The Zebra Danio or Zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio or Danio rerio) is a tropical fish belonging to the minnow family (Cyprinidae). Originating in Eastern India, it grows to about 2 inches (6 cm) and lives for around 5 years. There are long-finned and other color forms of this danio.
Like other danios it is omnivorous and a peaceful fish that gets along well with other fish in community tanks. A schooling fish, it prefers to be in groups of 6 or more. Zebra Danios prefer water with a 6.0–8.0 pH, a water hardness of up to 5.0–19.0 dGH, and a temperature range of 64–74°F (18–24°C).
Males have gold stripes between the blue stripes and females have silver stripes instead of gold. An egg-scatterer, danios produce around 100 eggs in a single spawning.
Zebra Danios serve as a common and useful model organism for studies of vertebrate development, because it reproduces very easily, passing from the egg to the larvae stage in less than three days. For genetic research groups, the Zebrafish is an excellent test subject and has already replaced rats and mice in many labs. Zebra danio is one of the few species of fish to have been flown into space (See Animals in space). If researchers modify its genotype at the egg stage, they can see results on its organs barely three days later aided by the transparency of the embryos.
Because of this interest it has been one of the first organisms to have its genome sequenced. The results of genetic engineering in these fishes have been used to produce the Glofish, a glow-in-the-dark aquarium pet.
Other fish also share the name zebrafish.
Zebra Danio are susceptible to Oodinium, or Velvet disease.
Zebra Danios are omnivorous. Live/frozen flaked foods are suitable, especially brine shrimp. When conditioning zebras for breeding, it's advisable to feed them plenty of fresh foods.
Genetical model organism
Zebrafishes are used as a model organism for genetic analysis of genes. These fishes have the advantage of fast and easy growth in the laboratory. See the external links for more information.
- The Zebrafish Information Network (http://zfin.org/cgi-bin/webdriver?MIval=aa-ZDB_home.apg)
- "Danio rerio" (TSN 163699) (http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=163699). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. N.p.: Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2004. Accessed on 12 November 2004.
- "Danio rerio (http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=4653)". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. October 2004 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2004.
- Lambert, Derek J (1997). Freshwater Aquarium Fish. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. pp. 19. ISBN 0-7858-0867-1.
- Sharpe, Shirlie (2004). "Zebra Danio (http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/cyprinids2/p/zebradanio.htm)." Your Guide to Freshwater Aquariums. Accessed on December 15, 2004.
- Zebrafish information network (http://zfin.org/)