Max Size: 4cm

Dwarf Spotted Danio (Danio nigrofasciatus)

Dwarf Spotted Danios are peaceful, active and attractive fish that are best maintained alone or in a community aquarium with similarly sized fish. However, these Danios can be pretty timid if you don't have the appropriate aquarium setup or tankmates.

If you are going to house Dwarf Spotted Danios in a community aquarium, then the ideal tankmates would include other Dwarf Danios, Dwarf Barbs, Darios, Dwarf Rasboras, Hillstream Loaches and Catfish. It would be best if you avoided keeping these Danios with slow-moving, boisterous, larger or long-finned species.

Dwarf Spotted Danios are shoaling fish by nature; therefore, it would be best if you kept them in a group of at least eight individuals, preferably more. These Danios will thrive much better as a shoal as they will display much more natural behaviour, be less nervous, and the males will also reveal their best colours as they compete with each other for female attention.

The ideal aquarium setup for these fish would be a heavily planted aquarium designed in such a way to mimic a flowing stream or river with a darker substrate, as they may appear paler in a lightly decorated aquarium. Adding gravel, different sized rocks or some smooth stones will also add to the effect. In addition, driftwood roots, branches and aquatic plants, with hardy genera such as Bolbitis, Anubias or Microsorum, are ideal because they can be grown attached to the decor.

Dwarf Spotted Danios enjoy constantly flowing water, so the aquarium needs to be set up to have a current of water flowing from one end to the other against which the Dwarf Danio will constantly swim. Additional powerheads or filter outlets will help provide flow; however, it would be best to avoid torrent-like conditions because these Danios usually occupy calmer stretches in nature.

The aquarium will need to have a tight-fitting lid as members of this genus are excellent jumpers and can fit through very small gaps.

Dwarf Spotted Danios have a silvery colour on the top half of their bodies and a creamy gold colour on their bottom half; three stripes separate this. The first stripe is a dark blue colour that runs from the head over the eye's pupil to the end of the caudal fin; the second stripe is a golden colour, and the third stripe is also dark blue but slightly thicker than the first. In addition, these Danios present a line of small black spots underneath their stripes. All their fins are hyaline except for the anal fin that has gold edging and some more small black dots.

Tank Mates

3 ideal tank mate ideas for the Dwarf Spotted Danio include:

Celestial Pearl Danio(Danio margaritatus)
Indian Hifin Barb(Oreichthys cosuatis)
Red Rili Shrimp(Neocaridina davidi var)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDanio nigrofasciatus
Other NamesDwarf Danio, Spotted Danio, Cheetah Danio
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.0
GH5 - 12
TDS36 - 215
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃


Dwarf Spotted Danio
Dwarf Spotted Danio
Dwarf Spotted Danio
Dwarf Spotted Danio
Dwarf Spot Danio
Dwarf Spot Danio
Dwarf Spotted Danio

Natural Habitat

Dwarf Spotted Danios are endemic to Yangon and Bago, as well as the Mon State in Myanmar in Southeast Asia. You will find them in the Ayeyarwady and Irrawaddy River drainage and the Sittaung and Bago rivers. They inhabit medium to fast-flowing streams, minor rivers and still bodies of water, including ponds, ditches and rice paddies.

Many habitats are likely to be seasonal as Myanmar is heavily impacted by seasonal monsoons and thus experiences a relatively calm, dry period between November and April and a scorching, wet season from May until October. As a result, many rivers and streams become partly dried out for part of the year but flow intensely during the monsoon.


Dwarf Spotted Danios feed primarily on insects and their larvae in the wild. However, these Danios are unfussy feeders in the aquarium and will accept most foods. A high quality dried product or two can be used as the staple diet; however, you should supplement this with regular meals of small live, frozen or freeze-dried foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia and artemia. A balanced diet will help your fish to show their best colours and condition.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is straightforward to differentiate between a male and female Dwarf Spotted Danio. The males tend to be somewhat slimmer, and the colouring of their blue and gold stripes is more intense, continuing into the fork of the caudal fin. In contrast, the female is generally more significant, more profound, and broader bodied than the males and displays less colour in the body and fins.


Like many Cyprinids, Dwarf Spotted Danios are egg-scattering spawners who exhibit no parental care. When these fish are in good condition, they will often spawn, and in a densely-planted, well-established aquarium, 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 install a mature sponge-type filter.

Once the adult fish are well-conditioned and the females appear full of eggs, you can 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. Then, once the fry becomes large enough to accept more significant foods, you can introduce them to microworm and baby brine shrimp.

Other Danios of interest

Assam Danio(Devario assamensis)
Barred Danio(Devario pathirana)
Bengal Danio(Devario devario)
Black Barred Danio(Danio absconditus)
Blood Tailed Danio(Devario annandalei)
Blue Danio(Danio kerri)
View all Danios
Date Added: 09/12/2021 12:08:48 - Updated: 09/12/2021 13:26:47