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Maximum size : 6 cm

Leopard Danio - Danio Rerio : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Leopard Danio, (Danio Rerio) is a strikingly beautiful fish that was selectively bred from the Zebra Danio to produce a man-made colour variant. These fish are both hardy and friendly, making them perfect for aquarium enthusiasts of all levels. They are also peaceful and can make a great addition to any community aquarium, particularly when kept alongside other Danio species. Leopard Danios are shoaling fish and must be kept in groups of at least six to ensure that they are happy and healthy. They are often employed as \"dither fish,\" meaning that their active nature can encourage more timid fish to venture out into the open. While these Danios can be kept with most other community fish, long-finned species and placid fish that are easily disturbed by the Leopard Danios ' constant activity should be avoided. A well-equipped aquarium for Leopard Danios should have aquatic plants for cover and an open swimming space provided in the center. These fish prefer water that is slightly cooler than average, so it 's important to choose tankmates accordingly. The Leopard Danio boasts a lovely golden brown metallic colour that is dotted with greyish-blue spots, making it a truly eye-catching fish. It has a barbel at the end of each lip, and a long-finned version of this fish has been developed that sports long, flowing fins and an extended tail. In both forms, Leopard Danios are active and mesmerizing to watch.

Leopard Danio Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Leopard Danios is a relatively simple task. Males tend to have a more streamlined body shape and exhibit more intense colouration than females. In contrast, mature females are plumper and appear considerably duller when compared to their male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameDanio Rerio
Year Described1822
Other NamesNone
OriginsIndia Pakistan Bangladesh
Max Size6 cm
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

Natural habitat

Leopard Danios are native to the vibrant landscapes of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. These remarkable fish inhabit fresh, still water in the lower reaches of ponds, streams, ditches, and canals, which are enriched with rocky substrates and shaded areas of silty, dense vegetation. Their habitats vary depending on the time of year. During the wet season, Leopard Danios can be found in large numbers in rice paddies and seasonal pools, where they feed and spawn. As the season changes, adult Leopard Danios migrate back to faster-moving waters, leading their young to follow suit once they have reached maturity. Recreating the perfect environment for Leopard Danios in your home aquarium requires a bit of effort, but the rewards are well worth it. With their vibrant colours and active personalities, Leopard Danios are an excellent addition to any aquatic community. So why not take a plunge into the captivating world of India 's aquatic life and discover the wonders of Leopard Danios for yourself?

How to breed the Leopard Danio

Breeding Leopard Danios is a relatively straightforward process. To start, a separate breeding tank with shallow water, fine-leaved plants like Java moss, or a spawning mesh at the bottom is required to offer a secure area for the fish to spawn. A group of six or more young Leopard Danios is typically introduced to the breeding tank, and the fish will choose their own mates. To trigger spawning, the temperature in the tank should be raised slightly higher than usual. The female will lay a few hundred eggs on the plants or substrate, and the male will fertilize them. To protect the eggs from being eaten by the adults, it is essential to remove the parents from the tank immediately after spawning. After two days, the eggs will hatch into tiny fry, and a few days later, they will become free-swimming. At this point, you can feed them with infusoria or commercially available liquid fry food.

Diet & feeding

To maintain the health and vibrancy of Leopard Danios, it 's important to offer them a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of foods. High-quality pellets and flakes that provide the necessary nutrients should be the mainstay of their diet, but it 's also recommended to supplement their meals with plant-based foods and live or frozen treats like bloodworms and brine shrimp. Given their active nature, it 's best to feed these fish several times a day, making sure not to overfeed and pollute the water. By providing a balanced diet, you can help your Leopard Danios thrive in their aquarium environment.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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