Zebra danios, commonly known as “Zebrafish,” are beautiful and active tropical fish originating in Asia. It is a community fish that is simple to care for. Zebrafish breeding is comparatively easy, even for a newbie. Let’s see how to breed them.

Brood Fish Selection

Parents should be in good health to ensure the quality and well-being of their offspring.

Four month-old zebrafish can make babies. However, find at least one-year-old fish as your broodstock. The reason is that one-year-old fish are stronger and more productive than smaller fish.

Also select fish that are free from disease and parasites. Inquire at the pet store whether they are sick or not. You are lucky if you can find parents who were successful in previous breeding sessions.

You’re probably aware that zebrafish come in a variety of colors. Usually, babies bear their parents’ body colors. If the parents are yellow, the babies will be yellow, too. If the parents are multi-colored, the children will be as well. 

How do we distinguish male and female zebrafish

Typically, female zebra fish is more significant than same-aged male. It is easy to distinguish zebra fish sexually when they mature. When she sexually grows, her belly area gets rounded as she bears eggs. The male fish is slim and the bright color seems to be a bullet.

The usual ratio to spawning is two females to a male.

Pre-spawning Two Weeks 

The two-week prior to spawning is essential. In these two weeks, males and females should be in separate tanks. Quality live foods should provide to them. It will help to increase their health, activeness and maturity. It also helps to mature eggs in females and sperm of males. Some fish challenged to distinguish sexually can identify within these two weeks. 

How To Prepare The Breeding Tank

A small tank is suitable for zebra danio breeding as they are small fish. Five to ten gallons are enough.

Adjust the pH from 6.3 to 7.5 using a pH meter. The water temperature is good at the range of 73 to 80 Fahrenheit. You might use an aquarium heater to regulate the temperature. A small corner filter will clean the water without capturing the eggs.

The water you are going to add should be dechlorinated and cycled.

Zebra danios tend to eat their eggs; then, eggs should be separated from parents as quickly. For that, you can use glass marbles to the bottom. Fill the glass marbles up to two inches from the bottom, and the water level is better with two inches from the marble.

Instead of marbles, A piece of a net can use to survive the eggs. Firstly, lay that net two inches above the bottom. Eggs will go through the net and collect at the bottom. A breeder box also facilitates the same function.

Zebrafish are considered as photoperiodic in their breeding. They lay eggs in the morning just after sunrise. So, 14-hour dark / 14-hour light condition is essential.

How To Starts The Zebrafish Breeding

In the evening, collect the females, and give them a few hours to live in the new environment. After four hours, add the males carefully. Once males gather, they chase the females and follow them actively. This causes females to lay eggs and it happens after twelve hours. 

All the females are not laying eggs simultaneously; it happens throughout the day.


After 12 to 24 hours, eggs are scattered on the bottom. Probably the eggs may be fertilized by males. Return the parents to the place where they lived earlier.

Sometimes but rarely, they won’t lay eggs due to some reasons. Then they should stay there for another 24 hours. If you got the same results, separate them into the pre-breeding tank again. Provide them with live foods again for a few days. Starts the above process again. Also, recheck the water condition, and try to change the parents.

Eggs take three days to make babies but during these three days, some fungal attacks can be seen on the eggs. So methylene blue can be used to avoid it. Gentle aeration is required for egg development as well as for babies. 

Just after birth, zebrafish are not swimming; they just lay down on the marbles or tank walls for three days. They take nutrition from eggs sac these days. After three days, they have grown up to one millimeter; they start to swim slowly. It would be best if you began feeding once they started to move. 

Babies Care

I suggest egg york to newly born zebrafish. It is effortless to make food from egg york. Just boil an egg, and take out the york potion. Then mix with the water carefully and make a pulp. Make sure not to leave any hard parts. Feed the fish with small potions five times per day.

You can change the diet after two weeks. Don’t add an excessive amount of food as it affects water quality. Replacing the water is terrible for newborn zebrafish.

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I am Bruce Daniel Holgate from Los Angeles, the founder of, environmental scientist and content writer. Researcher and hobbyist in aquarium keeping and fish breeding with 20 years of experience. I'm willing to share my knowledge with you all.

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