Are Zebra Danios Livebearers?

Zebra danios are not livebearers. They do not get pregnant. Instead, they will bloat when ready to lay their eggs and then scatter their eggs across the entire tank. The male zebra danio will fertilize them, and then the baby fish, also known as the baby fry, will be born from the egg sacks.

Zebra danios are a favorite of many fish breeders as they are easy to care for and breed. These fish are distinguished by the zebra-like stripes of black and white that cover their body. They are also incredibly durable.

Zebra Danios Are Not Livebearers

Zebra danios are not livebearers which means that they cannot become pregnant.

The danio fish lay eggs when they are ready to reproduce. They also lay their eggs during monsoon season when they live in the wild.

They are unique fish and perfect for many people who like having a colorful aquarium.

Zebra danios are also easy to breed so you won’t have any trouble during the breeding season. In addition, it’s also best to know about them before you decide to get them for your aquarium.

Zebra Fish, brachydanio rerio

Are Zebra Danios Easy To Breed?

Although zebra danios are not livebearers, they still go through a breeding season.

They are easy to breed when you have them in the right environment and water temperature. In addition, there are quite a few requirements to ensure they produce correctly.

You will have to have a few fish to breed, not just two or three. When you have about a dozen, you can begin your breeding.

Zebra danios will mate for life when they find a suitable mate. That’s why you should also have an equal number of fish in your tank.

The mated pairs will then pair off, so the breeding is pretty close. The females will then become bloated and enlarged, which means they are ready to lay eggs. It’s time to set up your breeding tank at this point.

Life Span Of A Zebra Danio

Zebra danios will live for about 2 or 3 years. The number of years they live depends heavily on the care they receive.

If your zebra danio has been well cared for, it can live for up to 3 and a half years. However, it’s not likely, and it will also not be possible to live past that.

Perfect Environment For Zebra Danios To Breed

The first thing you must do when you decide to breed with zebra danios is to set up a breeding tank. It will help if you put some delicate plants on the bottom of the tank for the females to hide the eggs and the small fry to hide in when they are born.

Zebra danios can eat their young, so they need some hiding space.

A five or ten-gallon tank will be perfect for breeding. You should fill it with about 6 inches of water. The water should be shallow and warm.

You can also add some gravel in addition to the plants on the bottom of the tank. The plants you add will also help with the water conditions.

The water temperature should be about 64 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit for them to breed. It’s essential to keep your water clean and upkeep it as much as you can. It can affect the breeding if you don’t do so.

They are known for their high tolerance to water conditions but can still develop bacterial infections.

There is no special equipment for breeding zebra danios, just your average sponge filter to keep the water and accessories clean. You can also get a water testing kit to correct your water conditions.

Tips On How To Breed Zebra Danios

There is much to know about zebra danios. The breeding season is also one of the most important things you should know about before you get zebra danios.

Before you start breeding or even acquire some of them, it’s best to understand their conditions and what they eat.

  • Feeding the fish – You should separate the male and females for about two weeks and provide them with high-protein foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp. You should feed them twice a day
  • Know when they are about to lay eggs – Zebra danio females will bloat and swell when they are ready to lay eggs. Then 24 hours after she has bonded, she will lay the eggs
  • Get a breeding tank – A breeding tank will ensure that you can separate the babies from the bigger fish and that they don’t get eaten
  • They will lay many eggs – Your zebra danios will lay about 300 to 400 eggs for each female. That’s why it’s better to get them as many plant and gravel cover as you can

How You Can Tell If Your Zebra Danio Is Male Or Female

There is not a considerable difference between male and female zebra danios. You can only tell by their size and shape.

The male zebra danios will have a torpedo-shaped body that is more prominent, and they can also be shorter than the females.

Females will be longer than males, and you can only tell the differences when you look for them.

How Can You Tell If Your Zebra Danio Is Pregnant?

When you zebra danio is pregnant, you will notice almost immediately. However, you will have to look at the females closely as their bodies will look more expansive, and the belly might swell a bit.

Since they are not livebearers, they won’t carry any fertilized eggs and won’t swell a lot.

How Long Are Zebra Danios Pregnant?

Zebra danios don’t carry their eggs long. When the males are in the tank, the females will carry the eggs for around four days and shouldn’t carry them for more than that.

When they are ready to lay the eggs, it will be when a male zebra danio is around to fertilize the eggs.

How To Care For Baby Zebra Danios

The first few days, the baby zebra danios will live off the egg sacks’ nutrients; after that, they will freely swim about the tank.

Once they swim freely, you can feed them powdered fry food or infusoria. When they grow, you can continue to provide them with baby brine shrimp, or you can choose to feed them flake food.


Zebra danios are some of the easiest fish in your aquarium. They are easy to breed and care for as well. You can have a limited breeding tank or heavy setup to manage them. Zebra danios are not livebearers as they will lay their eggs when ready, and there is no limit on the amount of fish you can have in your tank as long as there is enough space.