Celestial Pearl Danio: A True Star

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The Celestial Pearl Danio (CPD), a small, vibrant fish, has recently become a favorite among aquarists worldwide.

Its striking colors and peaceful nature make it a perfect addition to any community tank.

This article will delve into the fascinating world of this beautiful fish, exploring its origin, habitat, appearance, behavior, and much more.

Quick Facts

Scientific and Common NamesScientific name: Danio margaritatus. Common names: Galaxy Rasbora, CPD, Fireworks Rasbora, Microrasbora sp. ‘Galaxy’.
SizeSmall fish, up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length.
Lifespan3-5 years in captivity with proper care.
Temperament & BehaviorPeaceful, schooling fish. Prefer to be in groups of at least 6-8.
Tank SizeMinimum 10 gallons for a small group, larger is better.
Water ParametersTemperature: 73-79°F (23-26°C), pH: 6.5-7.5, Hardness: 2-10 dGH.
Tank Setup & DecorationsWell-planted tank with fine substrate, live plants, driftwood, rocks, and dim lighting.
Tank MatesCan be kept with other small, non-aggressive fish like small tetras, rasboras, and other danios.
SuitabilitySuitable for both beginner and experienced aquarists due to their easy care, peaceful nature, and vibrant colors.

Origin & Habitat

The Celestial Pearl Danio, scientifically known as Danio margaritatus, was first discovered in 2006.

Its native habitat is a small, remote area in the region of Hopong, in the Shan state of Myanmar.

This region is characterized by a hilly landscape, with the fish found at an altitude of nearly 1,000 meters above sea level.

The Celestial Pearl Danio inhabits small ponds and slow-moving streams, often no more than a meter wide and a few centimeters deep.

These water bodies are typically surrounded by dense vegetation, providing the fish with ample cover from predators.

The water in these habitats is clear, with a slightly acidic to neutral pH, and is often tea-colored due to the presence of tannins from decaying organic matter.

The substrate in these waters is usually composed of sand or fine gravel, with scattered pebbles and rocks.

The ponds and streams are often heavily vegetated, both with submerged and emergent plants.

The dense vegetation, along with the slow-moving water, provides an ideal environment for these small fish to hide, forage, and breed.

The climate in this region is tropical, with a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year.

However, the Celestial Pearl Danio’s habitats can dry out during the dry season, forcing the fish to survive in small, isolated pockets of water until the rains return.

In the wild, the Celestial Pearl Danio shares its habitat with a few other fish species, including other small cyprinids and gouramis.

However, due to its small size and specific habitat requirements, it is not found in large rivers or reservoirs.

Since its discovery, the Celestial Pearl Danio has faced threats from over-collection for the aquarium trade.

But, efforts have been made to breed this species in captivity to reduce pressure on wild populations.

Today, most Celestial Pearl Danios available in the aquarium trade are captive-bred.

Appearance, Size & Lifespan

The Celestial Pearl Danio is a small but strikingly beautiful fish.

It typically reaches a maximum size of 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length, making it one of the smaller species in the aquarium hobby.

Despite its small size, this fish stands out in any aquarium due to its vibrant colors and unique patterns.

The body of the Celestial Pearl Danio is adorned with a celestial pattern of bright blue and white spots, reminiscent of a starry night sky.

This pattern extends from the gill plates to the base of the tail, giving the fish its common names like Galaxy Rasbora or Fireworks Rasbora.

The males of this species are particularly colorful.

They have a deep blue body that contrasts sharply with their red-orange fins.

The fins are also speckled with black and white spots, adding to their striking appearance.

During the breeding season, the males’ colors become even more intense as they display to attract females.

Females, on the other hand, are slightly paler in color.

They have a more subdued blue body and their fins are not as brightly colored as the males’.

They still possess the characteristic blue and white spots on their body.

Females are also slightly larger and rounder than males, especially when they are full of eggs.

Despite their small size, Celestial Pearl Danios are quite hardy and can live up to 3-5 years in captivity with proper care.

Temperament & Behavior

The Celestial Pearl Danio is a peaceful fish, known for its calm and non-aggressive temperament.

This makes it an excellent choice for community tanks, where it can coexist harmoniously with other peaceful species of a similar size.

One of the most notable behaviors of the Celestial Pearl Danio is its schooling nature.

These fish prefer to be in groups of at least 6-8, and they are often seen swimming together in the middle or bottom layers of the aquarium.

Being in a school not only provides them with a sense of security but also allows them to exhibit their natural social behaviors.

When first introduced to a new environment, Celestial Pearl Danios can be quite shy and may spend a lot of time hiding among plants or other decorations.

However, as they acclimate to their new surroundings, they become more active and confident.

They are curious fish and will often be seen exploring their environment, especially if there are plenty of hiding spots and areas to investigate.

Male Celestial Pearl Danios display interesting behaviors, especially during the breeding season.

They become more vibrant in color and engage in displays to attract females and ward off rival males.

These displays can include flaring their fins, darting movements, and showing off their bright colors.

Despite their peaceful nature, it’s important to note that like many schooling fish, Celestial Pearl Danios can exhibit minor aggression within their group.

This usually involves chasing and nipping but rarely results in injury.

This behavior is a normal part of establishing and maintaining a pecking order within the school.

Tank Size and Setup

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Celestial Pearl Danios is 10 gallons, but it’s always better to go bigger if you can.

A larger tank will provide more swimming space for your fish and make it easier to maintain stable water parameters.

If you plan on keeping a school of Celestial Pearl Danios, you’ll need at least 20 gallons to give them enough room to swim and play.

Water Parameters

Celestial Pearl Danios prefer water that is slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

They also prefer soft to moderately hard water, with a dGH range of 1-5.

Make sure to cycle your tank before adding your fish to ensure that the water parameters are stable.


These fish prefer a moderate-lit aquarium with plenty of plants.

However, it’s important to provide some shaded areas in the tank as well.

This can be achieved by adding floating plants or creating hiding spots with decorations.

Avoid bright, direct lighting as it can cause stress and discomfort for the fish.

Tank Setup & Decorations

Provide plenty of hiding places and swimming space for your Celestial Pearl Danios.

You can use a substrate like sand or gravel, and add some aquatic plants like Java Moss or Anubias to provide cover.

You can also add some driftwood or rocks to create caves and hiding places.

Celestial Pearl Danio Care


Celestial Pearl Danios are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter.

They are not picky eaters and will readily accept a variety of food types.

The best is to provide them with a balanced diet to keep them healthy and happy.

When feeding your Celestial Pearl Danios, you can offer them a mix of dry and live food.

Dry food options include flakes, pellets, and granules.

They should be high-quality and contain a good mix of protein, fat, and fiber.

You can also supplement their diet with live food such as daphnia, grindal worms, and baby brine shrimp.

These live foods are rich in nutrients that your fish need to thrive.

It is recommended to feed your Celestial Pearl Danios small portions multiple times a day, rather than one large feeding.

This will ensure that they are able to eat all the food and reduce the risk of overfeeding.

Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as obesity and poor water quality.

If you want to add some variety to your fish’s diet, you can also offer them krill.

Krill is a small crustacean that is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

It is a great source of nutrition for your fish and can help enhance their coloration.

Tank Mates

When it comes to choosing tank mates for your Celestial Pearl Danios, you want to make sure that you choose fish that are friendly and peaceful.

You also want to select fish that have similar water requirements to your danios.

Here are some suitable tank mates:

  • Guppies: Guppies are hardy and easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners. They are also friendly and peaceful.
  • Corydoras: These bottom-dwelling fish are peaceful and make great companions for your Celestial Pearl Danios. They also help to keep the tank clean by eating leftover food and debris.
  • Shrimp: Shrimp are a great addition to your tank as they help to keep it clean by eating algae and other debris.
  • Killifish: These fish are hardy and easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners. They are also peaceful and make great companions for your Celestial Pearl Danios.
  • Snails: Snails are a great addition to your tank as they help to keep it clean by eating algae and other debris.
  • Tetras: There are many different types of tetras that make great companions for your Celestial Pearl Danios, including neon tetras, ember tetras, and black skirt tetras.
  • Rasboras: These fish are peaceful and make great companions for your Celestial Pearl Danios. Some good options include harlequin rasboras and chili rasboras.

When selecting tank mates for your Celestial Pearl Danios, it is important to avoid aggressive fish that may harm your danios.

You should also make sure that the fish you choose have similar water requirements to your danios to ensure that they thrive in the same environment.


Breeding Celestial Pearl Danios in captivity is relatively easy with the proper care and conditions.

To breed Celestial Pearl Danios, you will need to separate the males and females.

This will allow you to control the breeding process and ensure that you have the right ratio of males to females.

A good ratio is one male for every two females.

Celestial Pearl Danios are egg layers and will need a spawning mop to lay their eggs on.

You can make a spawning mop by tying some yarn or string to a small object like a cork or weight and then placing it in the tank.

The danios will lay their eggs in the mop.

Male Celestial Pearl Danios will court the females by swimming around them and displaying their fins.

Once the female is ready to lay her eggs, the male will follow her to the spawning mop.

After the danios have laid their eggs on the spawning mop, you will need to remove the mop from the tank and place it in a separate container.

This will allow you to control the conditions for the eggs and ensure that they hatch successfully.

Once the eggs have hatched, you will need to provide food for the fry.

Newly hatched fry can be fed infusoria or liquid fry food.

As they grow, you can gradually introduce other types of food like crushed flakes or small live foods.

Should You Consider This Fish

if you’re an aquarist looking for a peaceful and colorful species to add to your aquarium, CPDs are definitely worth considering.

They are easy to care for, get along well with other peaceful fish, and can add a splash of color to your tank.

Just make sure to keep them in a group and maintain good water conditions to keep them healthy and happy.


How long do Celestial Pearl Danios live?

Celestial Pearl Danios have a lifespan of about 3 to 5 years. However, with proper care, they can live up to 6 years. It is important to maintain good water quality and provide a balanced diet to ensure a healthy and long life for your Celestial Pearl Danios.

What is the ideal water temperature for Celestial Pearl Danios?

The ideal water temperature for Celestial Pearl Danios is between 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C). They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

What do Celestial Pearl Danios eat?

Celestial Pearl Danios are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. Their diet should consist of high-quality flakes or pellets, as well as live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

Do Celestial Pearl Danios need a lot of space?

Celestial Pearl Danios are small fish and do not require a lot of space. They are active swimmers and appreciate open swimming areas. A minimum tank size of 10 gallons is recommended for a small group of 6 to 8 Celestial Pearl Danios.

What are some compatible tank mates for Celestial Pearl Danios?

Celestial Pearl Danios are peaceful fish and can be kept with other peaceful community fish such as other small rasboras, tetras, and shrimp. Avoid keeping them with larger or aggressive fish that may bully or eat them.

How often should you feed Celestial Pearl Danios?

Celestial Pearl Danios should be fed small amounts several times a day. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and poor water quality. A good rule of thumb is to feed them as much as they can consume within 2 to 3 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day. Remember to vary their diet and provide a balanced mix of flakes, pellets, and live/frozen foods.

Photo of author


Irma Bense is the founder of BetterFishkeeping.com. She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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