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. 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 to 1 inch (22.5 cm) in length and have bright red-orange fins that are black-striped. Discovered in 2006, they come from Southeast Asia and live in shallow waters 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. We recommend purchasing 10-15 CPDs for schooling fish. They can be timid so we suggest getting at least six fish from the same species.
The more you know about schooling fish such as galaxy rasboras the better.
Are celestial pearl danios aggressive? No, CPDs are peaceful nano fish that do well with other community fish. 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 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 are some fish you can put with galaxy-rasboras fish? It is best to avoid large fish that could eat, bully, outcompete, or eat them. CPDs are known to hide. You might consider adding a dither fish that will allow them to freely swim outside. We have kept them with other friendly community fish, such as small tetras, Corydoras catfish, and kuhli loaches. 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. Betta fish may or may not work because they tend to prefer warmer waters and can be hostile toward 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 are Celestial Pearl Danios’ Favorite Foods?
They love to swim in middle of the tank so you can try feeding them tiny, slow-sinking foods. They love baby brine shrimps, frozen cyclops, daphnia, as well as micro worms. As for dry, prepared foods, we like to use crushed flakes and Easy Fry and 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. These eggs prefer to spawn in media so make sure you have dense plants such as Java moss and a DIY yarn-spawning 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 more brightly colored, while females are rounder in shape.
CPDs in newborns are extremely small and need fry food less than 50um in size. When they grow enough, we recommend giving them live baby brine shrimp. These shrimp are full of healthy fats to allow the fry to develop quickly.
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.