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 like they will instantly elevate any tank where they live. However, they sometimes get the reputation for being shy fish that are easy to stress. These beautiful fish need to be loved and cared for.
What is Celestial Pearl Danios and How do they Work?
Danio margaritatus is also known by several other names such as galaxy rasa and celestial pearl daanio. This is due to the striking golden spots that are scattered across their dark bodies. They can grow up to one inch (2.5 cm), and have bright, red-orange fins striped with black. They were discovered in 2006 in Southeast Asia. They live in shallow water with dense vegetation.
How many celestial danios of the same species should I keep together? Schooling fish feel more at home in large groups because they are able to escape predators, find food and breed easily. 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. CPDs are still danios. They can chase one another to establish dominance and/or display breeding behavior. Not to worry – while they may do some fin nipping amongst their own species, they rarely go after other 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 tolerate a range of pH values from 6.6-8.0 to soft 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. Although they can live upto 78 degrees F (26 degrees C), they thrive at temperatures between 72 and 76 degrees F (22-24 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 that 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 kept them along with Corydoras catfish and small tetras. There have been many different experiences with cherry shrimp being tank mates. If you decide to try them, be sure to provide plenty of hiding places and expect the CPDs predate any baby shrimp that 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 does the 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. Their favorite meals include baby brine shrimp, frozen cyclops and daphnia, and micro worms. For dry, prepared foods we prefer to use crushed flaflakes and Easy Fry as well as Small Fish 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 can be easily bred at home provided that you have at minimum six fish to ensure there is a mix of males as well as females. They prefer media to spawn so give them dense plants like Java moss or a DIY yarn spinning mop. Feed them well, and once the females start developing large bellies full of eggs, they will likely spawn almost every day. You can prevent them from eating your eggs. Once they start to eat their eggs, you should move the spawning media to a separate tank. They will usually hatch in one week depending upon 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. You can find more stocking ideas in our article on the Top Ten Most Beautiful Nano Fish For Your Next Small Fish Tank.