Giant danio is a freshwater fish that belongs to the Cyprinidae family. It originates from the western coasts of India and some parts of Nepal and Sri Lanka. They can grow up 6 inches/15centimeters, which ranks them among the largest danionins. It is described as torpedo-shaped and blue or yellow in color with clear or grey fins.
Giant danio is a hardy fish that can survive in a wide range of temperatures and different water chemistry. It enjoys and excels well in big groups. Fish experts recommend the minimum number you should have is ten in a fish tank. Giant danios can be bully if kept in small groups.
General Facts and Anatomy of Giant Danio
They are hardy fish that require low maintenance. This is why beginner aquarists are advised to keep them before they introduce the more complicated fish species.
- Social life
As we have talked about earlier, the giant danio excels well in a large school. To avoid their bully nature, have at least ten to fifteen of them in a fish tank.
Funny fact about the giant danios is that they can be faithful/loyal to a single mate and sticks together for life.
Giant danios are known to be a very active type of fish. Some people say that they are boisterous (lively, active, noisy, cheerful, and energetic). But the good thing about them is that they do not hurt or bring injury to each other.
Origin and Natural Habitat
The giant danios originate from south Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar) and northern Thailand. In these current years, some new species of the giant danio have been discovered in deep areas of Burma and are being spread worldwide.
These fishes live in varying environments, from the fast-moving streams to stagnant quiet pools. They are hardy fish; hence any freshwater is ideal for them as long as it is clear. Clear waters are good for them because they make it easy for them to get food and lay eggs. They can even stay in the remnants of ponds during the dry season.
Giant danios grow up to 6 inches; the smallest you can find is 4 inches. Some say they are yellow, but many describe them as gold in color. They also have blue spots and nice strips lengthwise from gills to the tail.
The fins are slightly golden, but they are almost round in shape. The tail is also pale gold but is fork-like in shape.
Giant danios vary in color, including some are albino. They love zipping around flashing their shiny scales. The shiny scales is what impresses many people to keep them in aquariums or fish tanks. The fins get transparent towards the end/tip.
Giant danios are omnivorous and can eat a variety of aquatic foods. These include the flakes, granules, and pellets of shrimp. They feed on live foods like bloodworms, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and sometimes the brine shrimp in their natural habitat.
In aquariums where live foods are not available, use the frozen substitute. Sometimes include the greens such as vegetable flakes, and this will lead to a balanced diet.
Differentiating the gender
Generally, the giant danios are torpedo-shaped. The female giant danios are more attractively colored compared to the male ones. Both male and female giant danios have stripes running from the gills to the tail, but the female giant danios have stripes that bend upwards toward the end.
The abdomen of a female giant danio is balloon-like and fuller than of a male one. A male giant danio is slimmer compared to the female ones.
Giant danios breed easily, even in captivity, and they are easy to raise. In their natural habitat, giant danios lay eggs in groups in an area where the water is still, and there is some vegetation. Most of the time, giant danios lay eggs in groups, but a single couple can also lay their own eggs.
In aquariums, spawning should be done in a spacious tank. This spawning process should be done in tank that is exposed to sunlight because the sun radiations trigger spawning. Sometimes the giant danio can feed on the eggs; hence the eggs should be separated from the adults.
A single pair of giant danio can lay up to three hundred eggs. If the temperatures are maintained between 77 degrees F and 82 degrees F, the eggs can hatch in 24 hours, and the fry will be swimming in 48 hours. Try and feed the fry fine foods or newly hatched brine shrimp.
How to Set-up Giant Danio’s Water Tank/Aquarium
Amount of water and water condition
The giant danios are very energetic and active fish. This is why they need a lot of space. Fish professionals recommend the minimum amount of water should be forty gallons. The length of the tank should be above 36 inches. This is enough space for them to make sharp turns and jump up.
Giant danios are beautiful fish; hence they need clean, clear water. The water temperature should be maintained between 72 degrees F and 75 degrees F.
The water pH should be maintained in a range of 6-8.
The hardness of water is also important. It should be maintained between 2-20 dGH.
Substrates and vegetation
Giant danios are hardy; hence they can survive on different substrates. Hence you can try and have different strata in your fish tank. The best substrate is dark sand combined with soft gravel.
Use dark sand because it will show off the colorful scales of the giant danio. Avoid using rough gravel because it can create some injuries due to the high active nature of the giant danios.
Incorporating plants in the water tank is recommended. This type of fish loves an environment with lots of vegetation. You can use tall plants and bottom plants. The plants in water make the fish feel safe and free. Scientifically, the plants in water increase the oxygen content in water which in turn is used by the fish.
Cleaning of the Water Tank and Improving Oxygen Concentration
The giant danio loves clean, clear water; this is why you should regularly clean the water tank and replace water at frequent intervals. You are advised to replace at least fifty percent of water once a month. And if your water tank has a lot of vegetation, replace the water once a week.
High oxygen concentration should be maintained because danios require high oxygen to survive. You can use water plants or air stones to maintain the high oxygen concentration in the water tank.
As we have discussed earlier, the giant danio is a very active fish. This is why you will need a wonderful filtration system that will generate a water current for the fish to swim in the direction of water flow.
Feeding in the water tank
A healthy giant danio can live up to seven years. As we have discussed earlier, they are the omnivorous type of fish. Try and feed them regularly both live food and fish pellets. Add green foods in the tank to balance their diet.
You can throw a few spinach leaves to float in the water tank. This is because the giant danio likes to swim close to the surface and eat the leaves. Sometimes, it is hard to find live foods like the blood worms; you can use the frozen substitute in this case.
Frequently feed the fish. You can do it twice a day by providing food that can be eaten in three minutes or feed the fish once a day by providing food that can be eaten in five minutes.
The giant danio is a very active but very peaceful type of fish. As we discussed earlier, the giant danio loves to stay in a large school of at least ten fish. The giant danios are always mistaken to be aggressive because of their playful nature.
They are not well suited to be kept together with smaller fish because of their playful nature it will look like they are harassing the smaller fish. Also, avoid the large, aggressive fish to be tank mates with giant danio. This is because the giant danios move around a lot which can annoy the large fish resulting to the large ones eating giant danios.
Select the best tank mate for giant danios by using the thumb rule; “do not combine small fish with fish large enough to eat them.” So, in our case, you can combine the giant danios with medium-sized fish.
The bottom-dwelling fish are also suitable tank mates with giant danios. This is because the giant danios spend most of their time on the top level of water.
Try and use the fish that belong to the family Cyprinidae as tank mates with the giant danios. They include the catfish, loaches, and peaceful cichlids. Giant danios love waters that have some current hence fish that loves still waters will not be good tank mates.
Slow-moving fish are also not good tank mates.
In summary, giant danios belong to a family called Cyprinidae. They can leave up to seven years and grow up to six inches long. Their dominant color is gold or yellowish, with stripes running from the gills to the tail. They are known to be very peaceful but energetic and also very playful.
They love aquariums that have dark sand as a substrate with some soft gravel plus dense plants. If you are keeping them in a water tank, try to maintain high oxygen concentration by using air stones. Also, introduce some water current in the tank by using a good filtration system. Regularly feed them a balanced diet.