Spotted danio Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 15, 2022

The spotted danio is a beautiful and fun freshwater fish that is perfect for beginner aquarium hobbyists.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about spotted danio care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Spotted Danios (Danio rerio) are a freshwater fish that is found in a variety of different habitats throughout South and Southeast Asia.

They prefer to live in slow-moving waters with plenty of vegetation. This could be anything from ponds and lakes to marshes and wetlands.

Danios are a schooling fish, which means they like to live in groups. In the wild, they can often be found in schools of hundreds or even thousands of fish!

They are a very popular aquarium fish because they are very easy to care for and are compatible with a wide variety of other fish.


Spotted danio

The Spotted Danio is a small but beautiful freshwater fish. The first thing you’ll notice about them is their coloration.

These fish have a pale yellow base color that is dotted with large black spots. The spots are relatively uniform in size and are spread out evenly over their bodies.

The spots on their dorsal fins are a bit larger than the spots on the rest of their body.

The Spotted Danio has a very thin and long body shape. This gives them a lot of surface area to show off their spots!

They have a small dorsal fin that is located about two-thirds of the way back on their body. This fin is tall and thin with a slightly rounded tip.

Their anal fin is located just behind the dorsal fin and is roughly the same size and shape.

The pectoral fins of the Spotted Danio are small and located just behind the head.

The caudal fin is forked and symmetrical.

The Spotted Danio is a very active fish that loves to swim! They are constantly on the move and exploring their surroundings.


Spotted danio have a lifespan of 3-5 years. However, their lifespan in captivity can be significantly shorter if they are not properly cared for.

The main factor that determines how long a spotted danio will live is the quality of the water they are in. These fish are very sensitive to water quality and even small changes can cause stress which can lead to illness and early death.

It’s important to regularly test the water in your tank and to do water changes as needed to keep the water quality high. This will help your spotted danio live a long and healthy life.


Spotted danios only grow to be about 2.5 inches long.


Tank Size

The recommended tank size for Spotted Danio is 10 gallons. This is the minimum tank size we would recommend but, as with most fish, the bigger the tank the better.

Another reason to consider a larger tank is that these fish like to school. It’s best to keep them in a group of at least 5 fish but, the more the merrier. If you plan on keeping a school of these fish, you’ll need an additional 2 to 3 gallons of water per fish.

Water Parameters

Danio love moving water, so a filter is a must. Be sure to use an appropriately sized filter for your tank. A good rule of thumb is to choose a filter that can turn the tank volume over at least 4 times per hour.

As for water parameters, these fish are pretty adaptable. They’re found in a wide range of habitats in the wild, from fast-moving rivers to stagnant ponds.

With that said, they do prefer slightly cooler water. The ideal temperature range for spotted danios is 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

pH levels can vary quite a bit in the wild, so these fish are pretty tolerant of different conditions. They do prefer neutral to slightly acidic water, with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5.

Water hardness is also a non-issue for spotted danios. They can tolerate anything from soft to hard water.

  • Water temperature: 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Water hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Spotted Danios are one of the easiest fish to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginner aquarists.

When it comes to setting up their tank, there aren’t too many things you need to worry about.

The substrate can be anything you want, although we prefer sand since it’s softer on their delicate fins.

As for plants, these fish are known to nibble on them from time to time. If you want to include plants in their habitat, we recommend going with something that can withstand a little bit of damage (like Hornwort or Water Wisteria).

When it comes to decorations, rocks and driftwood are always a good choice. Just make sure that any rocks you use are smooth (no sharp edges that can tear their fins).

Caves and hiding places are also a good idea since these fish like to have somewhere to hide when they’re feeling stressed.

Common Diseases

The spotted danio is a hardy fish that is relatively resistant to disease. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to everything.

The most common illness that these fish experience is ich. This is a parasites that will attach itself to the skin of your fish and cause white spots to form.

If left untreated, ich can be deadly. However, it’s relatively easy to treat if you catch it early.

The best way to prevent your fish from getting sick is to maintain a clean and stable environment. This will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy and happy.

Behavior & Temperament

Spotted Danios are very peaceful fish and make great tank mates for other similar species. They’re known to be social creatures that enjoy being in groups. In the wild, they’re often found in large schools.

Danios are known to be great jumpers, so it’s important to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium. They’re not trying to escape, they just get excited and jump out of the water when they see something they want to investigate.

These fish are relatively active and enjoy swimming around the tank. They’re not shy, so you’ll often see them near the front of the aquarium exploring their surroundings.

Spotted Danios are easy to care for and make a great addition to any community tank.

Tank Mates

The spotted danio is a peaceful and social creature. In the wild, these fish live in large schools. So, it’s only natural that they do well in a community tank.

Spotted danios are also relatively small. This makes them less likely to be targeted by larger or more aggressive fish.

Here are some compatible tank mates for spotted danios:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Zebrafish


Spotted danios are one of the easiest fish to breed in captivity. They don’t have any specific requirements and will often spawn without any intervention.

The first step is to sex the fish. males are smaller and have more pronounced dorsal fins. Females, on the other hand, are larger and rounder.

Once you’ve sexed the fish, you can put them in a breeding tank. The tank should hold at least 10 gallons of water. It should also have a lot of plants.

Spawning usually happens in the morning. The female will lay hundreds of eggs on the plants. The male will then fertilize them.

After spawning, it’s best to remove the adults. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. The fry will feed on the algae in the tank. You can supplement their diet with baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food.


The Spotted Danio is a beautiful, peaceful fish that is perfect for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. They are easy to care for and make a great addition to any community tank.

If you are looking for a fish that is easy to care for and is sure to add some extra beauty to your tank, the Spotted Danio is the perfect choice for you!