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A Dozen Delightful Danios

Danios are not just for beginners — there are species available for more experienced

By Mike Hellweg |

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Up into the early 2000s, when aquarists talked about danios, they were discussing four or five species. Aquarists had their choice of several zebra danio variants (Danio rerio), pearl (Danio albolineatus) and giant danios (Devario aequipinnatus). Occasionally, spotted danios (Danio nigrofasciatus) were available, but those were few and far between. All were easy to breed and inexpensive. Often they were sold for less than a buck each. All were considered beginner fish, and most aquarists who had more than a couple years of experience didn’t even consider them. The zebra danio (Danio rerio) was so easy to breed and raise that it had become the quintessential laboratory animal. In the emerging field of genetics, it became a “guinea pig.” In fact, as time went on, there were eventually more than a dozen graduate-level textbooks published just on the zebra danio. However, this meant little to advanced aquarists, who continued to overlook these fish.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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