Maximum size : 8 cm

Bengal Danio - Devario devario : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Bengal Danio (Devario devario) is a captivating and active fish that can add vibrancy to any community aquarium. Despite their lively nature, they are peaceful fish, making them great additions to aquariums containing larger and more robust fish species. Bengal Danios typically exhibit a peaceful demeanour, but it is prudent to exercise caution when housing them alongside exceedingly small fish or slow-moving species with intricate finnage. 

These schooling fish thrive in groups of 8 to 10 individuals, and keeping them in such numbers will help reduce their anxiety and result in a more natural-looking display. However, it's important to note that these fish do not fare well when kept alone as they are highly sociable. Additionally, keeping them in groups helps restrain any aggressive behaviour as they concentrate on maintaining their hierarchical position within the group.

The aquarium should be adequately oxygenated, efficiently filtered, and possess an appropriate flow rate, as these fish demonstrate a proclivity for swimming against the current, finding pleasure in doing so. Planting along the sides and rear of the aquarium is advisable while maintaining an open central swimming area.

Males tend to exhibit better colours when in the presence of rivals. The Bengal Danio has an elongated body with a high back and lateral compression. They have a rounded body and no barbels. Depending on the population, the colouration can vary. Their back and belly are golden-brown, and their flanks are blue, adorned with subtle, transverse yellow stripes. They also have a broad, dark blue bar on each side extending from the rear part of the mid-section to the fork of the caudal fin. Their fins are typically transparent.

Bengal Danio Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is evident in the Bengal Danios, with males exhibiting more vibrant colouration and slimmer bodies compared to females. Additionally, males are smaller than their female counterparts. Conversely, females have rounder bellies and are less colourful than males. These characteristics make it relatively simple to differentiate males from females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDevario devario
Year Described1822
Other NamesSind Danio, Bengal Turquoise Danio
OriginsIndia , Nepal , Pakistan , Bangladesh , Afghanistan
Max Size8 cm
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 5 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 6.0 - 8.0
GH 5 - 20
TDS 36 - 268
Ideal Temperature
59 - 79
15 - 26

Natural Habitat

The Bengal Danio is a stunning fish native to South Asia 's freshwater rivers, streams and floodplains, including India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. These beautiful fish are commonly found in the Indus and the Assam Rivers, where the water is fast-flowing, and the substrate is composed of silt, sand, clay, cobbles, and boulders. They prefer habitats with abundant vegetation, where they can find shelter and food. In the wild, these fish are highly adaptable and can thrive in various aquatic environments, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.


Bengal Danios are known to breed spontaneously in a well-planted and established aquarium, provided that they are kept in good condition. Although the appearance of a small number of fry is usually enough, those who wish to maximize their breeding efforts can take a more controlled approach. To do so, one can condition the group together and then set up a smaller aquarium filled with mature water. The bottom should be covered with mesh or marbles to prevent the adults from reaching the eggs, while fine-leaved plants like java moss or spawning mops can be introduced to enhance the chances of a successful spawn.

The water in the breeding tank should be slightly acidic to neutral, and the temperature should be increased slightly. An air-powered sponge filter or air stone can also be added to maintain adequate water movement and oxygenation. When the adults are well-conditioned and the females appear to be gravid, one or two pairs can be introduced into the breeding tank. Spawning usually occurs within 24 hours, and the female will appear noticeably slimmer.

After 48 hours, the adults should be removed, and the eggs will hatch within 24 to 36 hours, producing free-swimming fry. Initially, the fry should be fed on Paramecium or similar, gradually introducing artemia nauplii, microworms, dry food, or powdered foods once they are large enough to accept them.

Diet & feeding

In a captive environment, Bengal Danios are relatively undemanding and will feed on a varied diet consisting of high-quality dried foods supplemented with regular meals of small live or frozen fare. Feeding them various foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, and artemia will help maintain their optimal colouration and overall health and provide them with the necessary nutrients for their well-being. Therefore, it is crucial to provide a well-balanced diet to ensure that the fish receive all the essential nutrients they need.

Frequently asked questions

Bengal Danios prefer to shoal and swim in the top levels of an aquarium.

Bengal Danios are an active, shoaling species that you should maintain in groups of 6 individuals, preferably more that way, your aquarium will have a more natural-looking display, and your fish will be less nervous.

Bengal Danios are not aggressive fish; however, they may upset slow-moving or timid tankmates with constant activity and vigorous feeding behaviour. Therefore, it would be better to have a larger aquarium containing similarly sized, robust fish species such as Barbs, Cichlids, Catfish and larger Tetras.

It is pretty simple to distinguish male from female Bengal Danios. The males are typically much more vibrantly coloured and somewhat smaller than females, and females have rounder bellies than males.

In the aquarium Bengal Danios are not picky when it comes to food. You can use high quality dried products as the staple diet; however, this should be given alongside regular meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia, daphnia, bloodworm and suchlike. This will provide your fish with the best condition and colours.

You need to make sure that your aquarium is well established with good water quality as Bengal Danios naturally occur in pristine habitats and are intolerant to organic pollutants. Then, we recommend that you design the tank to mimic a flowing river or stream with a substrate of different sized, water-worn rocks, fine gravel, sand or some small boulders, as well as some driftwood branches or roots. A majority of aquatic plants will not survive in such surroundings; however, hardy plant types such as Bolbitis, Microsorum or Anubias can be grown attached to the decor.

Other Danios of interest