The Best Zebra Danio Tank Mates

The Best Zebra Danio Tank Mates6 min read

Fact checked by
Sydney Perry
Reading Time: 7 minutes

zebra danio tank mates

Finding zebra danio tankmates is not difficult at all. In fact, your biggest struggle might be not knowing which to choose!

Truthfully, there are so many options for zebra fish tankmates you could take forever to decide. They are easygoing fish that get along with just about any other fish in their tank. Naturally, not all fish are great zebra danio tank mates. It is best to choose types whose requirements for water temperature, pH, and other tank factors are similar.

You’ll want your zebra danio to enjoy being around peaceful and stress-free tank mates, so here is the list of the best options – and what makes them special.

Best Zebra Danio Tank Mates Compared

When putting together a community tank, there are several things to consider. Firstly, are your chosen zebra fish tank mates shoaling fish, or solitary? Secondly, how much extra space do they need? Lastly, you’ll want to consider their requirements compared to your danios. Therefore, read on for the details of cardinal tetras, rasboras, and many more common tank mates.

1. Cardinal Tetra

Cardinal Tetra
This two-toned bright fish is a great companion for zebra danio because they prefer similar temperature levels. Image from Flickr

The cardinal tetra has a stunning red underside and gleaming blue and green stripe running down its body. With these colorful markings, it is a well-liked addition to any tank. They are shoaling fish, so always keep a few other cardinal tetras in the tank for them to hang out with. One thing to note is the cardinal tetra is easily confused with the neon tetra. It’s best to do your research first to decide which one is right for you.

When it comes to diet, in addition to prepared flakes and pellets, carnivorous cardinal tetras also prefer protein-rich live or frozen food. They are one of the best zebra danio tank mates as they prefer similar temperatures. Additionally, they stick within their shoal, much like your zebra fish. As a cardinal owner, you will get to enjoy them for up to four years.

2. Clown Pleco

Clown Pleco
Clown Plecos prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank so there will be no risk that this fish will get in the way of zebra danio. Image from Flickr

The clown pleco is one of the most perfect zebra danio tank mates. It is little, placid, and loves to hang out by itself at the bottom of your aquarium. So you won’t find them picking fights with any of your zebra danios. Clown plecos’ colors vary, but their most common banding is dark black and white or orange.

Even though clown plecos are omnivorous, their diet mainly consists of algae and wood. Therefore, adding driftwood to your tank is a good idea for them to snack on. These beautiful creatures can live for as long as 10 years and only require temperatures of 73-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish
Just like clown plecos, cory catfish prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank and they keep the cleanliness of the tank by eating the leftover foods. Image from Flickr

Cory catfish are small, calm, and laid-back fish that can live happily in a variety of water conditions. They make fantastic zebrafish tank mates. Corys even contribute to tank cleanliness by consuming uneaten food at the bottom. Furthermore, they are usually not a nuisance to your zebra danios, who swim at the top of the tank, while cory catfish prefer to be close to the bottom.

Small schools of at least five or six fish in temperatures of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for cory catfish. These fish have a lifespan of about 10 years.

4. Ember Tetras

Ember Tetras
Ember tetras are quite similar to goldfish – both have bright orange colors. They’re a great companion for zebra danio because of their sweet and friendly characteristics. Image from Flickr

With its vivid orange and red colors, the ember tetra is a friendly addition to your tank. This colorful fish, also known as ‘fire tetra,’ won’t bother the other tank mates because of their peaceful nature. Regardless of their timid demeanor, you will frequently witness these lively fish enthusiastically darting around the aquarium. They are easy zebra danio tank mates as they share similar characteristics.

Ember tetras have a lifespan of two years and prefer temperatures of 73-84 degrees. Fahrenheit. Embers are omnivores who like both vegetables and protein from suitable meat sources.

5. Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish
Because of their vast variety of colors and patterns, guppies are a great addition to your tank. They are friendly which makes them great tankmates of zebra danio.

Guppies come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and even though they are all quite small, they are some of the best zebra danio tank mates. There are more than 300 species of guppy fish you can choose from to keep as zebrafish tank mates.

These amazing fish, also known as rainbow fish, add a good splash of color to your tank. Guppies spend their days swimming everywhere and are friendly and cheerful. They can live for two years on an omnivorous diet and temperatures of 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora
With a goldfish-like appearance, harlequin rasbora will be great a companion for zebra danio because they never attack and don’t cause stress to other tankmates. Image from Flickr

Harlequin rasbora has gorgeous silver and orange colors, as well as a distinctive black portion close to the tail, making them particularly attractive. In addition, they are non-aggressive fish making them one of the best zebra danio tank mates. Harlequin rasboras eat flakes, micro pellets, and whatever other food you give them. So add a few live foods to their diet to add variety.

Rasboras prefer a densely forested, well-lit tank with lots of covers so keep this in mind when adding them to the tank. They can live up to five years with good care and a healthy diet.

7. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach
Kuhli Loach prefers to stay at the bottom of the tank but make sure to keep more than one of them so they will be entertained. Image from Flickr

Kuhli loach looks very much like eels. With long bodies, distinct stripes, and mouths surrounded by four barbels. These fish are burrowers, so you will likely find them hiding under gravel. Stick to the smaller grains of gravel as larger grains irritate their delicate skin. Typically, they are dormant during the day and only emerge to forage for food at night.

Kuhli loaches are mostly carnivorous. This is in contrast to other loaches, some of which are algae eaters. Instead, the kuhli loach prefers to eat the food at the bottom of the tank. They are a wise choice as zebra danio tank mates as they will not bother them in any way. These eel-like fish have a lifespan of 10 years and prefer temperatures of 75-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Platy Fish

Platy Fish
Platy Fish comes in different colors they are omnivores just like zebra danio. Image from Flickr

Platies are little, calm creatures that come in a rainbow of colors, including blue, green, red, and yellow. Like guppies, mollies, and swordtails, platy fish are livebearers. These fish are frequently suggested to novice aquarium enthusiasts since they are reasonably easy to care for. One thing you should be aware of is that platys can leap out of the tank since they are excellent jumpers. Make sure your tank has a tight-fitting lid.

They make excellent zebrafish tank mates as they both are omnivores and consume both plants and animals. Platies have a lifespan of three years and prefer temperatures of 68-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Small Barbs

Small Barbs
Small Barbs less confrontational which makes them a great companion for zebra danio.

There are many different kinds of barbs, and most of them make really good zebra danio tank mates. However, be wary when choosing which barb to include in your tank. Some can reach lengths of more than a foot. Species like gold barbs, black ruby barbs, or zebra barbs that remain under 6 inches should be kept with zebra danio.

Small barbs are lively, energetic fish who are rarely confrontational. These beautiful fish can live up to five years as zebrafish tank mates. Temperatures of 75-90 degrees are suitable for them.

10. Swordtails

Swordtails
Swordtails are not aggressive or competitive which makes them great tankmates for zebra danio. Image from Flickr

The swordtail is a stunning fish with a variety of colors and an extended tail fin that looks like a sword. Swordtails like platies are also jumpers. For these, it’s best to keep them in groups of 4-5 swordtails with a 3:1 female-to-male ratio. These fish make the best zebra danio tank mates since they are resilient, adaptable, and can survive in a variety of conditions.

Swordtails are omnivorous and have a lifespan of 3-5 years. They prefer temperatures of 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Thoughts

Zebra danios
We suggested the ten best tank mates for zebra danios. These possible fish companions will make your aquarium more lively.

Zebra danios can coexist with a wide variety of fish, and this list consists of a few of the most popular options. Generally speaking, zebras can live in harmony with any fish that are not extremely aggressive. Also, keep in mind that tank mates must be able to share the same levels of water parameters and similar diets.

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.