Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus) also known as Galaxy Rasbora is a fish that has recently gone famous among amateur aquarists. They were first seen in Europe in 2006 and were assigned to the new genus Celestichthys.
However, a year later a complete scientific description of this species was created, and the fish took its place of honor in the genus “Danio” (although the first name was fixed and is used everywhere).
Scientific Name: Danio margaritatus
Care Level: Medium
Color Form: White Spots Along the Body with Red Coloration on the Fins
Lifespan: 3-5 Years
Size: Up to 1 inch
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater: Highly Vegetated and Shallow
Compatibility: Peaceful Communities
The species Celestial Pearl Danio can be translated as “decorated with pearls”, which hints at the characteristic bright spots on the body of the fish. It should be noted that many experts, for the first time seeing a photo of the Celestial Pearl Danio, took them for a fake fish made using Photoshop.
The Celestial Pearl Danio is a small fish whose length in the aquarium will rarely reach 3 cm. In females, the main body tone is gray-black with a yellowish abdomen, On the other hand, males have a gray-blue body with a bright red belly.
White spots resembling pearls are scattered throughout the body. The fins of the fish have red and black stripes, while transparent at the edges. Females are usually larger than males and have a more rounded body shape. During spawning, colors become even more intense.
The birthplace of the Galaxy Rasbora is a high-mountain (about 1000 meters above sea level) reservoirs of Myanmar (Burma). They prefer to live in shallow, up to 30-40 cm, densely overgrown lakes with clean water, which are fed by spring floods. The lakes are located between two tributaries of the Saluin River – Nam Lang and Nam Paun.
Before being discovered by Europeans, this fish was not preferred with the residents, since it did not have commercial value. Sometimes the natives caught it, left it to dry in the sun, and then used it as “seeds.”
But after the zebrafish made a splash in the aquarium market, an active catch of these babies from natural habitats began. Trapping was done by both visiting amateurs and locals who sold them to Europeans at a ridiculous price. Unfortunately, this soon threatened the existence of the species, so the country’s leadership took measures to protect the fish from uncontrolled fishing.
At present, the reproduction of Celestial Pearl Danio no longer causes difficulties, and fish in natural biotopes do not experience such serious pressure.
Celestial Pearl Danio Care and Maintenance
Due to its tiny size, Galaxy Rasbora will be an excellent choice for small aquariums and shrimp. The minimum volume required for Celestial Pearl Danio is 30 liters.
It is best to keep this fish in flocks of 10-20 pieces, which will allow you to observe interesting social behavior in the pack. Shelters must be present in the aquarium so that non-dominant male can hide at any time. Typically, the Danio prefers to be in the middle and lower part of the aquarium.
In the natural habitat, the Galaxy Rasbora prefers clean and clear water, so in the aquarium, you need to set up effective aeration and filtration system. Please make sure that the pressure from the filter shouldn’t be very powerful as it is difficult for fish of this size to resist the strong currents.
Given that natural biotopes are characterized by dense vegetation, the light for the Celestial Pearl Danio should be scattered. In an aquarium without plants, the fish becomes very shy and turns pale.
In the natural habitat, the temperature regime is not typical for the tropics. It varies greatly throughout the year, depending on the season. In summer, the weather is mild and comfortable, and in the rainy season wet and cold.
Therefore, the fish feel good in a wide temperature range. But the most optimal is 22-24 ° C. Water can be soft or medium hard (GH = 5-15), almost neutral (pH = 6.5-7.5). In general, the fish adapts very well to various conditions in the aquarium.
Celestial Pearl Danio is very sensitive to the content of nitrogen compounds in the water, therefore, it is necessary to make regular water changes in the aquarium.
The lifespan of a Celestial Pearl Danio in an aquarium is about 2 years.
Celestial Pearl Danio Tank Mates
The Celestial Pearl Danio is a fish, which seems to be specially created for nano-aquariums, in which it will be difficult for other fish to find a place.
In an aquarium of a suitable volume, the pearl danios can live perfectly with small peaceful fish like
- Endlers Guppy Fish
- Neon Tetra
- Cherry Barb
- Red Cherry Shrimp
- Amano Shrimp
- Bamboo Shrimp
- Cory Catfish
- Golden Wonder Killifish
- Yoyo Loach
- Odessa Barbs
- Harlequin Rasbora
- Other similar peaceful small fishes
You should not keep Galaxy Rasboras with Cichlids or any Predator fishes as they might end up eating your Galaxy rasboras.
Feeding Celestial Pearl Danio
Like other Danios, Galaxy Rasbora is an omnivorous fish. The natural diet includes small insects, algae, zooplankton.
When kept in an aquarium, the fish eat all kinds of food, but the most suitable are high-quality dry food. It is important to consider that the fish has a small mouth, and therefore the size of the feed should be appropriate.
Breeding Celestial Pearl Danio
Getting offspring from a Galaxy Rasbora is usually not difficult. Often, under suitable conditions, spawning occurs spontaneously, without additional stimulation. But if you want to get the maximum number of fry, you should take care of a separate spawning aquarium in advance.
To distinguish between a male and a female Galaxy Rasbora is quite simple. The body color of males is more saturated, bluish, fins are bright. The spots on the body are cream or pearl white. Females are greenish-blue in color; the spots on the fins are pale, orange in color. Females are larger than males and have a more rounded abdomen.
The volume of the spawning aquarium should be 10-15 liters. Water must be drawn from a common aquarium. Fish do not surround their offspring with parental care.
Therefore, to preserve caviar, it is necessary to put a protective net at the bottom or place small-leaved plants, for example, Javanese moss. Neither lighting nor filtration is necessary, only weak aeration is needed.
For breeding, it is best to take a pair of fish or a male with several females. Spawning itself usually passes without problems. The female lays sticky eggs (about 10-30), which sink to the bottom. The diameter of the eggs is 0.7-0.9 mm.
The celestial pearl danios are not particularly caring of their fry, so immediately after spawning, parents need to be removed to protect eggs from getting eaten. Also, females need periodic rest.
Reproduction can occur throughout the year.
The period of development of FRY depends on the water temperature. If it is 20 ° C, then the process will drag on for five days, if 25 ° C, then it will take only three days. The hatched larva is dark-colored and leads a sedentary lifestyle for 2-7 days: during the day it prefers to be at the surface of the water, and at night it attaches to the leaves of plants or the walls of the aquarium, where it does not move much.
Inexperienced breeders can even take such fry for the dead. During this period, they must be fed with small feeds. Soon, the fry begins to swim, loses its dark color, and becomes silver. One and a half months after spawning, the galaxy rasbora fry reaches a size of 1-1.5 cm. The fry begins to acquire color after 2-2.5 months. Puberty occurs at the age of about a year.
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