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 are Celestial Pearl Danios?
Danio margaritatus goes by many common names, such as galaxy rasbora and celestial pearl danio, because of the striking golden spots scattered on their dark bodies. They grow up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and feature bright, red-orange fins with black striping. 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. It is best to buy at least six schooling fish of the same species. However, they can be shy so we recommend buying 10-15 CPDs.
When it comes to schooling fish like galaxy rasboras, the more the merrier.
Are celestial pearl danios aggressive? No, CPDs are peaceful nano fish that do well with other community fish. CPDs are still danios. They can chase one another to establish dominance and/or display breeding behavior. You don’t have to worry, though they might fin nip their own species, but they are very good at keeping track of 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 are able to handle a wide range of pH levels, from 6.6 to 8.0, and soft to medium 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 than 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. 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 kept them along with Corydoras catfish and small tetras. 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 are Celestial Pearl Danios’ Favorite Foods?
Since they like to swim in the middle of the tank, try feeding tiny, slow-sinking foods in the water column. They love baby brine shrimps, frozen cyclops, daphnia, as well as micro worms. 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 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. You can feed them and they will soon spawn. 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 danios have brighter colors, while the females are more round.
CPDs born new need to be fried. They are tiny and should not eat anything larger than 50 um, including infusoria and green water. 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.
Given how beautiful celestial pearl danios are, it’s no wonder that they have become so popular with keepers of nano planted tanks. Check out our article on Top 10 Amazing Nano Fish for your Next Small Fish Tank.