Can Guppies Live with Zebra Danios?

Aquarium enthusiasts are always on the lookout for interesting and diverse fish options that can share a tank in harmony. But choosing the right combination of fish can be a challenge, as it requires careful consideration of several factors, such as water requirements, diet, size, and behavior.

This page may contain affiliate links, which will earn us a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Two of the more popular species are guppies and zebra danios, but can they coexist peacefully in the same aquarium?

Differences and Similarities

Guppies and zebra danios are two small fish species that may not look that different at first glance. Both species measure around 2.5 inches in length and prefer similar water conditions. They are both friendly and peaceful by nature, which bodes well for their shared environment.

However, there is a potential problem that stems from zebra danios’ inquisitive and spiky personalities. These fish are known to nip at the fins of other fish, particularly those with large and flowing fins, such as angelfish, bettas, and, of course, guppies.

This behavior can cause stress in guppies, making them hide and suppress their immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to infections, parasites, and diseases.

Here is a quick comparison of guppies and zebra danios:

Characteristic Guppies Zebra Danios
Size 2.5 inches 2.5 inches
Temperament Friendly and peaceful Friendly and peaceful, but may nip fins
Water temperature 72-82°F 60-74°F
Tank size Minimum of 2 gallons per fish Minimum of 2 gallons per fish
Water level Mid-to-top tank area Top swimmers
Diet Omnivorous (prefer flakes and pellets) Omnivorous (prefer flakes and pellets)
Group size Minimum of 6 individuals (preferably more females than males) Minimum of 5-6 individuals
Breeding habits Don’t display parental instincts Monogamous mating habits; lay eggs on the substrate

Optimal Living Conditions

To ensure success in pairing guppies with zebra danios, aquarium keepers should provide optimal living conditions for both species. One of the most important factors to consider is tank size.

A larger tank is necessary when accommodating two species to avoid overcrowding and potential aggressive behavior. It is recommended to provide at least 20-30 gallons of space for five or more individuals of each species.

Water temperature is another vital factor to consider. Guppies prefer warm tropical environments, with temperatures ranging between 72 to 82 °F, while zebra danios’ optimal range is 60 to 74°F.

Although they can adapt to each other’s temperatures, they may not be entirely comfortable, leading to stress and disease over time. Therefore, it is best to choose fish that have similar temperature preferences.

Feeding habits are also an essential aspect to consider, especially when keeping two different species in the same aquarium. Both guppies and zebra danios are omnivorous and feed at the water’s surface. Competition for food could arise, causing aggression and stress. It is recommended to feed the fish in separate areas of the tank to avoid such scenarios.

Finally, when it comes to the number of fish, it is best to keep at least six individuals of each species. For guppies, no more than one male is recommended per group. Conversely, for zebra danios, it is safe to keep ten individuals, considering their tight sense of community.

However, it is crucial to note that zebra danios eat baby guppies, so it is best to provide a separate breeding tank if you plan on raising guppy fry.

Compatibility Concerns

While guppies and zebra danios share certain similarities, their differences in water temperature requirements make their cohabitation somewhat problematic. Finding a middle ground that ensures both species’ comfort and health is impossible.

Therefore, the pairing may result in some life losses among the fish, making it unfavorable. It is better to pair zebra danios with more compatible species such as barbs, gourami, loaches, swordtails, or Corydoras.


Pairing guppies with zebra danios can be an interesting option for aquarium enthusiasts seeking a harmonious community environment. However, it requires careful consideration of several factors such as water requirements, diet, size, and behavior.

While both species share similar characteristics, their differences in temperature requirements make their cohabitation problematic, making it better to pair them with more compatible species.

Aquarium enthusiasts should aim to provide the best living conditions for their fish to create a healthy, diverse, and peaceful community.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *