Celestial Pearl Danio/Galaxy Rasbora (Danio margaritatus)

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The Celestial Pearl Danio is a freshwater fish found in small, vegetated ponds in South East Asia. These fish boast plenty of colour from the white pearl-like spots on their sides to the red coloration on the fins. Discovered within the past decade, aquarium hobbyists have quickly adopted and fallen in love with these little Danios.

They are well suited for tanks that are packed with vegetation and other freshwater fish that mimic their peaceful nature. It is true that these fish are timid, they work perfectly in communities full of guppies, mollies, and tetras.

The available stock has a size ranging from 1.5 to 2.25 cm in length.

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Description

The Celestial Pearl Danio, also commonly called the Galaxy Rasbora, shook up the aquarium world when they were discovered in 2006. The vibrant colors and peaceful nature make this fish extremely popularScientifically known as Danio margaritatus, this fish is a member of the Cyprinidae family. It is a plant reliant fish that adds a pop of color and lively activity to any tank. Typically, the Celestial Pearl Danio lifespan is 3-5 years in stable aquariums.

Despite the small size of Celestial Pearl Danios, they can help to liven up any planted aquarium. They get along with a wide range of other fish even though they are somewhat timid. They will be constantly on the move and exploring the lower portions of the tank. Due to their small size and shy nature, it is best for them to be kept in a community of fish that mirror their behavior and size. If not, they can easily be preyed upon or outcompeted by larger fish. Beginners who are looking to keep a school of Galaxy Rasboras must keep in mind their behavior and habitat over all else.

A group of these fish can add both color and energy to any plant backdrop they are given. The white-spotted bodies combined with their red or orange fins allow for the fish to stand out among its habitat. hese fish are small fish, typically being at most 1 inch from head to tail. The most distinctive part of these fish is the coloration of the fins. All fins have two parallel black lines with bright red or orange coloration depending on the sex. When looking at a group of these Danios, you will likely notice the difference in coloration between individuals. This is because they have sexual dimorphism; the males and females look different. The males are thin and often more vibrant in color, especially on the tail, whereas females are slightly duller and more round in shape.

Courting males will even gain additional deep red coloration on their stomachs. This coloration can lead people to only seek out males for their tank; unfortunately, keeping a ratio of males to females is important to keep a healthy group. Males will constantly fight each other for mates so having more females than males will lower the risk of fighting.

Because they are such a new species, conversations about where it fits into the Cyprinidae genus go on to this day. They share their general shape with other members of its family and even have the spotted pattern of other danio fish such as the dwarf danio fish (Danio nigrofasciatus).

Habitat

The Celestial Pearl Danio is a freshwater fish found in small, highly vegetated shallow ponds in South East Asia (Myanmar). These ponds have relatively low water movement with high levels of light. The light breeds plenty of vegetation and algae for them to both hide and feed off. In the wild this fish survives best when surrounded by high levels of live vegetation and other areas to hide (rock or driftwood).

It is also important to note that there still is a lot to be discovered about their habitat and species in general. Being discovered in 2006 means that new discoveries are likely.

Tank Conditions

In order to replicate their natural environment inside your tank, you’ll need to include plenty of plants, buried in a dark substrate. Because their natural home is mostly small ponds they are accustom to a wide variety of aquatic plants. These plants not only help keep the tank clean, they also allow for the fish to hide and even lay eggs. These hiding places will become increasingly important as you increase the number of males in your tank. Males compete for mates constantly so without places to hide, losing males are subject to extreme harassment often leading to injury and sometimes death.

You should also include plenty of rocks and driftwood to mimic their natural environment. The ideal temperature for these fish is around 22-26°C. The preferred pH is between 6.5 and 7.5. Keeping the hardness at a soft to medium level is necessary. These levels are a little wide due to how hardy these fish are. What is important though, is ensuring that these fish are kept in water with stable conditions.

They don’t need a water flow as they are used to slow-moving, or still waters. Lighting wise, keep this moderate, to high.

When keeping Celestial Pearl Danio in a tank, nothing under 40L should be used. Keeping 5 or 6 individuals, mostly females if possible, is the best way to go given their grouping nature.

If you want to increase the number of them that you keep, then a larger tank will be needed. Aim for around 2 gallons per fish. Also try to keep the tank relatively shallow. This will mimic the shallow nature of their native home and will make the fish feel more comfortable.

Diet

In their natural habitat, these fish eat many species of algae, plants, and zooplankton. They have also been known to eat small invertebrates and worms. These fish are mostly opportunistic feeders which is why their diet is so varied. In an aquarium however, these fish will eat dry food such as flakes and pellets as long as it is small enough to fit into their mouth. We highly recommend Tropical Nanovit Granulat for them.

Feeding can be problematic if they are too scared to eat. These fish will most likely stay toward the bottom half of the tank so use sinking pellets. Another option for feeding is using small live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or krill. The krill especially will help with the red coloration of the fins. White worms are a good low-cost alternative. Live Daphnia, Grindal Worms, Moina all make good food for these small fish and help to enrich their diet. Always remember to cycle the food that they eat. Try not to only feed them one type of food (i.e. only pellets). This will keep them healthy and even more vibrant so long as they are eating the right type of food.

For any tank and any fish, watch the tank as you feed them and learn each fish’s behavior when feeding. You will learn a lot about individuals which can lead you to feed them more effectively. Some individuals are going to be shy and some will be braver no matter the species. Knowing your individual fish is important so you can cater to their needs accordingly. This limits the waste in the tank and in the long run will mean less cleaning and time spent for you. It is important to keep an eye on the fish you have in your tank to make sure they are not getting out-competed for food.

If this happens consider changing the way you are feeding your fish. Instead of all at once, feed the faster fish on one side then use the other side to let food sink down to where they are hiding.

Breeding

Breeding is fairly straightforward. Look for female fish that are darker in color and have a rounded abdomen. This means that she is ready for spawning. The use of live food has been noted to stimulate spawning in some cases due to their natural habitat. Celestial Pearl Danios are egg layers. Typically, she’ll lay the eggs somewhere with less water movement but they can appear anywhere.

Females can lay up to 30 eggs at a time; however, it is more likely to get groups of around 12. Eggs will incubate for 2-4 days, after which they will enter their larval stage and begin to swim. If you spot the eggs early it is imperative that you remove them and add them to a breeding tank. Males will seek out eggs and eat them constantly.

The breeding tank should be set up similarly to the main tank with vegetation and low to medium water movement. Start out by feeding them with micro foods for the first week. After that, you can move on to baby brine shrimp until they grow to be adults. The growth is rapid as the fry take on adult coloration and size within the first year.

The available stock has a size ranging from 1.5 to 2.25 cm in length.

 

Additional information

Genus

Danio

Species

D. margaritatus

Scientific Name

Danio margaritatus

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