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Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs
<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Danio_m%C3%A4nnchen_3.jpg">Gedanken.welten</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0">CC BY 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons

Celestial Pearl Danios, scientifically known as Danio margaritatus, are a captivating addition to any freshwater aquarium. These small, brightly colored fish belong to the Cyprinidae family, under the Danioninae subfamily and the Danio genus. Their closest relatives are Danio erythromicron and Danio choprae. The males of this species exhibit a brilliant blue background color, while females have a more subdued blue-green hue. Both sexes are adorned with small, pearly dots, giving them their celestial moniker.

Despite initial concerns about their rarity, Celestial Pearl Danios are now known to be prolific breeders. In the past, these fish were considered rare as a result of overfishing for the aquarium industry. However, it was later discovered that these fish possess the extraordinary capability of spawning nearly every day, resulting in a swift revival of their native habitats. The government of Myanmar, where these fish are native, even banned their export in 2007 to protect the species. Today, these fish are bred worldwide both commercially and by hobbyists.

While there are no known variants of Celestial Pearl Danios, their vibrant colors and unique patterns make them a popular choice among aquarists. They are particularly admired for their bright blue and green hues, and the pearly dots that cover their bodies.

Indigenous to the small ponds of Myanmar, these fish are not known for their strong swimming abilities and do not depend on many their fellow species for their overall health and happiness. They prefer slightly alkaline water and heavily vegetated habitats. Their diet preferences are not specific, but like most Danios, they are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods.

Celestial Pearl Danios measure between 2 to 2.5 cm in length, with some individuals reaching up to 3 cm. Their lifespan is not specified, but most Danios live between 3-5 years in captivity with proper care.

These fish were discovered in 2006 and quickly became popular in the aquarium trade due to their small size and bright colors. In their habitat, these fish coexist with a few other species, such as a Microrasbora species similar to M. rubescens, a beautiful rosy loach, and the fascinating dwarf snakehead Channa harcourtbutleri.

Did you know that Celestial Pearl Danios were originally mistaken for belonging to the Microrasbora genus because of their striking resemblance to “Microrasbora” erythromicron? However, a more comprehensive study showed that they were actually a member of the Danio genus.

In conclusion, Celestial Pearl Danios are a fascinating species that add a splash of color and charm to any aquarium. Their care requirements, behavior, and history make them an intriguing choice for both novice and experienced aquarists alike.

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus): Complete Care Guides, Tank Mates, FAQs
Gedanken.welten, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Information

The Celestial Pearl Danio, also known as Danio margaritatus, is a small, brightly colored fish that has gained popularity among aquarists worldwide. Native to Myanmar, these fish are known for their vibrant colors, peaceful behavior, and unique pearly spots. Here’s a comprehensive table detailing everything you need to know about Celestial Pearl Danios:

PriceAround $4 each (price may vary)
Common NamesCelestial Pearl Danio, Galaxy Rasbora, Microrasbora sp. ‘Galaxy’
VariantsNo known variants
Ideal Tank SizeMinimum 10 gallons
Water ParametersSlightly alkaline water, temperature 22-24°C
Lifespan3-5 years in captivity
Full Size2-2.5 cm, some individuals can reach 3 cm
Natural EnvironmentSmall ponds in Myanmar
BehaviorPeaceful, not very active swimmers
Habitat PreferenceHeavily vegetated habitats
Aquarium DecorationWell-planted tanks with stones and wood for hiding spots
Ideal Tank MatesSmall, peaceful fish species
Fish to AvoidLarge or aggressive “bully” fish
Best Foods/DietOmnivorous, will eat a variety of foods including flakes, pellets, live and frozen foods
DiseaseNo specific diseases, but like all fish, they can be susceptible to common aquarium illnesses
Sex-SwitchNo known sex-switching behavior
Gender DifferencesMales have a bright-blue background color, females have a dull blue-green color
Care LevelEasy to moderate
Breeding LevelModerate, they are prolific breeders

Ideal Tank Mates

When choosing tank mates for your Celestial Pearl Danios, it’s important to consider the peaceful nature of these fish. They thrive best with other small, non-aggressive species that share similar water conditions. Here are ten ideal tank mates for Celestial Pearl Danios:

  1. Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
    These small, brightly colored fish are peaceful and prefer to school, making them a great choice for a community tank with Celestial Pearl Danios. They share similar water and food preferences.
  2. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)
    Guppies are known for their vibrant colors and peaceful nature. They are hardy fish that can adapt to various water conditions, making them a good match for Celestial Pearl Danios.
  3. Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)
    These peaceful, small, and colorful invertebrates will coexist harmoniously with your Celestial Pearl Danios. They also help keep the tank clean by eating algae and leftover food.
  4. Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras spp.)
    These bottom-dwelling fish are peaceful and will not compete with Celestial Pearl Danios for space. They are also excellent scavengers, helping to keep the tank clean.
  5. Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
    These fish are peaceful, easy to care for, and prefer to school. Their bright colors and active nature make them an attractive addition to a Celestial Pearl Danio tank.
  6. Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
    These fish are peaceful and slow-moving, making them a good match for Celestial Pearl Danios. They add a splash of color to the tank and prefer similar water conditions.
  7. Zebra Danios (Danio rerio)
    As members of the same family, Zebra Danios make excellent tank mates for Celestial Pearl Danios. They are peaceful, active, and enjoy similar water conditions.
  8. Platies (Xiphophorus maculatus)
    Platies are peaceful, hardy fish that come in a variety of colors. They are easy to care for and prefer similar water conditions as Celestial Pearl Danios.
  9. Mollies (Poecilia spp.)
    Mollies are peaceful, hardy fish that are easy to care for. They prefer similar water conditions as Celestial Pearl Danios and will not compete with them for food or space.
  10. Endler’s Livebearers (Poecilia wingei)
    These small, colorful fish are peaceful and easy to care for. They prefer similar water conditions as Celestial Pearl Danios and will not compete with them for food or space.

Remember, when introducing new tank mates, it’s important to monitor their behavior to ensure they are getting along well. Always quarantine new fish before adding them to your main tank to prevent the spread of diseases.


Can Celestial Pearl Danios Live Alone?

No, Celestial Pearl Danios are social fish and prefer to live in groups. While they are not schooling fish, they do enjoy the company of their own kind. A group of at least six Celestial Pearl Danios is recommended for their well-being.

Can Celestial Pearl Danios Live with Betta Fish?

While it’s possible for Celestial Pearl Danios to coexist with Betta fish, it’s not always recommended. Betta fish can sometimes be aggressive, and the calm nature of the Celestial Pearl Danios might make them targets. Always monitor the behavior of your fish when introducing new tank mates.

Do Celestial Pearl Danios Need a Filter?

Yes, like all aquarium fish, Celestial Pearl Danios need a filter to maintain water quality in their tank. The filter helps remove waste, excess food, and potentially harmful chemicals from the water, making it a healthier environment for your fish.

Can Celestial Pearl Danios Live in a Bowl?

While it’s technically possible for Celestial Pearl Danios to survive in a bowl, it’s not recommended. Bowls often don’t provide enough space for these fish to swim and don’t support the necessary equipment like heaters and filters. A minimum 10-gallon tank is recommended for a group of Celestial Pearl Danios.

Are Celestial Pearl Danios Nocturnal?

No, Celestial Pearl Danios are not nocturnal. They are most active during the day and will rest at night. It’s important to provide a regular day-night cycle for your fish to help regulate their behavior.

Can Celestial Pearl Danios Eat Betta Food?

While Celestial Pearl Danios can eat Betta food in a pinch, it’s not ideal for their long-term diet. Betta food is formulated specifically for Betta fish and may not provide all the nutrients that Celestial Pearl Danios need. It’s best to feed them a diet designed for omnivorous fish.

Do Celestial Pearl Danios Need a Heater?

Yes, Celestial Pearl Danios do need a heater in their tank. They thrive in water temperatures between 73°F and 79°F (23°C to 26°C), and a heater is necessary to maintain this temperature consistently, especially in cooler climates.

Can Celestial Pearl Danios Live with Goldfish?

Generally, it’s not recommended to keep Celestial Pearl Danios with Goldfish. Goldfish prefer cooler water temperatures than Celestial Pearl Danios, and they also have different dietary needs. Additionally, Goldfish can grow quite large and may inadvertently harm the smaller Danios.

How Can I Tell if My Celestial Pearl Danio is Pregnant?

Celestial Pearl Danios don’t get pregnant in the way that livebearing fish do. Instead, the females produce eggs that are then fertilized by the males. You can tell a female is ready to lay eggs when her belly becomes noticeably rounder.

Do Celestial Pearl Danios Like Light?

Celestial Pearl Danios do need light, but they also need periods of darkness for rest. A regular day-night cycle, mimicking natural conditions, is ideal for these fish. Too much bright light can stress them, so it’s a good idea to provide some shaded areas in the tank.

Can Celestial Pearl Danios Live in Cold Water?

Celestial Pearl Danios prefer warmer water temperatures between 73°F and 79°F (23°C to 26°C). Although they can handle slightly lower temperatures for brief periods, they cannot survive in cold water and should not be kept in tanks or outdoor ponds in cool climates without heating.

Do Celestial Pearl Danios Hide?

Celestial Pearl Danios may hide if they are feeling stressed or threatened. Providing plenty of hiding spots in the form of plants, rocks, and decorations can help them feel more secure. However, if your Danios are hiding more than usual, it could be a sign of illness or poor water conditions.

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Total posts created: 133
A long-time freshwater fish enthusiast with a passion for sharing knowledge about this fascinating hobby. Over the years, Michelle has dedicated countless hours to studying, learning, and experiencing firsthand the joys and challenges of fish-keeping.

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