Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) have been a popular mainstay within the aquarium hobby for decades due to a combination of their attractive striped pattern, ease of care, active swimming style and widespread availability. They originate from the streams and tributaries of the mountains of Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. However, they are now primarily raised on commercial fish farms in order to supply the demand from the aquarium hobby. Zebra Danio are excellent for beginning hobbyists due to their hardy nature, ability to tolerate a wide range of water parameters and overall ease of care and feeding. They are also popular because of their active swimming style and attractive striping. A group or small school of Zebra Danio swimming in and out of the plants or other aquarium decor is a very attractive sight to behold. Their small size and peaceful demeanor makes the Zebra Danio ideal for peaceful community aquariums, planted aquariums and nano or pico table top aquariums.
The natural habitat of the Zebra Danio varies depending on seasonal rains as they spend the dry season in larger streams and tributaries, while venturing out into floodplains and smaller water ways during the wet season. They do not have specific aquarium decor requirements, but will appreciate the presence of plants, driftwood, rocks and other similar decor in order to give them someplace to retreat when threatened. Zebra Danio have only basic needs when it comes to filtration and water movement, with any aquarium designed to house tropical community fish being suitable. Tank mates should include other peaceful to semi-aggressive fish species that are not large enough to consider the Zebra Danio as food. Zebra Danio school in nature, thus they prefer to be kept in groups of 8 or more individuals. They will typically live longer if kept in groups or small schools and are generally considered more interesting to watch while swimming in tight groups.
Being a omnivorous species the Zebra Danio needs a varied diet containing both meaty and vegetable matter. In the wild they are considered a micro predator since they prey on small insect larvae, crustaceans and other small invertebrates. They also consume algae and plant matter by picking at vegetation and decaying material on the substrate. Zebra Danio are very easy to feed in the aquarium environment and will readily consume a very wide variety of commercial foods. Their staple diet should consist of quality flake foods, freeze-dried foods, blood worms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp along with some frozen foods designed for tropical omnivores. They should be fed a couple of times per day an amount of food that they will consume within a couple of minutes.