Care Guide for Celestial Pearl Danios: Miniature Trout For Planted Tanks
The celestial pearl danio (CPD) is a delightful nano fish often sought by aquascapers because they look like miniature brook trout swimming amid a forest of plants and driftwood. Their beauty and elegance seem to automatically elevate any tank they live in. They can be shy and easy to stress, which sometimes leads to their reputation. Learn how to take care of these beautiful creatures and make them feel at home.
What is Celestial Pearl Danios, and how do they work?
Danio margaritatus has many common names. These are due to the striking gold spots on their dark bodies. They can grow up to one inch (2.5 cm), and have bright, red-orange fins striped with black. They are a species that was discovered in 2006 from Southeast Asia. They can be found in shallow waters and dense vegetation.
How should you keep celestial pearl danos together? They are best suited to be in large groups as they are more likely to avoid predators, find food, or breed. The rule of thumb for schooling fish is to get at least six fish of the same species, but we strongly suggest buying 10-15 CPDs since they can be a bit timid.
The more you know about schooling fish such as galaxy rasboras the better.
Are celestial Pearl Danios aggressive? CPDs are peaceful, nano-fish that get along with other fish in the community. They are still danios and are known to chase each other in an attempt to establish dominance, or show breeding behavior. They are not aggressive towards other species and may occasionally fin nip at their tank mates.
How to Set Up an Aquarium for Galaxy Rasboras
We like keeping CPDs in at least 10 gallons of water, but if you purchase a bigger school of 10-15 fish as recommended, go for a 20-gallon aquarium or larger. They can handle a fairly wide range of pH from 6.6-8.0, as well as soft to moderate water hardness (or GH). Because of their chasing behavior, try adding lots of live aquarium plants for them to dart in between.
Celestial pearl danios are cold-water fish. They can live to 78degF (26degC), but they will thrive at lower temperatures, 72-76degF (20-22 degC). Depending on how warm your home is, you may be able to keep this species in an unheated aquarium without a heater.
Many danios, including CPDs, enjoy cooler temperatures than your average tropical fish.
What kind of fish can you use with galaxy rasboras’? Be careful not to feed large fish that might eat, bully or outcompete them. CPDs are known to hide. You might consider adding a dither fish that will allow them to freely swim outside. We keep them with Corydoras catsfish, small tetras and kuhli loaches, who are all friendly fish in the community. Cherry shrimp have been used as tank mates by many people. Make sure you add lots of hiding spots. CPDs will predate any baby shrimp they find. The possibility of betta fish being able to work together is possible. They prefer warmer water and are hostile towards intruders. They may be able to go together if the temperature is kept at 77-78degC (25-26degC), the aquarium is large enough, and the betta isn’t too aggressive.
What do Celestial Pearl Danios Eat?
Since they like to swim in the middle of the tank, try feeding tiny, slow-sinking foods in the water column. Baby brine shrimp, frozen daphnia and cyclops are their favorite foods. We like crushed flakes, Easy Fry, and small fish food for dry, prepared food. The key is to offer a variety of foods to make sure they get all the necessary nutrients to live a healthy life.
How to Breed Galaxy Rasboras
Celestial pearl danios are relatively easy to breed at home as long as you have at least six fish to ensure there are both males and females. They prefer media to spawn so give them dense plants like Java moss or a DIY yarn spinning mop. They will spawn almost every day if they are fed well once they have large bellies and a lot of eggs. To prevent adults from eating their eggs, place the spawning media in a separate tank. The eggs will hatch within one week depending on the water temperature. Another option is to keep the galaxy rasboras inside a mini pond that has plenty of aquatic plants in warmer seasons. Then bring them back inside at end of summer to see how many they have grown.
Male celestial Pearl Danios (above), are brighter colored while females are rounder.
Newborn CPDs are very tiny and require fry food that is less than 50 um in size, such as infusoria, green water, and vinegar eels. We recommend that you feed them baby brine shrimp once they reach adult size. They are rich in healthy fats and protein to aid their rapid growth.
It’s not surprising that celestial pearl danoios have become so beloved by nano-plant tank keepers. For more stocking ideas, check out our article on the Top 10 Stunning Nano Fish for Your Next Small Fish Tank.