Celestial Pearl Danio Care Guide

Celestial Pearl Danio


The Celestial Pearl Danio, scientifically known as Danio margaritatus, is a captivating freshwater fish species that has gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts. Also referred to as the Galaxy Rasbora, this fish is known for its unique and stunning characteristics.

With a maximum size of around 1 inch (2.5 cm), the Celestial Pearl Danio is a small-sized fish that adds a splash of color to any aquarium. Its vibrant red, blue, and green coloration, combined with pearl-like spots on its body, make it truly eye-catching. Male Celestial Pearl Danios are particularly striking, displaying more intense colors compared to females.

Unique Features

One of the remarkable features of the Celestial Pearl Danio is its distinct color pattern. The combination of bright red, iridescent blue, and metallic green creates a celestial appearance, reminiscent of a starry night sky. The pearl-like spots scattered across its body further enhance its visual appeal.

Another notable characteristic of this fish is its peaceful temperament. Celestial Pearl Danios are generally well-behaved and get along with other peaceful fish species. They make excellent community fish, provided they are not housed with aggressive or fin-nipping tankmates.

Due to its small size, the Celestial Pearl Danio is well-suited for smaller aquarium setups. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons (38 liters) is recommended to provide ample swimming space for a small school of these fish.

Summary Table

Common NameCelestial Pearl Danio
Scientific NameDanio margaritatus
Origin / DistributionSoutheast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand)
Size1 inch (2.5 cm)
Aquarium Size10 gallons (38 liters)
Water ParametersTemperature: 73-79°F (23-26°C), pH: 6.0-7.5, Hardness: 5-12 dGH
Feeding FrequencyTwice daily
TankmatesSmall peaceful fish, such as other small danios, rasboras, or dwarf shrimp. Avoid aggressive or fin-nipping species.
BreedingEgg scatterer, prefers fine-leaved plants for spawning.
Lifespan2-4 years
Care LevelBeginner
Unique Features / AppearanceVibrant red, blue, and green coloration with pearl-like spots on its body. Males are more colorful than females.
Conservation StatusNot evaluated (NE)
Additional NotesCelestial Pearl Danios, also known as Galaxy Rasboras, are small, peaceful fish that require well-maintained water conditions. They are popular for their attractive appearance and ease of care. Their small size makes them suitable for smaller aquarium setups.


  • Common Name: Celestial Pearl Danio
  • Scientific Name: Danio margaritatus
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Order: Cypriniformes

The Celestial Pearl Danio belongs to the family Cyprinidae, which includes a diverse group of freshwater fish. It is classified under the order Cypriniformes, which encompasses a wide range of fish species, including carps, minnows, and barbs.

The scientific name of the Celestial Pearl Danio is Danio margaritatus. The genus Danio comprises various small-sized fish species known for their vibrant colors and active behavior. The specific epithet margaritatus refers to the pearl-like spots on the fish’s body, adding to its distinct appearance.

As a member of the Cyprinidae family, the Celestial Pearl Danio shares certain characteristics with other related fish species, such as a streamlined body shape, small scales, and a preference for freshwater environments.

Natural Habitat & Distribution

The Celestial Pearl Danio is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand. Within these regions, they are found in various water bodies such as rivers, streams, and ponds.

In the wild, the Celestial Pearl Danio typically inhabits densely vegetated areas with slow-moving or stagnant water. They are often found in shallow pools or flooded areas, particularly those surrounded by vegetation like submerged plants, floating plants, and overhanging branches. These environments provide them with ample hiding spots, protection, and access to food sources.

The geographical range of the Celestial Pearl Danio is relatively limited to specific regions in Myanmar and Thailand. However, due to their popularity in the aquarium trade, they have been introduced to other parts of the world where they may establish self-sustaining populations under suitable conditions. It’s important to note that introduction to non-native habitats can have ecological consequences, and responsible aquarium keeping is crucial to prevent negative impacts on local ecosystems.

Physical Appearance


The Celestial Pearl Danio is a small-sized fish, with adults typically reaching a length of around 1 inch (2.5 cm). In terms of weight, they are relatively light due to their slender body structure.

Coloration and Patterns

One of the most captivating aspects of the Celestial Pearl Danio is its stunning coloration. The body of this fish features a striking combination of vibrant red, iridescent blue, and metallic green hues. These colors create a celestial effect, resembling a starry night sky.

In addition to the base colors, the Celestial Pearl Danio is adorned with pearl-like spots scattered across its body. These spots vary in size and density, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal of the fish. The contrast between the colorful body and the pearly spots creates a visually captivating display.

Body Shape and Fin Structures

The body of the Celestial Pearl Danio is slender and elongated, characteristic of many fish in the danio family. It has a streamlined shape, enabling it to move swiftly through the water.

As for the fins, the Celestial Pearl Danio possesses a single dorsal fin located on its back, followed by a small adipose fin. The anal fin is positioned on the ventral side, while the pectoral and pelvic fins aid in maneuverability and balance.

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexual dimorphism is evident in the Celestial Pearl Danio, with notable differences between males and females. Male individuals tend to exhibit more vibrant and intense colors compared to females. Males may display an elongated dorsal fin with extended rays, adding to their overall attractiveness.

Females, on the other hand, often have a rounder body shape and exhibit more subdued colors. They may also appear slightly larger in size compared to males.

These distinctive features between males and females contribute to the visual diversity within the species and add to the overall appeal of the Celestial Pearl Danio.

Behavior & Temperament

General Behavior

The Celestial Pearl Danio is known for its peaceful and non-aggressive behavior, making it an excellent addition to community aquariums. They exhibit a calm and tranquil demeanor, which contributes to a harmonious tank environment. Their peaceful nature allows them to coexist with a variety of fish species.

Social Interactions with Other Fish

Celestial Pearl Danios are schooling fish by nature, and they thrive when kept in small groups or schools of at least six individuals. They exhibit shoaling behavior, swimming together in synchronized movements. Being in a school provides them with a sense of security and helps reduce stress levels.

When interacting with other fish, Celestial Pearl Danios are generally well-mannered and non-territorial. They tend to establish a hierarchical order within their own group but rarely display aggression towards tankmates. They are more focused on their own activities and exploration of the aquarium.

Suitable Tankmates

The peaceful nature of Celestial Pearl Danios makes them compatible with a wide range of tankmates that share similar water parameter requirements. When selecting tankmates, it is important to consider fish that are of similar size and temperament to avoid any potential conflicts or aggression.

Some suitable tankmates for Celestial Pearl Danios include other small and peaceful fish species such as small danios (e.g., Zebra Danios), rasboras (e.g., Harlequin Rasboras), and peaceful tetras (e.g., Neon Tetras). Dwarf shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp or Amano Shrimp, can also coexist peacefully with them.

It is advisable to avoid larger or aggressive fish species, as they may intimidate or prey upon the Celestial Pearl Danios. Aggressive fin-nippers or territorial fish should also be avoided to prevent stress and potential harm to the Celestial Pearl Danios.

Aquarium Requirements

Minimum Tank Size

The minimum recommended tank size for keeping Celestial Pearl Danios is 10 gallons (38 liters). This size provides enough space for a small school of these fish to swim and explore comfortably.

Water Parameters

Maintaining appropriate water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of Celestial Pearl Danios. The following are the recommended water parameters for these fish:

  • Temperature: 73-79°F (23-26°C)
  • pH Level: 6.0-7.5
  • Hardness: 5-12 dGH (degrees of General Hardness)

It is important to monitor water conditions regularly using reliable test kits and make necessary adjustments to ensure a stable and suitable environment for the fish.

Filtration and Aeration Needs

Good filtration is essential in the Celestial Pearl Danio aquarium. A properly sized filter will help maintain water quality by removing excess waste, uneaten food, and toxins. It is recommended to choose a filter that provides both mechanical and biological filtration.

In terms of aeration, Celestial Pearl Danios do well in tanks with moderate to gentle water movement. Adequate surface agitation, provided by a filter outlet or air stone, ensures proper oxygen exchange, which is crucial for the well-being of the fish.

Substrate Preferences

When it comes to substrate, Celestial Pearl Danios do not have specific requirements. They can adapt to a variety of substrates, including gravel, sand, or a combination of both. However, using a fine-grained substrate can help prevent injury to their delicate barbels.

Lighting Requirements

Moderate lighting is suitable for a Celestial Pearl Danio aquarium. These fish do not have specific lighting requirements, but it is essential to provide a day-night cycle to mimic their natural environment. A photoperiod of around 8-10 hours of light per day is generally sufficient.

Decorations and Hiding Places

Creating a well-decorated aquarium with suitable hiding places is beneficial for Celestial Pearl Danios. They appreciate a natural-looking setup with plenty of plants, driftwood, and rock formations. Live plants, such as Java Moss or Hornwort, not only provide visual appeal but also offer additional hiding spots and contribute to water quality.

Adding floating plants, like Water Sprite or Duckweed, can help diffuse the light and create shaded areas, which the fish may find comforting. These decorations and hiding places create a sense of security for the Celestial Pearl Danios and encourage their natural behaviors.

Diet & Feeding

Type of Diet

The Celestial Pearl Danio is an omnivorous fish, meaning it will consume both plant matter and small meaty foods. In the wild, they feed on various microorganisms, small invertebrates, and plant matter.

In captivity, a balanced diet for Celestial Pearl Danios can consist of high-quality dry flakes or pellets specially formulated for small tropical fish. These should be the staple food offered to them. Additionally, their diet can be supplemented with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, or small insects. Providing a variety of foods ensures that they receive a diverse range of nutrients.

Feeding Frequency

Celestial Pearl Danios should be fed small amounts of food multiple times a day. A suitable feeding schedule would be to offer them food twice daily. Feed them an amount that they can consume within a few minutes to avoid overfeeding and maintain good water quality.

Tips for Providing a Balanced and Varied Diet

To ensure a balanced and varied diet for your Celestial Pearl Danios, consider the following tips:

  1. Rotate different types of high-quality dry flakes or pellets to provide a variety of nutrients.
  2. Supplement their diet with occasional live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. These can be offered as treats or as a source of added protein.
  3. Consider offering small portions of blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini. These provide additional fiber and essential micronutrients.
  4. It is beneficial to include some live plants in the aquarium. They provide natural grazing opportunities and may contribute to the diet of Celestial Pearl Danios by offering biofilm and small organisms.
  5. Observe their feeding behavior to ensure that all individuals have access to food. If any fish are consistently outcompeted for food, consider creating multiple feeding areas or using feeding rings to distribute the food more evenly.

Tank Mates

Compatible Species

Celestial Pearl Danios are generally peaceful and can coexist with a variety of small, peaceful fish species. Some compatible tank mates for Celestial Pearl Danios include:

  • Other small danios, such as Zebra Danios (Danio rerio) or Leopard Danios (Danio rerio var. frankei).
  • Peaceful rasboras, like Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) or Chili Rasboras (Boraras brigittae).
  • Peaceful tetras, such as Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) or Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon amandae).
  • Dwarf shrimp, such as Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) or Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata).

These species share similar water parameter requirements and temperament, which allows for a harmonious community tank.

Incompatible or Potentially Problematic Species

While Celestial Pearl Danios are generally peaceful, some species may not be suitable tank mates due to their aggressive nature or fin-nipping tendencies. It is advisable to avoid the following species:

  • Aggressive or territorial fish, such as some cichlids or barbs.
  • Fin-nipping species, like Tiger Barbs (Puntigrus tetrazona) or Serpae Tetras (Hyphessobrycon eques).

These species may harass or stress the Celestial Pearl Danios, leading to health issues or damage to their fins.

Recommendations for Creating a Harmonious Community Tank

To create a harmonious community tank with Celestial Pearl Danios, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Tank Size: Provide an adequately sized aquarium to accommodate the needs of all fish species. The minimum tank size for Celestial Pearl Danios is 10 gallons (38 liters), but a larger tank is preferable for a diverse community.
  2. Schooling: Keep Celestial Pearl Danios in a group of at least six individuals to fulfill their schooling behavior and promote their well-being.
  3. Similar Temperament: Select fish species with a peaceful temperament and compatible activity levels. Avoid species known for aggression or excessive fin-nipping.
  4. Similar Water Parameters: Choose tank mates that have similar water parameter requirements, such as temperature and pH. This helps maintain a stable and suitable environment for all species.
  5. Adequate Hiding Places: Provide ample hiding spots, plants, and decorations to create territories and provide refuge for all fish. This helps reduce stress and promotes natural behaviors.
  6. Feeding Considerations: Ensure all tank mates receive adequate nutrition by offering a balanced diet and monitoring feeding behavior to prevent food competition.


Breeding Behavior

The Celestial Pearl Danio is an egg-scattering species, meaning they release their eggs into the water rather than guarding or caring for them. Breeding behavior typically involves courtship displays and chasing between males and females.

During the breeding process, males intensify their colors and may exhibit more prominent fin displays to attract females. Females, on the other hand, become rounder and heavier with eggs.

Ideal Breeding Conditions

To encourage successful breeding, provide the following ideal conditions:

  • Separate Breeding Tank: Setting up a separate breeding tank is recommended. It can be a smaller aquarium or a breeding container within the main tank. This allows you to control breeding parameters and protect the eggs and fry.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain water conditions similar to their regular tank, including a temperature of around 75-79°F (24-26°C), slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.5-7.0), and moderate hardness. Clean, well-maintained water is essential for breeding success.
  • Vegetation and Spawning Substrate: Include fine-leaved plants such as Java Moss or spawning mops in the breeding tank. These plants provide suitable surfaces for the fish to deposit their adhesive eggs.
  • Separation of Males and Females: In a separate breeding tank, introduce a ratio of one or two males for every female to reduce excessive male aggression and competition during breeding.

Raising Fry and Specific Care Requirements

Once spawning occurs, the adult Celestial Pearl Danios typically eat their own eggs. To increase fry survival rates, promptly remove the adults from the breeding tank after spawning. This can be done by transferring them back to the main tank or by using a fine-mesh net to carefully scoop them out.

The eggs will hatch within a couple of days, and the fry will become free-swimming a few days later. At this stage, provide suitable food for the fry, such as commercially available liquid fry food or infusoria. Gradually introduce finely crushed dry foods, such as powdered flakes or newly hatched brine shrimp, as the fry grow.

Maintain optimal water conditions with regular water changes to ensure good water quality for the developing fry. It’s important to note that the fry are tiny and delicate, so gentle handling and careful feeding practices are crucial to their successful growth.

Health & Disease

Common Diseases and Their Symptoms

While Celestial Pearl Danios are generally hardy fish, they can still be susceptible to common aquarium diseases. Some of the common diseases that may affect Celestial Pearl Danios include:

  1. Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis): Symptoms include white spots resembling grains of salt on the fish’s body, increased scratching or rubbing against objects, and lethargy.
  2. Fin Rot: This bacterial infection causes the deterioration of the fins. Symptoms include frayed or ragged fin edges, discoloration, and potential fin tissue erosion.
  3. Dropsy: Dropsy is a condition characterized by swelling and bloating of the fish’s body due to fluid accumulation. Other symptoms may include raised scales, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Prevention and Treatment Strategies

To maintain the health of Celestial Pearl Danios and prevent diseases, consider the following strategies:

  1. Quarantine New Fish: Before introducing new fish into the aquarium, quarantine them in a separate tank for a few weeks to observe for any signs of illness. This helps prevent the introduction of diseases to the existing fish population.
  2. Maintain Good Water Quality: Regularly test the water parameters and ensure they are within the appropriate range for Celestial Pearl Danios. Perform routine water changes to maintain clean and stable water conditions.
  3. Provide a Balanced Diet: A proper diet rich in essential nutrients strengthens the immune system of the fish. Offer a varied diet of high-quality foods to promote good health.
  4. Avoid Overcrowding: Overcrowding can lead to stress, poor water quality, and increased disease susceptibility. Ensure adequate swimming space and a proper fish-to-tank ratio.
  5. Observation and Early Detection: Regularly observe the fish for any signs of illness, changes in behavior, or physical abnormalities. Early detection allows for prompt treatment.
  6. Isolate and Treat Sick Fish: If you notice any signs of disease, promptly isolate the affected fish in a separate quarantine tank to prevent the spread of illness to other tank mates. Follow appropriate treatment protocols, which may include medication, water parameter adjustments, or salt baths, depending on the specific disease.

It is essential to research and consult with a qualified aquatic veterinarian or experienced fish keeper for accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations in case of illness. A proactive approach to prevention, along with proper care and attention, greatly contributes to maintaining the health and well-being of Celestial Pearl Danios.

Care Level

Difficulty of Care

The care level for Celestial Pearl Danios can be considered beginner to intermediate. These fish are generally hardy and adaptable, making them suitable for aquarists with some basic experience in fishkeeping. They are not overly demanding in terms of water parameters or specialized care requirements.

Special Considerations or Requirements

While Celestial Pearl Danios are relatively easy to care for, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Water Parameters: Although they can tolerate a range of water conditions, it is important to maintain stable and suitable water parameters for the optimal health of the fish. Monitor temperature, pH, and hardness regularly to ensure they are within the recommended ranges.
  2. Schooling: Celestial Pearl Danios are schooling fish and thrive when kept in a group of at least six individuals. Providing a suitable environment with ample swimming space and companionship is crucial for their well-being.
  3. Feeding: Ensure a balanced diet by offering a variety of high-quality dry flakes or pellets, supplemented with occasional live or frozen foods. Providing a diverse and nutritious diet promotes vibrant colors and overall health.
  4. Aquarium Setup: Incorporate plants, decorations, and hiding places to create a natural and secure environment for the fish. Additionally, maintain good filtration and perform regular water changes to ensure optimal water quality.

Conservation Status

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus) has not been evaluated for conservation status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Therefore, there is no official listing for this species in terms of its conservation status.

It is important to note that conservation statuses can change over time as new data becomes available. It is advisable to refer to updated sources or consult with relevant conservation organizations for the most current information on the status of the Celestial Pearl Danio.

Regarding legal restrictions on keeping the species in captivity, regulations can vary between countries and regions. It is important to research and adhere to the specific regulations and requirements of your local jurisdiction. This includes understanding any permits or restrictions related to the import, export, or possession of the Celestial Pearl Danio.

Keeping informed about the conservation status of species and ensuring responsible practices in the aquarium hobby can contribute to the overall conservation efforts for aquatic biodiversity.

Additional Information & Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts and additional information about the Celestial Pearl Danio:

  1. Discovery: The Celestial Pearl Danio was discovered relatively recently in 2006 in Myanmar (formerly Burma) by aquarium hobbyist and fish exporter Stuart Grant. Its striking appearance quickly captured the attention of fish enthusiasts around the world.
  2. Common Names: Besides Celestial Pearl Danio, this species is also commonly known as Galaxy Rasbora, Fireworks Rasbora, or Microrasbora Galaxy.
  3. Nanofish: With its small size and vibrant colors, the Celestial Pearl Danio is often referred to as a “nanofish,” a term used for small fish species suitable for nano or small-sized aquarium setups.
  4. Breeding Challenges: Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios in captivity can present some challenges. Their small size and specific requirements for successful breeding make it a rewarding yet more intricate aspect of keeping them.
  5. Coloration Intensity: The vibrant colors of the Celestial Pearl Danio are more pronounced in males, especially during breeding displays. Males tend to display richer reds and more intricate patterns compared to females.
  6. Interactive Behavior: Celestial Pearl Danios are known for their active and lively behavior. They enjoy exploring their environment, darting between plants, and exhibiting synchronized schooling behavior.
  7. Aquarium Popularity: The Celestial Pearl Danio has gained significant popularity among aquarium hobbyists due to its unique appearance, peaceful nature, and suitability for smaller aquarium setups.

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