Danio dangila

With a maximum length of 15cm (5.9 inch), Danio dangila is a rather large Danio species. Its beautiful colors make it worthwhile to keep them in your aquarium.



Danio dangila was first described by Hamilton in 1822. After several years it received the name Perilampus reticulatus as well. The latter is currently seen as a synonym.


Danio dangila is a relatively large sized Danio. It has a yellow base color with a complex dark green pattern over its body. The dorsal-, tail- and anal fins show the dark green coloration as well. All the other fins are completely transparent. This specie can easily be recognized by its long barbels. The common name: mustached Danio, refers to these long barbels.

Sexing can be done by looking at the analfins of the fish. Females have a white border while males show a red border. In addition females are fuller bodied than males.

Research showed a rather broad range of body length of these fish. Records vary between 6 (2.3 inch) cm to 15 cm (5.9 inch). As a consequence, the fish can become rather sizable.

Distribution and Habitat

Danio dangila can be found in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Here it can be found in the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna basins.

Research in the rivers: Siang, Siyom, Sonkosh and Charju showed that this specie lives in areas we consider hillstream biotopes. These streams often provide clear, cool water that is fast flowing.

During research in the river Siang, the water parameters were measured during summer and winter. These measurements show that they differ between seasons. During the summer the temperatures are between 20 and 26 °C (68-79°F). Furthermore, pH was found to range between 6.5 and 7.5. The winters are considerably colder with temperatures dropping to: 9°C to 11°C (48-52°F). The pH, however, is relatively constant and ranging from 6 to 7.5. Despite the differences in temperature between winter and summer, it is recommended to keep the aquarium temperature at 16°C to 24°C (16-75°F).


Being carnivores, Danio dangila should not be fed with herbivore foods. Algae wafers are therefore not appropriate for these fish. They will accept all types of food including factory foods. However, to keep the fish in the best shape, life and frozen foods should be offered on occasion as well.

The Aquarium

In order to let the aquarium be a resemblance to its natural habitat, decorations should consist of rocks and driftwood. The substrate can consist of gravel or sand. In order to bring some plants to the tank, Microsorum sp. or Anubias sp. could be attached to the decorations.

Despite living in hillstream areas, these fish don’t prefer extreme strong currents like some other hillstream fishes. A moderately strong current is sufficient for these fish. However, do make sure that the water is clean and well oxygenated as Danio dangila is intolerant to pollution.

Danio dangila is a peaceful specie. It won’t bother other species and are not aggressive to other Mustached Danios. Although, it should not be placed in a tank with fish that suffer quickly from stress.  Danio dangila is a rather active fish. Additionally, the fish needs to be placed in a school. If the amount of Mustached Danios is too low, the fish might suffer from stress and it will not show its best colors.


Danio dangila isn’t the easiest fish to breed. It is know that the eggs are scattered between small leaved plants. When the eggs are spawned, they will hatch after 48 hours. 2 days later, the fry will be able to swim freely. That is your cue to start feeding them artemia nauplia.




Copyright photos

Hung You Chen

Pete Brown


Armi, T. G. (n.d.). Danio dangila summary page. Retrieved March 13, 2017, from http://www.fishbase.us/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=24381&genusname=Danio&speciesname=dangila&AT=Danio%2Bdangila&lang=English

Bagra, K., & Das, D. N. (2010). Fish Diversity of River Siyom of Arunachal Pradesh India: A Case Study. Our nature, 8(1), 164-169.

Baro, D. C., Sharma, S., & Baishya, R. A. (2014). Status of ornamental fish diversity of Sonkosh River, Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam, India. Science Vision, 14(1), 28-33.

Danio dangila – Moustached Danio (Danio meghalayensis, Danio deyi). (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/danio-dangila/

Das, B. K., Boruah, P., & Kar, D. Fish diversity and habitat mapping of River Siang in Arunachal Pradesh using Remote Sensing and GIS. Innovative Energy Technology Systems and Environmental Concerns: A Sustainable Approach, Research India Publications, New Delhi, India, 2014b, 13-20.

Kullander, S. O. (2015). Taxonomy of chain Danio, an Indo-Myanmar species assemblage, with descriptions of four new species (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 25(4), 357-380.

Tesia, C., & Bordoloi, S. (2012). Ichthyofaunal Diversity of Charju River, Tirap District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Asian Journal of Experimental Biological Science, 3(1), 82-86.

Additional information





Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour






Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

Temperature minimum

Temperature maximum

pH minimum

pH maximum

GH minimum

GH maximum


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