Celestial Pearl Danio: Care, Tank Size, Breeding & More

Scientific NameDanio Margaritatus
Common NameCelestial Pearl Danio, Galaxy Rasbora, Firework Rasbora
OriginSouth East Asia, Myanmar
Temperature Range71-78°F
Water ParameterspH is between 6.5 and 7.5, dGH 1-5
Adult Sizeup to 1 inch
DietOmnivorous, mostly herbivorous

Celestial Pearl Danio Facts:

  • Discovered in 2006, it is important to note that there still is a lot to be discovered about their habitat and species in general. Being discovered in 2006 means that new discoveries about this species are likely.
  • While they were only recently discovered, color variants have already been identified.
  • This species was originally called Celestichthys margaritatus, which translates as “heavenly fish adorned with pearls.” They were later reclassified and renamed Danio margaritatus.
  • Although considered a peaceful fish, the males will fight. This sometimes causes injury and death.
Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio Margaritatus) are a newly discovered species of freshwater fish, and there is much to learn about this fish. They are admired by aquarium hobbyists all over the world for their vibrant color, and active nature. They are often referred to as Galaxy Rasboras, or Firework Rasboras. However, these little fish are more closely related to Danios than they are to Rasboras.

These fish are often categorized as a nano schooling fish. However, they do prefer to live in a relatively large group. Therefore, if you intend to keep them in a small aquarium, a species specific tank may be suitable. The females move around in groups through the territory of the males. The males will follow along after the females, while aggressively competing with other males. They have proportionately larger eyes than other fish of this type, and they also sport smaller gills in relation to their body size.

They have white, pearl-like spots along their bodies, and red coloration along their fins. Due to their distinctive markings, it makes it possible to tell the male Celestial Pearl Danios from the females. The males tend to have fins that are brighter and more deep red in color than the females. The males also have a more blue tone when compared to the females. The females have a more green tone to their bodies. Males are thinner and have a more deep, rich color. The females are duller in color, and have a more rounded shape.

Celestial Pearl Danio #shorts

Celestial Pearl Danio Care

Celestial Pearl Danios are described as opportunistic feeders with a varied diet. In their natural habitat, Celestial Pearl Danios sticks mostly to the bottom, feeding on many species of plants, algaes, and zooplankton. They have also been observed eating small invertebrates and worms. In an aquarium set up, they will eat dry flakes and pellets, as long as they are small enough to fit in their mouths.

A good option for feeding the Celestial Pearl Danio is to use live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or krill. Feeding them krill will help bring out the vibrant red coloration.

They are a timid feeder that mostly sticks to the bottom of the tank. They will not venture out of their hiding places to eat if they are too scared. It is important to observe them during feeding time to make sure they are eating. It is also a good idea to give them a variety of foods, rather than sticking to one type of fish food. This will keep them healthy and vibrant.

Size and Lifespan

The Celestial Pearl Danio can grow from 0.75 inches up to 1 inch in length at full maturity. They have an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years with proper care.

Tank Size Requirement

Celestial Pearl Danios have a minimum tank requirement of 10 gallons. 5 or 6 individuals can be kept in a tank this size, consisting of mostly females. Adding an additional 2 gallons to the tank for every additional fish added to the aquarium is recommended.

A 20 gallon long tank that is planted heavily with a wide variety of vegetation and dark substrate is recommended. Many plants should be added to make them feel safe. Rocks and driftwood can also be added to mimic their natural environment. The specific type of plant doesn’t necessarily matter as long as it provides shade and cover. Bushy plants are also a great addition to their tank for spawning.

In a planted tank setup, bright lighting is beneficial. The light helps the plants thrive, which provides the fish with places to hide and lay their eggs in. The more plants and places to hide their tank has, the more likely they are going to feel secure enough to be out in the open.

In the wild, Celestial Pearl Danios prefer weedy and slow moving streams with lots of places to hide. The hiding places become more important with the addition of more males to the tank.

It is important to note that they also like shallow water. The shallow and calm water in the aquarium would closely mimics their natural environment, and help make them feel more at ease.

5 or 6 Celestial Pearl Danios in a tank is recommended as the minimum number in your tank, with more emphasis on females than males. This significantly lowers the risk of fighting between the males, as they spend most of their time courting females. In their natural habitat, Celestial Pearl Danios live in groups, and keeping them in a group will keep your fish healthy and active. Introducing more of them into your tank should be quite easy as long as you keep the tank capacity in mind, as well as the female to male ratio.

Celestial Pearl Danios require a temperature range of 71-78°F. Properly monitoring the temperature of your aquarium is always a good idea, as well as regular water changes.

Tank Mates

In a properly set up environment, even though they are timid, Celestial Pearl Danio can coexist with other peaceful fish of the same or similar size. Fish like tetras, killifish, corydoras, mollys, and guppies are all fish that can be considered as potential tank mates. Neon tetras and cherry shrimps make particularly great tank mates for Celestial Pearl Danios.

Celestial Pearl Danio Breeding

Celestial Pearl Danio fish can be bred as long as you keep in mind some of their behaviors and preferences. A tank setup that closely mimics their natural environment is important for getting the Celestial Pearl Danio to breed.

The females are egg layers, and the ones ready to spawn become darker in color, and have a more rounded abdomen. Female Celestial Pearl Danio fish can spawn almost daily, laying a few eggs at a time. They 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. In many cases, live food are used to stimulate the spawning process. The eggs will incubate for 2 to 4 days before they enter their larval stage and begin to swim.

If you are planning on breeding these little beauties, you will want to add something to their tank to protect their eggs, or place them in a separate tank altogether. The Celestial Pearl Danio eats its own eggs, with the males constantly seeking them out. Even with males eating their own eggs, a few of the fry may eventually make it to maturity, and join the group.

Courting males change in color as well. They gain a deeper red coloration on their abdominal region when they are around females ready to spawn. Since males are competing with each other constantly, it is important for them to have many places to hide. Most of the males’ time are spent courting females, and this does lead to males showing aggression towards each other.

An easy way to see if your Celestial Pearl Danios are fighting is to simply observe their body. A fish that has been fighting will have torn fins and other signs such as bite marks on their sides. High levels of aggression could be dangerous, since damaged fins and body can lead to sickness and death. Especially in a setup with lots of males, it is common to see lots of torn fins. The dominant male could be the only one without damage.

The key to maintaining a healthy level of competition among the males is to keep the correct ratio of males to females. A proper tank size with plenty of hiding places will help as well.