Keeping Zebra Danios and Guppies Together - "File:Akwarium 14.12.05 r. 004.jpg" by Bastet78 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Keeping Zebra Danios and Guppies Together - "File:Akwarium 14.12.05 r. 004.jpg" by Bastet78 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


Aquariums are enchanting ecosystems, offering a glimpse into the mesmerizing world beneath the water’s surface. Among the myriad of aquatic life that can thrive within these glass enclosures, two standout species, zebra danios (Danio rerio) and guppies (Poecilia reticulata), captivate aquarists with their vibrant colors and intriguing behaviors. Whether you are a seasoned hobbyist or a beginner in the world of fishkeeping, understanding the unique characteristics, care requirements, and compatibility of these fish is essential to create a harmonious and visually stunning aquatic environment. In this exploration, we will delve into the fascinating realm of zebra danios and guppies, examining their distinct attributes, behaviors, and the considerations for setting up an aquarium that accommodates both species.

Appearance and Behavior of Zebra Danios and Guppies

Zebra danios and guppies are both popular freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby, known for their vibrant colors, active behavior, and ease of care. Let’s take a closer look at the appearance and behavior of each species:

Zebra Danios


  • Size: Zebra danios are small fish, typically growing to about 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) in length.
  • Coloration: They have a striking appearance with bold, horizontal black stripes running from their head to the tail, giving them their name. Their background color can vary, commonly being silver or gold.
  • Body Shape: Zebra Danios have a streamlined and elongated body, which allows them to be swift swimmers.


  • Active Swimmers: Zebra danios are highly active fish and are known for their constant darting and swimming around the aquarium. They are excellent jumpers, so it’s essential to have a well-fitted lid on their tank.
  • Schooling Behavior: These fish thrive in groups, and they should ideally be kept in schools of at least five individuals or more. A larger group makes them feel more secure and can help reduce stress.
  • Peaceful Nature: Zebra danios are generally peaceful and get along well with other non-aggressive community fish. However, they can sometimes exhibit minor territorial behavior within their species.



  • Size: Guppies are also small fish, typically reaching around 1.5 to 2.5 inches (3.8-6.4 cm) in length.
  • Coloration: What makes guppies stand out is their dazzling coloration. They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, with males being more colorful than females.
  • Fins: They have distinct fins, including a colorful tail fin (caudal fin) and dorsal fin, which can be quite ornate in males.


  • Livebearers: Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live fry rather than laying eggs. This reproductive strategy makes them prolific breeders in captivity.
  • Active Swimmers: Like zebra danios, guppies are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their aquarium. They are less prone to jumping out of the tank than zebra danios but still appreciate a secure lid.
  • Social Fish: Guppies are social and can be kept in community tanks with various other peaceful species. They tend to do well in groups but can also thrive in pairs or trios.
  • Males vs. Females: Male guppies are more colorful and have larger, more ornate fins compared to females. They are often the preferred choice for hobbyists who want to showcase vibrant colors in their aquarium.

Both zebra danios and guppies are great choices for beginners due to their hardy nature and relatively easy care requirements. They add visual interest and activity to an aquarium, making them enjoyable additions to any freshwater tank. It’s essential to provide them with a suitable environment, including clean water, appropriate temperature, and a well-balanced diet, to ensure their health and happiness.

Keeping Zebra Danios and Guppies Together - "File:Akwarium 14.12.05 r. 004.jpg" by Bastet78 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Keeping Zebra Danios and Guppies Together – “File:Akwarium 14.12.05 r. 004.jpg” by Bastet78 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Aquarium Setup

Setting up an aquarium to accommodate both zebra danios and guppies can be a rewarding experience, as these two species are relatively compatible in terms of water parameters and tank conditions. Here’s how to create an ideal environment for them:

1. Tank Size: Aim for a tank with a minimum capacity of 20-30 gallons (75-115 liters) to provide ample swimming space and accommodate a small school of zebra danios and a group of guppies.

2. Filtration: Install a good-quality aquarium filter to maintain water quality. Both zebra danios and guppies thrive in well-filtered water with minimal ammonia and nitrite levels.

3. Temperature: Keep the water temperature in the range of 72-78°F (22-26°C), which is suitable for both species. Maintaining a stable temperature is essential.

4. Lighting: Provide moderate lighting, as both zebra danios and guppies appreciate well-lit environments. Live plants can be added for aesthetics and to help maintain water quality.

5. Decor and Substrate: Use a fine-gravel or sand substrate, as this mimics their natural habitats. Decorate the tank with rocks, driftwood, and live or artificial plants to create hiding spots and swim-through areas.

6. Water Parameters: Both species prefer slightly alkaline to neutral water conditions with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5.

7. Tank Mates: Both zebra danios and guppies are generally peaceful, but it’s crucial to avoid aggressive or fin-nipping tankmates. Suitable tankmates include other peaceful community fish like Corydoras catfish, tetras, and rasboras.

8. Schooling Behavior: Zebra danios feel most secure and exhibit their natural schooling behavior when kept in groups of at least five individuals or more. Guppies can also benefit from being kept in groups, especially females.

9. Feeding: Offer a balanced diet that includes high-quality flake or pellet food, as well as occasional treats like frozen or live foods. Both species are omnivorous and will readily accept a variety of foods.

10. Water Changes: Perform regular partial water changes (about 20-25% every 2-4 weeks) to maintain water quality and remove accumulated waste.

11. Compatibility Considerations: Monitor the behavior of individual fish, especially in the case of male guppies, which may sometimes exhibit territorial aggression. If any aggression is observed, consider adding more hiding spots or rearranging decorations to break sightlines.

By following these guidelines and providing a well-maintained, stable environment, you can create a harmonious aquarium that accommodates both zebra danios and guppies. These active and colorful fish will bring vibrancy and life to your tank, making it an attractive centerpiece in your home or office.


In conclusion, creating an aquarium that accommodates both zebra danios and guppies is an enjoyable and rewarding endeavor for aquarium enthusiasts. These two species, known for their striking appearance, active behavior, and ease of care, can coexist harmoniously in a well-maintained tank. By providing the appropriate tank size, water conditions, filtration, and a suitable environment with hiding spots and decor, you can ensure the health and happiness of your zebra danios and guppies.

Remember to monitor their behavior, especially in the case of male guppies, to ensure that any potential territorial disputes are managed effectively. Additionally, maintaining stable water parameters, offering a balanced diet, and performing regular water changes are essential for the well-being of your fish.

By following these guidelines, you can create a vibrant and captivating aquatic community that showcases the natural beauty and behaviors of these two fascinating species. Watching zebra danios darting through the water and observing the vibrant colors of guppies can provide hours of relaxation and enjoyment, making your aquarium a delightful addition to your home or office.