Mixed Danios & Devarios

Mixing Danios

I often get questions about mixing Danios of different species in the same tank together. As a general rule, if the fish are close to the same size and temperament, there are no problems keeping them together.

There are exceptions to this in regards to the fish cross breeding.  With this in mind, the fish I would NOT keep together are;

  • Zebra Danios (Danio rerio) and Leopard Danios (Danio rerio var. frankei)
  • Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus) and Emerald Dwarf Rasboras (Danio erythromicron)
  • Danio kyathit – There is a Spotted variety & a Striped variety.

Personally, I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a large school of a single species of Danio in a well planted tank. That said, you can achieve some interesting combinations by mixing Danios that hang out at different levels in the tank.

I currently have a 40 breeder set-up that has Danio freegradei at the bottom of the tank. Groups of Devario aequipinnatus & Devario xyrops at the top of the tank, and a group of Danio kyathit that roam from top to bottom and everywhere in between!

Some top-water Danios include;

  • Purple Passion Danio (Danio roseus)
  • Giant Danio (Devario aequipinnatus)
  • Blue Moon Danio  (Devario xyrops)
  • Leopard Danio (Danio rerio var. frankei)
  • Zebra Danio (Danio rerio)

Some bottom-of-the tank Danios include;

  • Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus)
  • Yoma Danio (Danio freegradei)
  • Goldring Danio (Danio tinwini)

Now keep in mind those are just loose suggestions rather than hard-and-fast rules. Very often, when you start mixing Danios, you just have to wait and see what you get as to where the fish feel most comfortable in the tank. For example, I’ve kept Purple Passion Danios in large single species groups before where they are literally all over the tank. When I’ve added fish that prefer the bottom of the tank, the Danios move to the top-water area.

Speaking of mixing Danios, something that’s always been on my list of things to do, I’ve always wanted to set-up a long tank, like an 8 footer, with several groups of Danios where the tank is large & long enough that the fish exhibit a true schooling nature. You need a long tank because in shorter tanks the fish can all see each other even when they are at opposite ends of the tank. While to us it appears as though they are not schooling, to the fish they believe they are in the school since they are so close together. I guess that’s a topic for another day….. Enjoy your fish!