The zebrafish (lat.: Danio rerio) is an easy to keep and lively aquarium fish. It belongs to the carp family and was first discovered in 1822. Since the 20th century, this lively ornamental fish has enjoyed great popularity worldwide.

What distinguishes Zebrafish?

© Mirko Rosenau

The name zebra danio may be a little misleading, as the fish is not cross- but lengthwise striped like a zebra. However, its pattern makes it a striking contemporary. The lively fish are relatively easy to keep, making them particularly suitable for beginners in aquaristics. The swimming species likes to stay in the upper layers of water and can be easily socialized with other fish.

Zebra danio tends to behave aggressively towards conspecifics in old age – but other fish do not hunt it.

The appearance of zebra danio

Special characteristics of the zebrafish are its four broad dark blue longitudinal stripes, which are separated by narrow light yellow stripes. The longitudinal bandages shimmer silvery to golden, depending on the incidence of light. The remarkable pattern continues on the fins. However, pectoral and ventral fins are not striped but colourless. The jaws of the fish are slightly uppermost and underlined by two barbels. However, the zebrafish lacks a visible lateral line.


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Gender differences

The lively ornamental fish grow up to six centimetres long, with males being somewhat smaller and slimmer. Females usually grow somewhat larger and have a fuller body.

Water values for zebrafish

Although the zebrafish is easy to care for, the following water values should still be observed to make the fish feel comfortable:

  • Water temperature: 20° C – 26° C
  • Basin: at least 100 litres
  • pH value: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Total hardness: 5 – 19° dGH
]Zebrafish feel relatively comfortable at a temperature between 20° C and more. However, they can also be kept at a water temperature of 18° C and above. The tank should have a minimum size of 100 litres and should be as long as possible, because the animals are particularly keen on swimming.

The ideal water values are, among other things, a pH value between 6.0 and 8.0 and a total hardness of 5° to 20° dGH.

Food and nutrition for the zebrafish

The lively fish is a frugal omnivore and does not make too high demands. Similar to other species, they enjoy a varied diet. Although they tend to prefer live food, they can also be fed with dry food for a longer period of time. Aquarists should, however, also fall back on vegetable food from time to time so that the ornamental fish do not nibble on the plants in the aquarium.

The ideal aquarium for zebrafish

Zebrafish are schooling fish and should therefore always be kept in a group of at least eight animals. The tank itself should be relatively large in order to provide the fish with sufficient swimming space. Among other things, a good cover should be ensured, as zebrafish like to jump.

In addition, dense planting should be carried out, especially in the peripheral areas of the aquarium. This not only offers the animals ideal hiding and spawning places, but also does not prevent them from playing. Aquarists should also pay attention to a weak current in the aquarium to imitate the habitat of the fish species as much as possible. Swimming-joyful fish hardly attach importance to the condition of the substrate.

As zebrafish are very adaptable, they can also be easily socialized with other fish. Well suited for this are, for example, red mullet and tiger barbels as well as bluefish.

Housing conditions

  • Zebrafish are easy to keep and especially interesting for beginners. They are adaptable, can be easily socialized and do not have any special feeding requirements.
  • The fish are particularly keen to swim, which is why a larger aquarium is definitely an advantage. Sufficient plant decoration is also recommended so that the animals feel comfortable.
  • With their special pattern they immediately attract attention and are an enrichment for every aquarium.

Mating and breeding


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.