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Robyn's Fire Bar and Glowlight Danio Page

Last Updated: 2/19/14

My glowlight danios on 7/6/03, 7/7/03, and 7/10/03 (the last two photos). They are SO fast so the photos are very blurry and do not do justice to what they really look like! The photos make them look boring but they are not! There are better photos of more of these fish at the bottom of the page.

Quick Information
Setup and Water Preferences
My Glowlight Danios
Links and Pictures and Video

For general danio sort of information, see my zebra danio page. The fire bar and glowlight danios are similar in many ways.

I am pretty sure my fish are glowlight danios and not fire bar danios as they were sold to me. They are so beautiful and actively breeding! I love my baby glowlight danios!

Quick Information

Common names: Fire bar danio and glowlight danio
Scientific/Latin names: Danio maetaengensis or Devario maetaengensis (fire bar danio) and Danio choprae (glowlight danio)
Maximum length: 3 inches for fire bar danios, 2 inches for glowlight danios
Colors: Brown, yellow, green, red (really pretty!)
Temperature preference: Unknown (mine are at 78 degrees F)
pH preference: 6 to 7
Hardness preference: Soft to medium
Salinity preference: Low to medium
Compatibility: Good but fast like most danios!
Life span: Unknown, probably 3 to 8 years
Ease of keeping: Moderate
Ease of breeding: Easy to Moderate


Fire bar danios come from Southeast Asia, Northern Thailand to be exact. They are rarely sold in the US but are such gorgeous danios! They are a yellowish color with green parts. There are red vertical stripes down the side and a red "fire bar" down the side of the fish horizontally. The fins seem to be semi-long with true yellow tips.

I bought my four fish as fire bar danios. I do not know if they just made up that common name or what. They were labeled as such with the scientific name of Danio maetaengensis. I e-mailed with one man who says he bought fish under that name as well but they were really Danio choprae or the glowlight danio. Both are very rare. Both look the same. The fire bar grows to 3 inches I have been told with the glowlight danio rarely growing over an inch. My four fish are still young so I do not know their adult length as of yet. They small almost entirely at the top of the tank, rarely if ever going down to the bottom (I have not seen it). Update: 9/25/03, the fish are still about an inch long! The male is much darker. I think I must really have the glowlight danios but I will leave this page as it is (confusing!). Yes, my four fish are actively breeding at an inch long so they must be glowlight danios!

I had one person correspond with me wanting to buy some "glowlight danios" from the local store. After many e-mails, she said they were called "glow danios" which lead me to figure out that the fish in question were the new "glofish" which are zebra danios with genes implanted that make them glow under the right light. There is a site on the glofish at glofish.com. These fish are NOT glowlight danios which are beautiful naturally.

Pete contacted me on 8/27/04 to tell me that Danio maetaengensis is correctly now called Devario maetaengensis. He later sent me some photos I hope to put up here of both Devario maetaengensis and Danio choprae. From those photos, there is absolutely no doubt that I have Danio choprae. Once again, the fish store was WRONG! Pete said that Devario maetaengensis is often confused with Devario shanensis. If you visit his aquarium club at http://www.stroodaquarist.co.uk and click on "Fact Sheets and Articles," you can read an article on Devario maetaengensis that covers a few things including breeding. Unfortunately, the site is set up so I cannot link to it directly for you.

Setup and Water Preferences

Fire bar danios should like the same sort of conditions as other danios with soft to moderate water of a pH slightly acidic. Since they are rare, I have found no mention of temperature preferences but mine are at 80 degrees F. Zebra danios can take it down into the 60's but I am not sure about fire bar danios. My danios (both kinds) love swimming through the current from the filter. They are very active and chase each other around in circles. In most ways, their setup and water preferences are most likely the same as zebra danios.


My danios were immature. I have not read any information on sexing fire bar danios. They are pretty rare. As mine age, I will let you know if I can tell males from females. Most likely, you can tell by body shape with males being larger but I do not know if the males are noticeably different in coloration or color intensity from females when mature. Some of my fish have brighter yellow fin tips so maybe those are males.

After having my fish for just a few weeks, it looks to me like I have one male who is darker with more intense coloration and three females whose ovipositors look more obvious and the look to be egg- laden. If they are indeed ready to spawn at less than an inch in size, this would seem to indicate that I too was duped into getting fire bar danios when in fact, I have glowlight danios. I will probably never know! Since the tank is well vegetated, I probably will not find eggs or fry. It is doubtful any could make it on their own.

As of 10/25/03, I have never seen any eggs or fry. The male is very dark and faster while the females are more subdued.

Things have changed! See below under my glowlight danios. I have babies, babies, babies! So precious! Three are now with their parents even!


My fish probably bred (I did not see it) but ate their eggs. Randy (whose site is below) had his glowlight danios spawn in the typical danio fashion. He did not manage to have any fry survive beyond two months. See my zebra danio page and breeding page for general information on breeding egg-laying fish that should pertain to the fire bar danios as well.

Jim had the following to say in an e-mail to me about glowlight danios: "Danio choprae, the glowlight danio and originally offered as the world's most expensive danio. Great fish, little information as you already know. Treat them like other danios, with maybe more plants than the others. They are much more colourful. We found that when sexually active, the males get much darker and the females lighten up, considerably. A very attractive pair at that time. Spawning was straight forward, although the numbers of fry don't approach those of, say, the zebra danio. They seem to be too shy to spawn in a bare, marble bottom tank, so a small, well planted tank was used with success. Enjoy your rarity."

My Glowlight Danios

One of my glowlight danios on 2/28/04.

I bought my four fish on 7/5/03 and put them in my 20 gallon tank. They are all under an inch long. They were pretty skinny when I got them but within a week, their tummies were fat with good foods!

Update 12/6/03: My glowlight danios (I am pretty sure that is what they are as they are mature and an inch long) are spawning! They are chasing a lot which they have always done but the females have more obvious ovipositors. Plus, just today, when cleaning the tanks and checking the water vacuumed into the bathtub for cleaning, I found 5 fry! The fry look like zebra danio fry except lighter in color. I put them a net breeder in the 20 gallon tank. I hope at least one makes it so I can verify they are glowlight danios! I found more stuck to the sides of the glass and caught some more (alas, some eluded me; perhaps some will survive in the tank itself if the fish and African dwarf frogs do not find them all!). By 12/9/03, I have 7 babies actively swimming in the net eating the five kinds (ok, I go overboard) or prepared fry foods. It is too cold to get brine shrimp to hatch without a heated tank. The fry are at a toasty 80 degrees F but the room is 60. The babies are SOOO cute!

On 12/13/03, I used a dixie cup to move the fry to a plastic cup while I cleaned the tank and changed half the water like a I do every week. I scooped more fry up with a cup and some with a pipette so that the 7 fry now have 13 more buddies! There are 20 fry in the net. They look really healthy! The only problem with the net is my young African dwarf frogs try to surface under it and hit it and spaz thinking they are going to drown. They gulp air regularly but also get oxygen directly from the water. I am surprised the parent danios of my adult frogs had not eaten those 13 fry happily bouncing in the open areas of the tank! Maybe some will survive without intervention. I hope they do not become so crowded as to create problems. Too bad I do not know local aquarists to give some to and make them very happy to have this rare, extra special fish! On 12/20/03, I had to clean the tank again. Unfortunately, it is very hard to get the fry out without harming them. Some got squished between the net and the net supports. There are now about 13 alive, 3 or 4 I murdered (for which I hope to rot in hell), and the rest of the 20 vanished (dying of other causes). The remaining babies look good, with full stomachs. Not to worry, I vow to never buy any more animals to torture again (of my 18 non- aquatic animals, only one I bought; my mother buys on impulse to give me more work). I will give my last breath and penny to keep the ones I have alive, healthy, and happy. The surviving fry seem happier after a water change and their net cleaned out (it was full of 6 kinds of fry foods).

On 12/27/03, I found 9 live and 1 dead fry when cleaning the net out. I added one more baby as well. They are getting big now! The larger fry have a red stripe down their bodies and tummies full of food. They are so cute!

On 1/03/04, there were 8 fry left and 2 newborns added. On 1/10/04, there were 5 big, 1 medium, and 2 small fry left meaning two vanished/died. I found 2 more for a new total of 10 fry again. Plus, I added a newborn panda cory from my 50 gallon tank (my first of them in almost two years!). The biggest fry are getting big enough that I can almost see their mouths but I am afraid to release them while the African dwarf frogs and shrimp lurk about. I think their parents still might be able to eat them as well so I will wait until they are much bigger. I do not want to risk them getting eaten but life in the net is dangerous when I move it to clean, and fry can get squished. There appear to be no fry of any size (more than a week old) in the main tank meaning they are getting eaten there. On 1/17/04, there are 5 big, 1 medium (having trouble swimming, he shimmies), and four small danios plus the cory. That means that I lost none this week! Yeah! I spoke too soon :-( On 1/24/04, there were only 3 big and 1 medium left. I saw one body earlier in the week but the others must have decomposed really fast. Maybe the 3 big ones ate some of the four small ones because there were at least two of them just the day before the weekly cleaning! I caught 5 more wee ones and put them in there. I wish that at least a few will make it to release size. I worry that there is a micro-parasite at work. On 1/31/04, there are still 3 big, 1 medium, and 5 tiny ones and the cory (who is growing much faster) so none died! I added two new fry. On 2/7/04, the 3 big and 1 medium danio as well as the cory were doing well. I only found 3 small ones left but they seemed fine. I caught them first, softly in a dixie cup from the net into the holding cup while cleaning the tank. The only reason I have to remove them is the net only goes down about 5 inches, and I need to lower the water more than that to do the weekly water changes. When I went to put the fry back, two of the tiny ones were not moving, floating like they were dead or stunned. As they were perfectly fine minutes before, I can only guess that one of the 4 large fry literally bashed into them as they spazed in the small space. I found 1 more newborn giving a total of 7 living fry in the net.

On 2/14/04, the 3 big and 1 medium fry were fine with only one smaller fry still alive (a few weeks old at least). The cory was almost big enough that I wanted to release him but am still afraid the dwarf frogs could try to eat him so I will wait. I found 5 more newborns to put in there. I am pretty sure the older fry eat younger ones now so until they are big enough to leave the net, no more can grow up as I really do not want to set up another net right now.

On 2/28/04, I let the three largest glowlight danios and the one big panda cory go into the 20 gallon tank! So far (4 days), all four fry are still alive and very active so they were big enough that the African dwarf frogs did not eat them (or the other fish). All four fry are zippy fast! They seem happy to be out of the net! The remaining fry are happier without them too. They include the one fry that cannot swim right, a few fry about 3 weeks old, and 4 more newborns added on 2/28/04. The three fry I let go are 2.5 months old! They took a long time to be large enough to not be eaten. Their parents chase them but the plant is heavily vegetated so they simply hide. They are too big to be eaten. Pretty soon, they will be all grown up!

There were then 7 glowlight danios in the tank itself and 7 fry in the net (which have high mortality).

As of 3/13/04, the net has 6 fry including the one deformed one, one "big" one, and 4 others. The 3 fry released into the main tank on 2/28/04 are doing great. They have grown a lot since being out and zip around with their 4 parents. By 3/20/04, the only fry left in the net are the deformed one, a "big one," and one other fry. I found a dead one I must have accidently killed. Two fry were simply missing.

On 4/17/04, I let a fry out of the net, leaving only the older deformed fry left. It is smaller and swims vertically. I think he must be missing some fins. The two fry tried to get back together on opposite sides of the net. They miss each other! The released fry soon joined with the other seven. No new fry have been found lately. So, there are 9 danios, one being in the net, perhaps for the rest of its life. If I let him out, the frogs are sure to catch him easily. On 4/24/04, I decided to let him out anyway. He so wanted out! Upon release, he follows the other 8 like a puppy dog! So far, he is ok. The bigger fish are not even pestering him which surprised me. He swims really fast, just at a 45 degree angle with a lot of struggling. I cannot see (he never sits still) what is physically wrong but I assume it is a missing fin. Hopefully, he will do okay.

As of 9/10/05, there appear to only be 6 glowlight danios left. The missing three were never found so they must have been eaten soon after death in some hidden corner. Among the missing was the poor deformed danio who when last seen in 8/05, actually had doubled in size in a short time. When last seen, he was almost as big as the others but still swam with his head up in short spurts. Despite that, he was fast and eating well. I do not know what happened to those missing three.

In late January, 2006, a few of my glowlight danios started to show signs of fish tuberculosis. My other tanks have it but I thought the 20 gallon tank was safe. No such luck. Some of the danios got the little white internal balls from the fish tuberculosis, their colors darkened, they lost weight, and their spines started to kink. The week of 1/23/06, I treated the tank with Maracyn I and II by Mardel (erythromycin and minocycline) even though I knew it would not really do anything. By 1/28/06, one of the six glowlight danios has gone missing, probably fallen by the scourge of my tanks, fish tuberculosis.

As of 10/7/06, I believe there are only four glowlight danios left. The other two must have died at some point.

On 11/8/06, I did see the four glowlight danios all at the same time. One was dying, and I removed him/her dead the next day. I wish I knew why my fish are dying in that tank. The dead ones had some dropsy but that usually has some cause.

The tank stabilized. On 1/14/07, I added four new glowlight danios to the 20 gallon tank. I might have been foolish (eventually dooming them) but so far, they have been very happy. They have grown really fast, swim fast, and the females are all egg-laden. The three-times-bigger surviving older glowlight danios have come out of hiding to play. There are only two of them left. Another one must have vanished. Under photos of my glowlight danios before you can see new photos of these guys.

By 6/17/07, the two older glowlight danios were showing their age while the young ones were as big as them now. The oldest/weakest glowlight danio struggled for a few days and finally died that day. Five remain.

It has been a long time since I found glowlight danio fry but, on 8/18/07, I found two in the filter when cleaning it. I set them up in the net breeder. I will update as to their progress.

On 8/25/07, I put a new net on the net breeder as the other one ripped. This new one had larger holes so I was afraid the two babies (who are doing well) might escape. But wait! On 8/28/07, I counted three babies in there! That means a new younger baby swam through the holes and into the net! On 8/30/07, I counted four babies! On 8/31/07, I counted five! They keep coming through the holes! On 9/15/07, when I cleaned the tank and used a dixie cup to collect the fry to remove the net breeder for cleaning, I only found three fry, one of the larger ones and two of the smaller ones. Two must have died or swam out through the net. On 9/22/07, I found the big fry, a medium fry, two small fry, and a small fry that seemed dead but may have recovered. So, in a week, I went from 3 to 5 fry. How? They swam through the net. I finally got a new net and put that on so no more will be swimming out but also none swimming out. On 9/28/07, there were two big and two smaller fry still alive. On 10/6/07, only the two big fry were left.

On 11/10/07, I let the two fry out of the net breeder. They were still a bit small (almost three months old) but very fast. They immediately began swimming with the adults who also were all excited by the "new" fish.

By early 2008, I can see the two young glowlight danios schooling with only four adults so that means that one of the adults must have died and was never found (before being eaten or decomposing). As of 1/12/08, I have seen six glowlight danios together. The babies are now about half the length of the adults. One of the older adults has dropsy and probably will not last much longer. I was actually wrong; there were still seven glowlight danios. On 1/19/08, I found one dead and then saw six schooling together. There are now six left for sure.

On 2/9/08, I found the body of one of the old glowlight danios who had dropsy.

By 7/10/08, I have only seen one glowlight danio lately! I think only one is left. On 7/6/08, I bought four rosy danios for the tank. The one glowlight danio seems to like them but is not as fast as they are.

The surviving glowlight danio began swimming crooked in early 2010 but, as of 7/2/10, it is still alive. The last glowlight danio died on 8/15/10.

Links and Pictures and Video

Here are all the links I could find for now. Most contain almost nothing. Let me know if you know of good links!

Danio maetaengensis or Danio maetaengensis (the same page, different URL)

Randy's Journal - Randy bought some fish as Danio maetaengensis but believes they are in face Danio choprae. His page has a photo of one of his fish. He was so pretty! Mine look the same. It is the last photo on that page.

Breeding the Glow-Lite Danio - a short breeding story.

Glow Light Tetra - note this page calls Danio choprae the glow light tetra which is a totally different species. It should say glowlight danio not tetra. The photos are of Danio choprae although they definitely do not do them justice! My fish are SOOOO gorgeous but will not sit still for a photo!

Strood Aquarist Society - click on "Fact Sheets and Articles" to see an article on Devario maetaengensis that covers a few things including breeding.

Glowlight Danios - wow an actual page with two photos (of some young glowlight danios)!

Peter sent me a bunch of photos of both Devario maetaengensis (fire bar danio) and Danio choprae (glowlight danio) on 8/31/04. From these, I am 100% sure that I have glowlight danios! These are great photos!

D. maetaengensis
D. maetaengensis
D. maetaengensis
D. choprae
D. choprae

Photos of my glowlight danios:

Photos are listed from oldest to newest. The first five photos are also on this page above.

Glowlight danio on 7/6/03.
Glowlight danio on 7/7/03.
Glowlight danio on 7/10/03.
Glowlight danio on 7/10/03.
Glowlight danio on 2/28/04.

I took a photo of my bristlenose pleco on 6/25/05 only to discover that you can see one of the glowlight danios in it pretty well. Here is the photo.

This photo from 5/6/06 shows two of my new mystery danios on the left but also captured two of the glowlight danios on the right: two glowlight danios.

On 1/14/07, I got four new glowlight danios and remarkably got these two decent photos!
All four new glowlight danios
Three of the new glowlight danios
A close-up of one glowlight danio from the first photo

On 11/10/07, I released two darling baby glowlight danios out of the net breeder. Here are photos of them free in the 20 gallon tank. The photos are a little blurry, and the fry seem a lot bigger than they are (since I took the photos from a distance and cropped it).
Baby glowlight danios
Baby glowlight danios

This photo from 11/29/08 shows my one surviving glowlight danio at the upper left with four rosy danios.
Glowlight danio with rosy danios.

I took some photos on 6/20/09 of the panda cories and the one glowlight danio happened to be in one photo:
Glowlight danio at the upper right in a photo with the rosy danios and panda cories.
Glowlight danio - close-up of previous photo.


I also took a video of those four new fish on 1/14/07 which you can see on my fish videos page.

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