Hello everyone! This is Craig, just writing a short blog on a group of fish that seems to be seeing a swell in popularity within the aquarium hobby lately. The danios. Yes… the lowly, boring, indestructible danios. You might just be surprised at how diverse and beautiful this group of fish has now become within the hobby. Gone are the days when Zebra danios (Danio rerio) and Leopard danios (Danio rerio ‘frankei’)were the only choices for hardy danio species. With the influx of newly discovered freshwater fish from South East Asia, there are many new and colorful species of danio. Almost all of these new danios still hold that indestructible danio trait. Here are some of the newest species in the hobby:
Danio choprae – the Glowlight Danio
These fish are one of the smallest of danio species. Barely attaining a size of 2 inches, these little fish are very active and have been known to spawn in home aquaria! Their body is a beautiful gold with glowing orange stripe going down its side. You can also see some blue barring on the fish when they are very happy! Kept in groups of 10 or more, these little fish are really spectacular!
Danio sp. “Burma” – the Burma Danio
This is a relatively new discovery in the world of danios. A subtle, yet beautiful fish. The Burma Danio is another smaller species that has a wash of gold and green down its sides. These washes form very distinct green spots that are ringed in metallic gold! When these little fellows are kept in large schools of 10 or more, they swim in tight formations and swing from one side of the tank to the other. If you want to see what schooling fish are all about, this is your fish!
Danio kyathit – the Orange Fin Danio
The Orange Fin Danio may look like its cousin the Zebra Danio, but when placed in a planted aquarium with plenty of other Orange Fin Danios, this species will develop broad, reddish-orange stripes on its fins. To make things even more interesting, this fish comes in a striped or spotted color morph! Regardless of the morph you see, this fish makes a robust and hardy addition to any home aquaria.
Devario sp. “Giraffe” – the Giraffe Danio
A slightly larger species of danio, these 3 inch schooling fish boast an iridescent green and orange pattern to their sides that will remind you of a giraffe’s mottling. Very hardy and very rare! This species of danio is one of the most uncommon seen today and is already proving to be a beautiful and hardy fish. As with all danio species, these fish are lively and appreciate a well planted aquarium.
Laubuca dadiburjori – the Dadio
Hailing from India, this tiny danio reaches barely over an inch and is another rarity in the hobby. It has shown to be very hardy and even able to tolerate cooler water temperatures. The Dadio shows a more muted coloration and has a thin body with pale orange on the side and a thin blue stripe going through the orange. There is also a second color morph in which the blue stripe has three tiny little balls of blue spaced along the stripe. This is yet another species that will benefit from being kept with several of its own kind.
As you can see, there are some beautiful and interesting new species of danio that are just now making their way into the hobby. I, like most hobbyists, have overlooked the danios for years, but seeing the newer introductions, I have to say that they are indeed charming little fish that add life and even a little splash of color your aquarium. Even the old standards, the Zebra and Leopard danios, tend to take on new beauty now! Just remember, these spunky little fish will always do better in larger schools of 6 or more. Also, these guys love to eat, so a couple of small feedings per day will help to keep them in good shape. If you decide to get a handful of these little guys, enjoy!