Black Barred Danio (Danio absconditus)
Black-barred Danios are a peaceful, hardy, active and sociable species. Even though these fish are gregarious by nature, these Danios are a shoaling rather than schooling fish that only group together very tightly when they feel threatened. At other times rival males spar regularly.
You should maintain these fish in a group of 10 or more individuals; this will allow sub-dominant fish of both sexes a break from the alpha individuals, that can be somewhat aggressive at times.
Ideal tankmates for Black-barred Danios can include most Cyprinids, Cichlids, larger Tetras, Loaches and Catfish. However, it would be best to avoid slow-moving or timid fish as these Danios may upset them with their endless activity and robust feeding behaviour.
Black-barred Danios look particularly effective in a heavily planted aquarium with a darker substrate and may seem paler in lightly-decorated set-ups. It would be best to maintain these Danios in a well-planted aquarium or set-up created to mimic a flowing river or stream, with a substrate consisting of differently-sized rocks and gravel and some large water-worn stones.
You can use additional powerheads or filter outlets to provide flow. Still, it would be best to avoid torrent-like conditions since Danios tend to occupy calmer stretches in nature.
You can also add driftwood roots and branches as well as aquatic plants such as Microsorum, Bolbitis or Anubias. These plants are ideal because they can be grown attached to the décor.
It is essential that you have a very tightly-fitting cover on the aquarium as members of this genus are skilful jumpers and can fit through very small gaps.
Black-barred Danios have a greyish brown body colour that displays 7 to 11 dark vertical bars on the abdominal side. These fish also possess a prominent elongate or round black spot at the base of the caudal fin. All the fins on the females are transparent, and the males have a slight yellowish-orange hue in the caudal fin and a very faint black edging on the anal and dorsal fin.
|Scientific Name||Danio absconditus|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 10+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 15|
|TDS||36 - 215|
|64 - 79℉|
17.8 - 26.1℃
Black-Barred Danios are endemic to a small coastal stream near Gwa in Rakhine State in western Myanmar in Southeast Asia. Rakhine is found within a tropical monsoon region and has a notable rainy season between May and October, where at other times, it can be pretty dry. Therefore, the streams swell in depth by a metre or more and flow much more rapidly during the wet season.
In the home aquarium, you can use high quality dried foods such as flakes and granules as the staple of their diet. Still, it would be best to supplement that with regular meals of small live, frozen or freeze-dried foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworm. Providing your fish with a balanced diet will help keep your fish healthy and brightly coloured.
It is simple to differentiate between a male and a female Black-barred Danio. Adult males are much more colourful and noticeably slimmer, plus they have orange distal edges to the anal and ventral fins. In contrast, females have more rounded bodies, especially when they are full of eggs, are slightly duller than males and display white distal edges in their anal and ventral fins.
If you have groups containing various males, one or more individuals can typically develop an alpha status and display more intense colouration.
Like many Danios, Black-barred Danios are egg-scattering spawners who exhibit no parental care. When these fish are in good condition, they will often spawn in a densely-planted, well-established aquarium, and small numbers of fry may start to appear without intervention. However, if you want to increase the quantity of fry, a slightly more controlled approach is needed.
You can still condition the adult group together, but a breeding tank should also be set up and half-filled with water. You should dimly light the breeding tank and cover the bottom with a wide enough grade mesh so eggs may fall through but small enough so that the adults cannot reach them. Plastic grass matting can also be used and works very well; alternatively, filling much of the tank with fine-leaved plants or java moss can also achieve good results.
The water should be relatively soft and slightly acidic to neutral, and you should set the temperature towards the higher end of the range. You can add a small air-powered filter initially, and you should position it so that the current is directed down the entire tank length, or you can install a mature sponge-type filter.
Once the adult fish are well-conditioned and the females appear full of eggs, you can then introduce one or two pairs to the separate tank.
You can initiate spawning by feeding small amounts of live and frozen foods to the pairs as well as adding small amounts of cold water every few hours in such a way that the tank is gradually topped up. The couple should then spawn the following morning. The fastest and easiest way to tell if the female has spawned is to look at her to see if she is noticeably slimmer.
The adults will consume any eggs they find, so it is best to remove them after a couple of days, at which point you should switch the power filter for a sponge-type unit to avoid fry being sucked into the device.
The incubation period is temperature-dependent to an extent. Still, it usually takes around 36 hours for the eggs to hatch and then 3 to 4 days after that, the young become free-swimming.
It would be best if you initially fed the fry with Paramecium or a proprietary dry food of sufficiently small grade. Once the fry becomes large enough to accept more significant foods, you can then introduce them to microworm and baby brine shrimp.