebra Danios Care Guide: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates & More

If you’re looking for a small, active and colorful fish to add to your aquarium, the Zebra Danio is an excellent choice. These small fish are easy to care for, and their striking black and white stripes make them a popular choice for both beginner and experienced fish keepers. In this article, we’ll provide you with the ultimate care guide for Zebra Danios, covering everything from their habitat and tank requirements to their feeding and breeding habits.

Zebra Danios require a well-maintained aquarium with suitable water conditions, a varied diet, and a peaceful environment. They need a pH range of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature range between 65-77°F. The aquarium should be planted, and regular water changes should be performed to ensure their health. They are hardy and active swimmers, making them an ideal choice for beginners.

As an avid fish keeper, I’ve had the pleasure of keeping Zebra Danios in my own aquarium for several years. These fish are incredibly active and entertaining to watch, and they’re also very hardy, making them a great choice for beginners. However, like all fish, they do require proper care and attention to thrive. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your Zebra Danios healthy and happy.

Whether you’re a seasoned fish keeper or a beginner, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to care for your Zebra Danios. From their ideal tank setup to their feeding habits, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in and learn how to give your Zebra Danios the best care possible!

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog 3

Key Takeaways

  1. Zebra danios are active, social fish that should be kept in groups of at least 6 in a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size.
  2. Provide hiding places and decorations in the tank, such as plants or rocks, to create a stimulating environment for your zebra danios.
  3. Maintain a proper filtration system to keep the water clean and healthy for your zebra danios.
  4. Feed your zebra danios a balanced diet of high-quality flakes or pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods.
  5. Keep the water temperature between 64-75°F and the pH level between 6.5-7.5 for optimal zebra danios health.
  6. Monitor the water quality regularly, and perform partial water changes every week to maintain good water quality.
  7. Avoid overcrowding the tank and keep only compatible fish species together.
  8. Observe your zebra danios daily for any signs of illness or abnormal behavior, and seek veterinary care if necessary.
  9. Handle your zebra danios with care and avoid sudden movements or changes in their environment.
  10. Zebra danios can live up to 5 years with proper care, so be prepared for a long-term commitment.

Species Summary

As a proud owner of Zebra Danios, I can attest to their beauty, hardiness, and playful nature.

Zebra Danios, also known as Zebrafish, are a popular freshwater fish species that are easy to care for and perfect for beginners.


Zebra Danios are native to the streams and rice paddies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

They were first discovered in the early 1900s and have since become a popular aquarium fish worldwide.


Zebra Danios have a striking appearance with their blue and silver stripes that run from head to tail.

They have a torpedo-shaped body and can grow up to 2 inches in length. Their fins are transparent with a yellowish tint.


Zebra Danios are a small fish species that can grow up to 2 inches in length. They are a great option for smaller aquariums or community tanks.

Growth Rate

Zebra Danios have a fast growth rate and can reach their full size in just a few months. With proper care and a balanced diet, they can live a long and healthy life.


Zebra Danios have a lifespan of up to 5 years with proper care. They are a hardy species that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

Behavior & Temperament

Zebra Danios are a peaceful and active species that do well in groups of 6 or more.

They are known for their playful behavior and love to swim around and explore their environment.

They are also great jumpers, so it’s important to have a tightly secured lid on their aquarium.

As an added bonus, Zebra Danios are known for their ability to eat mosquito larvae, making them a natural mosquito control option for your backyard pond or water feature.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog 6

Tank Size

Tank SizeNumber of Zebra DaniosWater VolumeWater Change Frequency
10 gallons6 or more10 gallons25% every week
20 gallons12 or more20 gallons25% every week
30 gallons18 or more30 gallons25% every week
40 gallons24 or more40 gallons25% every week

When it comes to Zebra Danio, bigger is always better. They are active swimmers and need plenty of space to move around.

A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a small group of 5-6 fish.

However, if you can afford a larger tank, go for it! A 30-gallon tank or larger will give your fish plenty of room to swim and explore.


Zebras Danios prefer a well-lit aquarium with plenty of light.

However, direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can cause algae growth and temperature fluctuations.

A good quality aquarium light should be used to provide the necessary light for your fish and plants.

Filtration and Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining a healthy environment for your Zebra Danios.

A hang-on-back filter or canister filter is recommended for a 20-gallon tank or larger.

Aeration is also important, as it helps to oxygenate the water and keep it circulating. A simple air pump and air stone will suffice.


Zebra Danios are tropical fish and require a stable water temperature between 72-78°F.

A good quality aquarium heater is essential to maintain the proper temperature. It is recommended to use a heater with a thermostat to ensure consistent water temperature.


A fine-grained substrate such as sand or gravel is recommended for Zebra Danios.

Avoid using sharp or rough substrates, as they can damage the fish’s delicate barbels. A substrate depth of 2-3 inches is sufficient for a planted aquarium.


Decoration TypeBenefits
PlantsProvide hiding places and a natural environment
Rocks and cavesProvide hiding places and a stimulating environment
DriftwoodProvide a natural substrate for the tank

Zebra Danios enjoy having plenty of hiding places and areas to explore.

Decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and caves can provide these hiding spots. However, be careful not to overcrowd the tank with decorations, as this can limit swimming space.


Zebra Danios enjoy swimming through and hiding in plants.

Live plants such as Java Fern, Anubias, and Amazon Sword are great choices for a Zebra Danio aquarium. Artificial plants can also be used as a substitute.

Personally, I have found that my Zebra Danios love swimming through and playing in a small cave decoration that I have in my aquarium.

It’s always fun to watch them swim in and out of it. Just remember to choose decorations that are safe for your fish and won’t harm them.

Water Quality

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog 4

Ensuring the water quality is optimal is crucial for the health and survival of your Zebra Danio. Here are some key factors to consider:

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Zebra Danios is between 64°F and 75°F (18°C and 24°C).

I recommend using a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature and a heater to maintain the desired temperature. Fluctuations in temperature can cause stress and disease in your fish.

Water pH

Zebra Danios prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. It’s important to regularly test the pH level and adjust it if necessary, as sudden changes can harm your fish.

I recommend using a pH testing kit and adding pH adjusters gradually to avoid shocking your fish.

Water Hardness

Zebra Danios thrive in moderately hard water with a hardness level between 5 and 15 dGH. Soft water can cause stress and health problems, while very hard water can lead to mineral buildup and blockages in the fish’s organs.

You can test water hardness with a testing kit and adjust it with a water softener if necessary.

By maintaining the proper water temperature, pH level, and hardness, you can ensure your Zebra Danios are healthy and happy in their environment.

Remember to regularly test and monitor the water quality to prevent any issues from arising.

Personally, I once made the mistake of not checking the pH level of my aquarium water for weeks. I noticed my Zebra Danios were becoming lethargic and losing their color.

After testing the water, I discovered the pH level was too high. I quickly adjusted it and within a few days, my fish were back to their active and vibrant selves.

Water Changes

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog 5

Water changes are essential for maintaining a healthy environment for your Zebra Danios. I recommend changing 20-25% of the water in your tank every week.

This will help remove any excess waste and toxins that may have accumulated in the water.

When performing a water change, it is important to use a water conditioner to remove any chlorine or chloramine from the tap water.

I use Seachem Prime, which not only removes these harmful chemicals but also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite.

Before adding the new water to your tank, make sure it is the same temperature as the water in your tank. A sudden change in temperature can cause stress and even shock to your fish.

I recommend using a thermometer to ensure the water is within 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit of the tank water.

When adding the new water, pour it in slowly to avoid disturbing the substrate and plants in your tank. I use a gravel vacuum to remove any debris from the substrate while performing the water change.

This helps keep the tank clean and prevents any buildup of waste.

Remember, regular water changes are crucial for maintaining a healthy and thriving environment for your Zebra Danios.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your fish will live a long and happy life.


Feeding your zebra danios is an essential part of their care. Providing them with the right diet and feeding schedule will ensure their health and longevity.

Here are some tips on how to feed your zebra danios:


Food TypeFrequency
High-quality flakes or pelletsTwice a day
Live or frozen foodsOnce a week

Zebra danios are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal-based foods. In the wild, they feed on small insects, crustaceans, and plankton. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods, including:

  • Flake or pellet food
  • Frozen or live brine shrimp
  • Frozen or live bloodworms
  • Daphnia

It’s essential to provide your zebra danios with a balanced diet that includes protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.

A varied diet will also prevent boredom and ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Feeding Schedule

When it comes to feeding your zebra danios, it’s essential to follow a regular feeding schedule.

Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as obesity and bloating, while underfeeding can cause malnutrition and stunted growth.

I personally feed my zebra danios twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I give them only as much food as they can consume within a few minutes.

This helps to prevent overfeeding and ensures they receive the right amount of food.

It’s also essential to keep the water clean and free of excess food. Uneaten food can quickly decompose and lead to poor water quality, which can harm your zebra danios.

By following these feeding tips, you can ensure your zebra danios receive a balanced diet and stay healthy and happy.

Behavior and Compatibility


Zebra Danios are known for their active and playful behavior. They are a schooling fish, which means they prefer to be kept in groups of at least 6. When kept in a group, they will swim together, play and chase each other around the tank.

They are also very curious and will explore their environment, so make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots and plants for them to investigate.


Fish SpeciesCompatibility
CorydorasCompatible with zebra danios
Neon tetrasCompatible with zebra danios
GuppiesCompatible with zebra danios
Harlequin rasborasCompatible with zebra danios

Zebra Danios are generally peaceful and can coexist with other small, non-aggressive fish. They are not recommended to be kept with slow-moving or long-finned fish as they may nip at their fins.

Some good tankmates for Zebra Danios include other small schooling fish such as neon tetras, guppies, and platies. Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish such as cichlids or bettas.

How many Zebra Danios should be kept together?


As mentioned earlier, Zebra Danios are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6. Keeping them in smaller groups can cause stress and aggression.

The more Zebra Danios you have in a group, the more active and playful they will be. I personally keep a group of 12 in my 20-gallon tank, and they are always entertaining to watch.

In conclusion, Zebra Danios are a great addition to any community tank. They are active, playful, and easy to care for.

When kept in a group and provided with a suitable environment, they will thrive and provide you with hours of entertainment.

Health and Diseases

As a Zebra Danio owner, it is important to keep an eye on the health of your fish.

In this section, we will discuss the signs of illness, common diseases, and preventative measures you can take to ensure your fish stay healthy.

Signs of Illness

SymptomPossible Cause
LethargyPoor water quality, disease
Loss of appetitePoor water quality, disease
White spots on bodyIch or other parasitic infection
Red or inflamed gillsBacterial or fungal infection
Cloudy eyesBacterial or fungal infection

One of the first signs that your Zebra Danio may be ill is a change in behavior. If you notice your fish swimming slower than usual, hiding, or not eating, this could be a sign of illness.

Other signs to look out for include:

  1. Cloudy eyes
  2. White spots on the body
  3. Red streaks or patches on the body
  4. Swollen abdomen

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action quickly to prevent the illness from spreading to other fish in the tank.

Common Diseases

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog 2

There are several common diseases that Zebra Danios are susceptible to. One of the most common is Ich, which is caused by a parasite and results in white spots on the body. Other diseases to look out for include:

Fin RotDisintegrating finsAntibiotics
ColumnarisWhite spots on the bodyAntibiotics
DropsySwollen abdomenAntibiotics

Preventative Measures

The best way to keep your Zebra Danios healthy is to prevent diseases from occurring in the first place. Here are a few preventative measures you can take:

  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to the tank
  • Keep the tank clean and well-maintained
  • Avoid overfeeding your fish
  • Ensure the water temperature and pH levels are appropriate for Zebra Danios

By taking these preventative measures, you can help ensure that your Zebra Danios stay healthy and happy.

Personally, I once had a Zebra Danio that showed signs of Ich. I quickly quarantined the fish and treated it with medication, and was able to prevent the disease from spreading to the other fish in the tank. It’s important to act quickly when you notice any signs of illness in your fish.

Signs of a Healthy Zebra Danio

As a fish owner, it is important to know what signs to look for to ensure your zebra danios are healthy. Here are some indicators to keep an eye out for:

  1. Active swimming behavior: A healthy zebra danio is an active swimmer. They should be seen swimming around the tank most of the time.
  2. Clear eyes: The eyes of a healthy zebra danio should be clear and bright. If their eyes are cloudy or bulging, it may be a sign of illness.
  3. Colorful stripes: Zebra danios are known for their striking black and white stripes. A healthy zebra danio will have bright and defined stripes.
  4. Healthy fins: The fins of a healthy zebra danio should be intact and not frayed. If their fins appear damaged, it may be a sign of poor water quality or disease.

Personally, I have found that observing my zebra danios during feeding time is a great way to gauge their health. A healthy zebra danio will be eager to eat and will swim up to the surface to grab their food.

If you notice your zebra danios are not as enthusiastic during feeding time, it may be a sign that they are not feeling well.

Remember to keep a close eye on your zebra danios and take note of any changes in their behavior or appearance.

By doing so, you can catch any potential health issues early and ensure your zebra danios live a long and healthy life.

Signs of a Sick Zebra Danio

If you’re a new owner of Zebra Danios, it’s essential to understand the signs of a sick fish. Identifying and treating a sick Zebra Danio early can prevent the spread of disease and increase the chances of recovery.

Here are some common signs that your Zebra Danio may be unwell:

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Lethargy and inactivity
  3. Clamped fins
  4. Rapid breathing or gasping at the surface
  5. Unusual swimming behavior, such as swimming upside down or in circles
  6. Visible signs of external parasites or infections, such as white spots or red patches on the skin

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to take action quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to treat the fish.

When I first started keeping Zebra Danios, I noticed that one of my fish was swimming erratically and had clamped fins. I immediately tested the water parameters and found that the ammonia levels were high.

I performed a water change and added some aquarium salt to help reduce stress. Within a few hours, the fish was swimming normally again.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Keep your aquarium clean, feed your fish a balanced diet, and avoid overcrowding.

By following these simple steps, you can help keep your Zebra Danios healthy and happy.


Breeding zebra danios can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips on how to breed your zebra danios successfully.

Breeding Conditions

To encourage breeding, it’s important to create the right conditions for your zebra danios. They prefer a pH between 6.5 and 7.0 and a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure to provide plenty of hiding places for the female zebra danios to lay their eggs, such as plants or a breeding box.

How to Know if Zebra Danio is Pregnant

Zebra Danios Care Guide pet people blog

It can be difficult to tell if a zebra danio is pregnant, as they don’t have a visible belly like some other fish species.

However, if you notice a female zebra danio becoming rounder and more plump, it may be a sign that she is carrying eggs.

Spawning Process

When the female zebra danio is ready to lay her eggs, she will typically choose a hiding spot and lay the eggs on a flat surface.

The male zebra danio will then fertilize the eggs, and the process will repeat until all the eggs have been laid.

Fry Care

Once the eggs have been laid, it’s important to remove the adult zebra danios from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry.

The eggs will hatch in about 48 hours, and the fry will become free-swimming after about 5 days. At this point, you can start feeding them small amounts of baby brine shrimp or crushed flakes.

I remember my first time breeding zebra danios – it was such an exciting experience! Watching the eggs hatch and the fry grow was truly rewarding.

With the right conditions and care, you too can successfully breed your zebra danios.

Recommended Products:

  1. NICREW ClassicLED Plus Planted Aquarium Light – This aquarium light is a great option for providing the necessary light for your Zebra Danios and plants. It has adjustable brightness and color temperature, and can be used for both freshwater and planted aquariums.
  2. AquaClear Power Filter – This hang-on-back filter is a great option for a 20-gallon tank or larger. It has a multi-stage filtration system that includes mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration, and is easy to maintain and clean.
  3. Tetra Whisper Easy to Use Air Pump – This air pump is a simple and reliable option for providing aeration to your aquarium. It is quiet and has a low energy consumption.
  4. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – This aquarium heater is a great option for maintaining a stable water temperature for your Zebra Danios. It has an adjustable temperature range and a shatterproof glass construction.
  5. CaribSea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand – This fine-grained sand substrate is a great option for Zebra Danios. It is safe for fish and plants, and provides a natural look to your aquarium.
  6. Marina Decor Polyresin Cave – This decoration is a great option for providing hiding spots for your Zebra Danios. It is made of safe and non-toxic materials, and has a realistic look.
  7. Seachem Flourish Excel – This liquid fertilizer is a great option for promoting plant growth in your Zebra Danio aquarium. It provides essential nutrients for plants and helps to prevent algae growth.
  8. API Freshwater Master Test Kit – This testing kit is a great option for monitoring the water quality in your Zebra Danio aquarium. It includes tests for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and is easy to use.
  9. Omega One Freshwater Flakes – This flake food is a great option for providing a balanced diet for your Zebra Danios. It is made with high-quality ingredients and contains a variety of nutrients.


After spending countless hours researching and caring for my own zebra danios, I can confidently say that these little fish are a joy to have in any aquarium.

With their energetic personalities and striking black and white stripes, they are sure to be a standout in any tank.

But as with any pet, proper care is essential to ensure their health and happiness. From maintaining water quality to providing a balanced diet, there are many factors to consider when caring for zebra danios.

Through this ultimate care guide, we have covered everything you need to know to give your zebra danios the best possible care. From setting up their tank to addressing common health concerns, we have provided you with the knowledge and tools to keep your zebra danios thriving.

Remember, every zebra danio is unique and may require slight adjustments to their care routine.

But by staying attentive and implementing the tips and tricks we have provided, you can create a healthy and happy environment for your zebra danios to thrive in.

So go ahead and add some zebra danios to your aquarium, and enjoy the playful and energetic personalities they bring to your underwater world.


Here are some frequently asked questions about caring for Zebra Danios:

Q: How often should I feed my Zebra Danios?

A: Zebra Danios are active swimmers and have a fast metabolism. It is recommended to feed them small amounts of food multiple times a day, rather than one large feeding. I personally feed my Zebra Danios twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Q: What kind of food should I feed my Zebra Danios?

A: Zebra Danios are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They enjoy live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms, as well as flake or pellet food. It is important to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Q: How many Zebra Danios should I keep together?

A: Zebra Danios are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. Keeping them in larger groups will help reduce stress and promote natural behavior.

Q: What is the ideal water temperature for Zebra Danios?

A: Zebra Danios prefer water temperatures between 64-75°F (18-24°C). It is important to maintain a stable water temperature and avoid rapid changes to prevent stress and illness.

Q: Can Zebra Danios be kept with other fish?

A: Yes, Zebra Danios are peaceful fish and can be kept with other small, non-aggressive species. However, it is important to avoid keeping them with larger or aggressive fish that may bully or eat them.

Overall, Zebra Danios are easy to care for and make great additions to any aquarium. By providing them with a suitable environment and a varied diet, they will thrive and bring joy to any fish keeper.

Personal Anecdote: I remember when I first added Zebra Danios to my aquarium. Watching them swim and play together was mesmerizing and quickly became a favorite pastime of mine. They have since become a staple in my aquarium and I enjoy their active and playful personalities.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts