Fun Zebra Danio Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Mar 08, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Check out these cool zebra danio facts
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.7 Min

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are small freshwater fish usually found in the tropics and belonging to the minnow family. They are known to be the most common aquarium fish.

The name Zebrafish is obtained from the blue stripes that run horizontally on each side of the body. Zebra danios (danio rerio) are not very well known as the source of food, but they have gathered pace in research studies as model systems.

Researchers are considering them imperative in biomedicine, developmental biology, and neurophysiology. Apart from that, they are used to model various diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's, and kidney disease.

There are about 27 recognized species in this genus so far. A few of the same family fish include the fire ring danio, purple passion danio, longfin leopard danio, celestial danio, zebra danio fish, kyathit orange finned danio, lowlight danio, glowlight danio, and celestial pearl danio, among others.

They will do just fine without a water heater as they are content at temperatures down to 60 F (5.5 C). Unlike most fish species, they are loyal to their breeding partner and mate for life.

If you like this article, then also learn more about other fishes like milkfish and codfish for more.

Zebra Danio Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a zebra danio?

Zebra danio belongs to a fish family and has the capability to tolerate water temperatures and adaptability to sustain in a tank or aquarium.

What class of animal does a zebra danio belong to?

Zebra danio is a type of freshwater fish that belongs to Actinopterygii class and is considered good for beginners as well as for professionals. They can easily live in aquariums or home tanks.  

How many zebra danios are there in the world?

Danios (Danio rerio) exact number is not yet established. But they are very close relative to Cyprinus Carpio (common carp fish). Also, in the past, the leopard danio fish was recognized as a different species, but genetic studies have confirmed that it is only a spotted variation of Zebrafish.

Where does a zebra danio live?

They have a broad geographical range in the Indian subcontinent from the river basins of Bangladesh, Ganges and Brahmaputra river basins, India and Nepal. Its population is also endemic to South Himalayas, the India-Pakistan border, and Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India.

Zebra danio fish species also populate inland waters of the United States (California, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Florida), South America, and Colombia.

What is a zebra danio's habitat?

Zebra danios preferably inhabit flowing to the stagnant clear water of shallow canals, ditches, streams, ponds, and rice paddies.

You can find it in places with some vegetation, either immersed or overhanging from the banks. Also, the bottoms are covered with mud, sand, gravel, or pebbles.

In a study of zebrafish environment, it was learned that the water had basic pH and mostly ranged from 61.7-93.2 F (16.5-34 C) in temperature.

Apart from that, they thrived on cold and warm sites, and the surprisingly cold was one of the highest known zebra danio's locations at 5,171 ft (1576.121 m) above sea level. Since they inhabit rice paddies, rice farming has affected their existence through irrigation, but still, Danio rerio fish have found ways to grow in altered conditions.

Also, the aquarium and tank can be decorated naturally to suit the environment and the water hardness should be managed in which they live.

Who do zebra danios live with?

These aquarium species (Danio rerio) are easy-going and playful. Their best mates are other zebra danios. The social character demands companion of others to stay healthy and hence prefers living in groups especially in tanks.

How long does a zebra danio live?

These species (Danio rerio) can live up to 5.5 years depending upon the aquarium, natural setting, water temperature and water conditions. On an average, they are expected to have a lifespan of three and a half years. In poorly maintained aquarium tanks, they are prone to diseases and premature death.

How do they reproduce?

Zebrafish breed seasonally during monsoon season. Spawning starts immediately at first light during the breeding season and continues for about an hour.

To initiate courting, three to seven males chase females and try to lead the female towards a spawning site by nudging her and/or swimming around her in a tight circle or figure eight. The spawning site consists of bare substrate that tends to be well vegetated.

In captivity, gravel sites are preferred to sand spawning sites. In the wild, zebrafish breed in silt-bottomed habitats. The female discharges 5-20 eggs at a time.

For breeding, the presence of female pheromones and male gonadal pheromones are required for reproduction. It is prudent to ensure the correct temperature to induce spawning and correct zebra danio size.

What is their conservation status?

Zebrafish have a wide geographic range and are locally sufficient. They breed efficiently in their native habitat, and in 2007, the increasing catch rates increased abundance. Other than that, there are no identified threats to the long-term persistence of this species. Zebrafish are classified as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.

Zebra Danio Fun Facts

What do zebra danios look like?

Zebra danios are small fishes that possess an elongated body and measure about 0.9 in (2.5 cm) in length. Their heads are dorsally compressed with centrally located eyes.

Zebrafish mouth is directed upward, which gives them a traditional fish shape. These fish species are toothless and stomach-less. As a result, they depend on gill rakes to break their food.

Generally, they are silvery in color but can also be seen in pale yellow or golden with blue stripes. There are different zebra danios variant which includes long-finned specimens, Albinos and leopard strains.

Compared to male zebrafish, females are larger with a round belly and whitish in color, and males are slender with a golden belly.

This guide will teach you more about the reality of the zebra danio.

How cute are they?

Zebra danios species are not only cute but attractive as well. The blue stripes on their body give them a distinctive and appealing look.

How do they communicate?

Zebra danio species are gifted with solid vision and motion detection to predict any changes in the environment and elude predators. Their lateral line system (sense organs) serves to detect pressure alterations in the surrounding water.

Also, these species communicate through chemical cues grasped by the olfactory bulb (part of a brain) that is imperative to reproduction. Apart from that, females must come in contact with male pheromones to initiate procreation.

How big is a zebra danio?

This zebrafish size is 2 in (5 cm) which is ten times bigger than the smallest fish in the world the Paedocypris that is 0.3 in (0.79 cm) in length.

How fast can a zebra danio swim?

They are very active and keeps swimming fast to release their energy. Zebras (Danio rerio) are adaptable to both fast-flowing and slow-flowing waters.

How much does a zebra danio weigh?

Males weigh around 157 lb (71.6 g) and female zebrafish weigh around 149 lb (68.0 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female Zebrafish. But we can easily differentiate between the two sexes. Both sexes have the same stripes, but males are normally smaller.

Males are a bit smaller and slimmer than females. Male zebras appear more torpedo-shaped, while females tend to have a larger belly. Also, a pregnant zebra danio female belly balloons when it fills with eggs.

What would you call a baby zebra danio?

Zebra danio eggs are notably small in size. Once they hatch a baby fish, it is referred to as a fry until they grow up. Providing shrimp in their diet is an excellent choice to help them get the necessary nutrients they need to become adults. The young fry needs egg layer fish food twice a day.

What do they eat?

Zebrafish are omnivores and principally feed on zooplankton, phytoplankton, blood worms, and crustaceans. They also prefer insects and insect larvae in their foods. In research, Zebra danios are often fed brine shrimp or paramecia.

Sometimes they also surface feed, including terrestrial insects and arachnids. If their preferred foods are unavailable, then you can even give them frozen food to cause breeding. For best growth, rotating their diet really helps.

The prime predators of Zebra danio species are freshwater garfish, snakeheads, spiny eels, catfish, Indian pond heron, and common kingfisher.

Are they dangerous?

Both zebrafish males and females are equally amazing pets to keep for newbies and are favorites of hobbyists, given that they are small in size. However, they can get aggressive in certain situations, specifically towards slow-moving one.

This is because they are originally fast swimmers and in need of removing the long-fins kinds; they are seen frequently biting at their fins.

Would they make a good pet?

Adult danio fish care is simple as long as their dietary demands are taken care of and the tank is safe and clean for them to survive in.

They are adaptable to most conditions and make an excellent pet for first-time pet owners. Even if you already own fish, you could consider including these fishes if you have sufficient space and freshwater plants to make your aquarium more vibrant and attractive.

Ensure to check if the temperature range matches your existing fish tank and if it will get along with other species of fish in your aquarium.

Did you know...

Zebrafish possesses the unique characteristic of repairing their heart muscle. For instance, if a part of their heart is removed, they can grow it back in few weeks. Adult fish lacks this superpower. Only newborns can regenerate the damaged organ. Also, Zebrafish can easily regenerate their caudal fins.

They (danios) are among the few species that have traveled in space.

Drunk zebra danio fish swims faster than a sober one, whether it's in tanks or in their natural habitat.

How many zebra danios should be kept together?

Danio rerio fish can persist in a 10 gal (37 l) aquarium. Since they are schooling fish, they need to be kept in groups of at least five.

Any zebra danio fish that aren’t kept in a school will frequently become stressed and may begin to exhibit aggressive behavior towards other fish in the aquarium or tank. However, once their numbers are brought up so that there are at least five of them, most of the aggressive behavior will pass.

What fish can be kept with zebra danios?

Zebra danios are community fish that needs the companionship of others to stay healthy. The best tank mates for them are other zebra danios (Danio rerio) and pals such as ember tetra, Corydoras, neon tetra, honey gourami, flying barb, most loaches, peaceful freshwater catfish, and celestial pearl danio.

Since they display a playful and peaceful character, when kept alone, they become anxiety-ridden and shy.

Most of them will die sooner than expected. Also, avoid hyperactive and aggressive fish in the home aquarium or a tank that is larger than them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our blue catfish facts and parrotfish facts pages.  

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Zebra Danio coloring pages.

eastern india ganges river and native to southeastern himalayan region

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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