Danio leopards

Aquarium fish: Danio leopards (Brachydanio rerio var.)
Size: 5 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 18 – 24 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Danio leopards (Brachydanio rerio var. ) – very popular among aquarists, a small fish from the carp family. 


Asia. It lives in streams and smaller rivers as well as stagnant waters, irrigation canals and flooded rice fields.

Characteristics and disposition

Reaches up to 5 cm in length. Slender, shiny body, brownish-golden in color, covered with irregular dark spots and stripes, resembling a leopard fur pattern.

The fins in males are edged with light yellow – in females lead-gray. The caudal fin is decorated with irregularly diverging spots. Females are slightly larger, rounder and less colored than males. There are also commercially available albiotic and veil varieties, which are usually more delicate than the basic form. Danio leopard until recently was considered Brachydanio frankei described in 1963 by H.

Meinken. For decades, the origin of this variety has been a mystery, and there have been many theories on this topic, and the most commonly accepted one was that of artificial selection. Currently, it is assumed that they are a variety of zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) or Brachydanio rerio var. frankei, which is a mutation and can also occur in the natural environment (R. Spence, Pers.

obs.). Danio leopards are inexpensive, vigorous, hardy and mild-mannered fish. In nature, they swim in large shoals, so it is recommended to keep 8 or more individuals in the aquarium. Most of the time they stay in the upper and middle parts of the water. Especially recommended for beginner aquarium enthusiasts.

Nutrition and feeding

They are predatory fish. In nature, their delicacy is insects and their larvae. Most of their food is eaten in the aquarium. They can be fed with good-quality artificial foods, regularly supplementing the menu with live or frozen foods, e.g. artemia, daphnia or bloodworm.


A small group can be kept in a 54-liter aquarium. They like aquariums with strong currents and adequate swimming space, richly planted with vegetation. They are an excellent species for long and flat aquariums . The fish look best in a tank with a dark ground and not too strong lighting. The water should be well filtered and oxygenated and it is recommended to change it regularly – about 20-30%.

It is worth equipping the aquarium with a cover because they can pop out. In a social aquarium they can be kept with most gentle fish of similar size and requirements. Their high vigor, however, may disturb the calmer species.


The reproduction of the leopard zebrafish is not difficult. In well-kept, mature aquariums, single fry appear without the involvement of the aquarist.

If we want to raise more fish, we will need a separate one, min. 40 liter spawning tank, half filled with water. Water is preferably soft with a temperature of 24-26 C. The bottom should be lined with mesh or glass balls to protect the eggs from the parents. For this purpose, we can also use small-leaved plants, e.g.

moss. Grown fish are sorted by sex and fed abundantly with live food. The thickest female and the most beautifully colored male should be transferred to the previously prepared breeding aquarium in the evening. Spawning usually takes place in the early morning hours of the next day. The female leopard zebrafish lays 100 to 400 eggs, which is less than zebrafish .

After spawning, the female is usually much slimmer. If spawning does not take place, we catch the fish and we can try it with another pair. Adult specimens eat eggs and must be caught. The larvae appear up to about 2 days. As soon as they swim freely, we feed them with micro food for the fry and after a few days with larger live food, e.g.

artemia larvae or micro nematodes.


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