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Maximum size : 4.5 cm

Panther Danio - Brachydanio aesculapii : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Panther Danio (Brachydanio aesculapii) is a mesmerizing fish that captures the attention of any onlooker. These fish are not only beautiful but also hardy and peaceful, making them a perfect addition to any community aquarium. They are ideal for novice aquarists, but one should be aware that they may nip the fins of their tankmates. Schooling is natural for Panther Danios, and they should be kept in groups of at least eight to enable them to feel comfortable and display their best colors. Inadequate numbers may make the fish anxious and reduce their natural behavior. These fish have a torpedo-shaped body, and they appear to be plain at first glance, but when the light reflects off their sides, their opalescent appearance is revealed. The markings along their flanks resemble snakeskin and add to their unique appeal. The Panther Danio's fins are all transparent, creating an illusion of effortless movement as it glides through the water.

Panther Danio Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is possible to differentiate between male and female Panther Danios with relative ease. Typically, sexually mature females exhibit a rounder belly and are slightly larger than males. In addition, the dark bands in the anterior portion of the body appear elongated and thinner in females. These differences become more pronounced during the spawning period, with males displaying a deeper coloration and females filling with eggs.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBrachydanio aesculapii
Year Described2009
Other NamesNone
Max Size4.5 cm
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 8+
Lifespanup to 4 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.5
GH1 - 12
TDS18 - 90
72 - 79
22.2 - 26.1

Natural habitat

The Panther Danio is a fascinating and unique species, native to the isolated Rakhine Yoma and Arakan mountains in Rakhine state, western Myanmar, situated in Southeast Asia. This area is renowned for forming a natural barrier that sets the nation apart from the rest of the country, creating a unique environment that has allowed the Panther Danio to evolve and thrive. In addition to their natural habitat, you can also find Panther Danios in Kananmae Chaung, a coastal creek that flows out of the forest into farmland before eventually draining into the Bay of Bengal. Here, they adapt to the specific conditions of the area, demonstrating their remarkable ability to thrive in different environments. In the wild, Panther Danios are typically found in slow-flowing shallow clear, transparent water, within pools, streams, and rivers. These bodies of water usually have a substrate made up of a mixture of pebbles, gravel, rocks, and leaf litter, providing the perfect environment for these beautiful fish to live in.

How to breed the Panther Danio

Panther Danios are an egg-scattering species that exhibit no parental care, a common trait among Danios. While these fish will often spawn in a densely-planted, established aquarium, resulting in small numbers of fry appearing without intervention, a more controlled approach is required for those seeking to increase the quantity of fry. To increase the yield, a separate, smaller tank should be set up, half-filled with water, and dimly lit. The bottom should be covered with a wide-mesh grade that allows eggs to fall through but prevents adults from accessing them. Alternatively, fine-leaved plants or java moss can be used to the same effect. To condition the adult group, you can feed them small amounts of live and frozen food, add small amounts of cold water every few hours, and position a small air-powered filter, directing the current down the full length of the tank. Once the females appear full of eggs and the adult fish are well-conditioned, one or two pairs can be introduced to the separate tank. Spawning can be initiated by the addition of food and small amounts of cold water, leading the pair to spawn the following morning. After a couple of days, it is best to remove the adults as they will consume any eggs they find. To avoid fry being sucked into the filter, switch the power filter for a sponge-type unit. The incubation period for Panther Danio eggs is temperature-dependent, with hatching typically occurring after around 36 hours, followed by the young becoming free-swimming 3 to 4 days later. To ensure the fry's health, feed them initially with Paramecium or a proprietary dry food of sufficiently small grade, before introducing microworm and artemia nauplii as they grow.

Diet & feeding

In the domestic setting, Panther Danios can be fed a diet that consists of high-quality dried products as the primary source of nutrition. However, a diet that is solely dependent on dried food may not suffice, and thus, it is advisable to supplement their diet with small live and frozen foods such as daphnia, artemia, and bloodworm. By providing your fish with a well-rounded diet, you will ensure their optimal health and vibrant colouration.

Frequently asked questions

Endemic to the Rakhine Yoma and Arakan mountains in Rakhine state, western Myanmar. These fish have initially been collected from a few streams and rivers of the west interior slopes. However, the individuals originated from the Kananmae Chaung, a coastal creek draining into the Bay of Bengal. These fish inhabit shallow, slow-flowing clear water, and the substrate is usually made of a mixture of pebbles, gravel, rocks and leaf litter.

Panther Danios make an excellent community fish as they get along with most fish species of similar size or smaller. However, these fish can be fin nippers, so be careful if you decide to house them with fish species with extravagant finnage.

Panther Danios have a slender torpedo-shaped body displaying a snake-like pattern with its iridescent gold markings across its body from behind their gill plates to the base of their caudal peduncle. Their fins have a vague white leading edge but otherwise are pretty much hyaline.

You should feed your Panther Danios a high-quality dried product as the staple diet; however, you should supplement this with frequent meals of small live and frozen fares such as artemia and daphnia bloodworm and suchlike. This will show the best colour and condition of your fish.

The water temperature in their natural habitat has been recorded between 22 and 27 degrees Celcius throughout the warmer months, so this likely drops during the monsoon's wet months; however, we don't know to what extent. The pH level in their natural waters has been measured between 6.9 and 7.1. Panther Danios inhabit softer waters with a hardness of 18-90 ppm; therefore, it is recommended that you keep the water parameters in your aquarium as close to this as possible.

Panther Danios look especially striking in a heavily planted aquarium with a dark substrate and appear a little dull in sparsely decorated set-ups. It would be better to set up your aquarium to mimic a flowing stream or river with a substrate of decent sized rocks and gravel and some large smooth boulders. The water needs to be well-oxygenated with a level of flow. However, it would be best to avoid torrent-like conditions since these fish live in calmer stretches of waters in their natural habitat. You can also add hardy aquatic plants, which can be attached to the decor and driftwood.

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