Celestial Pearl Danio


Common Name: Celestial Pearl Danio
Scientific Name: Danio margaritatus
Adult Size: 0.75-1 inch
Life Expectancy: 3-5 years
Tank Size: 10 gallons minimum

The Celestial Pearl Danio is a diminutive and strikingly patterned freshwater fish, hailed for its vibrant colors and galaxy-like spots. Originating from the shallow ponds of Myanmar, it has quickly become a beloved species in the aquarium hobby for its beauty and peaceful demeanor.

A 10-gallon tank is suitable for a small group of these danios, as they are best kept in schools of at least six to encourage their natural shoaling behavior and to provide a sense of security. The aquarium should be densely planted with plenty of hiding spaces to mimic their natural environment.

Their diet should consist of small-sized foods such as high-quality flake food, micro pellets, and small live or frozen foods like daphnia or baby brine shrimp. Celestial Pearl Danios are peaceful and can be kept with other small, gentle fish, making them ideal candidates for a nano or community aquarium with similar-sized species.

Origins and Natural Habitat

The Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus), a striking freshwater fish, originates from Myanmar, specifically near Hopong east of Inle Lake. Discovered relatively recently in 2006, you will find this species in a remote and elevated region, over 1,000 meters above sea level. Their presence marks them as a fascinating subject of study due to their isolated and specific habitat.

In their natural environment, these fish inhabit shallow and slow-moving waters, which is quite distinct from the faster-flowing rivers associated with many danio species. Their preferred locales are well-vegetated ponds and rice paddies, areas usually fed by underground springs. These conditions are serene, offering the necessary shelter and resources Celestial Pearl Danios need to thrive.

Your understanding of their habitat is crucial for replicating their environment in an aquarium setting. Celestial Pearl Danios are known to favor cooler water temperatures and an abundance of plant life. This reflects their origins in high-altitude pools, which naturally provide a stable and vegetation-rich habitat. To ensure their well-being, aim to mimic these conditions as closely as possible.

Aquarium Setup

Setting up the right environment is crucial for the health and well-being of Celestial Pearl Danios. You’ll need a suitable tank size and optimal water conditions.

Tank Size and Environment

For Celestial Pearl Danios, a minimum of a 10-gallon tank is recommended. If you’re considering a larger school of 10-15 fish, you should opt for a 20-gallon tank or more. These dimensions provide adequate space for swimming and maintaining stable water parameters.

  • Aquatic Plants: Dense planting offers hiding places and mimics their natural habitat.
  • Substrate: Fine, dark-colored gravel can enhance their bright coloration.
  • Decoration: Include driftwood and rocks to create a naturalistic setting.

Water Conditions and Parameters

Maintaining stable water conditions is non-negotiable for the health of Celestial Pearl Danios. Regular water testing and consistent maintenance are essential. Here are the parameters you need to adhere to:

  • Temperature: Maintain a water temperature between 73°F and 79°F.
  • pH Levels: The pH should range from 6.6 to 8.0, accommodating slight variances in their environment.
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderate hardness is preferable, with the general hardness (GH) levels best kept in the range of 5-19 dGH.
Parameter Optimal Range
Temperature 73°F – 79°F
pH Level 6.6 – 8.0
General Hardness 5-19 dGH (soft to moderate)

Ensuring a proper filtration system is in place will help maintain these parameters and provide a clean environment for your Celestial Pearl Danios.

Behavior and Social Dynamics

Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus) exhibit a peaceful and active behavior that makes them ideal for community aquariums. In the tank, you’ll observe that they display a schooling tendency, often swimming in cohesive groups. This schooling nature is not just for show; it also plays a crucial role in their social interaction and sense of security.

To maintain harmonious social dynamics, it’s recommended that you keep these fish in groups of at least five to six individuals. Their social structure allows them to feel more comfortable as they explore the environment, reducing stress and potential aggression. When kept in proper group sizes, the chance of any single fish being targeted by occasional nips is minimized, thanks to the even distribution of any social pecking order behaviors among the school.

You’ll notice that these fish enjoy a well-planted aquarium which provides them ample hiding spots and replicates their natural environment. Their interaction with the environment can be quite engaging as they dart in and out of plant cover, showcasing their intricate patterns and colors. The addition of fine-leaved plants and driftwood can enhance this interactive play and stimulate their natural behaviors.

Remember to consider tank mates carefully; Celestial Pearl Danios thrive in the company of other peaceful species that do not intimidate them or compete aggressively for food or space. This careful selection ensures that your tank’s community flourishes and that these danios continue to exhibit their characteristic vibrancy and peaceful demeanor.

Compatibility and Community

When selecting tank mates for your Celestial Pearl Danio (CPD), it’s crucial to consider both temperament and size of potential companions. CPDs thrive in a peaceful community and are best paired with fish that share a non-aggressive demeanor and similar size. Your CPDs will be comfortable with other gentle fish species that do not exhibit bullying behavior.

The size of the tank plays a vital role in the health of a community aquarium. For a group of CPDs, a 10-gallon tank can be adequate, but larger tanks are advisable if you plan to introduce several species. Ensure the tank is well-planted, offering plenty of hiding spaces for these small fish. They appreciate a habitat with dense vegetation mimicking their natural environment.

Here is a brief list of compatible tank mates for CPDs:

  • Rasboras: Small, peaceful; they enhance the tank’s dynamics without causing stress.
  • Killifish: With their calm nature, they can coexist with CPDs without incident.
  • Small Tetras: Choose tetras that are not overly active or nippy.
  • Shrimp: Various species of dwarf shrimp can also be good tank mates due to their peaceful nature and similar care requirements.

Remember to feed your CPDs a varied diet, including brine shrimp and high-quality flakes, to maintain their health and coloration within the community setup. It’s essential to choose tank mates that have similar dietary needs to ensure a harmonious and thriving aquarium.

Health and Maintenance

Proper health and maintenance are crucial for the wellbeing of your Celestial Pearl Danio. This includes regular tank cleaning and diligent observation for signs of disease, ensuring a hospitable and safe environment.

Cleaning and Maintenance Routines


  • Clean your aquarium every 2 weeks.
  • Perform a 25-30% water change as part of this routine.


  1. Remove algae from glass surfaces with a scraper.
  2. Vacuum substrate to remove waste and food debris.
  3. Clean or replace filter media as per manufacturer’s guidelines—not during water changes to preserve beneficial bacteria.
  4. Test water parameters (pH, hardness, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites) and adjust as necessary.

Disease Prevention and Management

Preventative Measures:

  • Quarantine new fish for at least two weeks before adding to the main tank.
  • Regularly check fish for abnormal behavior or signs of distress, which may indicate illness.

Common Illnesses:

  • Ich (White Spot Disease): Look for white spots and treat with increased water temperature and Ich medication.
  • Fin Rot: Characterized by fraying or discolored fins, treat with clean water and antibacterial medication.

Management Strategies:

  • Isolate sick fish to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Maintain a stress-free environment with proper diet, water quality, and compatible tank mates to boost fish immunity.

Diet and Feeding

Your Celestial Pearl Danio thrives on a varied diet that approximates what they would find in their natural habitat. These omnivores naturally feed on small insects, larvae, and plant matter. To ensure your fish are getting a balanced diet, provide a mix of high-quality flake food or micro pellets, along with live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, or bloodworms.

Feeding Schedule:

  • Feed your Celestial Pearl Danios small amounts twice a day.
  • Only give as much food as they can consume in 3 minutes to prevent overfeeding and tank pollution.

Dietary Table:

Food Type Frequency Notes
Flake Food Daily Basis of the diet
Micro Pellets Daily Alternative to flake food
Live Foods 2-3 times/week For enrichment and protein

Remember, a well-fed Celestial Pearl Danio displays more vibrant colors and has a more robust immune system. The quality of the diet directly impacts their health and wellbeing, so it’s essential to maintain a consistent and varied feeding regimen.

Breeding and Reproduction

Celestial Pearl Danio (Danio margaritatus) breeding is a straightforward process that hobbyists at various experience levels can achieve. Below is a detailed guide on how to identify the genders for breeding and how to create optimal conditions for the fish to reproduce.

Gender Identification and Breeding Behavior

Males: You will notice that males are generally more colorful with brighter blue and red hues. They also possess pronounced black and white stripes on their fins.

Females: Females are often plumper, especially when carrying eggs, and have a more subdued color palette. Their fins lack the intense coloration seen in males.

When ready to breed, males display a courtship dance to attract females, often involving energetic swimming patterns around potential mates.

Creating Optimal Breeding Conditions

Water Parameters: Maintain water quality with a pH between 6.5 to 7.5, and a temperature range of 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C). Soft water is generally preferred for breeding Celestial Pearl Danios.

Tank Setup:

  • Provide a separate breeding tank with plenty of fine-leaved plants like Java moss.
  • Include a spawning mop or marbles as a substrate to protect the eggs.
  • Ensure gentle filtration to prevent eggs from being sucked into the system.

Once the conditions are met, females will lay eggs among the plants, and the males will fertilize them. It is recommended to remove parents after spawning to prevent the eggs from being eaten.

Growth, Development, and Lifespan

When you introduce Celestial Pearl Danios to your aquarium, you’ll observe that they grow to their full size fairly quickly. You can expect them to mature to lengths of 0.75 to 1 inch. Their growth pace is influenced by factors such as diet quality and tank conditions.

In ideal conditions, expect your Celestial Pearl Danios to have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years. Achieving this requires a tank environment that closely mimics their natural habitat, including parameters such as temperature and pH. Maintain temperatures between 73°F to 79°F (23°C to 26°C) and a pH in the range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Tank Size:

  • Minimum: 10 gallons
  • Group: 5 to 6 individuals, mostly females

Water Quality:

  • Ammonia & Nitrite Levels: 0
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderately hard

Proper care involves regular partial water changes to control the quality of the water and minimize stress, which significantly affects their health and lifespan. Additionally, these fish benefit from a well-planted tank as it replicates their natural environment and provides shelter.


Where Do Celestial Pearl Danios From?


What Is the Natural Habitat of a Celestial Pearl Danio?

Originating from the pristine waters of Myanmar, the Celestial Pearl Danio thrives in cool, slow-moving streams with plenty of vegetation. This fish species typically inhabits dense plant life, providing them with ample cover and a rich hunting ground for small invertebrates.


Naturally, these stunning fish are omnivores. They have a diverse diet in the wild, comprising of small invertebrates, algae, and plant matter. When in captivity, a balanced diet of high-quality flake food, live food, and plant matter will keep them healthy and their colors vibrant.


In the wild, the Celestial Pearl Danio exhibits intriguing social behaviors. They are peaceful schooling fish, usually found in groups. As a potential pet owner, observing their playful interactions can provide endless entertainment.

Tank Setup

Replicating their natural environment is crucial for the wellbeing of your Celestial Pearl Danio. They prefer cooler water temperatures, around 73-79 degrees Fahrenheit, and a tank adorned with plenty of live plants. The tank should also include some open swimming spaces and hiding spots for these shy creatures to retreat to.

While setting up your tank, consider incorporating a slow-moving filter to mimic their natural habitat.


When it comes to tank mates, Celestial Pearl Danios are generally peaceful and coexist well with other small, non-aggressive fish species. They thrive best in a community tank with similar-sized fish that won’t view them as potential snacks.


With the right conditions, breeding Celestial Pearl Danios can be an exciting venture. They are egg-layers and prefer to lay their eggs amongst fine-leaved plants. A separate breeding tank with optimal water conditions and plenty of plant cover is ideal for successful breeding.


Like all fish, the Celestial Pearl Danio can be susceptible to common aquatic diseases. However, with the right care, good water quality, and a balanced diet, these little gems can live up to 3-5 years. Regular water tests and keen observation for any behavioral changes can aid in maintaining their health.


What Do Celestial Pearl Danio Eat?


Are Celestial Pearl Danios Aggressive?

Tank Size

How Big of a Tank Does a Celestial Pearl Danio Need?


What Are the Best Tank Mates For Celestial Pearl Danios?


How Big Do Celestial Pearl Danios Get?