- These animated fish are the right fit for 3 types of tanks: they put on a powerful display in a species-only aquarium, are animated companions to similarly-sized community fish and are excellent dither fish, providing security in cichlid tanks. They’re easy to care for, easy to spawn and appreciate large, planted tanks with ample water circulation.
- Asia: India and Nepal to Indochina in hill streams and shaded, mid-hill clear waters.
General Body Form:Fusiform body. Moderate-length, rounded fins. Dorsal fin begins far on back. Homocercal caudal fin. Small, anterior mouth.
Coloration:Silver to amber body with a series of metallic blue pigmented stripes lengthening down the flanks. Pectoral fins are transparent gray, anal fin is transparent amber and dorsal and caudal fins have amber fields with blue pigmented stripes.
Note:Indian glassy fish have often been sold as having been “dyed” or “painted,” a process by which numerous injections of colored dye are made into the fish’s transparent tissue to make them more brightly colored. The process is cruel, far from painless, opens the fish up to opportunistic diseases such as fin rot, ich and Lymphocystis, and has been shown to shorten their lives considerably (from 6 months instead of their natural lifespan of approximately 5 – 8 years.)
Diet:Omnivorous with a preference for proteins. In nature, feeds mainly on insects, worms and crustaceans. In aquaria, Giant danio enjoy a variety of live and frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex and high-quality flake food.
Maintenance:These schooling fish appreciate as large and as long of a tank as you can provide. Nature can be replicated with a substrate of gravel and a variety of small rocks, driftwood or branches and plants that can be easily attached to them, such as Anubias and Java Fern. For best success, low lighting (of 45 – 60 watts) is recommended. This might be accomplished by keeping the tank by a window with moderate morning sunlight. With higher light and the addition of CO2, both plants grow quickly and lushly, so ensure your water column contains the sufficient nutrients.A high-rate of filtration and weekly water changes of 30 – 50% are recommended for the health of this fish. Giant danio are strong swimmers and are prone to jumping, so be sure to provide a tight-fitting lid for your aquarium. D. aequipinnatus are energetic, boisterous fish that do well in as large of a school of their own kind as possible, with a minimum school of 8 – 10 (in smaller groups, they may tend to bully.) A species tank would be impressive as males show their colors best among rivals, but these fish offer more than one option. Giant danios spend the majority of their time maintaining hierarchical order at the surface of the tank. This constant whirl of movement from dither fish has a calming effect that reassures the cichlids they’re safe and free from predation. Another option would be as members in a community tank with fish unintimidated by their busy nature and yet still non-aggressive themselves—think similarly-sized fishes in the barb, catfish, characin, cichlid, cyprinid and loach families.
Biotope:Freshwater: In the wild, Giant danios are accustomed to fast-moving, highly-oxygenated hill stream and river waters.
Oviparous: Egg-scattering free-spawners: Easy. Males are both sexually dimorphic and mildly dichroic, having brighter colors and rounder bodies than females. The greatest challenge to overcome is Giant danios are voracious egg-eaters. 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.) When ready, the female releases close to 300 eggs, with the male following, fertilizing the eggs as he swims along. Giant danios provide 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, with the fry being free-swimming a few days later. Initially offer the fry green algae, small crustaceans, paramecium and protozoans common in aufwuch cultures, segueing to Artemia naupaii and crushed flake food in a week or so once the fry are large enough to accept the larger foods.