What Do Zebra Danio (Zebrafish) Eat?

What Do Zebra Danio (Zebrafish) Eat?4 min read

Fact checked by
Sydney Perry
Reading Time: 6 minutes

What kind of food do zebrafish eat?

Taking care of these exotic freshwater fish is not a complex task, especially when it comes zebra danio diet. What do zebrafish eat is easy to answer as these fish are omnivores and are not picky eaters. Therefore, offering them a varied diet of commercial foods, vegetables and meat will go down really well with these easygoing fish.

What To Include In A Zebra Danio Diet?

Zebra danio diet
Zebra danios are omnivores by nature and they feed on small insects, crustaceans, and worms as well as plant matter such as algae, grass, and aquatic plants. Image from Flickr

Zebra danios have a varied diet selection that makes it really easy to keep them well-fed and have all their nutritional requirements covered. These are some of the foods you can consider when wondering what do zebra fish eat.

1. Commercial Foods

Zebra danio fish eating Commercial Foods
Zebra danio is omnivores by nature and they eat all types of live, frozen, or artificial food. Image credit

It is recommended that your aquatic friend eats processed food as part of the zebrafish diet. Commercial food is processed foods that are specifically manufactured to address the unique requirements of fish. It has all the nutrients required to give your zebra danios everything they require to develop and be healthy. If you want to ensure that your fish are receiving all they require to live a happy and healthy life, purchasing commercial food is worthwhile, even if it can get pricey.

2. Algae

Algae
Algae contain important nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for your zebra danio’s health. Image from Flickr

Zebra danios will consume algae in their aquariums, so there is no need for concern. These fish can get crucial nutrients and vitamins from algae, which is a fantastic food source for them. Your zebra danios should have algae added to their tank on a regular basis to ensure that they are receiving the nourishment they require. There are many ways to add algae to your tank. Here are two suggestions:

  • Algae Wafers – They are a kind of tablet that is intended to be given to fish as food. These tiny, square pellets, which are manufactured from dried algae, can be included in a zebra danio diet. However, algae wafers should only be used occasionally and as a supplementary food source if you decide to add them to your pet’s diet. This is due to the high levels of sugar in the wafers that can cause weight gain in zebrafish.
  • Hair Algae – This is another great source of nutrients for your zebra danio. While hair algae may already be found in your tank, you can add a little to your tank when necessary. If you decide to give your zebra danio hair algae, be sure to give it to them in addition to the meals you are already feeding them. Hair algae is not recommended as part of their daily diet as it does cause weight gain.

3. Live Or Frozen Foods

Live brine shrimp
Frozen food including bloodworms, brine shrimp, and Daphnia contains high protein which is great for zebra danio. Image from Flickr

What do zebrafish eat? Well, as an omnivore, zebra danios will consume live or frozen protein sources. Therefore, live meals like worms, crickets, and mealworms, fresh or frozen, are an excellent choice if you want to add to the zebrafish diet. In addition, you should give your zebra danios frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and crustaceans.

You can include any of these options as a high-protein treat twice weekly. Even when treating your fish, try to avoid overfeeding and always remove any uneaten food from the tank.

4. Vegetable

Vegetable for zebra danio fish
Choose vegetables that are safe for zebra danio. Vegetables contain nutrients that are good for fish. Image from Flickr

Your zebra danio will benefit from eating vegetables since they give them the nutrition they require to be healthy and grow. Including vegetables in your zebra danio’s diet is an ideal way to provide them with the nutrients they require. Always select veggies that are safe for them to consume.

You can feed cucumber, peas, and zucchini to your zebra danios. These vegetables include all the vitamins necessary for the growth of your zebrafish.

How Often Should Zebra Danios Be Fed?

You should feed zebra danio fish every day. Give small chunks of food at each feeding at least 1-2 times per day.

To keep your zebra danio in optimal health, you should feed them 1-2 times per day with the recommended quantities of food. Not feeding them regularly can lead to signs of lethargy and malnutrition in your zebra. However, overfeeding your zebrafish can cause constipation and leave them susceptible to a number of illnesses and parasites.

Therefore always feed your zebrafish as indicated in feeding instructions. If the food does not come with instructions, do your research on how much you should be feeding them.

What Happens If Your Zebra Danios Refuse To Eat?

Zebra Danios Refuse To Eat
Make sure that the water is clean and fresh and watch out for parasites or any disease that may causing them not to eat.

A zebrafish not eating can be a stressful time for any owner. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to solve the problem if your zebra danio isn’t eating its food. First, make sure the water condition is at its best. Dirty and unbalanced water conditions can cause appetite loss. Secondly, observe your pet for signs of illness. When your zebra is sick, it will refuse any food you offer. Last but not least, make sure you are feeding them sufficient amounts of food. If they aren’t getting fed frequently, their appetite will shrink.

How Long Can Zebra Danios Go Without Eating?

They can go 14 days without food however they should be re-fed regularly.

Your zebra danios can survive without food for 10 to 14 days. Nevertheless, it’s not recommended that your fish starve for too long because it can impair their immune system, making them susceptible to illness. Furthermore, when your zebra danios are left hungry for too long, they can become stressed, and this could lead to potential death.

Therefore, following a good zebrafish diet with regular feedings is necessary, so your pet is not left feeling stressed.

To Summarize

Make sure that you offer them a variety of food options and change the aquarium water regularly. Be careful not to overfeed them because obesity can lead your health complications.

Even though they aren’t picky eaters, it’s still highly important that your zebra danio diet is at optimal levels for survival. A balanced diet will consist of a little of everything – commercial foods, vegetables, and meat. Stick to flakes and pellets for daily feeding, then add meat and vegetables as treats a few times a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is overfeeding zebra danios a possibility?
Yes, it's very possible you could be overfeeding your zebra danio. If you are overfeeding them, you will see it as their health starts to deteriorate. Overfed fish tend to struggle with constipation and other health problems like swim bladder disease. Should overfeeding not be addressed immediately, it can become a severe issue that can lead to death.
Should a zebrafish be fed every day?
Yes! These fish need to be fed regularly so that they have adequate nutritional intake. Therefore, they need to be fed every day at least 1-2 times a day.
View sources

Tal Halperin

Tal is an avid fish keeper and has been raising ornamental fish for decades. As a little boy, he drove his father crazy to buy him an aquarium with all the necessary equipment. Now, after a career in the field, he has set up Your Aquarium Place to offer the most comprehensive guide to ornamental fish keeping available and share his passion for the different species he has looked after.