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Do Danios Eat Plants? | Unusual Facts About Danios Feeding Behaviour |

Are you planning to buy a new set of fish for your planted aquarium and checking if Danios will suit your tank? Or are you planning on growing some plants with Danios? Let’s learn about Danio’s diet preferences in this article so that you can remove any doubts about “Danios eat plants”.

Do danios eat plants?

Do Danios Eat Plants

No. Danios do not eat plants. Although they are omnivore fish species, they prefer eating meat over plants.

SO, they will not bother eating plants in your aquarium given that you feed them well. 

However, Danios love plants because they love to hide, rest, play, and spawn among them. If you see any Danios nibbling on plants, they are just eating scattered eggs off of plants. 

So, you can grow any plant in your aquarium with Danios.

Do zebra danios eat plants

No. Zebra Danios do not eat plants. 

They are very active and extremely fast swimmers that you won’t even find out whether they are eating plants or not, but if you see them pick at live plants, they are either eating leftover fish food on the plants, eating scattered eggs off the plants or preparing to spawn.

Do giant danios eat plants

No. Just like Zebra danios, giant danios also will not eat plants. 

They do like plants to rest, hide, play and spawn but never eat plants as they are better off with pellets, flakes, live, frozen, or freeze-dried food, and fresh vegetables.

Are algae good for danios? 

Yes. Algae is a good source of food for Danios. 

As Danios are an omnivore species, they need vegetable matter in their diet. Danios eat algae as part of their diet because they receive vital nutrition from algae. So, Danios will consume not only algae but also algae wafers.

Do danios eat hair algae?

Yes. Danios eat hair algae. But not to an extent to get rid of algae. 

They are not excellent algae eaters. They will eat algae on occasion. Although algae growth is a sign of a healthy, nutrient-rich environment, algae are considered pests in aquariums. 

Many aquarium owners don’t like algae blooms in their aquariums. Hence they introduce algae eaters to control algae growth. Though Danios consume algae, they are not good algae eaters. 

Therefore, you may have to choose another Algae-Eater fish for your hair algae problem.

Do danios eat plant roots?

No. Danios don’t bother eating plants as well as plant roots. When they are hungry, they always look for algae or any meat matter. 

Danios prefers eating meat matters other than plant matters. They are not picky eaters either. So, they will eat anything you feed them and will not bother eating plants or plant roots.

Do danios eat brown algae?

Yes. Danios eat brown algae. In the wild, algae are always available food fish can eat. As Danios are omnivorous, they eat algae when they do not sufficiently eat. 

So, Danios are used to eating algae by nature and will eat algae in the aquariums as well. Brown algae don’t harm your fish. 

On the contrary, they help your fish by being a nutritious food, consuming CO2, and releasing vital Oxygens. Therefore, some brown algal build-up in your aquarium actually helps you.

What do danios eat in the wild?

Do Danios Eat Plants

Danio’s native waters are tropical water sources in South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. 

Their natural habitats are in clear freshwater streams, canals, ditches, oxbow lakes, ponds, and rice paddies, and these water sources often have high plantations with considerate algae growth. 

Danio’s primary natural food are zooplankton, phytoplankton, insects, and insect larvae.

However, they also can eat a variety of other food, such as worms and small crustaceans, if their favorite food sources are not readily available in the wild. 

Although their main diet consists of meat-based food, they also eat algae occasionally to keep them healthy.

Danios don’t eat plants as they are not interested in eating plants. They instead use the plants to hide and spawn.

What to feed danios in an aquarium?

Danios are not picky eaters, and they will eat anything you feed them. They also don’t bother eating plants as they are always busily shoaling.

You can provide them with any fish food such as pebbles, flakes, frozen, freeze-dried, or live food such as brine shrimp, paramecia, blood worms, as well as vegetables. 

Danios are omnivore fish species. So, they can eat both plant-based food as well as meat-based food. Additionally, you can feed them with algae wafers, and they will like it.

Feeding frequency of danios?

Danio frequency of eating

As Danios are omnivore fish species, you should feed them with a variety of food daily to keep them healthy. Two times feeding per day is enough for Danios. 

Further, you should provide only what they can consume in under two minutes. Remove any leftover food after two minutes to keep your tank clean. 

If you feed them with high-quality food, they won’t bother nibbling at plants, even searching for leftover food or algae. Danios are not hungry eaters.

Can Danios eat goldfish food?

Yes. You can feed Goldfish food to Danios.

Both fish species are omnivores and eat anything you provide. Goldfish food contains protein from shrimp sources and algae meal. 

However, goldfish food contains more plant-based matter than protein. So, it is best if you feed your Danios with protein-rich food like tropical flakes, frozen and live food sources.

Do Danios eat algae wafers?

Danios eat algae wafers because algae wafers are made out of algae.

Algae is a part of their diet, and Danios eat algae to absorb essential nutrients. So, it is natural for them to eat algae wafers.

What plants do zebra danios eat?

zebra danio

Danios are surface-oriented fish species. Therefore they prefer tall plants or emerging plants to make them feel at home. 

Any plant is ok as Danios doesn’t eat them. 

However, popular choices for Danios are Java fern and Amazon sword. They prefer plenty of plants with dark surroundings. So, try to keep as many plants as you can on the side and back of the aquarium.

Some easy to grow plants suitable for beginners are,

  • Java Moss
  • Java Fern
  • Amazon Sword
  • Anacharis
  • Hornwort
  • Anubias Nana
  • Giant Hygro
  • Giant Hair Grass

Related Questions 

How long can Zebra Danios go without food?

Zebra Danios can survive without food for up to 14 days. 

They are small fish species with less fat build-up in their body. So, this fish species can not live for long without food.

So, if you are going away for longer, you may need some preparations to keep your fish filled with enough food. A popular alternative is to set up an automatic fish feeder. 

However, you simply can keep a pet sitter to take care of your fish while you are away. The advantage of leaving a pet sitter is that they can take the necessary steps if something wrong is going on in your aquarium.

How many Danios Can I put in a 10-gallon tank?

Danios are schooling fish. So, you need to keep at least five danios together in a fish tank. 

The minimum tank size for 5 Danios is 10 Gallons. 

Danios love to swim all around. So, if you can provide a larger tank, they will thrive well. However, you can put five Danios in a 10-gallon tank.

How long do Danios live for?

Danios eat plants

Danios are sadly short-lived fish. They only live for up to three years in home aquariums. 

When conditions are better, they may live for around four to five years but chances are rare. 

Although Danio’s life span is low, they will color up your tank like never before because they look colorful and they are super fast swimmers.

Are Danios aggressive?

Danios are a relatively social species and exhibit shoaling behavior. 

However, they become aggressive towards slow-moving long-finned fish species and frequently bite the fins of these fish. 

Hence, it would be best if you didn’t introduce any slow-moving long-finned fish to Danios.

What fish can you keep with Danios?

Danios are very active fish that are always shoaling around. 

So, you have to keep them with similar-sized, active fish species like tetras, platies, mollies, swordtails, small barbs, and other danios. 

However, you should introduce Danios with other fish only if your tank is big enough for both species.


Danios are herbivorous species that eat both meat-based food and plant-based food. 

Although they are omnivores, they mostly eat meat-based food such as zooplankton, brine shrimp, paramecia, insects, insect larvae, worms, and small crustaceans. In addition, they eat algae as part of their diet but do not bother eating plants. 

Danios prefer planted surroundings as they can hide, play, rest, and spawn among them.

However, danios sometimes pick at plant leaves to eat, scattering eggs and algae off the plants.

Although Danios are algae eaters, they are not great at getting rid of algae. So, you may have to introduce good algae-eating fish if you have an algal bloom in your tank.

Read Next: Do Guppies Eat Plants And Algae? Important Insight Into Guppy Feeding

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.