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Giant Danio Overview, Tank Setup, Care & Breeding

Are you looking for a bright fish species for your tank? Then the Giant Danio would be the best choice for your community tank with their intense coloration and funny, playful behavior.

Giant Danios are quite easy to care for in a 30-gallon tank when kept in a group of 8 specimens. These are abundantly found in Northern India and its neighboring countries. They usually prefer fast-moving, slightly acidic water with proper vegetation around them.

Species Overview

Level of CareModerately easy
AppearanceThe background color of their body comes with a pretty greyish hue with a color combination of yellow and green.
Life Expectancy5-7 years
Tank Size30-gallons
Tank EnvironmentSlightly acidic water with moderate plants
Tank MatesPeaceful

Giant Danio is one of the most exotic Danio species, widely popular in the aquarium trade. With the scientific name, Devario Aequipinnatus, these are extensively found in the riverine habitat of Northern India and other countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Thailand.

These fish usually inhabit clear and moderately flowing streams and rivers, elevated up to 1000 feet from sea level. Besides, they are pretty tolerant to varying water

conditions. They mostly prefer a shaded environment with smooth rock and gravel substrate and sometimes reside in dense vegetation.

Giant Danios are listed on the IUCN Red List as Least Concern because they are very common and available in a wide range of India.


These fish species come with a nice and pretty appearance. They have an elongated body with a torpedo-shaped structure. Also, these possess a barbel at the end of every lip.


Giant Danios come in a variety of colors. Their base color comprises a pretty greyish hue, with a touch of yellow and green colors.

And either side of their body has a bright bluish-green colored wide stripe. One can also find a variety of yellow stripes and blue spots all over their body.

Also, their fins are rounded and transparent with a pretty tint of pink or golden, which adds a vibrant charm to their appearance. However, their tail fins are forked in nature.


Unlike other Danios, which are quite small in size, the Giant Danio fish are relatively large. Hence, they have a “Giant” in their name.

Usually, these tend to grow up to a moderate size. They reach up to a length of 5.9-inches in the tank.

However, some of these fish may also reach up to a length of 6-inches in the wild habitat of the streams. But those, which are captively bred and cared for in a home aquarium, only grow up to a size of a few inches.

Behavior & Temperament

The Giant Danio fish is not at all aggressive. They are best kept in large schools of their own types.

These typically come with a unique playing behavior. They either tend to harass the smaller fish or sometimes mildly annoy the large fish. However, they do not cause any harm to the fish.

This behavior is sometimes mistaken as aggression. However, they are not at all aggressive. Instead, they are naughtier than any other Danio species.


They are quite hardy. Hence, buying them comes with great value for your money.

These freshwater fish usually live up to 7 years in the tank, subject to proper care. They have an average lifespan of 5-7 years based on the care and diet they are receiving.

Tank Requirements

These are much easier to care for in a proper tank setup as they tend to adapt to a variety of aquarium conditions.

Usually, the Giant Danio fish hovers around in the top and middle areas of the tank. They have a high activity level in the tank. And this is why it is important to make sure that you are adding enough free space in the tank.

While keeping them in a freshwater tank, facilitate a proper filtration rate in the aquarium water. Make sure that the tank has an appropriate level of water current and enough oxygen for their living.

They are much more comfortable in a stable water parameter with subdued lighting and a nicely decorated aquarium. They like to dwell in a well-planted tank, which helps them stay safe and renders a lesser amount of stress.

The water quality of the tank has to be top-notch for taking good care of your fish. These pretty fish require clean water with a strong current in it.

Also, the water temperature for their tank must be moderate enough. The water shall neither be too cold nor too hot. Also, maintain the water parameter within a range of slightly acidic to neutral conditions.

Also, make the addition of live plants to the fish tank. These Devario Aequipinnatus species love to thrive in loads of vegetation. Hence, adding tall plants and other varieties would undoubtedly boost the oxygenation needs of your fish.

Tank Setup

To take good care of your Giant Danio, you need to facilitate a correctly set aquarium. The tank must house a sufficient quantity of assortments that can keep them safe and protected against predators.

So, here is how you can ensure a proper setup of the tank.

  • They love to have ample space in the aquarium. Also, to keep them away from disturbing other fish, it is better to pick a large freshwater tank. So, the minimum tank size should be 30 gallons. Also, pay close attention to the length of the aquarium rather than the depth.
  • Any substrate can be laid at the bottom of the tank. However, make sure the substrate is smooth and soft enough to prevent your Danio’s barbels from getting damaged.
  • These fish do not prefer too much bright lighting in their tank. So, it would be better to add moderate to normal lighting to the aquarium.
  • As the Giant Danio species originate from streams and rivers, they thrive best in neutral or slightly acidic water parameters. Thus, keep the pH level of the water around 6-8.
  • Maintain the water hardness range within 2-20 dGH.
  • Add strong water movement to the aquarium. Thus, incorporating a strong filtration unit will provide the required current and water flow.
  • As the water temperature of the aquarium needs to be moderate, keep it between 72-82 ℉.

Tank Mates

Since Giant Danios are not much aggressive, they are great for petting in a community aquarium. But it is better to consider a larger tank to ensure that they are not coming in the way of other tank mates.

Besides, these serve to be poor tank mates for those fish species, which require a very slow pacing environment.

These fish are themselves very fast, and they can potentially annoy other slow-moving fish. So, it is advised not to house them with slow swimmers.

Due to their moderate size, they must not be kept with too small fish that easily fit into their mouths. So, medium to large fish with similar behavior and size would be better tank mates.

Since Giant Danios are schooling fish, always try to keep them in a shoal of at least 8 specimens. Keeping them in small schools with only 5-6 fish can make them quite aggressive towards their own species. Thus, always consider larger schools over the smaller ones.

Nevertheless, here are a few suitable tank mates that you can consider keeping with this species.

  • Medium to large size Characins
  • Cichlids
  • Cyprinids
  • Danios
  • Barbs
  • Loaches
  • Cory Catfish

Food & Diet

These fish species are omnivores by nature. Thus, feeding Giant Danios in your tank will not at all be a challenging task. They readily accept any suitable fish food products.

These fish eat both prepared or live aquarium fish foods. Since these are highly active, they require a nutritious diet with a proper food supply to get enough fuel for their daily activity. Hence, it is crucial to provide them with flake food products to serve them all the healthy nutrients necessary for their living.

In their wild habitat, the Giant Danio fish quickly picked insects and other invertebrates from the surface area of the water. So, they don’t usually chase after the food leftovers settled at the bottom region of the tank.

So, to offer them proper health with the right food item, you can add pellets or tablets to the diet.

Also, these freshwater fish species love to feed on live foods like small fish, brine shrimp, blood worms, daphnia, insect larvae, and mosquito larvae. To add variation to their diet, you can easily offer them fish foods like algae wafers, blanched vegetables, etc.

So, are you thinking, about how frequently you should feed your Giant Danios? Well, it would be better to offer them several feedings a day. Giving one large feeding will not at all provide them proper nutrition.

Give them only that much amount of food, which they can easily consume in minutes or less, every time you feed them.

Giant Danio Care

Giant Danio species require adequate care in their tank to have better growth. Thus, it is essential to make sure that you are giving them a suitable tank atmosphere with sufficient water parameters.

These are not much difficult to care for in a tank. But you need to ensure that you are performing regular water changes every month. It is recommended to do at least 25-50 % of water change in the aquarium.

If you have dense vegetation in the tank, then make sure you are performing the regular water change weekly. Also, maintain the optimum temperature and pH level of the tank water.

Over time, the decomposing organic matter can cause nitrates and phosphates to build up in the water, increasing the overall hardness. Thus, make sure the aquarium has a good filtration unit to facilitate clean and stable water quality.

Breeding Guidelines

Breeding Giant Danios in your tank is not much difficult. You can easily breed them in your home tank to achieve a successful spawning.

Generally, they become sexually mature when they reach up to a length of 2¾- inches. Like any other Danios, these fish species are also prominent egg scatterers. Hence, they do not require any specific breeding site for spawning.

Nevertheless, these fish are better cared for in a separate tank during their breeding. You can keep the adults in a 20-gallon breeding tank with thicker and dense vegetation.

You can also make the addition of bushy plants or clusters of other plastic plants to facilitate a lot of space for hiding and feeling safe.

The water in the tank of your fish needs to be very fresh and clear with an optimum temperature. You must also increase the water temperature slightly near 72-82 ℉. Also, make sure you are keeping the aquarium oxygenated enough by using an air pump.

Usually, to form a breeding pair, it is suggested to add two fish specimens. Incorporate the female Giant Danio in a separate tank one day before adding the male specimen.

It is also recommended to keep the aquarium in a place where direct sunlight can reach it. As the morning sunlight hits the tank, it triggers them to start mating.

If their spawning reaches a favorable condition, the female fish start releasing their egg in the open water. And then, the male Giant Danio fish species move towards the laid eggs to fertilize them.

The female specimens usually release at least 5-20 eggs after each of their pairings. These species keep pairing until the females lay almost 300 eggs. They scatter their adhesive eggs across the water column, making them fall towards the substrate area.

However, if the aquarium has dense vegetation, those eggs will adhere to the leaves of your aquarium plants or on other tank objects.

Besides, during the time of spawning, it is better to feed the parents live worms so that they stay away from eating the eggs.

Now, their eggs typically hatch in 1-2 days. And their offsprings keep hanging from the plants and glass for up to 3-5 days until their yolk sac gets absorbed. After that, the fry comes out to swim freely in the tank. And at this time, remove the parent fish from the tank to prevent them from eating your small fries.

Soon after the fish fry becomes ready to accept outside foods, you can easily feed them powdered dry foods and small live foods like brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, etc.

Interesting Facts

There are many interesting facts about Giant Danios, which are worth knowing if you are thinking of keeping them in your tank.

So, here have a look.

  • These fish species are also available in different color variations and even as albino species.
  • The males are usually thinner and come with more intense coloration.
  • On the other hand, the females come with a central blue stripe that blends upwards in their tail fin.
  • The pair these fish form during their first breeding season, they tend to maintain that pair for the rest of their life, until the occurrence of any misfortune.

Where to Buy?

When buying Danio Aequipinnatus species, they are not much difficult to find in the aquarium trade. Also, these are quite readily available in any fish and animal store, from where you can easily place your orders.

Giant Danios are not much expensive; instead, they are reasonably priced. You can even get them from any of your nearest hobbyists,

who deal with the breeding of various freshwater fish and supplies them locally. Besides, you can also place your order in an online store for pet fish. However, always remember to opt for a juvenile purchase size of the fish.

Wrapping Up

Giant Danios are suitable to take care of in a tank. These fish are moderately hardy and not at all difficult to care for. Thus, even beginners, having a primary experience in fish-keeping, can consider adding them to their home aquariums.

These fish species require very clean water and are much more resilient to various diseases. Besides, they are quite easy to be fed and accept anything you feed them with proper care. You just need to make sure that you give these freshwater schooling fish enough area to swim around in the large tank.