The Malabar danio (Devario malabaricus) is a very active, colourful species that is native to India, Nepal, and Indochina. At an adult size of around 3 inches (7 - 8 cm), this peaceful schooling fish is an excellent addition to the well-decorated community aquarium and a true giant species for a danio. It is tolerant of a wide variety of water parameters, so it is compatible with virtually all peaceful fish and invertebrates!
Like many typical danios, the Malabar danio is very active and should be kept in schools of at least 6-10 specimens, although even larger schools are more optimal. This fish is very hardy and undemanding in a well-maintained aquarium, but it needs a fair amount of space due to its active and somewhat nervous nature. Stress and nervousness are minimal when this fish is kept in a larger school. The Malabar danio is completely peaceful and rather social with many other fish species as well. It is compatible with almost any small and medium, active, peaceful and semi-aggressive fish and will sometimes appear to school and interact with other species regularly. It will thrive in a planted aquarium with a good amount of decor such as rockwork and driftwood and its colour will be most vibrant over dark substrate. It will not bother ornamental plants. It is compatible with any peaceful invertebrates that are too large to be considered prey, but it may prey on small shrimp. This fish is a prodigious swimmer and jumper, so a tight-fitting lid or significantly lowered waterline is necessary to prevent startled or excited specimens from jumping out of the aquarium.
The Malabar danio is a micropredator in nature, feeding on tiny invertebrates, particularly insects. In the aquarium, it is very unfussy and will accept most high-quality dry foods. However, it should also be fed a varied diet that includes live or frozen meaty foods of appropriate size.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful coloration
- Very hardy and adaptable
- Form schools/shoals with each other and with other species
- Safe with plants
- Completely peaceful
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
Temperature: 72° - 76° F (22° - 24° C)
pH: 6.0 - 8.0
KH: 5 - 19 dKH
Minimum tank size: 30-40+ gallons for a school of 6-12
Diet: Micropredator. Will readily accept most dry foods but should be fed a varied diet including frozen and/or live meaty foods of appropriate size.
Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.