Fire Bar Danio (Devario maetaengensis)
Fire Bar Danios are a peaceful, active, and hardy fish species, making them ideal for the general community aquarium and suitable for beginner aquarists. You can house these fish with many of the most popular fish in the hobby, including Barbs, Tetras, Cichlids, Loaches and Catfish. However, it would be best if you did not house these Danios with much larger, more aggressive species; otherwise, they will feel intimidated and will be outcompeted for food.
Fire Bar Danios are schooling species in the wild, so they should be kept in a group of at least eight individuals, preferably more. Keeping these Danios in more significant numbers will make your fish less nervous and result in a more sufficient, natural-looking array. In addition, this will manage any aggression because the fish will be concentrating on maintaining their hierarchical position within the group. Males will also display better colours when they are in the presence of rivals. It would be best if you did not keep these fish in very small groups or individually; otherwise, they will become easily stressed and more prone to illness.
Fire Bar Danios will do best in an aquarium set up designed to mimic a flowing river or stream. The substrate can be sand or gravel with differently sized boulders or smooth rocks. You can further furnish the aquarium with driftwood or bogwood and hardy aquatic plants such as Anubias or Microsorum.
Fire Bar Danios come from pristine waters; therefore, they are somewhat intolerant to the build-up of organic waste, so make sure you keep the water clean by performing regular water changes. These Danios do not require a fast current as the water flow in their natural habitat is moderate; however, they do prefer a high proportion of dissolved oxygen. Finally, the aquarium will need to have a tight-fitting lid as these Danios are excellent jumpers.
Fire Bar Danios have a relatively stocky copper-coloured body that sports a solid dark lateral line that extends into the caudal fin. In addition, these fish display a series of vertical bars that become gradually deeper then slowly shorter. The number of vertical bars can be variable on individual species. All the fins on these fish are transparent.
|Scientific Name||Devario maetaengensis|
|Other Names||Maetaeng Danio, Tiger Danio|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||3 - 4 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.0|
|GH||3 - 10|
|TDS||36 - 268|
|68 - 79℉|
20 - 26.1℃
Photos of the Fire Bar Danio
Fire Bar Danios are endemic to the Metang River, a tributary of the Ping River Basin and have also been found in the Nam Mae Taeng, a tributary of the upper Chao Phraya River Basin in Thailand in Southeast Asia. These Danios inhabit clear, moderate to fast-flowing waters in small streams. The substrate in their habitats comprises sand, gravel, and rocks and has no aquatic vegetation.
What to feed the Fire Bar Danio
In the home aquarium, you can provide your Fire Bar Danios with high quality dried foods such as flakes and granules as the staple of their diet. Still, it would be best to supplement this with frequent 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 keep their colours bright.
How to sex the Fire Bar Danio
It is relatively simple to differentiate between male and female Fire Bar Danios. The males are usually slimmer, somewhat smaller and much bolder in colour than females, especially when they are ready to breed. In contrast, Sexually mature females are generally deeper-bodied, less colourful, and grow slightly bigger than males.
How to breed the Fire Bar Danio
Like many Danios, Fire Bar 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. Artificial 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 in the breeding tank 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 and 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 most straightforward 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.