Barred Danio (Devario pathirana)

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Barred Danio
Devario pathirana
Barred Danio (Devario pathirana)
Name Barred Danio
Name Lat. Devario pathirana
Synonym Danio pathirana
Family Danios
Family lat. Danionidae
Order Carps
Order lat. Cypriniformes
Origin South Asia
Habitat Forest streams
Diet Carnivore
pH 5.0-7.0
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Group
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Egg scatterer
Breeding Simple
Life Span 4-7 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6-8 cm
Temperature 23-26 °C
Hardness 5-10 °dH
Aquarium ~ 200 l
US Units
Size 2.4"-3"
Temperature 73-79 °F
Hardness 89-178 ppm
Aquarium ~ 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of the Red-throated Darter is the southwest of Sri Lanka, where they occur exclusively (endemically) in the inlet of the Nilwala River near Opatha. They live in the clear, shallow water of slow flowing forest streams with pebbles, stones, free sandy areas and aquatic plants


The aquarium should have a dense border planting, with hiding and retreat possibilities (roots, stones) and offer a lot of swimming space. A coarse, round gravel as substrate, slightly shaded light (floating plants) and a weak current is ideal.

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


In the wild they feed mainly on insects and insect larvae. The food supply consists of live food, such as cyclops, daphnia, artemia and red mosquito larvae, which are also easily accepted frozen, plus commercially available frozen special food mixtures, supplemented with high-quality, protein-rich dry food (granules, flakes, pellets).

A regular and varied diet promotes health and increases resistance. Only feed as much as is eaten immediately (in a maximum of 10 minutes).

Behaviour and compatibility

They are swimming and lively fish, suitable only for a community tank with peaceful but robust fish. In too small groups they remain shy and are sometimes aggressive. At least 5, but preferably much more Red Throated Darters should be kept together

Basically, only mutually compatible fish species with similar demands on water conditions and water temperature should be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

Males are slimmer and more intensely colored, while females are larger and more plump.

Reproduction and breeding

They are free spawners and do not engage in brood care. The male swims around (drifts) the female, which spawns among fine-feathered plants. The larvae hatch after 24-36 hours and swim freely after a few days.

Juveniles must be fed several times a day with special rearing food (dust food). In a community tank breeding is hardly possible, because the spawn is easy prey.


The tank should be well covered, as they like to jump.

The well-being of the fish should be checked regularly. The temperature should be checked daily, the pH, hardness and nitrate value should be checked at least every 14 days. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even if the contaminant level has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Sylvia Hos; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); BAENSCH & RIEHL (1997): Aquarien Atlas Bd. 5, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF