The Zebra Danio belongs to the family Cyprinidae and originates in the eastern region of India, from where it was imported in 1905, it has been kept and bred by aquarists ever since.
One of the heartiest and best-known of all aquarium fish, the Zebra Fish or Zebra Danio is an active, rapid swimmer who generally remains near the top of the aquarium. The Zebra schools very easily, and groups of five or more are quite an attractive sight. Actually, the term “Zebra” is a misnomer, since the fish has horizontal rather than vertical stripes and blue and gold stripes down the body, not white and black, and the name Danio is also incorrect, since it is a member of the Brachydanio family.
But it is such a great aquarium fish we over look the popular name as just another little piece of tropical fish trivia! The Zebra Danio is so hardy and prolific, endures so wide a temperature range is at once so peaceable and vigorously quick and active, and so showy that it is a particularly desirable fish for the home aquarium, and is especially recommended for the inexperienced aquarist wishing an entry level breeding project. Almost nobody can fail to succeed with it!
Less than 2 inches long, this fish is a native of the northeastern section of India and of Ceylon. A portion of dry food is satisfactory for the Zebra, but for best color and health, an occasional portion or live or frozen food is recommended. You can feed this fish once a day or 4 times a day, although only feed it what it can eat in a very short time, because if the food falls to the bottom, Zebras will not retrieve it, they do not eat off the bottom as a rule. This species feeds almost exclusively on the surface, so floating foods are
There is a single difficulty in breeding the Zebra Danio, a difficulty common to most of the carps. That is the disposition to eat their own spawn. The female darts madly across the tank, scattering eggs to right and left, and stooping to swallow them, if she can, before they can sink to the bottom. The breeder must find means to circumvent this habit. As we described earlier, 2 layers of marbles and no more than 4-6 inches of water over the marbles solves this problem! This means that the eggs have a shorter distance to sink in order to reach the bottom of the tank, where they slip between the marbles and are safe from hungry mouths.
The adults should of course be removed from the breeding tank as soon as they have spawned. They swim so rapidly that they are hard to net, and may actually jump right out of the tank while you are trying to net them, but it is necessary to separate them from the eggs and fry. The adult Zebra Danio do not attend to the eggs and young fry in any way; they pay no attention to them except to eat them!
It requires only about 48-72 hours for the eggs to hatch at a temperature of 75F-80F, which is the most satisfactory breeding temperature as well. It will be about 5 days from the breeding process when you see the minute fry (they resemble a whisker or sliver of black dust) will be seen darting about and gathering in the corners of the breeding tank. Aeration is necessary at this point. Start feeding the Zebra Danio fry infusoria and in a few days supplement that with commercial powered growth food.
As soon as the fry will accept it, in about a week to 10 days, start them on baby brine shrimp. The Zebra Danio fry grow very quickly and will be up to an inch long in about 6 weeks, if you feed them small amounts 4-6 times a day. After 2 weeks, 10% water changes should be made while slowly raising the level up to the capacity of the tank. Remember to cover the tank with a screen or aquarium hood, as these little fish are jumpers, even as Halflings! A school of young Zebra Danios swimming in fast formation is a glorious sight; enjoy the results of this fascinating breeding project!