Celestial Pearl Danio
Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danio

Danio margaritatus
SynonymsCelestichthys margaritatus
DistributionMicrohabitats, eastwards of Lake Inle, Myanmar.
Sexual DimorphismMature males are more brightly coloured. Females with hyaline ventral fins. Mature females fuller bodied.
Maximum Size2.1cm (0.83”)
Water ParametersNeutral to moderately hard, alkaline water is best long-term. pH: 7.0-8.0, dH: 12-25 degrees.
Temperature21-24 deg C (70-75 deg F)
CompatibilityCommunity; Specialist community
LightingNo special requirements

This tiny but absolutely stunning shoaling species took the fishkeeping world by storm in early 2007. Originating from small ponds heaving with dense aquatic vegetation, Danio margaritatus is found in shallow areas up to 30cm in depth. Ideally, this is a species that will be maintained in groups of 10 or more in the home aquarium, not only for the fish to feel secure, but also to further the chances of breeding. Larger groups will also help to disperse any minor territorial squabbles between the males and this can be further aided by the inclusion of dense planting for the recipient to retreat into if needed. This fish should either be kept in a species-only aquarium, or else with other small, peaceful fish species only. Try to keep 2 or 3 females to every male. It may be of interest that the recently discovered, and as yet undescribed, beautiful little Rosy Loach (Yunnanilus sp.) was found to be living alongside D. margaritatus in the wild. Due to the sudden frenzied collection of D. margaritatus, sadly substantial damage occurred to much of its natural habitat. Tank bred specimens are now becoming much more readily available, and we would encourage the purchase of these instead of wild caught fish wherever possible. May also be seen on sale as Fireworks 'Rasbora' or Galaxy 'Rasbora'.


Small frozen foods such as baby brineshrimp, cyclops, and daphnia, plus crushed flake and micropellets.


Best results are obtained with a small bare-bottomed spawning tank covered with copious amounts of Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) and the addition of a well-conditioned single male and female (additional males will predate on the eggs). These fish are known to spawn in pairs, with around 30 non-adhesive eggs being produced per couple. The parents may try to consume the eggs, a good reason to use profuse amounts of moss in the tank or even use some form of separating grid underneath so that the fertilised eggs can fall to safety. The eggs should hatch after 72 hours and the fry should become free-swimming 48-72 hours later, although these times will be affected by water temperature. The fry can be fed on infusoria, microworm, fine ‘egg-layer’ powdered first foods or liquids, moving on to baby brineshrimp etc. It is not unusual to see this species spawning every 48 hours or so.

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