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Fish of the Month
Issue: November 2007

Devario aequipinnatus

MCCLELLAND 1839


Aaron Norman

Common Names: Giant danio, sind danio, Malabar danio

Type Locality: Assam, India

Range: India and Nepal to Vietnam

Taxonomic Troubles: Originally described as Perilampus aequipinnatus, later as Danio aequipinnatus. There are many extremely similar species in this genus, some of which have been imported as giant danios over the years. Years ago most hobbyists called any giant danio Danio

Size: 5 cm TL (about 6 inches

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical freshwater, but does best at the lower range of tropical temperatures—22° to 25°C (72° to 77°F). Not at all fussy about water chemistry.

Difficulty: Extremely hardy and adaptable.

Tank Setup: Must be kept in schools of a half dozen or more, and since they are very active, they require a large aquarium with plenty of open space.

Feeding: Eats insects and detritus in the wild. Will eat all types of foods.

Breeding: Easily bred. A voracious egg eater, it is best spawned like other danios over a mesh barrier that allows the eggs to fall through to the bottom.

Description:

Silvery body with a metallic blue band down the flanks, punctuated with yellowish posterior stripes that degrade into dots and small bars anteriorly.



Notes: Though only in the small-to-medium range for a cyprinid, this fish is certainly a giant compared to most other danios. It provides the same activity and flash of metallic color that small danios do, but on a larger scale. This makes it a good choice for communities with large fish like cichlids. As long as the cichlids can’t swallow the danios, there should be little if any interaction, and the danios can serve as dither or target fish. Their generally peaceful nature makes them ideal as the largest members of a community as well. One or two of these fish make a pathetic display compared to the dynamic choreography of a school. Of course, a school of active 6-inch fish requires a larger tank than many community aquaria. A tank with a minimum length of 36 to 48 inches is necessary to provide them adequate swimming room.

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