Danio choprae

Spawning Danio choprae

Danio choprae is without a doubt, one of my favorite Danios. Practical Fishkeeping magazine in the UK lists Danio choprae as one of the 10 best fish for the beginning aquarist. It was also a favorite of the late Mr. U Tin Win of the Hein Aquarium in Myanmar.  The fish was rediscovered by the Hein Aquarium in 2000, and it was mainly through his efforts that it was made available to the hobby, and rose so quickly in popularity.

Danio choprae, the Glowlight Danio, was first described in 1928 by the Indian ichthyologist, Sunder Lal Hora.  He named the fish after the collector, Dr B. N. Chopra, but in 1937 changed the name to ‘choprai‘ stating that the original spelling had been an error. This lead to great confusion and you will often see the fish called Danio choprai. At any rate, the ICZN disallowed the amendment of the original name and choprae is the accepted spelling of the name.

Danio choprae comes from northern Myanmar, and the species appears restricted to a single tributary of the much larger Ayeyarwaddy drainage system. As is typical for this area, they normally live in small hill streams with substrates of gravel and variably-sized rocks.

General Care

In the wild, Glowlight Danios typically prey on insects and their larvae along with small crustaceans. In the aquarium, they will accept almost any food being offered. For spawning, live or frozen foods will help to quickly get the fish into condition, but for day-to-day feedings, any high quality prepared food would be suitable.

They are not at all fussy when it comes to water conditions. Temperatures in the range of 68°F – 77°F (20°C – 25°C) and pH ranging from 6.0 to 8.0 are fine.


Breeder Basket
Photo by Dennis Ball

I have spawned these fish using several different methods, but the standard breeder basket for egg scattering fish works as well as any.

I prefer to condition 10 or 12 adults for about a week before placing them into the basket for spawning.  If the fish are in good condition, they will normally spawn around first light the next morning.

Like most of the Danios, Danio choprae is not a fussy eater and can easily be conditioned for spawning using high quality commercial foods and/or live or frozen foods.

Raising the Fry

Devario sondhii three day old free swimming fry
Photo by Dennis Ball

Like other small Danios, Glowlight fry are tiny.  Much too small to start off feeding newly hatched brine shrimp.

I prefer to start them off in a tank of green water, but you could also feed 5-50 micron Golden Pearls or Sera Micron prepared foods.

With several feeding each day they will grow very quickly.  At around a month old they show a bright red stripe down their flanks.



With plenty of high quality food and regular large water changes the fry will show adult markings by 12 weeks of age.