The Giant Danio belongs to the Cyprinidae family. Suppose you already have a large tank housing larger fish like Cichlids. In that case, this particular fish species can be a great addition to your aquarium. They are a sight to behold in a fish tank because of their energetic nature and magnificent colors.

This giant fish species is very hardy. Therefore, they are easy to care for, even in an aquarium. They are schooling fish, always found in groups. Originating from Southern and Southeast Asia, they look spectacular in a big aquarium.

Let’s look at the important facts about their breeding, general care, diet, etc., to care for them properly.

Fundamental Giant Danio Stats

Stat Compiled By: This Stat was written by Bunny Oshinsky an active contributor to the site.
Family: CYPRINIDAE
Species: Devario aequipinnatus
Common Name: Giant Danio
Size: Up to5.9 in (15 cm)
Habitat: ASIA: India and Nepal to Indochina in hill streams and shaded, mid-hill clear waters. Occupies top strata (pelagic.)
Min Tank Size: School of 8 -10: 55 gallons (208.2 liters) or larger
Diet: Omnivorous: with a preference for proteins. Enjoys live and frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex and high-quality flake food.
Behavior: Peaceful, energetic and boisterous.
Water: Temperature 72 to 76°F (22 – 25°C) pH range: 6.0 – 8.0; dH range: 5 – 19
Care: Easy – Moderate, needs open areas to swim.
Communities: Excel in a large school of their own kind, with a minimum of at least 8 – 10 (in smaller groups, they may tend to bully.) Excellent companions as dither fish to cichlids and other fish unintimidated by their size and busy nature such as similarly-sized barbs, catfish, characins, cyprinids and loaches.
Suitability: Good for all
Note: Danio are strong swimmers and are prone to jumping, so be sure to provide a tight-fitting lid for your aquarium.

To care for any fish species in your aquarium, you need to have comprehensive statistical information about them. The statistical data of the species can serve as a guide for you. It will help you have a basic understanding of their aquarium set-up and much more in one glance.

The table lists the basic biological specifications you should know about this species. The primary biological specifications will help you feed the fish, understand their life expectancy, and much more.

Scientific name Devario aequipinnatus
Common name Giant Danio
Origin Southern Asia (Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and northern Thailand)
Lifespan 5-7 years
Genus Devario
Species D. aequipinnatus
Family Cyprinidae
Diet Omnivorous diet

General facts

The Devario aequipinnatus is easy to care for. They are incredibly hardy as a species and hence can do with low maintenance. If you’re a beginner aquarist, this species is an excellent option for you to keep in your aquarium.

Let’s take a look at the essential facts about this species to get you acquainted with the same:

  • These fish have an elongated appearance. Their bodies are torpedo-shaped (cylindrical-shaped bodies). They have a fleshy filament near their mouth called barbel.
  • Coming to the size of these giant fish, they grow up to 4 inches in the aquarium. However, in the wild, they can grow up to 6 inches in size. In their species, they are the largest, which justifies their name.
  • The giant fish has been given the Least Concern (LC) ranking on the IUCN Red List. The LC ranking means that they are not in danger of extinction. They are a common species and are widespread across their range.
  • Their coloring is one of the reasons they look fantastic in an aquarium. They have an iridescent golden-colored body. The metallic blue stripes and spots on their body add to their aesthetic appeal. Their pale golden colored fins are rounded, and they have a forked tail. You can also find their other color variations. There are some with greyish blue bodies with green and yellow stripes and dots.
  • Some fish of this species can have a yellow-color body due to a genetic mutation. These fish are called golden giant danio or yellow giant danio. These are the albino fish.
  • Another unique physical characteristic is that some fish have fins that get transparent towards the tips. Fish with such fins can also have tinges of green or pink on their fins.
  • One of the reasons these fish are a good fit for keeping in an aquarium is their temperament. They have a pleasant temperament, friendly, and energetic. They are of a schooling variety and best kept in groups of six and more.
  • The male and female fish of this species can be differentiated from each other by their physical appearance. The male fish has a more intense coloration than the female counterpart. Also, the male fish is thinner. The fully grown female fish of this species has a central blue stripe. The blue stripe present at the center of the female fish’s body bends upwards to the tail fin. On the contrary, the blue stripes on males are straight. They don’t bend in any direction.

Giant Danio Care Guide

General set-up information

To get a clear idea about the kind of set-up the great danio requires, let’s discuss their natural habitat first. Understanding this fish’s natural habitat and origin will help you create the ideal aquarium environment that this fish requires to survive.

These fish are native to Southeastern Asia and South Asia. They were initially found in Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, northern Thailand, Nepal, and India. These fish dwell in the upper strata of moderately flowing, clear streams. To be specific, they can are found at around 1000 feet above sea level.

The water quality of the aquarium has to be good. These beautiful fish need clean water with a 2-20 dGH hardness level of the water. To keep the water clean, remember to replace the water once a month. That should be enough. To be precise, replace 25-50 percent of water in the aquarium once a month. If your aquarium has a lot of dense vegetation, then 25-50 percent of the water needs to be replaced once a week.

Water temperature is also essential. The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be around 72°- 75°F (22°- 24°C). You need to maintain the water’s pH levels at 6.0-8.0.

Now, let’s discuss the substrate that you can keep at the base of the tank. Since this fish species is moderately hardy, it means that they can adapt to various aquarium conditions. You can opt for any strata. However, to show off their beautiful coloring, opt for a dark stratum. The strata should be composed of fine sand or gravel.

You can keep plants in the aquarium. The Devario aequipinnatus thrive in an aquarium with lots of vegetation. The only thing you need to remember is to place the vegetation comprising tall plants and other varieties at the bottom and back. In this way, they will feel safe and free. Keep the central portion of the aquarium free from any vegetation so that they can freely swim around the aquarium.

You need to maintain a high oxygen concentration in the water tank because these fish require a high oxygen concentration to thrive. For this, you can add air stones to the aquarium.

You also need to have a good filtration system in place. The filtration system will generate a moderate current in the water. These fish are very active and playful. Therefore, they enjoy swimming in the direction of water flow.

As mentioned earlier, owing to their energetic demeanor, these fish love swimming laps in the aquarium’s middle and upper sections. So, make sure to get a long aquarium (36 inches or longer). The capacity of the tank should be 30+ gallons.

Diet

The giant danio lifespan is approximately 5 to 7 years. To ensure that your fish are healthy and live up to seven years, a good diet is imperative. A healthy diet for this fish species means an omnivorous diet.

As you already know by now, this particular fish species is relatively low maintenance. It is evident from their diet as well. They will eat any live or prepared aquarium fare. Because these Cyprinidae family members are very active, you must feed them nutrient-rich food.

The other requirement is that the food must float on the surface of the aquarium.

These fish mostly swim close to the aquarium’s surface and shoal in the middle of the aquarium. Therefore, they will float to the surface of the tank and eat. You can feed them flakes, pellets or tablets, and a few bits of vegetables. They also eat live food like worms and shrimps.

The frequency of feeding is important. These fish prefer to be fed several times every day. However, you should only provide such a quantity that they eat in approximately three minutes or less. However, if you can only take out the time to feed them once every day, then provide enough food to be eaten in about 5 minutes.

Common diseases to tackle

These hardy fish are suitable for beginner aquarists. Therefore, you do not have to worry too much about them falling ill. If you have a well-maintained aquarium that suits them, diseases won’t be a problem. Just remember to replace about 25-50% of the water once a month.

The most common disease this species is susceptible to, owing to poor water quality, is Ich. One occasion where you have to keep a close eye on this fish species is when you introduce other fish species or substrate, decorations, or plants into the aquarium. The best thing to do would be to quarantine or clean these new additions before placing them into your aquarium.

One of the best ways to tackle common illnesses is by being aware of the symptoms, signs, and treatment protocols of diseases. Even if prevention is not possible, if you catch a disease early, these fish can be treated easily due to their inherently high resilience. They respond well to treatment.

However, prevention is the best way to tackle illnesses for fish. So, keep a well-maintained aquarium and provide your fish with a nutrient-rich, well-balanced diet. That’s all it takes to keep this species healthy. Try to create an aquarium environment that closely resembles their natural habitat.

An aquarium environment that is very similar to the natural habitat of these fish has several positive outcomes. They will be able to live up to their life expectancy of 5-7 years.

They will also be energetic and stress-free. Fish that are stressed are more susceptible to becoming ill.

Tank Mates

One of the best qualities of this fish species is their temperament. They are a peaceful and energetic species. Their schooling nature means that they must be kept in groups of 6 and more. They are friendly and active.

They tend to be very playful and chase around other fish in the tank. However, this cannot be deemed as giant danio aggressive behavior. Their playful nature might cause them to annoy any large fish or harass smaller fish slightly. But you can be sure of the fact that this species is in no way aggressive.

However, as an aquarist, if you want, you can keep this particular fish species in a separate aquarium with 5 to 6 fish of the same species. You may also choose to keep them with fish of similar size and demeanor.

Be cautious not to keep fish that prefer still water environments or slower-paced environments. This fish species will not be good companions to fish that do not enjoy moderate water current. These fish are playful, friendly, and active and need tank mates who like swimming around and playing around with them.

Go for similar-sized, robust fish as tank mates for this species. Fish belonging to the Cyprinidae family, like barbs and other danios, peaceful cichlids, catfish, and loaches, make fantastic companions to these fish.

Be sure not to introduce any aggressive, predatory fish species to the same tank where you keep Devario aequipinnatus. Your giant pets cannot survive with fish that are larger, have aggressive or semi-aggressive demeanor. Slow-swimmers are also not a good fit. However, you can keep shrimps, snails, and crabs with danio.

Breeding

It is effortless to breed these fish. The best way to understand whether they’re sexually mature is by looking at their size. When these fish grow to 2 ¾ inches (7 cm) in length, it is an indication that they’re ready to breed.

These danios do not have a particular breeding site. They are egg scatterers by nature and lay adhesive eggs. Owing to their egg scattering nature, they don’t have parental instincts and do not care for their offspring.

When they lay eggs, they scatter throughout the water column and make their way towards the substrate. You have to create an ideal aquarium environment for breeding. The water temperature should be a bit higher. It should be around 72°- 82°F (25°- 28°C).

These giant fish require a 20-gallon tank to spawn. The substrate should have bushy, dense plants and a cluster of plants made of plastic at one end. You should also add pebbles or marbles to the aquarium to catch the eggs laid by these fish.

This fish species tend to eat their eggs. Therefore, remember to feed them live worms to prevent them from eating their own fertilized eggs. You should also keep the aquarium in direct sunlight during the day.

After each pairing, each female fish lays between 5 to 20 eggs. After the eggs are laid, they will land on the substrate and plants. You must keep the eggs oxygenated during this time. Use an air pump for this.

You either can remove the parents from the tank where the eggs have been laid to a separate tank or feed the parents live worms. Feed the fry small fresh foods or powdered dry foods.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve covered all the essential facts that you need to know to keep this fish species in your aquarium, let’s do a quick recap of the crucial points:

  • This fish species belongs to the Cyprinidae family.
  • The giant danio size is 4 inches in aquariums and up to 6 inches in their natural habitat.
  • They have a life expectancy of 5-7 years and are resilient by nature.
  • They have a peaceful and energetic demeanor. They are very friendly.
  • This species is beautiful with an iridescent golden-colored body with metallic blue-green stripes and dots on their body and pale-yellow fins.
  • Female fish have a central blue stripe that bends upwards to their tail fins, whereas males have a straight central stripe.
  • They thrive in aquariums with a dark substrate composed of fine sand or gravel and dense vegetation.
  • The water temperature needs to be between 72°-75°F, and the hardness needs to be between 2-20 dGH.
  • The pH of the water has to be between 6.0-8.0.
  • These fish have an omnivorous diet and can be fed flakes, pellets, and tablets along with fresh and dried food options such as worms and shrimps. Just make sure that the food floats on the surface.
  • Owing to their resilient nature, these fish do not fall sick often. They are, however, susceptible to Ich.
  • Any new tank mates, plants, decorations, or substrate must be cleaned and quarantined before adding to the tank.
  • These are schooling fish and must be kept in groups of 6 or more. Do not keep aggressive, large, predator fish with this species.
  • They are easy to breed.

The Devario aequipinnatus is a widely available, inexpensive fish species. They are an excellent choice for beginner aquarists!

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