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My first fish Danio nigrofasciatus (spotted dwarf danios)


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Friends, it’s been a busy week. I ordered 16 spotted danios online and they came in this past Tuesday.

Let me just say that these really are a beautiful iridescent fish, and also quite fast. My phone camera hardly does them justice.

For some reason, this fish is quite rare in the aquarium hobby in the US, but is fairly common in the Asian and European hobby. I think this fish deserves far more recognition. It offers unique advantages that can make it the perfect inhabitant of some tanks.

The first benefit is that this fish is great practice for anyone contemplating keeping shy nano fish. The spotted danios came in to my aquarium extremely shy initially, but within a few hours I was able to observe them swimming around the tank. I’m still working on getting them comfortable with my presence right in front of the tank, but for the most part I’m able to enjoy watching them.

So, they’re easier to train to come out than several reclusive nano species. Spotted danios also come in at 3 - 4 cm fully grown and feed at the top. So they’re also much easier to feed than many nano fish. 

That being said, I did struggle to feed them at first. It took me a spell, but I finally realized that these guys thrive in low light settings, and won’t come to the surface to feed unless it’s quite dark. Definitely a fish to feed early in the morning and late in the evening. But if you have a low light aquarium set up you’ll find they’re only slightly less outgoing than typical danios and swim all over the tank.

Another benefit to these fish is that unlike most danios, these are fundamentally tropical fish that can handle cooler temperatures. They take to the mid 70s really well, and can thrive into the low 80s. So if you’re keeping a tank with some nano rasboras, for example, and you’re looking for a peaceful, active schooling fish then this is a fantastic candidate for those setups. 

Finally, these danios may not look that impressive on first inspection, but they have an iridescence that I’ve seen in no other danio species. The specific colors you see depend a lot upon the lighting you have. If your tank is close to the window and you have a Fluval 3.0  plant light you can enjoy watching these guys all day and it feels like you’re seeing a different fish.

A few quick notes- I think this could be a solid first choice for fishkeepers, as it tolerates a wide array of water conditions. That being said, it’s not bulletproof. I’ve had several struggles figuring this fish out and I’ve learned a ton from them. But I could easily see a more casual fish keeper would just wind up feeling frustrated with the challenges of figuring out their preferred lighting conditions and that they only like to eat in the dark. They do love the Xtreme Nano pellets Aquarium Co Op sells, by the way. They are definitely work, and I suspect they’re not as bulletproof as zebra danios or pearl danios (Danio albolineatus). But I suspect a fish keeper with more experience than myself would find them pretty easy, and, as I say, they can really shine in tanks where other danios wouldn’t really fit in well. 




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