Max Size: 6cm

Leopard Danio (Danio Rerio)

The Leopard Danio is a very hardy, friendly, peaceful and attractive fish. They make a great addition to any community aquarium, especially alongside other Danio species, suitable for any fish keepers level.

This fish is a colour morph of the Zebra Danio and displays a lovely golden brown metallic colour dotted with greyish-blue spots. They have a barbel at the end of each lip. A long-finned version of this fish has been developed that sports long, flowing fins and an extended tail. In both forms, they are eye-catching active fish.

Leopard Danio Variants

Longfin Leopard Danio
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDanio Rerio
Other NamesNone
OriginsBangladesh, India, Pakistan
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH6 - 16
65 - 80℉
18.3 - 26.7℃

Photos of the Leopard Danio

Leopard Danio
Leopard Danio
Leopard Danio
Longfin Leopard Danio
Leopard Danio
Leopard Danio
Leopard Danio

Natural Habitat

The Leopard Danio originates from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

They inhabit fresh, still water in the lower reaches of ponds, streams, ditches, and canals, usually containing rocky substrate and shaded areas with silty, dense vegetation.

Their habitats depend on the time of year. You will find them in large numbers in rice paddies and seasonal pools in the wet season, where they will feed and spawn.

After this, the adults will migrate back to the faster moving waters in which the young will follow them once they have reached maturity.

What to feed the Leopard Danio

Leopard Danios require a balanced diet that includes pelleted or flake foods, plant-based foods, and occasional live, freeze-dried and frozen food.

Because these fish are so active, they have high nutrient requirements, so choose foods that will provide them with this and feed them several times a day.

How to sex the Leopard Danio

Males are thinner and have a streamlined body shape, and their colours are more intense than females, whereas mature females are plumper and much duller than males.

How to breed the Leopard Danio

Breeding Leopard Danios is relatively easy. You will need a breeding tank with shallow water, plenty of fine-leaved plants such as java moss or equivalent. A spawning mesh or pebbles on the bottom of the tank also works well, as this will allow eggs to fall through and be protected from the adults who will happily eat their eggs.

The most reliable way to obtain a mating couple would be to start with half a dozen or so young Leopard Danios in the tank and allow them to choose their mates.

It is a good idea to raise the breeding tank's temperature by a few degrees higher than what they usually have, and this will trigger spawning.

Once spawning is completed, the female will lay a few hundred eggs on the plants or the substrate, and the male will fertilise them. At this point, you should remove the parents to avoid losing the eggs.

After about two days, the eggs will hatch into tiny fry, and a few days after that, you will see them emerging.

Frquently asked questions about the Leopard Danio

Are Leopard Danios shoaling fish?

Leopard Danios are a shoaling species; therefore, it would be better to keep them in groups of 6 or more individuals. These Danios will spend the majority of their time in the middle and top regions of the aquarium, especially if there is open water or water currents.

How big do Leopard Danios get?

Leopard Danios can grow up to 6 cm in length, with the males usually being slimmer than the more plumper females.

How long do Leopard Danios live?

Leopard Danios usually live for around three and a half to 4 years; however, if they are given the appropriate care and attention, they can live for as long as five and a half years.

What do Leopard Danios look like?

Leopard Danios have a slender, compressed body and a barbel at the end of each lip. They also have a brownish-gold metallic colour body contrasted with bluish-grey spots both on their body and fins. There has also been a variety developed with long, flowing fins and an extended tail which they call the Longfin Leopard Danio.

What should you feed Leopard Danios?

Leopard Danios will eat practically anything you give them; however, their food does need to float at the surface. These fish enjoy chasing after live or freeze-dried food. These fish need a balanced diet, including flake or pelleted foods alongside plant-based food as well as the occasional live prey. Like all Danios, this species is very active and has high nutrient requirements; therefore, choose a food that can provide for their needs. Leopard Danios will do best when offered food several times a day but make sure you only give them what they can consume in 3 minutes or less at each feeding.

What size aquarium is suitable for Leopard Danios?

A school of Leopard Danios are acceptable in a smaller aquarium that holds around 45 litres of water. However, 90 litres would be far more sufficient as they are very active and love to swim around.

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: 01/09/2020 - Updated: 05/01/2022 16:56:27