Orange Hatchet Danio: Care, Lifespan, Breeding & More

Scientific NameChela Dadiburjori
Common NameOrange Hatchet Danio
OriginSouth India
Temperature Range65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
Adult Sizeup to 1.5 inches
DietOmnivorous, but prefer carnivorous diets

Orange Hatchet Danio Facts:

Cassius Chaerea, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Orange Hatchet Danios are a rare color of Danio in the wild.
  • It is important to keep a lid on the tank for your Orange Hatchet Danios, since they are surface dwellers, they will try to jump out if startled.
  • There are several species that are closely related to the Orange Hatchet Danio, and they are often sold under the same name. Therefore, be certain of what fish it actually is before purchasing.
  • These fish were first collected and bred in the 1950s by a scientist. They were given the species name Dadiburjori after the last name of the scientist.

Orange Hatchet Danio Care

Orange Hatchet Danios are similar in size and shape to many other Danios, but they can be identified by the orange hues they have on their body. The Orange Hatchet Danio was first found in India. They can be identified by the orange highlights, which is a rare color in Danios. The males are usually darker, especially when they are ready to spawn. The females are more plump in shape when compared to the males. Both male and female have a arrow-like shape to their body. This body shape enables them to jump out of the water. Therefore, it is important to keep a lid on the tank. If startled, the Orange Hatchet Danio can suddenly jump out of the tank.

Food & Diet

In the wild, Orange Hatchet Danios live on an omnivorous diet and they are opportunistic feeders. However, they do prefer a carnivorous diet if given the choice.

In an aquarium, Orange Hatchet Danio enjoy being fed a varied live diet. However, they will accept flakes and pellets. They are small fish, so be sure that the food you choose for your Orange Hatchet Danio is small enough to fit in their mouths. It is important for the water parameters that you do not overfeed your Orange Hatchet Danio. They can be fed frozen and live foods as a treat, but they should only be fed enough food that they consume in about 2 minutes. They can be fed once or twice a day. This will help ensure that you do not have a lot of excess waste floating around in your tank.

Size & Lifespan

The Orange Hatchet Danio is a small shoaling fish that typically grows up to about 1.5 inches. They have a widely reported, varied lifespan, and they do live for several years. You can expect your Orange Hatchet Danio to live roughly as long as other Danios, or closely related species. It is said, however, that they will live for a longer time in captivity if they are being met with the appropriate water conditions, and being fed a diet that closely resembles what they would consume in the wild.

Temperature and pH

Orange Hatchet Danios can survive in a wide range of temperatures, from 65 to 85 degrees fahrenheit, but they prefer the temperature to be in the 75 degree range. If you are keeping your Orange Hatchet Danios in a room that is colder than 70 degrees fahrenheit, then you will want to add an aquarium heater to their tank setup to help maintain the correct temperature. These little fish seem to be particularly tolerant of a wide range of pH 6. To 7.8, but keeping them at a pH of around 7.0 is ideal. You should also be doing 10 percent water change every week, or a 25 percent water change every 2 weeks to help keep the water parameters correct, and your fish healthy.

Tank Requirements

In their natural habitat, Orange hatchet Danios live in groups, or schools. They need to live in a grouping that is made up of at least 6 or more Danios that are not kept in a school can become aggressive towards the other fish in your aquarium. The tank size required for this is at least a 20 gallon tank, but with all shoaling fish, the bigger the better. Longer, shorter tanks are preferable as the Orange Hatchet Danio is a fish that spends its time at the top of the tank, and a longer tank would provide them with more space to roam. You can add more Orange Hatchet Danios to your aquarium by upgrading to a larger tank.

Planting live plants in your aquarium are a wonderful and welcome addition to your Orange Hatchet Danio tank. In the wild, these fish rely on plants to hide, destress, and even lay their eggs. If you are planning on breeding Orange Hatchet Danios, you will want to include lots of plants for them to lay their eggs.  

Tank Mates

Orange Hatchet Danios are small, shoaling fish that will mainly stick to the top most portion of your aquarium. They are a species endemic to India, and they do best when set up in a tank that best replicates its natural habitat. This includes any fish that also would dwell in their natural habitat. Other Danios are a welcome addition to add to a community tank with your Orange Hatchet Danios, as are close relatives of the Orange Hatchet Danios. Keep in mind also to never choose a fish that would potentially bully, or out compete them for food. It should also be noted that since Orange Hatchet Danios are mainly fish that stick to the top of the tank, other bottom dwelling fish can be a good option as tank mates, since they typically will not get into each other’s way. Rasboras can also be great tank mates for the Orange Hatchet Danio. Like with all new fish introduced into your aquarium setup, you will need to monitor the behavior of your fish to make sure that there are no problems between the different species.


It is not particularly difficult to care for and breed your Orange Hatchet Danios. If your tank is set up in the proper conditions, the females will spawn almost daily on your aquarium plants regularly. Orange Hatchet Danio females are an egg scattering fish. They will seek out your aquarium decor, and plants to lay their eggs. Make sure when setting up your tank for breeding, that you include lots of plants for them to hide and spawn in, on, and around. When your female Orange Hatchet Danio releases her eggs, the male will come along and fertilize them.

The Orange Hatchet Danio female can lay up to 30 eggs, but it is more likely to get them in groups of roughly a dozen. The female could lay them anywhere in the tank, but she prefers an area with more still water. The eggs will incubate for 2 to 4 days before they enter their larval stage and begin to swim. It is important to the survival of your Orange Hatchet Danio fry that there are places for them to hide, or having a dedicated breeding tank that you can remove the parent fish from so that they don’t seek out and eat their fry.

Since the females are laying eggs regularly, you will notice the male Orange Hatchet Danios seeking out their potential mates the majority of their time. Monitor your aquarium to make sure that they are not fighting amongst themselves. Injuries will appear in small fin tears, or missing scales. Keeping more females in the tank than males is a great idea to keep them from getting aggressive with one another.

If you are having trouble with getting your Orange Hatchet Danios to breed, it is recommended that you feed them a higher quality food, and do a big water change with slightly cooler water. This helps replicate the rainy season of their natural habitat. This should help trigger them into spawning.


Orange Hatchet Danios are susceptible to the same other illnesses that other freshwater fish are. They can be affected by bacterial infections, diseases, and get parasites. Since preventing your fish from getting sick in the first place is the best method of keeping them from becoming sick, it is a good idea to quarantine them from other fish for up to 2 weeks before placing them in your community tank, so that if they do have any ailments, they won’t be passed on to your other fish. While they are quarantining, be sure to observe their behaviors and their bodies for anything that seems amiss.

A common ailment for fish to have is a bacterial infection called Ich. There are treatments for Ich, and it is possible for your fish to recover from this. They can also be affected by parasites, or get fungal infections that can be much more serious for your Orange Hatchet Danios to be affected by.

Some diseases Orange Hatchet Danio can get are:

  • Fin Rot
  • Mouth Fungus
  • Swim Bladder Disease
  • Dropsy
  • Skin Flukes
  • Indovirus
  • Ich