Leopard Danio (Danio Rerio) Fish Species Profile
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 and are suitable for any level of fish keepers.
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. There is also a long-finned version of this fish that has been developed that sports long, flowing fins and an extended tail. In both forms, they are eyecatching active fish.
|Scientific Name||Danio Rerio|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|Maximum Size||up to 6 cm|
|Temperature||65 - 80 ℉ (18.3 - 26.7 ℃)|
|PH||6.5 - 7.5|
|GH||6 - 16|
Origins of the Leopard Danio
The Leopard Danio originates from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
They inhabit fresh, still water in the lower reaches of ponds, streams, ditches, and canals which usually contain rocky substrate and shaded areas with silty, dense vegetation.
Their habitats depend on the time of year. In the wet season, you will find them in large numbers in rice paddies and seasonal pools 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.
Leopard Danios require a balanced diet which should include 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.
Sexing 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.
Breeding 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 temperature in the breeding tank 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.