Danios are a species of freshwater minnow fish that prefer the company of others when in captivity. They’re active, peaceful and hardy – making them a favorite choice among aquarium hobbyists. With their wide range of colors and patterns, they add visual interest to any community tank. But how many different types are there, you may ask? The answer is:
There are countless types of danio fish. The 5 most popular danio choices for freshwater aquariums include zebra danios, spotted danios, giant danios, celestial pearl danios, and white cloud mountain minnows. Other varieties include electric green danios, cross banded danios, gold ring danios, blue danios, rosy or pink danios, red danios, longfin danios, leopard danios, malabar danios, yoma danios, etc.
Now that you know there are many types of danios that can be kept in a freshwater aquarium, let’s explore the top 5 picks in more detail. I’ll also explain how many danio fish can be kept together, the best choices for a 5- or 10-gallon tank, and which species can live together peacefully in community tank environment.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about the ever popular and easy to care for danio fish, then please read onward…
What are the Different Types of Danio Fish?
There are endless options when it comes to types of danio fish. With so many varieties to choose from, deciding which ones are best suited for your freshwater tank can be a challenge. The 5 most popular types among aquarium hobbyists include the following:
Zebra danios or zebrafish are easily the most popular and recognizable species of danio fish. They’re highly active and get along well with other types of danios as well as different fish of like size and temperament. They mate for life and often will not pair up again should they lose their companion.
Zebrafish grow to a length of 2 inches and live for 5 years, on average. They like to swim about and chase each other in an aquarium. Therefore, they need at least a 10-gallon tank with a temperature between 68- and 74-degrees Fahrenheit and a pH range of 6.5 to7.0.
Spotted danios are a type of dwarf danio and cousin to the zebrafish. They enjoy swimming around and through vegetation therefore, a heavily planted tank is recommended for this species. They’re peaceful in nature and get along well other kinds of danio fish.
Spotted danios rarely grow larger than an inch in length. Due to their small size, they can easily be kept in a 5-gallon planted tank – provided you have no more than 5. They thrive in temperatures between 74- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level of 6.5 through 7.0.
Giant danios are the largest species of danio fish and reach lengths upwards of 4 inches. They should be kept in a large aquarium with others of their kind. In a community tank environment, they do well with other fish of similar size and temperament, such peaceful cichlids including angelfish and discus fish.
Giant danios need a big, planted tank – 30 gallons or greater. They live approximately 5 years and prefer the company of other danio fish when in captivity. The temperature of the water should be somewhere between 72- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit with a higher pH ranging from 6.8 to 7.5.
Celestial Pearl Danios
Pearl danios are tolerant of a wide range of water conditions, making them ideal for a community tank. Hardy and easy to care for, they’re perfect for beginner hobbyists. They should be kept in schools of 5 or more with other peaceful, like-sized fish.
Pearl danios like to swim about freely and their active nature demands a larger tank (20-gallons or more). Like other danio fish, they usually live about 5 years and can survive in lower temperatures ranging from 64- to 74- degrees Fahrenheit. The pH of the water is best anywhere between 6.5 and 7.0.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows
White cloud minnows or Chinese danios and sometimes referred to as ‘the poor man’s tetra fish’ since they’re cheaper to purchase and easier to maintain. They prefer to be kept in groups of 5 or more and will do well in a community tank environment with other fish of like size and demeanor.
White cloud minnows like cooler water and can kept in a tank without a heater, making them the perfect choice for a smaller, 10-gallon tank. They’ll thrive in temperatures between 64- and 72-degrees Fahrenheit and can withstand a wider pH range – anywhere from 6.0 to 8.0.
*While not as common as the 5 listed above, other types of danio fish that can be found in captivity include electric green danios, cross banded danios, gold ring danios, blue danios, rosy (pink) danios, red danios, longfin danios, leopard danios, malabar danios and yoma danios.
Are Glofish a Type of Danio?
Glofish (or glow light danios) are a trademarked and genetically modified version of the zebrafish. They were created over 20 years by scientists in Singapore who were determined to create the first glow-in-the-dark aquarium fish.
Glofish today come in a wide variety of colors and are ‘born bright’ – meaning they’re bred from the offspring of zebra danios that were once injected with fluorescent green proteins found naturally in marine jellyfish – think electric green danio – and maintain their iridescent vibrancy for life.
How Many Danios should be Kept Together?
As a type of shoaling fish, they require the company of others of their own kind to thrive in a captive environment. Their highly social nature and need for companionship demands they be kept in groups of at least 5 (1 male and 4 females, whenever possible) or more, depending on the size of your tank.
Can all Types of Danios Live Together?
All species of danio fish can live harmoniously together in a community tank environment. They must be kept in like groups of at least 5 or more. If you want to keep more than one kind of danio in the same aquarium, then you’ll need at least 5 of each type – not just 5 in total. Keeping anything less than 5 will only increase stress and aggression in this otherwise peaceful fish.
What Types of Danios are Best for a 5-Gallon Tank?
Only the smallest species of danio fish should be kept in a small 5-gallon tank and that’s the spotted danio. Since they don’t grow any larger than an inch in length, you can easily keep 5 (1 male and 4 females) in a 5-gallon planted aquarium.
What Types of Danios are Best for a 10-Gallon Tank?
Most species of danio fish can be kept in a 10-gallon tank. The only one that’s not recommended for this size of aquarium is the giant danio. Since it reaches lengths of up to 4 inches, this species needs a much larger tank, preferably a 30-gallon aquarium or even bigger.
What Types of Danios can be Kept with Giant Danios?
Giant danios are unlike other types of danios in that they’re so much larger! They grow to twice the size (or more) of most danio fish and therefore have different requirement when it comes to tank size as well as possible tankmates.
While smaller danios do well with mollies, platies, tetras, and swordtails, giant danios should be kept with bigger fish of similar size and temperament including docile cichlids like angelfish and discus fish. Loaches, cory catfish, and rasboras also make great tankmates for giant danios.
To conclude, there are countless species of danio fish. The 5 most popular types for freshwater aquariums are zebra danios, spotted danios, giant danios, celestial pearl danios and white cloud mountain minnows.
Other varieties typically found in captivity include electric green danios, cross banded danios, gold ring danios, blue danios, rosy or pink danios, red danios, longfin danios, leopard danios, malabar danios, yoma danios, and more.
I hope this article has provided you with interesting information (and answered your questions as well) regarding types of danio fish. Thanks for reading and best of luck with your aquarium hobby.