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Zebra Dartfish

(Ptereleotris zebra)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Ptereleotridae   • Species: Dartfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Zebra Dartfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

As a hardy and very peaceful species that reach a maximum length of 4", Zebra Dartfish make perfect additions to "nano" aquarium setups as well as an excellent choices for a community reef aquariums. Zebra Dartfish are commonly found living in groups among the tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Like other Dartfish species, Zebra Dartfish mainly feed on planktonic life in the water column as well as among the reef and substrate rubble.

Zebra Dartfish are quite peaceful and are completely safe with other fish, coral species, and ornamental invertebrates, but should not be housed with overly aggressive tank mates that may pick on them. Zebra Dartfish are a popular choice for beginners as they are easy to care for, thus they are readily available within the hobby via local and online retailers.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Zebra Dartfish in the home aquarium.

Zebra Dartfish prefer an aquarium of at least 30 gallons as well as plenty of live rock and open swimming space. They should be provided with a live, sand substrate that can sustain a population of amphipods, copepods, and other planktonic life (a refugium is also beneficial, but not required). Their setup requires a hood or tight fitting lid as they are known to startle easily and may unintentionally jump from the aquarium. They are mainly observed swimming around the middle levels of the aquarium and often stay somewhat close to their favorite spots. Zebra Dartfish should be housed in groups of 2-5 as they prefer the company of conspecifics; they will also get along well with other peaceful fish, but should not be housed with aggressive species that may harass them.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Zebra Dartfish.

Zebra Dartfish are carnivores that can be found patrolling the water column and reefs of their natural habitat for planktonic life such as amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill, and other prepared marine food items. They will also accept quality flake foods that will help with a varied diet. Feed once or twice a day.

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