How Do Zebra Danios Breed?

Zebra danios breed in groups or single female/male pairs, but it is best to start with half a dozen danios for breeding. They breed within 24 hours of being settled in the breeding tank. After breeding, female zebra danios scatter the eggs in the tank while the males fertilize the eggs (spawning).

Ensure you feed the zebra danios nutritious live food such as bloodworm, mosquito larvae, and daphnia. You should continue this feeding process for at least one to two weeks prior to breeding. The breeding tank must be between eight and ten gallons and have an airstone filter to prevent the eggs from being drawn into the filter.

How To Set Up A Breeding Tank For Zebra Danios

It is quite easy to set up a breeding tank for zebra danios. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Since new water arouses the zebra danios to breed, fill the breeding tank with fresh water until the net breeder’s bottom inch is submerged.

If you are using tap water, dechlorinate the water with a high-quality water conditioner.

  1. Place a heater in the tank and adjust the temperature to 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use an airstone filter to avoid the eggs being sucked in and fried. Ensure you attach the filter to an air pump.

The best way to ensure breeding is by partnering two males for one female you place in the breeding tank. Other configurations of the breeding tank are the breeder net method, marble method, or spawning mop method.

Zebra Danios in Front of Plants

What To Do After Zebra Danios’ Spawned

After zebra danios spawn, it is time to take care of the eggs. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Use a fist net to gather the danios. Remove the adult zebra danios from the tank and place them in their original tanks. This is very important since zebra danios are known for eating eggs.
  2. Buy regular marbles and use them to keep the eggs safe in the tank by placing a 2-inch layer of the marbles at the bottom of a five-to-ten-gallon tank.
  3. Fill the tank/aquarium with water reaching about 1 inch above the marbles to create a safe environment for the eggs around the marbles and give the adults to swim around in.
  4. After this step, hang a breeder net in the tank to keep the eggs safe. The breeder net, which can be purchased at a pet store or aquarium store, must be attached to the rim of the tank. The breeder net allows the eggs to fall softly into the main part of the tank. Fill the tank with water until the bottom of the net is one inch under water.
  5. Make a spawning mop from acrylic yarn to create a mop-like contraption and place it at the bottom of the tank. This works like seaweed, creating a protective layer for the eggs.

To create the mop, do this:

  1. Cut acrylic yarn into pieces that are about 2 feet long.
  2. Place two dozen of these yarn pieces side by side, then fold the group in half in the center.
  3. At this point, there should be 48 strands of yarn hanging down. Tie a knot on the bunch’s top.
  4. Check if the eggs hatch after one to two days. Once they hatched, keep watch on the fry. The fry will start free-swimming after a few days of being fertilized.
  5. It can be difficult to observe the fry since they are translucent, so watch the tank closely. When they start free-swimming, feed them small amounts of food several times during the day.
  6. Make a sponge filter and add a few snails to keep the tank clean and eat the uneaten food in the tank.

Changing 10% to 25% of the tank’s water daily is important to urge the zebra danios to grow quicker. After six weeks, the baby zebra danios would have reached a size of one inch long. At this point, you must move them to a larger tank.

Caring for baby zebra danios is a lot of work, but once the adult danios fertilize the eggs, you should follow the above steps immediately; otherwise, you might discover them eating their eggs!

How Do You Tell If Zebra Danios Are Breeding?

You can tell by their behavior if you are unsure if your zebra danios are breeding. Mating behavior in zebra danios can look like this:

  • The male zebra danios become more energetic.
  • Female zebra danios’ bellies become round, and her egg spot, located behind the fins under her belly, also becomes large. This is an indication that she is ready to spawn.
  • At this point, the male zebra danios start chasing the female.
  • You can expect them to spawn on the day or a few days after, but if they do not spawn within 24 hours of being moved to the tank, separate them for another 24 hours. If no spawning occurs, separate the fish in their respective conditioning tanks and continue the process of feeding them live food. It is advised to try breeding the zebra danios in a week.
  • Zebra danios will mate in the morning when the first ray of sunlight hits the breeding tank.

How Long Do Female Zebra Danios Pregnancy Last?

The time period of female zebra danios solely depends on when they are ready to lay the eggs and whether a male is present to fertilize them. In theory, males should only carry developing eggs for four days if they are nearby.

At What Age Do Zebra Danios Breed?

Zebra danios reach sexual maturity in 10 to 12 weeks. For the best embryo production, breeding fish should be between seven months and 18 months. Keep separate tanks for males and females, with a maximum of 16 males or eight females per 10-gallon tank.

How Often Do Zebra Danios Breed?

Zebra danios can breed every ten days. The breeding frequency depends on the water conditions and parameters. For breeding zebra danios, you must ensure that the tank is well-maintained.


When breeding zebra danios, you must be patient and ensure that the breeding tank is appropriately set up. Zebra danios reproduce quickly. To ensure breeding, zebra danios require a clean tank and nutritious live food.

The tank must be between eight and ten gallons. Female zebra danios’ pregnancy, depends on when they lay eggs and whether a male is present to fertilize the eggs. You can expect them to spawn on the day or a few days after. Overall, zebra danios are popular breeding fish and easy to care for.