The zebra fish (Danio rerio) is a small tropical fish native to rivers and streams in Southeast Asia. Peaceful by nature, it thrives well in planted community aquariums. Common color strains display metallic blue horizontal stripes on an iridescent silver-gold background. Selective breeding has yielded other color morphs including yellow, albino, and long-fin varieties.
Introducing the Zebra Fish
- Origin: Native to streams and rice paddies in eastern India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.
- Size: Grows up to 2 inches long. Slim, laterally compressed body shape.
- Lifespan: 4-5 years is common. Some live close to 10 years in optimal tank conditions.
- Temperament: Very peaceful and ideal for community tanks with similarly sized species. Best kept in schools of 5+.
- Appearance: Torpedo-shaped silver body with several bright blue/black horizontal stripes running the body length. Prominent anal fin positioned mid-body for fast darting.
- Popular Varieties: Common zebra, albino, leopard, long-fin, golden, glowlight zebra fish.
- Price: $3-5 per fish. Groups of 6 can be purchased for $15-25 total.
Habitat and Tank Requirements
- Natural Habitat: Heavily vegetated freshwater streams, rice paddies and slow moving tributaries.
- Tank Size: 10 gallon or larger tank recommended.
- Water Parameters: 74-82°F water temperature. Neutral pH of 6.5-7.5. Soft water with moderate hardness.
- Tank Setup: Planted tank with smooth gravel substrate, floating plants, almond leaves and caves/rock structures. Low flow filtration preferred.
- Diet: Omnivorous; small live foods, protein-rich flakes/pellets, plant matter, insect larvae.
- Feeding Habits: Forage constantly at all levels of the tank. Quickly consume foods.
- Suitable Foods: Micro pellets, brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, infusoria, vegetable matter.
- Reproduction: Egg scattering species. No parental care. Breeding triggered by rainfall and light cycles.
- Breeding Requirements: Condition with high quality foods. Set up spawning tank with marbles or mesh bottom. Dim lighting and warmer water temperature.
- Spawning Process: During spawning embrace, females release up to 200 eggs which settle into the substrate. Males follow to fertilize. Eggs hatch in 1-3 days, fry become free swimming a few days after.
Common Health Issues
Prone to ich infestation and flukes when stressed. Bacterial infections also possible with poor water conditions. Overbreeding leads to genetic issues. Sensitive to toxins. Quarantine new arrivals. Perform regular partial water changes and tank maintenance. Add aquarium salt and raise temperature to treat ich. Use medications to address bacterial infections promptly. Cull or separate diseased fish.
- Compatibility: Peaceful community species like tetras, rasboras, cory catfish, small livebearers.
- Special Care: Sensitive to water parameter fluctuations. Have backup air pump in case of pump failure.
- Legal Restrictions: None.
Tetras, white cloud minnows, rasboras, danios, corydoras catfish, otocinclus, kuhli loaches, dwarf gouramis, small barbs, small shrimp, snails.
Males are slimmer and may show brighter coloration. Females are plumper with silvery white abdomen, especially when gravid with eggs.
How many species of Zebra fish freshwater?
There is one recognized species, Danio rerio. Many new selectively bred color and fin morphs continue to appear through specialized breeding.
How to feed Zebra fish freshwater to make their color brighter?
Offer a mixture of quality flakes and pellets with occasional frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms and daphnia to bring out their best coloration.
How Big do Zebra fish freshwater Grow?
Average adult size is 2 inches long. Selectively bred giant danios can reach closer to 3 inches.
How fast do Zebra fish freshwater grow?
They grow relatively fast, reaching max size within 5-7 months if given optimal tank conditions.
How long do Zebra fish freshwater live?
Average reported lifespan is 4-5 years. Some have lived nearly 10 years in well maintained home aquariums. Proper care is key to maximizing lifespan.
How to take care of Zebra fish freshwater?
Give them a sufficiently large, fully cycled tank with smooth gravel substrate and plenty of planting. Perform regular water testing and partial water changes. Feed a varied diet with proper nutritional balance
Which food products are the best for Zebra fish freshwater?
Hikari Micropellets, Cobalt Aquatics Vibra Bites, Fluval Bug Bites for small fish. Feed a mixture plus supplemented live foods.
Is good to keep Zebra fish freshwater as pets?
Yes, Zebra fish are very popular freshwater pets. Hardier than neon tetras, and their horizontal stripes and social schooling make them fun to watch. They spawn often if happy.
Why my Zebra fish freshwater die?
Common reasons include poor water quality, introduction of disease from new fish or plants, aggression from inappropriate tank mates. Maintain excellent water conditions and quarantine new additions.
Are Zebra fish freshwater aggressive?
Generally very peaceful toward other fish. Males may spar over breeding rights. Schooling species that should be kept in groups to reduce stress and aggression.
Do Zebra fish freshwater kill other fish?
Healthy zebra fish are unlikely to harm other inhabitants. However, stressed, diseased, or dying fish can possibly nip the fins and tails of slower moving tankmates. Maintain their health through pristine tank conditions.
As a professional aquarist, you might be looking for a website that can help you with your aquaristic needs. You might want to find information about different species of FreshWater Fish, SaltWater Fish, plants, corals, and invertebrates, as well as their care Equipment, compatibility, and behavior. You might also want to learn about the best equipment, products, and techniques for setting up and maintaining your aquariums. You might also want to connect with other aquarists and share your Diseases & Cures experiences, tips, and photos.