Max Size: 10cm

Malabar Danio (Devario malabaricus)

Malabar Danios are peaceful, hardy and active fish that can be housed fine in most community aquariums. However, your aquarium must have a tight-fitting lid as Danios are excellent jumpers. Malabar Danios have been available has long been popular in the aquarium trade and is widely available.

Malabar Danios are a schooling species in nature; therefore, you should ideally keep them in a group of 8 to 10 individuals. Keeping these fish in more significant numbers will make the fish less nervous and provide you with a far more effective and natural-looking display. In addition, this will also reduce any aggression as the fish will concentrate on holding their hierarchical position within the group. Also, the males will usually display better colouring in the company of rivals.

Malabar Danios are not aggressive fish; however, they may upset slow-moving or timid tankmates with their constant activity and vigorous feeding behaviour; therefore, these fish are most suited to larger aquariums containing strong, similarly-sized species. Ideal tankmates for the Malabar Danio could include many Cyprinids, Characins, Catfish, Cichlids and Loaches.

The ideal aquarium set-up for Malabar Danios should mimic a flowing river or stream with a substrate of sand or fine gravel and different sized smooth rocks or stones. You can also add some driftwood roots or branches and hardy aquatic plants such as Anubias, Microsorum or Bolbitis. Malabar Danios naturally occur in pristine habitats; therefore, they are likely to be intolerant to the accumulation of organic waste and will require clean water to thrive.

These Danios prefer a relatively high ratio of dissolved oxygen and moderate water movement, so very fast-flowing currents are unnecessary. Instead, it is recommended that you perform 30 to 50 per cent weekly water changes.

Malabar Danios have a greyish-green to blue body colouration with two horizontal, yellow bars over the entire flank. These bars begin right after the operculum and run through to the caudal fin. The lowest of these two stripes often start as a dotted line. All their fins are translucent except for the caudal fin that may or may not have some orange and blue hues.


Malabar Danio
Malabar Danio
Malabar Danio
Quick Facts
Scientific NameDevario malabaricus
Other NamesNone
OriginsIndia, Sri Lanka
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 15
TDS36 - 268
64 - 78℉
17.8 - 25.6℃


In the home aquarium, the Malabar Danio will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to distinguish the males from the female Malabar Danios. Adult males are slightly smaller and slimmer than females and are more brightly coloured. In contrast, Sexually mature females are usually larger, more rounded in their stomachs and duller than males. The differences are evident when the fish are in spawning conditions.

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: 17/12/2021 14:25:17 - Updated: 11/08/2022 15:47:09