18 Beautiful Danio Types That Will Blow Your Mind

The danio genus is a type of freshwater fish that come from South and Southeast Asia. 

Actually, the first time I saw them was when I was buying my very first aquarium. The shopkeeper recommended them as good “starter fish” for their easy maintenance.

I have kept danio fish off and on over the years and they are still one of my favorites! In this article, I will share with you some of the different types of danio fish that are available.

1. Zebra Danios

The Zebra Danios get their name from the horizontal black and yellowish-silver stripes that run down their heads to their tails.

In the wild, they reside in many different types of ecosystems, from murky freshwater ponds to swiftly moving rivers in the mountains.

Zebra Danios Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio rerio
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Fish Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Breeding Difficulty: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Common
  • Community Tank: At least 5 or more
  • Aquarium Level: Upper levels

2. Spotted Danios

Spotted danios got their name from the spots that cover their bodies and shine brightly. 

Although they are related to zebrafish and other dwarf danios, their unique coloration sets them apart.

Spotted Danios Characteristics

  • Origin: Myanmar
  • Size: One inch
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Tank Size: 5 gallons
  • Temperature: 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Level: 6.5-7.0.
  • Planted tank suitability: Common
  • Community Tank:  A large school of 6 or more
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Cory Catfish, Glowlight Danios, and Small Tetras

3. Giant Danios

Giant danios are the largest variant of the danio species, and they can grow up to 4 inches long.

At first glance, they may appear to be a bland color. However, upon further inspection, their beauty is revealed as they have pale bodies with delicate light blue accents.

Giant Danios Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio aequipinnatus
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 4 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: India, Nepal
  • Temperature: 72-75°F
  • pH: 6.0-7.0
  • Breeding Difficulty: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Common
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Angelfish and discus fish

4. Celestial Pearl Danios

Celestial pearl danios are a new species to the freshwater aquarium hobby in recent years, nearly driving them to extinction shortly after their discovery in 2006.

These hardy fish originate from a particular ecosystem at high altitudes in Hopong, Burma.

Since their spotted trout-like appearance has made them a popular and costly staple of planted aquariums.

Celestial Pearl Danios Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio margaritatus
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Fish Size: 1 inch
  • Life Span: 5 years
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Burma
  • Temperature: 65-80°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to breed: Moderate
  • Planted tank suitability: Common
  • Community Tank: From 6 to 20 species

5. White Cloud Mountain Minnows

White cloud minnows are sometimes called “the poor man’s tetra fish” due to their low prices and easy care.

These aquarium fish are cold-water species that can survive in an aquarium without a heater, making it the ideal choice for a beginning fish keeper.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows

  • Common Names: Chinese danios
  • Price: Very cheap
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Tank Size: 10-gallon tank
  • Temperature: 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Level: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Community Tank: 5 fish or more

6. Glowlight Danio

The Glowlight Danio has a bright yellow body with vertical blue stripes and a pink stripe that leads to its tail.

Although they are much smaller than the other types of danios on this list, these danios are more pricy due to their unique coloring.

They are so shy so ensure that there is more than enough hiding space for them to breed. A mixture of gravel and aquatic plants will usually suffice.

Glowlight Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Celestichthys choprae
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 1.5 inches
  • Minimum Danio Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Myanmar
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH Level: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to Breed: Easy
  • Planted Tank Suitability: Common

8. Gold Longfin Danio

The gold longfin danio gets its name from its bright yellow body with white markings and noticeable long fins.

Gold Longfin Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio rerio
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Eastern India
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to Breed: Easy
  • Planted Tank Suitability: Common

9. Gold Ring Burmese Danio

Gold ring danios are easy to identify by their black spots against a pale yellow body, as well as an opaque white abdomen.

They have the same behaviors and care requirements as zebra danios, but they are slightly smaller.

Although this inch difference might not seem like a lot to you, it makes these tiny fish more susceptible to bullying and strong water currents.

In addition, these fish species do well with other fish of danios types and slow-swimming fish in freshwater tanks.

Gold Ring Burmese Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio tinwini
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Myanmar
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to breed: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Common

10. Pearl Danio

The pearl danio is a pale, iridescent fish. Though they might not be the most vibrant species on this list, their refined beauty stands out in any well-planted aquarium.

Pearl Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Brachydanio albolineatus
  • Common Names: Blue danio and turquoise danio
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Myanmar, Sumatra
  • Temperature: 73-77°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to Breed: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Common

11. Leopard Danio

Although the leopard danio fish looks very similar to the gold ring Burmese danio, they are not related.

These active fish have slightly more smooth bodies and very small blue-black spots on a light yellow base. Also, some of these spots spread onto the fins.

Leopard Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio Frankie
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: India
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to breed: Easy
  • Planted tank suitability: Common

12.GloFish Danio

The GloFish is a brightly colored variety of danio. This fish has been passed down through the generations and is owned by the GloFish corporation, thus it is illegal to cultivate them.

However, they are readily available in most aquarium shops and add a little fun and flair to your blacklight freshwater tank.

GloFish Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio rerio
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Adult Size: 2.5 inches
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Origin: Captive-bred
  • Temperature: 64-75°F
  • pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Difficulty to Breed: Not permissible
  • Planted tank suitability: Common

13. Blue Danio (Kerri)

The blue danio is a highly popular fish due to its easy maintenance, especially among inexperienced aquarists.

These schooling fish live in streams and pools located on the Malay Peninsula. Due to their need for clean water, it’s important to have proper filtration and do weekly water changes.

Blue Danio characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio Kerri
  • Origin: the Malay Peninsula
  • Care level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color: Variable, silvery coloration with gold lines that run along the body
  • Lifespan: 6 to years
  • Size: Up to 2 inches
  • Temperature: 73 to 77°F
  • pH Level: 5 to 7
  • Tank size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Community Tank: 6 fish or more

14. Black-Barred Danio

The black-barred danio fish has a grayish-brown coloration and dramatic vertical black stripes across its body.

They are peaceful and energetic, but they don’t get along with nervous, slow-swimming fish in a tank.

Even though black-barred danios are hardy and easy to care for,  finding these fish in pet stores is difficult.

Black-Barred Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific Name: Danio absconditus
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color: Gray-brown with black bars
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: Up to 3 inches
  • Temperature: 64 to 79°F
  • pH Level: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Tank Capacity: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Community Tank: 10 fish or more

15. Mustached Danio

The mustachioed danio has snakeskin patterns and iridescent scales, earning its name from the unusually long barbels.

They inhabit the clear mountain streams of Southeast Asia in the wild. 

To mimic their natural habitat, provide them with plenty of rocks and hiding places in the aquarium.

Also, they are active jumpers, so make sure to have a tight-fitting lid on the tank.

Mustached Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific name: Danio dangila
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Care level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color: Silver, brown, snakeskin patterning
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Size: Up to 4 inches
  • Temperature: 60 to 75°F
  • pH Level: 6.5 to 7.5
  • Tank Capacity: 20 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Community Tank: 6 fish or more

16. Panther Danio

The panther danio is a torpedo-shaped fish with transparent fins and iridescent scales. Their scales produce lovely rainbow hues when viewed under the light.

In their natural habitat, they prefer clear forest streams with moderate flow and a rocky riverbed.

In addition, they are social and peaceful fish, making them great dither fish since they make other timid fish feel more secure.

However, panther danios are fin nippers, so you should keep them away from exotic long-finned fish.

Panther Danio Characteristics

  • Scientific name: Danio aesculapian
  • Care level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color: Silver, iridescent, snake-like markings
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Size: Up to 1.7 inches
  • Temperature: 72 to 80°F
  • pH Level: 6.8 to 7.2
  • Tank size: 10 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivore

17. Bengal Danio (Devario Devario)

The Bengal danio shares a similar body type to the zebra danio, but their scales are thinner and the yellow spots on their bodies stand out more.

Additionally, their bodies are olive green overall with streaks of reddish-brown running down each side.

Bengal Danio Characteristics

  • Origin: India and Bangladesh
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Colors:  olive green overall, with streaks of reddish-brown

18. Malabar Danio (Devario Malabaricus)

The Malabar danio is similar to the zebra danio in appearance, but they have more muted coloration and a mottled pattern all over their body rather than stripes.

A plus, they are characterized by their dark green bodies and bronze or gold hues along their sides.

Malabar Danio Characteristics

  • Origin: Western coast of India and Sri Lanka
  • Color: Dark green body and bronze or gold hues along its sides
  • Tank Capacity: At least 20 gallons
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Diet: Varied ( they can eat live, frozen, or prepared foods)

FAQs

How Many Danios Should be Kept Together?

Danio fish are highly social so you should keep them in groups of at least 5 (1 male and 4 females, whenever feasible) or more, depending on the size of your tank.

Can all Types of Danios Live Together?

All species of danio fish can live together in a peaceful way, with the proper tank setup and maintenance.

What Types of Danios Are Best for a 5-Gallon Tank?

The spotted danio can live in a 5-gallon tank. Since they do not grow longer than an inch in length.

What Types of Danios Are Best for a 5-Gallon Tank?

The spotted danio can live in a 5-gallon tank. Since they do not grow longer than an inch in length.

What Types of Danios Are Best for a 10-Gallon Tank?

Most danio species can do well in a 10-gallon tank. The only exception might be the giant danio since they can grow up to 4 inches in length.

What Types of Danios Can Live With Giant Danios?

The Giant danios grow considerably larger than other kinds! 

They grow to twice the size (or more) of most danio fish, requiring different tank requirements and tankmates.

Some compatible tankmates for giant danios include:

  • Angelfish
  • Discus fish
  • Loaches
  • Cory catfish
  • Rasboras

Can Different Types of Danio Breed?

Danios can be bred with genetic modifications. For example, some species like Zebra Danios breed with their subspecies (Leopard Danios).

However, crossbreeding usually isn’t recommended because it leads to infertility and reduces the lifespan of Danios.

Last Words

Danios species come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. They are social creatures that do well in schools and make great additions to any community tank.

When choosing the right type of danio for your tank, be sure to consider the size of your fish, the size of your tank, and the other fish you already have.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the different types of danios. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!

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