17 Best Danio Tank Mates

Danios are one of the most popular aquarium fish because of their hardiness and adaptability. They can live in an unheated tank in water between 65 and 82°F, with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. Finding tank mates for Danios is easy because they are such peaceful fish and they can tolerate a range of conditions.

Zebra danios are schooling fish, so you’ll want to keep at least 6. A 10-gallon tank is big enough to support a small group without tank mates, but if you add other fish you’ll want a larger tank.

The best tank mates for zebra danios are cardinal tetras, neon tetras, swordtails, cory catfish, clown plecos, guppies, and platies. Mystery snails, nerite snails, ramshorn snails, bladder snails, and Malaysian trumpet snails are also good options.

Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi)

Photo 207094942 / Cardinal Tetra © Roberto Dani | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 73-81 degrees F
  • Water pH: 4.6-6.2 
  • Adult size: 2 inches
  • Tank size: 20-gallon for a small group of 6
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active, schooling
  • Diet: Omnivores

These colorful red and blue fish are active and peaceful – perfect tankmates for Danios. Cardinal Tetras are a schooling species, so keep several together in a tank. These fish are great to keep in community tanks. If kept with a group of Danios, the tank should be at least 30-gallon.

Platys (Xiphophorus variatus and X. maculatus)

Marygold Platy | Photo 18144048 © Fototdietrich | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 68-82 degrees F
  • Water pH: 6.8-8.5
  • Adult size: 2-3 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon for a small group 
  • Behavior: Very active, social, but not schooling
  • Diet: Omnivorous

These colorful little fish come in various colors and patterns and will happily inhabit a tank with Danios. Platys are not schooling fish, but they do like to live in small groups of at least 3. 

They are friendly, peaceful fish that have similar environmental needs to Danios. They are very active and will dart around their tank all day long. Platys are ideal for a large community tank with Danios, Tetras, Rasboras, and Cory Catfish.

Swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri)

Swordtails feeding on bottom of aquarium | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 65 to 82 °F
  • Water pH: 7.0-8.4
  • Adult size: 6 inches
  • Tank size: 15 gallons per individual
  • Behavior: Active, social
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Like Danios, Swordtails are tough, adaptable fish. They are active swimmers and require ample space in the aquarium. Swordtails are happy in small groups, so you need a large tank to keep them with Danios.

While they are slightly larger than Danios, they are non-aggressive. They will peacefully cohabit a tank with a group of Danios. 

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii

Kuhli Loach | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 75-86 degrees F
  • Water pH: 5.5-7.0
  • Adult size: 3-4 inches
  • Tank size: 20-gallon for a small group of 3-6
  • Behavior: Bottom-dwelling, peaceful, nocturnal
  • Diet: Mostly carnivorous, but will eat plant-based feed

Kuhli Loaches look like miniature eels! They have long, thin, banded bodies and enjoy hiding away during the day. At night they come out and scavenge on any food that has sunk to the bottom of the tank. 

Because of their peaceful temperament they make great tankmates for danios, and can live in a community tank with tetras, harlequin rasboras, and guppies. 

Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras paleatus)

Corydoras | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 74-80 degrees F
  • Water pH: 7.0-8.0
  • Adult size: 1-3 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon for a group of 5 or 6
  • Behavior: Easy-going bottom-dweller that lives in small groups of 5-6
  • Diet: Omnivorous

These small catfish shoal together for safety, so one should keep at least 6 in a tank. Cory Catfish are not aggressive and mainly keep to the bottom of the tank. These calm, peaceful fish are ideal tankmates for Danios. 

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae)

Ember Tetra | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 73-84 degrees F
  • Water pH: 5-7 (ideally 6.6)
  • Adult size: < 1 inch 
  • Tank size: 10-gallon for a small group
  • Behavior: Active, peaceful, schooling
  • Diet: Omnivorous

These bright orange and red fish add vibrancy to any community aquarium they inhabit. Ember Tetras, or Fire Tetras, as they are sometimes called, are easy-going fish that behave very similarly to Danios. 

Like Danios, they are social fish that are happiest in a school of 10 to 12 individuals. One should keep at least 8 to 10 of these tiny fish together, and a group this size requires a 10-gallon tank. It is best to keep small groups of Danios and Ember Tetras in a wide 30-gallon tank.

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

Male Multi Delta Tail Guppy | Photo 3731248 / Guppy © Shhaase | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 68-78 degrees F
  • Water pH: 6.5-8.0
  • Adult size: 2 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon tank for 2 fish
  • Behavior: Easy-going, very active in the top and mid-levels
  • Diet: Omnivores

Guppies are the ultimate fish for beginner aquarists. They are available in a huge variety of colors and patterns because they have been bred for such a long time.

Similar in size and temperament to Danios, Guppies make good tankmates. They also require similar environmental parameters.

Guppies breed prolifically, so having Danios in the tank to feed on the fry will help to keep their population under control.

Black Ruby Barbs (Pethia nigrofasciata)

  • Water temperature: 72-79 degrees F
  • Water pH: 6.0-6.5
  • Adult size: 2 inches
  • Tank size: 30-gallon
  • Behavior: Peaceful, social, schooling
  • Diet: Bottom feed on algae and detritus

Black Ruby, or Purple-Headed Barbs are peaceful bottom-dwellers that are very easy to care for. Due to their small size and schooling behavior, they are ideal tankmates for Danios. 

They can be kept in a large community tank along with other fish, like Tetra, Cory Catfish, and Gourami. For them to feel comfortable and safe they need lots of plants and places to hide.

Zebra Barbs (Puntius johorensis)

  • Water temperature: 73 to 77 degrees F
  • Water pH: 5.8-6.3
  • Adult size: > 4 inches
  • Tank size: 30-gallon for a group of 5
  • Behavior: Active, peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Zebra Barbs are very active fish that swim fast. As a schooling species, they must be kept in groups of at least 5, and they need ample space to swim around. 

Slightly larger than most Danios, Zebra Barbs still make great tankmates for them because of their easy-going temperament and environmental needs. These friendly and social fish are excellent for adding to community tanks.

Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha

Harlequin Rasboras | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 73-82 degrees F
  • Water pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Adult size: 1-2 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon for 8 to 10 fish
  • Behavior: Active in the top to mid-levels, peaceful, schooling
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Also known as the Red Rasbora, Harlequins are a favorite amongst aquarists for their shimmering beauty. They look gorgeous in large groups and must be kept in groups of at least 8 to 10 individuals.

These active fish do well in community tanks. They are ideal tankmates for Danios because they are similar in size, activity level, and environmental requirements. 

Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)

Honey Gourami | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 72°F to 82°F
  • Water pH: 6.0-7.5
  • Adult size: 2 inches
  • Tank size: 10 gallons per fish
  • Behavior: Friendly, active
  • Diet: Omnivores

Honey or Sunset Gourami are known for being great fish for community tanks. They are peaceful, yet active and are adaptable to a range of conditions. In the wild they are adapted to surviving in water low in oxygen.

Their bright, striking color (especially the males) make them popular aquarium fish. Ensure that you provide them with lots of vegetation as well as lots of free space to swim around. 

Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus)

Ghost Shrimp | (C) Tiny Underwater CC-BY-4.0
  • Water temperature: 65-82 degrees F
  • Water pH: 7.0 and 8.0.
  • Adult size: 1-2 inches
  • Tank size: 3-4 shrimp per gallon of water
  • Behavior: Non-aggressive, very active
  • Diet: Omnivorous, will eat almost anything

To add interest and diversity to a community tank, Ghost Shrimp are always an excellent choice. These gentle bottom-dwellers are well behaved tankmates that help to keep the place clean.

Ghost Shrimp are excellent tankmates for Danios. Adults are not too small to become a meal, but because they breed easily, Danios may feed on the spawn. These shrimps require similar water conditions to Danios and can also be kept with species like Tetra, Kuhli Loaches, Cory Catfish, and Barbs.

Mollies (Poecilia species)

Sailfin Molly | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 78 degrees F
  • Water pH: 7.5-8.5
  • Adult size: 4 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon 
  • Behavior: Peaceful mid-dwelling species
  • Diet: Plants and algae

Very closely related to Guppies, Mollies are exotic looking fish. They are interesting to keep in a tank because they are liver-bearers. 

These peaceful fish make wonderful tankmates for Danios, especially larger varieties, like the Giant Danio. They have similar needs in terms of water parameters and will help to keep the aquarium clean by feeding on algae.

Fancy Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Goldfish Eating | Photo 228268407 © Sudhakar Bisen | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 68-74 degrees F
  • Water pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Adult size: 8-12 inches
  • Tank size: 10-20 gallons per adult fish (30 min)
  • Behavior: Friendly, active, non-aggressive, shoaling
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Although Goldfish are much larger than most Danios, they can peacefully cohabit a tank. Goldfish require much more tank space than most people think, so if you plan on keeping Danios with them you will need a large tank.

The downside to Goldfish is that it is difficult to keep them in a naturally vegetated tank because of their tendency to uproot and eat plants. This means they are not great to keep in planted community tanks. 

Serpae Tetras (Hyphessobrycon eques)

Serpae Tetra | Photo 180999760 / Day © Sudhakar Bisen | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 72-79 degrees F
  • Water pH: 5.0-7.8
  • Adult size: 1-2 inches
  • Tank size: 20-gallon tank for 6 individuals
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active, schooling
  • Diet: Omnivore

Serpae Tetras are bright red, and these active mid-dwelling fish add vibrancy to any aquarium. They are easy to care for and are tolerant to a range of conditions. 

While these fish can be mildly aggressive towards very slow-moving fish, and nip at fish with flowy fins, they get along well with Danios. Due to their small size and activity levels they are perfect tankmates for small Danio species. 

Black Skirt Tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)

Black Skirt Tetra | Source: Deposit Photos
  • Water temperature: 68 to 79 F
  • Water pH: 5.8-8.5
  • Adult size: 2 inches
  • Tank size: 10-gallon tank for a small group of 6
  • Behavior: Peaceful, active, schooling 
  • Diet: Omnivorous

Black Skirt Tetras are very popular amongst hobby aquarists. They are easy to maintain and tolerate a range of conditions. These Tetras stick to the mid-levels of the tank and are very active.

Because Black Skirt Tetras are similar in size and behavior to Danios, they make excellent tankmates. If you keep small groups of Danios and Tetras together, you will need at least a 20-gallon tank. They also do well in larger community tanks due to their peaceful nature. 

Red Eye Tetra (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae)

Red Eye Tetra | Photo 4051335 © Marcelo Andres Saavedra | Dreamstime.com
  • Water temperature: 73-82 degrees F
  • Water pH: 5.5-8.5
  • Adult size: 2-3 inches
  • Tank size: 20-gallon tank for a group of 6
  • Behavior: Energetic, schooling
  • Diet: Omnivores

Red Eye Tetra are elegant looking fish that are easy to care for and are widely available. With their bright red eyes and metallic bodies, they add shimmer to a tank when they swim in large shoals.

Like Danios, these Tetras can adapt to a range of conditions. They are active in the mid-levels and need ample space in the tank. They are peaceful and calm fish that will happily share a tank with a group of Danios.

Conclusion

Danios are the ultimate community tank fish because they get along with so many different species. Whether you are a novice or a skilled aquarist, you will have no trouble keeping these hardy fish happy and healthy with any of the tank mates on this list.