Zebra Danios are cool animals that you can easily rear in your aquarium. Also known as zebrafish, this species originates from Eastern India and surrounding areas.
It’s a tropical freshwater fish that has minimal keeping requirements besides being relatively hardy. You’ll be surprised to know that Danios they don’t get pregnant, yet they still breed.
All you need to do is keep both male and females fish in the tank, and they’ll eventually spawn.
Breeding Requirements for Zebra Danios
Even though zebra danios are not live bearers since they lay eggs, they have their breeding requirements. If you want to breed this fish, you must familiarize yourself with these requirements to make the process easier and favorable to you. These include:
Selecting a Zebra Danio Pair
Zebra danios mate throughout their lifetime, and they, therefore, require a partner.
Get a population that has a balance of both male and female danios. Male danios are skinnier than female danios, and they also have more vibrant colors. When the females start laying eggs, they become chubbier.
But if you are still having a hard time separating them, then feed them for a couple of days so that you’ll easily distinguish between the males and the female danios.
Danios fish prefer finding their mate, and if you get a relatively equal number of males and females, then most of them will pair off and mate.
Breeding Tank Setup
If you notice the fish pairing off, then it’s a good sign that mating is about to happen. Also, if you see the bellies of females enlarging and bloating, then chances are high that they’re carrying eggs that are ready for scattering and eventual fertilization.
This is the ripe time to set up a breeding tank.
While your danios are in their tanks, feed them with high-quality live food such as bloodworm, daphnia and mosquito larvae. Most aquarium stores have this live food. Feed them for 1-2 weeks before you attempt to breed.
If you don’t find live food, then use frozen food as an alternative. As you continue to feed the female danios, they’ll grow rounder, which is a good indicator that they’re developing a lot of roe. This is the right time for breeding.
When sitting up a breeding tank, maintain a shallow height. It should be about 6 inches deep and warm to remind the fish that the mating season is near. Shallow water also creates a favorable environment for the temperature of water to rise faster to around 78°, which is favorable for spawning.
Zebra Danio Eggs & Fry Care
Once you locate danio eggs on the breeding tank, then it’s the right time to remove the danios and return them to their regular tanks.
You’ll need a breeder net, marble, or mop methods for this procedure. It’s also advisable to remove the adult danios with the eggs as they can feed on them.
How do I know whether a Zebra Danio is Male or Female?
Though they look more the same, you can distinguish a male and female danios basing on their size and shape. Male danios are usually shorter and have a torpedo-shaped body.
On the other hand, females are a bit larger. This is the only way to distinguish the two.
How do you Know if a Zebra Danio is Pregnant?
A male zebra danio has a smaller body compared to a female. To find out if your female danio is pregnant, you’ll need to observe it closely. If it looks wider than normal, then there are high chances that she is pregnant.
However, female zebra danios are not livebearers and therefore do not carry fertilized eggs; hence they do not become visible fat.
Also, an alternative way to finding out if your zebra danios are pregnant is by observing it in the morning. Typically, zebra danios spawn in the mornings and so if you find the fish chasing each other during this time, then it suggests they are carrying a roe and could be close to spawning.
How Long Does it Take for Zebra Danios to Lay Eggs?
A pregnant danio will carry her eggs until the time she is ready to lay them. When ready, you’ll notice her midsection bulging with circular protrusions. Over time, these little protrusions become larger and chunky.
Also, when you see the male chases the female more often, then it signifies that she is ready to lay eggs. Or, she could have spawned already, and the male fertilized her eggs.
How Often do Zebra Danios Breed?
If you’re a beginner to fish rearing, then I’d recommend you start with Zebra Danios. They are prolific breeds who stick with their mates for life.
This fish species rarely mate with other partners even if their mate dies. They also breed throughout their life until they die. Their average lifespan is 2-3 years though a well-catered for danio can live up to 3.5 years.
How Many Eggs do Zebra Danios Lay at Once?
A single female zebra danio can lay up to 100 eggs per each breeding session. Therefore, if you have 4-5 female danios in your breeding tank, expect up to 500 eggs. Before they breed, you should separate these female Danios to separate tanks.
This is in preparation for the breeding process and eventual nursery. Therefore, you’ll need 4-5 tanks in our case to successfully breed this species.
Do Zebra Danios Eat their Babies?
Yes, besides eating their own eggs, Danios can eat their babies as well. Therefore, you should remove separate the parent fish from its offspring after spawning.
Zebra danios are the most popular of all danios in aquariums. They originate from places such as India and Pakistan and can be found in many water environments, stagnant ponds, and even streams.
In addition to them being common in aquariums, they are also peculiar breeders. Their downside though, is that they feed on their eggs and babies. Therefore, you must take care of the eggs until they grow into adults.