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. Sometimes they are shy and can become stressful. These beautiful fish need to be loved and cared for.
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 to 1 inch (22.5 cm) in length and have bright red-orange fins that are black-striped. They were discovered in 2006 in Southeast Asia. They live in shallow water with 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? 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. 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. 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 that your average tropical fish.
What fish can you put with galaxy rasboras? Avoid any large fish that may eat, bully, or outcompete them for food. In fact, since CPDs sometimes like to hide, consider adding some dither fish that can encourage them to comfortably swim out in the open. We keep them with Corydoras catsfish, small tetras and kuhli loaches, who are all friendly fish in the community. 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. 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 does the Celestial Pearl Danios eat?
They love to swim in middle of the tank so you can try feeding them tiny, slow-sinking foods. 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. To ensure they have all the nutrients they need to live a healthy and happy life, it is crucial to offer them a variety of foods.
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 are egg layers that prefer to spawn in media, so provide dense plants like java moss or 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. 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 method is to place the galaxy rasboras in an outdoor mini pond with plenty of aquatic plants during warmer seasons and bring them back inside at the end of the summer to see how much they have multiplied.
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. 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.