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Maximum size : 8 cm

Barred Danio - Devario pathirana : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Barred Danios (Devario pathirana) offer a unique allure to aquarists, yet they remain relatively rare gems within the aquarium hobby. Despite their scarcity, these Danios possess remarkable qualities that make them an enticing choice for both novice and experienced aquarists alike. With their captivating appearance, peaceful demeanour, energetic nature, and robust hardiness, Barred Danios prove to be versatile companions in a community aquarium.

In the realm of tankmates, Barred Danios harmonize well with similarly-sized, resilient species that share their tranquil disposition. Consider introducing larger Cyprinids such as Barbs, notable Tetras, charismatic loaches, elegant Cichlids, or graceful Catfish as ideal companions for these distinguished Danios. However, it is essential to exercise caution when selecting tankmates, as slow-moving or timid species may find themselves unsettled by the constant activity and lively feeding behaviour of the Barred Danios. Additionally, it is wise to avoid housing them alongside species with long trailing fins, as the energetic nature of the Danios may lead to fin-nipping.

In their natural habitat, Barred Danios are social creatures that thrive in shoals, exhibiting their most vibrant colours during stunning displays of competition for female attention among males. Therefore, to replicate their natural environment and ensure their utmost well-being, it is advisable to maintain these Danios in groups of at least six individuals, preferably more. By doing so, not only will the fish feel more at ease, but your aquarium will also exude a captivating sense of authenticity and liveliness.

Creating a well-planted aquarium or designing an environment that mimics a flowing stream or river serves as an idyllic setting for Barred Danios. Selecting gravel, diverse pebbles, or smooth rocks as the substrate adds a touch of natural beauty. Additional powerheads or filter outlets can be employed to provide gentle water flow, although caution should be exercised to avoid excessive currents, as these Danios naturally inhabit calmer waters in the wild. Enhancing the aesthetic appeal and comfort of the Danios can be achieved by incorporating driftwood roots, branching structures, and resilient aquatic plants such as Anubias, Microsorum, or Bolbitis.

A crucial aspect to bear in mind is the preference of Barred Danios for pristine environments, as they are particularly sensitive to the accumulation of organic waste. Therefore, regular water changes become paramount in maintaining water cleanliness, thus ensuring the thriving vitality of these remarkable creatures. It is also imperative to secure a tight-fitting lid for your aquarium, as Danios exhibit remarkable jumping abilities, requiring the prevention of any escape through even the smallest of gaps.

The elegant silvery-grey bodies of Barred Danios are adorned with seven to eleven dark blue, oddly-shaped, parallel upright bars gracing the front portion of each flank, interspersed with enchanting goldish hues. Further captivating the observer, a short horizontal stripe adorns the caudal peduncle, merging seamlessly into the central caudal-fin rays. Delicate yet striking, the Danios boast relatively large eyes, while their transparent fins exude an ethereal allure.

In conclusion, Barred Danios is an exquisite addition to the aquarist's repertoire, offering a captivating combination of aesthetics, peaceable nature, and hardiness. With meticulous attention to their aquatic companions, habitat, water quality, and aesthetic presentation, the Barred Danios will undoubtedly flourish, imparting a touch of elegance and wonder to any aquarist's endeavour.

Barred Danio Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female Barred Danio is a straightforward task. The sexual dimorphism within this species allows for easy differentiation. Males typically exhibit a smaller and slimmer physique, accompanied by more vibrant and intense colouration compared to their female counterparts. Conversely, females tend to possess a slightly larger body size, often displaying fullness when carrying eggs, and exhibit a comparatively duller colouration than males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDevario pathirana
Year Described1990
Other NamesPathiran's Danio
OriginsSri Lanka
Max Size8 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 19
TDS18 - 143
69 - 79
20 - 26

Natural Habitat

Barred Danios are native to the captivating Nilwala River basin in Opatha, a pristine region nestled in the southwestern part of Sri Lanka, South Asia. These remarkable fish grace the moderately fast-flowing waters of streams and small pools, their vibrant presence illuminating the clear currents. As they navigate their habitat, adorned with pebbles and small, smooth sandstone rocks interwoven with patches of silt and sand, the emerged vegetation adds a touch of natural allure to their surroundings.

In conservation, Barred Danios bear the weight of critical endangerment. Their population status has earned them a place on the prestigious IUCN Red List for fishes, where their classification serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for preservation efforts. The significance of their vulnerability is further underscored by the limitations placed on exports within the aquarium trade, ensuring their protection and preventing depletion.

Through responsible aquarium practices and conscientious conservation endeavours, we can strive to safeguard the future of these captivating Barred Danios and contribute to the preservation of their precious natural habitat.


Barred Danios, known for their fascinating reproductive behaviour, often engage in spawning activities when they are in optimal condition. Within a well-established, densely-planted aquarium, it is not uncommon to observe the emergence of a modest number of fry without any external intervention. However, for those seeking to enhance the quantity of offspring, a more controlled approach becomes necessary.

To initiate a successful breeding process, it is advisable to condition the adult group together, ensuring their overall health and readiness. Simultaneously, the setup of a separate breeding tank, filled halfway with mature water, becomes essential. Maximizing available space within the breeding tank by incorporating appropriate spawning mediums, such as java moss or spawning mops, or utilizing mesh or marbles at the tank's base to provide shelter for the eggs proves beneficial. Maintaining a slightly acidic to neutral water pH, coupled with a slightly elevated temperature, creates an optimal environment for spawning. Additionally, introducing an air stone or an air-powered sponge filter aids in facilitating water movement and oxygenation within the breeding tank.

Once the adult fish have been properly conditioned and the females exhibit fullness from carrying eggs, introducing one or two pairs into the breeding tank is recommended. The provision of small amounts of live and frozen food can serve as a catalyst for triggering the desired spawning behaviour. Multiple spawning events are likely to occur before a female depletes her supply of eggs. Typically, spawning commences within a 24-hour timeframe, with the female noticeably slimming down after successfully depositing all her eggs. Subsequently, after 48 hours, removing the adult fish from the breeding tank becomes necessary to prevent them from consuming the precious eggs.

The incubation period for the eggs is typically temperature-dependent, ranging between 24 and 36 hours. Following this period, the fry will emerge as free-swimming entities, displaying the initial signs of independent life. During the early stages of their development, providing appropriate sustenance becomes paramount. Initiating their diet with nourishing options such as Paramecium, liquid fry food, or finely powdered alternatives ensures their healthy progression. As the fry grows and becomes capable of accepting more substantial nourishment, transitioning to newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms around the one-week mark becomes suitable.

By diligently adhering to these recommended feeding practices and observing the growth and development of the fry, aquarists can nurture a thriving generation of Barred Danios, ultimately experiencing the rewarding outcome of their dedicated efforts.

Diet & feeding

Barred Danios demonstrate an adaptable feeding behaviour within the aquarium environment. While they are not particularly selective eaters, it is recommended to incorporate a high-quality dried food as the primary dietary staple. In addition, regular supplementation with a diverse range of food options is advisable to ensure optimal nutrition and vibrant colouration. This may include frozen, live, and freeze-dried offerings such as mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and cyclops. By providing a varied diet, you can support the overall health, colouration, and condition of your Barred Danios.

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