Glofish Care

Updated May 13, 2020
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Glofish is a genetically modified zebra danio that comes in several different fluorescent neon colors such as red, green, orange, blue and purple. You can now get other species such as tetras as well.

They were genetically modified with the purpose to detect environmental pollution. Scientists were able to inject a fluorescent protein gene (from marine organisms) into the zebra danio embryos to create glofish.

There are no dyes or color injections into this fish. Successive offspring gets the gene passed down to them from parents. They are working on developing a fish to only fluoresce when in the presence of pollution and a portion of sales goes to the advancement of this research.

If you are looking buy them they are kind of expensive for freshwater fish. A popular online live fish store has a price of $20 for a 3 pack or $35 for a 6 pack of tetras. There is even a tank kit setup you can get that comes with a voucher for fish that can be mailed to you.

Being zebra danios, they will need to be kept in a group of at least 6 or more for best results. There may be some in fighting among themselves but keeping them in a school of 6 or more should help limit their fin nipping tendencies. They also look very cool when kept in large schools.

Keeping glofish under black lights and dark colored gravel is popular and as mentioned previously they even have complete aquarium kits available now.

Feed them a high quality flake food and supplement with thawed brine shrimp from time to time. Give them good clean water conditions, suitable tank mates, a high quality diet and they should have a normal life span of about 2 to 4 years, with an average life span of around 3.5 years.

Glofish Glofish 2

It should be noted that they are not for sale in the state of California due to environmental regulations imposed by that state. You also are not allowed to breed them, unless it's for educational purposes.

At the time of writing this article (several years ago) there were only the zebra danio type glofish available. Nowadays, there are many more species such as the White Skirt Tetra and even the Betta being genetically modified into glofish.

Red and Green Type Blue and Yellow Type
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GloFish Care Details

Scientific Name : Danio rerio

Common Names : Starfire Red®, Electric Green®, Sunburst Orange®, Cosmic Blue®, Galactic Purple®, Red Danio, Green Danio, Orange Danio, Blue Danio, Purple Danio

Care Level : Easy

Size : Up to 2 inches (5 cm)

pH : 6.5 - 8

Temperature : 65°F - 75°F (18°C - 24°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 19° dH,

Lifespan : 2 - 4 years, sometimes up to 5 years

Origin / Habitat : Genetically modified zebra danios, they are aqua cultured

Temperament / Behavior : Mostly peaceful when kept in groups of 6 or more with occasional fighting and chasing among the group.

Breeding : Note: breeding is prohibited due to licensing restrictions (See number 4 on their Breeding Restrictions page). Zebra Danios are considered easy to breed. A popular method is to use marbles for the bottom of the aquarium so that the eggs can escape predation from the adults. Maintain a water temperature of 78°F while feeding them high quality foods and the female will drop its eggs in the marbles. Siphon up the eggs and the eggs will hatch in two to three days. Fry can initially be fed live paramecia or other microorganisms. At around day 9 they can be fed brine shrimp.

Aquarium Size : 10 gallon or larger for more stable water parameters and to get a bigger group together. They really look nice when kept in larger schools with dark colored gravel.

Tank Mates : They can be kept with other danios, barbs, tetra, angelfish and other freshwater fish species not big enough to eat them.

Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - in general this is considered a very hardy fish but is noted to be susceptible to velvet disease, mycobacteriosis and intestinal capillariasis (ref:

Food : in the wild zebra danios eat insect larvae, worms and small crustaceans. A good tropical fish flake food mixed in with some thawed brine shrimp or other fresh or frozen foods occasionally.

Tank Region : Middle to Top levels of the aquarium

Gender : Hard to distinguish male from female when juveniles but as adults, females should develop a more pronounced stomach when carrying eggs.

Fish Lore Forum : Glofish Forum

"Danio rerio". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version.
Also see: Are Glofish Bad For The Environment

Still have Glofish questions?
Jump on the forum and ask your question!
Go here: Glofish Forum

Glofish Comments

From: Stacy
We have 5 of them and a zebra danio in a 15 gallon tank with a pleco and algae eater. The danio schools just fine with the glo's and they have proven to be an extremely hardy fish. Despite hard water problems and fluctuations with ph and alkalinity they've come through with flying colors (no pun intended). They also handle having the entire tank treated for ick, fin rot, etc; with no problems. Definitely recommend these little guys for anyone.

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