Celestial Pearl Danios: Their Origin, Appearance, Care & Maintenance

Image Credit | Pinterest

The Celestial Pearl Danios is a freshwater fish commonly found in South East Asia, specifically Myanmar. It was discovered in 2006, and it’s known for its unique, stunning look and heavily sought after for aquariums.

This breed is popular with hobbyists who enjoy fish breeding. If you have a fish tank, they are a perfect addition to your stock. However, Celestial Pearl Danios need proper care for them to thrive. Here’s a comprehensive guide about this fish breed.

Naming Background

Celestial Pearl Danios have several other names. Scientifically known as Danio margaritatus, while in the aquarium trade, they got titles such as Galaxy rasboras, Fireworks rasbora, and Microrasbora sp. Initially, they went by the name Celestichthys Margaritatus, which translates to “heavenly fish adorned with pearls.”

As a beginner in this trade, all these names can be confusing because they refer to the same species.

Origin

The discovery of Celestial Pearly Danios in Myanmar was exciting to aquarium hobbyists. Unfortunately, the presence of this brilliantly colored and peaceful fish led to increased fishing which significantly affected the numbers of this breed. Due to overfishing, the Pearl danio almost became extinct as there was no controlled breeding.

However, with time and a collection and export ban from the Myanmar government, the numbers started improving. Breeders also filled up the fish ponds and restocked the Pearl danio. The available specimens you find at your breeders are mostly captive-bred and now classified as threatened species due to the decreasing numbers.

Physical Appearance

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The most distinct feature of this fish breed is the bright colors. Discovered for their looks, they have lots of colors, from the red-colored fins to white pearl-like spots on their sides. Adding them to your fish tank brings out a warm and radiant backdrop.

The Celestial Pearl danio grows from 1 to 1.5 inches, head to tail. When looking for a species to keep in your aquarium, you will notice that there’s a difference between males and females. The males have brighter colors than females.

A bright red belly and scattered pearly spots define the male body. They also have two black parallel lines on their backs that run from the head to the dorsal fin.

On the other hand, the females have dull blue-green coloration and transparent fins. Their color is a bit faded, making the spots not too bright. Furthermore, their fins have a faded orange shade. 

During the breeding period, females also develop a dark spot around the anal fin. However, when young fish are born, breeders find it hard to determine whether they are male or female. This is because the young ones have a striped pattern that transforms into pearly spots as they become adults.

Lifespan

When properly taken care of, Celestial Pearl danios can survive for 3-5 years. However, their survival rate is affected by diseases, stress, and poor water conditions. A change in their water quality will significantly affect your fish; therefore, you need to be keen on that.

Habitat

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Celestial Pearl danios primarily live in shallow ponds with lots of vegetation. Commonly found in the Shan Plateau in Myanmar, these ponds are in the mountainous regions in the town. This region is known for its rice paddies and grasslands that also have a collection of aquatic plants.

The ponds get a lot of light which breeds vegetation such as algae that the fish can feed on. Having them in your aquarium means you should try and provide the same natural habitat conditions for them to thrive.

Since their discovery in 2006, some conditions such as water parameters are still in discovery. However, breeders have determined that as long as the water quality is good and their dissolved organics are low, they thrive without any issues.

Fish Tank and Aquarium Conditions

Once you establish an aquarium in your home for this breed, you need to replicate the natural habitat conditions. They need a lot of vegetation and plants suitable for fish to lay eggs and hide.

Fish are highly affected by stress; therefore, providing preferred living conditions can help lower stress levels, making them healthier. So, when setting up a fish tank, what do you need to consider? Let’s take a look.

•   Tank Size

Celestial Pearly danios are not active swimmers; therefore, they don’t require much space. Due to their small size, you can house them in a nano tank or a 10-gallon tank which comfortably holds six to ten fishes.

However, if you plan to keep more fish, you should go for a bigger tank. Aquarium hobbyists recommend that you consider 1 to 2 gallons of water per fish. Besides, if you have plants and decorations taking up the swimming space, you might need to go for a bigger tank to allow for enough room for your fish.

Even though these fish are small, you can provide them with a bigger aquarium if you are in a position to. This gives them more space to swim, which improves their quality of life.

•   Water Quality

Fish tanks generally require you to change the water constantly for the health of your fish. To mimic their natural environment, keep the water clear and low in minerals and salts. Also, ensure you have a good test kit to measure the pH levels in the water and temperatures. The range should be 6.5 to 7.5.

•   Water Temperature

Pearl danios can thrive in temperatures ranging from 65° to 80° Fahrenheit. These temperatures are ideal if you need to keep other species in the same tank. However, all fish species are prone to temperature shock. A sudden increase or decline in water temperature in the fish tank is dangerous for your fish.

There are quality aquarium thermometers in the market that you can use to monitor these changes on the go. Having the right water conditions minimizes stress levels in your fish and keeps them healthy.

•   Substrate

As an aquarium hobbyist, you must understand the importance of having a substrate. You can use sand or gravel in your tank. Before adding it in, ensure it gets well rinsed to avoid a cloudy fish tank. Choose a dark-colored substrate to make your colorful Celestial Pearl danios stand out.

•   Plants

In their natural setting, Celestial Pearl danios survive in areas with grasslands and vegetation. Therefore, you add large plants which the fish use for safety and shelter purposes.

If your fish feel safe and secure, they are less likely to get stressed. Besides, they will tend to come out more from hiding and swim across the fish tank in their bright colors.

•   Decorations

Adding driftwood and rocks is also good as it acts as a natural hiding spot. The Pearl danio’s natural habitat comes with pebbles and driftwoods; therefore, you should add that to your tank. These additional hiding spots keep them less stressed.

•   Filtration System

Celestial Pearl danios don’t survive well in an environment with pollutants. Therefore, as you set up the tank, it’s essential to add a properly working filtration system to keep the water healthy – free from nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites.

•   Lighting

Lighting is good for the growth of vegetation. However, it would be best if you keep your aquarium in an area with medium lighting. This amount of lighting is perfectly enough for the plants.

•   Tank Mates

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Celestial Pearl danios are very peaceful breeds. They are also shy, which means they should not coexist together with larger aggressive fishes. Once they feel intimated, they tend to hide away from the plants and decorations.

Before adding any new fish breeds, consider complementing species such as Neon Tetras, Killifish, or Guppies. These types of fishes are also very peaceful and have the same general behaviors as the Peral danios.

Apart from fish, you can add a few tiny snails and shrimp. These creatures are also non-aggressive and harmless.

They are also beneficial because they clean up your tank by eating leftover food, algae, and any materials from the substrate. As you add the shrimp, make sure they are adults because Pearl danios tend to eat juvenile shrimps.

An important consideration when adding tank mates is the size of the other creatures. This measurement will determine the size of the tank you need to get.

Celestial Pearl danios can also live together as one species. It’s crucial to watch out for the males because the less dominant ones tend to get attacked in fights. Have a good female to male ratio for safety purposes.

Feeding Celestial Pearl Danios

Celestial Pearl danios are omnivores. They feed on various items from algae, plants, insects to worms in their natural pond habitats. Therefore, you need to recreate the same diet while keeping them in an aquarium.

This fish species thrive well on a diet with micro-pellets and flakes which are small enough to fit into their mouths. You can also spice the diet up by adding frozen foods, such as brine shrimp. Also, they feed well on mosquito larvae and bloodworms.

In a day, you should have a feeding schedule twice a day to make sure you are not overfeeding your danios. The excess food puts them at risk because it settles down on the fish tank in the substrate, where it decomposes and pollutes the water.

For the frozen foods, make sure you source them from a good supplier and not from the wild. Having contaminated food may introduce diseases and parasites into your fish tank, putting your Pearl danios at risk.

Health and Diseases

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Healthy Celestial Pearl danios exhibit a vibrant and active life. They also have a good appetite and will feed immediately you introduce some food.

However, once you notice that some of them have become lethargic and are not eating, it’s a cause for alarm. Also, it’s vital to observe keenly any fish that stays alone hidden and does not shoal with the tankmates.

Watch out for any changes in coloration on the fish body. Faded colors, rugged fins, and swellings could be a sign of disease.

Fin rot is one of the most common issues caused by bacteria that makes the fins appear rough. Bacterial and fungal infections could also cause discoloration of eyes or skin reddening.

Behavior and Temperament

Typically, Celestial Pearl danios are peaceful. However, they are shy, hence tend to hide among the plants away from the bright lighting.

As you group them, have a mixture of females and males to reduce incidences of fighting. However, in terms of temperament, having a lot of males will trigger a lot of fights. This is because the males fight over the females, which leads to injury or even death.

Summary

Image Credit | betterknowafish.com

Celestial Pearl danios bring a unique sense of stunning beauty to your aquarium. In addition, celestial Pearl danios are a peaceful species and are easier to care for and maintain in your home. By following the tips provided in this guide, you can maintain a healthy school of fish for years.

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