Barred Danio (Devario pathirana)
Barred Danios are a slightly larger Danio species but, unfortunately, are pretty rare in the aquarium hobby. However, these Danios are reasonably attractive, peaceful, quite active and hardy, making them suitable for beginner or more advanced aquarist. In addition, these Danios make excellent members of a community aquarium with similarly-sized, robust, peaceful species.
Ideal tankmates for Barred Danios could include larger Cyprinids such as Barbs, larger Tetras, loaches, Cichlids and Catfish. However, it would help if you avoided housing these Danios with slow-moving or shyer tankmates as their constant activity and lively feeding behaviour may upset other species. It would also help to avoid tankmates with long trailing fins as these fish will nip at them.
Barred Danios are shoaling fish in nature; therefore, it would be best to keep them in groups of at least six individuals, preferably more. Keeping these Danios in larger groups will make your fish feel more comfortable and will give your aquarium a more natural-looking display. The males will also display their best colours as they compete with one another for female attention. In addition, these Danios are more contentious than most Danios; therefore, maintaining these fish in decent numbers is helpful because this will generally restrict any aggressive behaviour to their own kind or other weaker species.
It would be better to maintain Barred Danios in a well-planted aquarium or an aquarium designed to mimic a flowing stream or river with a substrate of gravel, different sized pebbles or a few large smooth rocks. You can use additional powerheads or filter outlets to provide flow; however, you should avoid fast currents because these fish usually occupy calmer waters in the wild. It would also suit your Danios if you added driftwood roots and branches and hardy aquatic plants such as Anubias, Microsorum or Bolbitis.
Barred Danios naturally occur in pristine habitats; therefore, they are intolerant to the build-up of organic waste and require very clean water to thrive, so weekly water changes are essential. You will also need a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium as Danios are exceptional jumpers and can fit through the smallest gaps.
Barred Danios have a silvery-grey body with 7 to 11 dark blue, oddly-shaped, parallel upright bars on the front portion of each flank with goldish colouration in between the bars. These Danios also have a short horizontal stripe on the caudal peduncle that spreads into the central caudal-fin rays. In addition, these Danios have relatively large eyes, and all their fins are transparent.
|Scientific Name||Devario pathirana|
|Other Names||Pathiran's Danio|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||5 - 8 years|
|PH||6.0 - 8.0|
|GH||5 - 19|
|TDS||18 - 143|
|69 - 79℉|
20.6 - 26.1℃
Photos of the Barred Danio
Barred Danios are endemic to the Nilwala River basin in Opatha in southwestern Sri Lanka in South Asia. These Danios inhabit moderately-fast flowing clear waters in streams and small pools running over substrates of pebbles and small, smooth sandstone rocks interwoven with patches of silt and sand. Their habitats contain emerged vegetation.
Barred Danios are currently classed as critically endangered in the wild and are on the latest IUCN Redlist for fishes. So much so the aquarium trade has restricted exports to deficient levels to protect the population.
What to feed the Barred Danio
Barred Danios are not picky eaters in the aquarium. However, a good quality dried product should be used as the staple diet alongside frequent meals of frozen, live and freeze-dried foods such as mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, bloodworm, daphnia and cyclops. A varied diet will help your fish maintain their best colours and condition.
How to sex the Barred Danio
It is simple to distinguish between the female and male Barred Danio. The males are somewhat smaller, slimmer, and more intensely coloured than females. In contrast, females are slightly larger, have fuller bodies, especially when gravid and are much duller than males.
How to breed the Barred Danio
Barred Danios will often spawn when they are in good condition, and in a heavily-planted, mature aquarium, small numbers of fry may start to appear without intervening. However, if you would like to improve the number of babies, a slightly more controlled approach will be required.
You can condition your adult group together; however, you will also need to set up a separate breeding tank and half-fill it with mature water. It would be best to fill much of the available space with suitable spawning mediums such as java moss or spawning mops, or you can place mesh or marbles on the base of the tank where the eggs can fall through to hide the eggs.
Their water will need to be somewhat acidic to neutral with a slightly higher temperature than usual. You should also add an air stone or an air-powered sponge filter as this will provide water movement and oxygenation. Once you have conditioned the adult fish and the females are full of eggs, you should then introduce one or two pairs into the breeding tank.
Providing your Danios with small amounts of live and frozen food can trigger spawning, and several spawning events will probably occur before a female has run out of eggs.
Spawning usually takes place within 24 hours, with the female being noticeably slimmer once all her eggs have been laid; then, after 48 hours, you should remove the adults, so they do not predate the eggs.
The Incubation period is usually temperature-dependent but typically takes between 24 and 36 hours for the fry to hatch. The fry will then become free-swimming a few days after that.
It would be best if you initially fed your fry on Paramecium, liquid fry food or very fine powdered food, moving on to newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms around a week or so later once big enough to accept them.