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General Body Form:
A moderately-rounded, laterally-elongated fusiform shape. Size diminutive. Fins are moderate-length and rounded with homocercal caudal fin. Males are more slimly-built than females, whose bodies are also slightly deeper. (While anatomically similar to Zebra danio, these smaller fish are typically a little less active.)
The body's field is opalescent—golden dorsally, silver ventrally and punctuated with a dramatic set of stripes and small spots along the flanks. Running from operculum through the caudal fin, a bright white line has a fine dark line above it and a bolder dark line below. A line of very fine spots trace below this last pigment line. A fine net of soft gray traces the margins of otherwise plain dorsal scales. Dorsal, anal and pelvic fins are transparent with faint brown edging (more dominant in males than females) and the anal fin features spots key to identifying the species.
Omnivorous: Feeding primarily of insects and larvae in nature, in the aquarium, D. nigrofasciatus eagerly accepts live and frozen bloodworm, brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex, mosquito larvae and zooplankton as well as quality small pellet and flake variety diets (depending on the size of the fish, bloodwoom may need to be crushed slightly before feeding.) For best coloration, live and frozen proteins should be offered at least part of the time. Being tiny, non-competitive surface feeders, it may be best to use a feeding ring to contain foods during small once or twice daily feedings.
Freshwater: In nature, D. nigrofasciatus is accustomed to cool, well-oxygenated
running water in the form of springs as well as calm bodies of water
such as pools, ditches and rice paddies
Oviparous: Eggscatters: Moderate to Easy. Sexual dimorphism: Females grow slightly larger and more deeply-bodied and are rounder when gravid than smaller, slimmer-bodied males. Without intervention in a densely-planted aquarium, it's possible for small numbers of fry will survive (although they'll do so in absence of parental care.) For greater fry survival, a spawning tank may be established. A breeding tank-- at least 10 – 20 gallons (37.9 – 75.7 liters)--with marbles as substrate allow the eggs to fall between the marbles and safely out of reach of their parents mouths. Additionally, your tank should have heated, mature water, a sponge filter and an air stone for oxygenation and circulation (the addition of baby grass, java moss or spawning mops is optional as the safest place for the eggs to fall is between the marbles.) At least a week prior to spawning, condition the parents on a diet rich in protein such as bloodworms, brine shrimp or tubifex worms which will help build roe in the female. When the female(s) to be spawned appear gravid (their abdomens will be distended with eggs and a small dark spot will appear just before the fish's urogenital opening,) one or two pair should be placed into the breeding tank toward evening (as spawning will occur around dawn.) To encourage spawning, small amounts of cool water may be added to the tank every few hours. When ready, the female releases close to 20 - 50 eggs, with the male following, fertilizing the eggs as he swims along. D. nigrofaciatus provides no aftercare for the eggs, so it's best to remove the adults within 24 – 48 hours of spawning. Incubation of the eggs generally takes 24 -36 hours (sooner if the water is a little warmer,) during which keeping a tank dark can help reduce fungal growth. A dim tank will also help the fry which are sensitive to light. The fry being free-swimming within 6 to 7 days. Initially offer the fry green algae, small crustaceans, paramecium and protozoans common in aufwuch cultures, segueing to Artemia naupaii, microworm and crushed flake food in a week or so once the fry are large enough to accept the larger foods. There have been reports of D. nigrofasciatus cross-breeding with other Danio species, but these spawnings appear to result in infertile fry.
Dwarf Danio - Danio nigrofasciatus
TFH Featured Article Issue: March 2008 Danios Ahoy!
Danio nigrofasciatus (Day, 1870)
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