Zebra Danios and White Cloud Minnows – Can They Live Together?

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Setting up a community tank is always an exhilarating experience. You need to figure out the ideal setup and the fish species you’re mixing and solve the incompatibilities between them to create a stable and thriving ecosystem.

Today, we will discuss 2 of the most popular community fish out there: zebra danios and white cloud minnows.

Do these 2 get along, and what do you need to accommodate them? Let’s have a look!

Do Zebra Danios and White Cloud Minnows Get Along?

Yes, zebra danios and white cloud minnows make for ideal tankmates. They’re both docile and friendly fish that patrol the tank’s middle-to-top areas and showcase almost no aggression.

They are not territorial and won’t attack each other under normal circumstances.

Naturally, some tensions may arise in poor water conditions if the fish are overcrowded or they aren’t getting sufficient food.

But once meeting these basic requirements, they will happily share space with one another.

As a keynote, zebra danios are the snappier of the 2. These fish are friendly and peaceful but can become overly energetic, especially when in a good mood.

So, they might interact with other fish more often, although always in a playful mood.

Zebra danios are also known as fish nippers, so you might want to avoid pairing them with large-finned specimens.

Fortunately, cloud minnows are small, slim, and agile with tiny fins that won’t catch the danios’ attention.

Keeping Zebra Danios and White Cloud Minnows in the Same Tank

Fortunately, both of these fish species share similar environmental requirements. They also have their differences to consider, as is always the case when looking into 2 different fish species.

Here are the areas that need addressing when creating a danios-minnows environment:

Tank Size

Both danios and minnows thrive in 10-gallon tanks or larger. These fish are energetic and require their fair share of swimming space, but they’re small.

A 10-gallon setup should suffice for a decent school of 5-6 fish of each type.

When it comes to aquascaping the overall setup, though, the situation differs a bit. That’s because you also need live plants and other aquarium decorations to create a natural-looking setup for your fish.

So, I would recommend investing in a larger tank, especially since these are shoaling fish.

Both danios and minnows feel safer and happier in groups of at least 5-6 specimens, although the more, the better.

So, I would go for a 20-gallon setup to accommodate both groups. Especially since danios and minnows breed easily and are bound to fill up space quickly.

Water Requirements

Both species share similar water requirements. The ideal temperature for danios sits at around 64-77 °F, while minnows are comfortable in the 60-72 F range.

While both fish are resilient, hardy, and adaptable, they require stable water parameters to remain healthy and happy.

Get a heater, invest in a good filtration system, and clean the fish tank regularly to keep the environment stable.

Community tanks are slightly more demanding in terms of overall care because they house more fish in general.

Feeding and Diet

These are omnivorous fish that will eat pretty much anything you feed them. Of the 2, the danios are more veggie-oriented.

They require more algae, spirulina, and greens like spinach, cucumber, or zucchini than minnows.

Minnows are well-known insect eaters in the wild, so they prefer a similar diet in captivity.

As a general feeding routine:

  • Feed both species 2-3 times per day, depending on the number of fish and their size and appetite
  • Their diet should consist of 60% plant matter and 40% animal protein, give or take
  • Live food is necessary as a treat, 3-4 times per week
  • Remove food leftovers after the fish are done eating to prevent the residues from fouling the environment
  • Only feed your community fish what they can eat in 2 minutes at most
  • If you have a lot of fish, always go for more smaller meals than fewer larger ones

Also, make sure to spread out the food across the entire surface of the water. This will allow all fish to access their meal with minimal interactions with other fish.

The 2 species shouldn’t display any feeding-related aggression or competition so long as there’s sufficient food for everyone.

Number of Fish

You should go for at least 5-6 fish of each species. Both danios and minnows are shoaling fish. Unlike schooling species, they won’t swim in tandem, but they feel safer when kept in larger groups.

They also crowd together when rattled or stressed in an attempt to intimidate the potential attacker.

Interestingly, keeping these fish in large groups aids their mental health and boosts their coloring and temperament. The fish will be more energetic and more colorful and will experience longer lifespans.

The environment’s layout will also make a massive difference in this sense. Danios and minnows rely on each other’s company and their habitat’s layout to remain safe and comfortable.

They need a lot of live plants, rocks, driftwood, and any other aquatic decoration that could serve as a hiding area. It will also help the fish with exploration and keep them occupied during the day.

Also, consider getting a darker substrate as it makes the fish feel safer and boosts their coloring.

Can Zebra Danios Breed with White Cloud Minnows?

No, they cannot breed because the 2 are different species. A lot of people have reported danios and minnows performing the mating dance and attempting to breed, but that’s bound to go nowhere.

That being said, danios and minnows are both prolific breeders. Danios make life-long partners with which they will mate religiously and produce a lot of young in the process.

It’s common for danios females to produce upwards of 100 eggs in one session.

The situation is even more impressive with minnows. These are basically breeding machines, capable of breeding every 4-5 days and producing hundreds of eggs with each spawning.

So, your tank can get crowded fast if you don’t control the fish’s breeding rate.

Consider investing in a nursing tank if you plan on keeping the fry.


Zebra danios and white cloud minnows are both agile, friendly, and peaceful fish that will thrive with good care and an optimized setting.

These are great for novice aquarists, thanks to their resilience, given they’re bound to make mistakes along the way.

They should be very easy to accommodate and care for. Just remember to feed them properly, aquascape their habitat to mimic their natural environment, and regularly monitor their interactions and dynamics to prevent tensions.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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