Danio fish is one of the most popular schooling fish among aquarists. This is because not only do they have a variety of colors, they are low maintenance and form beautiful patterns as they follow each other through the water.
However, have you ever wondered if there is any difference between the color varieties? Golden Zebra Danio and pink Zebra Danio are just two of the most popular Danio varieties. Read on to see which one would suit your tank better.
What Are The Different Varieties Of Danio Fish?
Have you set your heart on a shimmering school of Danio fish, only to decide you want something more unusual than the classic black, silver, and blue Zebra Danio? Although this basic Danio variety is the most common and most popular, there are actually many other kinds too.
Danio fish are relatives of the carp, meaning they are in the same family as goldfish and minnows. However, they look nothing alike. Instead, these are small, schooling fish that are native to slow-moving water in India and parts of Southeast Asia. They have a wide range and different varieties are found in different places across the region.
They have a high fertility rate and are thus very easy to source and available in almost all aquatics stores. This, along with the fact they can live up to 5 years when well looked after, makes them a firm favorite. Apart from the classic Zebra Danio, the golden Zebra Danio and pink Zebra Danio are two other popular varieties.
Author’s Note: Danio fish make great dither fish! Dither fish are any small fish that have bold personalities and thus will easily come out into the middle of the water to feed. Including dither fish in a tank with shyer fish can make your other fish feel safer. By seeing the dither fish actively feeding, they can learn there are no predators.
Are Gold Zebra Danio And Pink Zebra Danio Fish The Same Species?
Having learned about these two new varieties of Danio fish, you may wonder whether they are the same species. In truth, scientists have not actually fully classified every variety of ornamental fish. Thus, the taxonomy of aquarium fish can sometimes be confusing.
However, the definition of a species is that two fish can mate together and produce fertile offspring. With this definition, it is most helpful to think of golden and pink Zebra Danio fish as two separate subspecies.
They are all varieties of the classic Zebra Danio. However, although you can crossbreed them, most fishkeepers see more success breeding them with their own kind. In addition, they come from different parts of the world.
What Is The Difference Between Gold Zebra Danio And Pink Zebra Danio?
The biggest difference between golden Zebra Danio and pink Zebra Danio fish is, naturally, their color. Golden Zebra Danios are a pale yellow, which can range from lemon colored to light cold. You can see the same characteristic stripes in a darker or lighter tone as with the common Zebra Danio.
The pink Zebra Danio has a similar pattern, except in a dusky, rosy pink color. Note that neither the golden nor the pink Zebra Danio are the same as Zebra Danio GloFish! Both these fish have natural coloration, whereas GloFish are genetically modified to exhibit bright colors.
The only other main difference between the gold Zebra Danio and the pink variety is habitat. The pink variety is often found in Myanmar, where it inhabits streams and rice paddies. The gold Zebra Danio tends to be found further west in India, where like the regular Danio morph, it inhabits similar environments in places like the Western Ghats.
Author’s Note: You may occasionally see Zebrafish that are a bright, neon pink color. As you may guess, these are glofish, and not the naturally colored pink Zebra Danio. A natural pink Zebra Danio is a much softer pink color.
Which Kind Of Danio Fish Should I Get?
If you are torn between the two and are unsure what kind of Zebrafish to get, rest assured that there is not much difference in care between the two of them. Therefore, you can easily go with the variety that you prefer.
However, if you are still struggling to decide, there are a few factors you can consider. These are availability and how quickly you want to buy your fish, as well as whether you want a longfin variety.
Tank Setup Time And Sourcing Your Fish
If you are looking to quickly buy a fish, you will find your local aquatics store may stock gold Zebra Danio fish. However, if you’re looking for the rarer pink Zebra Danio, you may have to search for a more specialist retailer.
Both pink and gold Zebra Danio fish have similar tank requirements. If you are planning on only keeping Danio fish, for example, for an aquascape tank, you will need a minimum of 10 gallons for a school of 5-6. You can then add an extra 2 gallons per additional fish.
However, you may wish to keep your Zebrafish with another, larger tankmate such as goldfish. In this instance, follow the guidelines for the other fish and add the extra 10 gallons for your Danio school to this. Remember that a bigger tank is better. Fish may be able to survive in a small amount of water, but they definitely won’t thrive.
Are Pink Zebra Danio Rare?
The pink Zebra Danio fish is not necessarily rare, however, it is much less commonly seen than its blue-silver and gold cousins. Therefore if you’re looking for a school of these pastel-colored, distinctive fish, be prepared to search a little harder than with other varieties.
What Are Longfin Danios?
Longfin Danios are a captive-bred variety of Danio fish that has long, flowing fins, including a distinctive tail fin. These fish aren’t found in the wild! However, they can make fantastic, schooling tankmates.
Danio fish are actually both tropical and subtropical. They can, in fact, tolerate a wide variety of water temperatures. Therefore, if you want to keep longfin Danios of any color in a community tank, goldfish make a great tankmate. This is because they won’t nip your Danio’s long tail.
Can I Get A Longfin Golden Zebra Danio Fish?
Yes! The longfin morph exists in many kinds of Danio fish. This includes the golden Zebra Danio fish. However, there are very few reports of it in the pink Zebra Danio fish. The pink variety is a lot less common in general as well.
Thus, if you are still deciding whether to get golden or pink Zebra Danio fish, consider whether you want the longfin variety. If so, your best option is a tank full of longfin golden Zebra Danio. Likewise, this will affect your choice of tankmates.
This is because certain other kinds of fish can nip the flowing tail of your longfin Danios. Unfortunately, this also includes other, shortfin Danio fish, as they get confused by a fish that looks similar to them but is subtly different.
As a result, you should NEVER mix long and shortfin Danio fish, regardless of the color. If you want longfin Danio fish, choose peaceful tankmates who won’t bip your fish’s fins. Suitable tankmates include neon tetras, cory catfish, and snails such as the Malaysian trumpet snail, ramshorn snail, or mystery snail.
Can I Keep A Mixed Danio Shoal?
Maybe you can’t decide whether you want golden Zebra Danio fish or the pink variety. It can be tempting to create a mixed shoal, but like with the setup of any community tank, it’s important you fully understand the individual needs of your fish first. Even when fish are very similar, this can still cause aggression or issues with territorial behavior. Remember that Danios are fin-nipping fish.
How To Create A Mixed Danio Community Tank
If you want to keep both varieties of Danio, there’s no reason you can’t. These fish generally won’t be aggressive to each other, with the important exception of mixing short and longfin varieties.
However, be warned that you might not end up with the dazzling multicolored shoal you are looking for. This is because despite being non-threatening towards each other, Danio fish still prefer their own kind. Thus, if you keep a tank of both gold Zebra Danio and pink Zebra Danio, you may find that you end up with separate shoals of separate colors.
How To Plant And Maintain A Zebra Danio Tank
The natural habitat of Zebrafish includes lots of aquatic plants, driftwood, and places to hide. By recreating this in your tank, you can watch your fish swim hypnotically through the archways and holes you have created for them. These fish look great alone, but as a school, they really begin to shine.
Plant species such as cabomba, java fern, and java moss in drifts so that there are gaps in between them that your fish can dart through. Danio fish enjoy either a sandy or gravel substrate. Their feeding is also very easy for beginners, and they will generally enjoy a basic flake food for tropical fish. You can also enjoy rocks and driftwood to create more interesting spaces for them to swim through.
Keeping ornamental fish has been popular for many years throughout history. Now, there are more varieties of fish available than ever. However, this also means it is much harder to decide what fish would suit your tank. Both golden and pink Zebra Danio fish are low-maintenance, easygoing fish that are great for beginners. Therefore, it is really down to your individual tank preferences whether you get one variety, more, or both.
Author’s Note: Danio fish are very easy to breed due to their high fertility rate. However, be prepared for the consequences of this! Always have a large enough breeding tank and remember that if you leave male and female Zebra Danios alone long enough, they will eventually spawn!