Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Danio choprae

Glowlight danio

Glowlight danio, Danio chopraeGlowlight danio, Danio choprae
Photos by Andy Rapson


Danio: Vernacular name fron India and Sri Lanka

General Notes:

The Glowlight danio, Danio choprae shouldn't be confused with dyed or GM fish such as the glo-fish which are 'made' using the closely related zebra danio. The Glowlight danio, Danio choprae is a natural species. It is a shoaling species and so they should be kept in a group of at least five individuals but id space permits ten individuals should be kept together.
Glowlight danios look at their best when lighting isn't to bright and with a dark substrate. Very bright and pale coloured surroundings will make the fish's colours fade. A clean well maintained aquarium with good filtration and reasonable water movement in order to maintain good oxygen levels is essential for the long term health of glowlight danios (and many other fish).


Wild glowlight danios will prey on insects and their larvae along with small crustaceans. In captivity they are unfussy and will accept flake food. To keep them in good condition use a lot of frozen or live food in their diet such as daphnia, cyclops, adult brine shrimps and mosquito larva.


Glowlight danios are lively peaceful fish and fit really well in to community tanks with other small peaceful fishes. Don't mix them with long finned fish like male guppies because they may nip the tails of such fish.


This can be difficult but adult females tend to be a little larger and have a more rounded abdomen but their colours lack the vibrancy of the adult males colours.


Glowlight danios are one of the more challenging Danio species to breed. They breed in typical Danio fashion with the male driving the female and spawning as they go. They spawn in groups rather than pairs and even in a community tank some fry have been known to reach adulthood.
Use a separate tank for breeding, fill the base with two layers of marbles or similarly sized rounded pebbles so that the non-adhesive eggs will fall out of reach of the parents.
An air powered sponge filter and heater is the only equipment needed in the tank. The water should be soft <3KH and the temperature around 22°C (72°F). Use a group of fish with an equal ratio of well conditioned males and females which have been kept apart for a few days.
The eggs hatch after about 72 hours at this temperature and the fry will be free swimming 48 hours later.
The fry can be fed using a commercial liquid fry food, infusoria, newly hatched brine shrimps or a commercial dry fry food which is now available with infusoria sized particles.

Wild status

Because Glowlight danios are common in a remote part of Myanmar and although their full natural range is data deficient the fish is sufficiently common and it is facing no known threats to its known range the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists them as least concern. All glowlight danios offered for sale will have been bred in captivity.

Additional information

There is a very similar species referred to as the Northern glowlight danio which has been traded under the incorrect scientific name of Danio putaoensis (there is no fish with that name). There is however Danio flagrans which is very similar to Danio choprae. Danio flagrans, is distinguished from D. choprae by longer barbels, longer caudal peduncle, shorter anal-fin base, more caudal vertebrae, fewer anal-fin rays, short vs. usually absent lateral line, details of the colour pattern, and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

Information at a glance

pH: 6.5 - 7
dGH: 4 - 12
Temperature: 20 - 25°C (68 - 77°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 3cm (1.2in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Glowlight danio, Danio choprae

Origin: Asia: Irrawaddy in northern Myanmar

Habitat: Clear water, rocky hill streams with no plant life.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Danio
Species: D. choprae Hora, 1928

Other common names:

Synonyms: Brachydanio choprai, Danio choprai