Celestial Pearl Danios – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

The Celestial Pearl Danios is a beautiful tiny fish, about an inch long. They originate in clear shallow spring fed ponds around mountainous towns of Southern Asia. These bodies of water are sun-filled and full of plant life.These fish recently became popular for aquariums, but that was halted because of beliefs that they were going extinct. Then it became possible to successfully breed them in the aquarium environment.

They are once again a popular hobby fish. The Celestial Pearl Danios is still considered to be a relatively new discovery. There are no strict water or temperature requirements for these fish. This makes them easy for beginner aquarists. They are from regions where the temperatures ranges from freezing to scorching hot. If you keep the room temperature at 70*, there should be no problem keeping these fish. Keep the water clean with a low- level filter.

Make sure you have a well-lit and plant laden tank. These would be a great option for a beginning fish keeper. When found in their natural habitats, Celestial Pearl Danios have the usual features of a fish from the marshes. They have a slender body that is somewhat flat looking on the side. They had been previously sold as food, a good protein snack. It is a small, but fleshy fish. The Celestial Pearl Danios are a fragile fish. They are rather timid and feel most comfortable in larger groups of 20 or 30 small even tempered fish. They are quite gentle and prefer a peaceful aquarium environment.



Celestial Pearl Danios are small fish with plenty of personality and great coloring. They are vibrantly colored, the male more than the female.

The male has more bright color on his fins and tail. They have a white, spotted body and red-orange fins that are rounded.

When you purchase these fish, you might be tempted to get all the brightly colored males. It is easy to differentiate between the male and females.

The females are darker in color and more round. Males are a deep dark blue with pearl-like spots, sometimes in rows.

They have bright red stripes on their fins that are outlined in midnight blue. They have a bright red belly. The brightness of the fish’s color changes with his moods.

The dominant males also have a red stripe down their backs. The females have more of a dull coloration with a blue- gold tone. They have pearlescent dots, but they are not as bright as the dots on the male.

Some of them have a red-orange color on their belly, but most of them are gold. They display a dark spot in front of the anal fin that appears right before spawning.

They grow to a max length of 2.5 cm. Their body length is about three times their height, making an interesting body shape.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Celestial Pearl Danios are a great option for a nano tank. This small tank is especially good for those species that are peaceful and are small, preferably around an inch or so.

It could house two or three different species that are of the same size and temperament and that thrive in the same type of ecosystem.

Nano tanks are all the rage for small fish like these. Nano tanks are anything under 20 gallons. They fit most tight budgets and spaces.

These are freshwater fish found in small, highly vegetated and shallow ponds. They are accustomed to a wide range of water temperatures and little to no water movement.

They like to group together. It is ideal to purchase them in groups of 5-8 fish. Celestial Pearl Danios have a peaceful and calm temperament. They are highly adaptable freshwater fish.

They might give you the impression that they are scared because they are always hiding. This is usually true if they are very few. These fish feel more comfortable and will make themselves known if you have them within a group of 20 or so fish.

They get along well with most other fish, but do not fare well with the more aggressive types. They are easy to care for. They rely on plants for much of their sustenance.

The wide variety of plants not only provide food and shelter but serve to clean the tank as well. They need plenty of spaces to hide and feed, as well as to spawn. It is imperative that you have many plants.

This will make them feel secure and comfortable. It is important to include rock and driftwood for hiding purposes.

Celestial Pearl Danios will be more actively present if you have them in a group with fish of similar size and temperament. But they will always use rocks and driftwood to hide, as they will mimic their natural environment.

Males will spend their time trying to win the females or they will be fighting the other males for the females. Maintain an even ratio of males to females, preferably two females for every male.

They like to explore the bottom portion of the tank. They are small and shy. They should be kept with fish that exhibit the same behaviors. Keep an eye out for wounds, they can ultimately lead to disease and other problems.

Tank Conditions

When setting up the tank, replicate the Danios’ natural environment. Include plenty of live plants, buried within a dark substrate.

These fish can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and ph values of the water. Seventy-three to seventy-nine is an ideal temperature range with a ph at 6.5 to 7.5. The water hardness should be at soft to medium.

The parameters don’t have to be exact, just relatively stable. The water flow should be minimal. They are accustomed to very slow, almost still water conditions. The water should be shallow to mimic the natural habitat.

The tank should be a minimum of 10 gallons if you have a group of 5-8 fish. But if there are a lot of males, go bigger. Two gallons of water per fish would be the proper ratio.

Plants are important; if there are no places to hide, there will be aggression issues.

Keep the water shallow, as this will replicate their natural habitat of shallow ponds and pools. It is also a good way to warm the water.

Heavy vegetation provides for excellent cover and for spawning. These fish don’t require anything special but should have a planted tank. There are no specific substrate requirements; gravel, sand, or plants are fine.

Just make sure to include a lot of plants in the tank. It would be easier to go with a plant substrate. Live plants will also promote better coloration and a more natural behavior. They are not strong swimmers, so they prefer quiet waters with low to medium flow.

Make sure you check the water parameter every two or three weeks to maintain that the acidity is not too high. Ammonia and Nitrate will stress out your fish, so make sure they are at zero. Water that is too acidic can also cause damage to the fins quickly.

These are gentle fish that prefer a peaceful aquarium. Compatible tank mates include angelfish, rasboras and Corydora catfish.

Tank Mates and Compatibility

They should be with fish of the same size. Although they are shy, they can get aggressive when provoked.  Tetras, killifish, and guppies would make good tank mates. Purchase fish that are from the same region, they will most likely share the same general behaviors.

The Celestial Pearl Danios is not necessarily a schooling They can be kept with almost any other fish. They should have near the same personality and be roughly fish, but they do like to group together sometimes.

Try to find fish that occupy different levels of the tank; the Celestial Pearl Danios will hang out near the bottom. Tetras like to hang out near the surface.

You don’t want to add juvenile shrimp. The Celestial Pearl Danios will eat them. Adult shrimp are totally safe.

Avoid aggressive fish such as cichlids and Oscars. Jack Dempsey are aggressive as well and will go after fish that are slower and smaller than them.

Keeping the species together is a good option. Make sure to purchase at least a group of six. As many as 20 would be okay in the same tank, just ensure there is enough plant life.

General Care

Fin rot is one of the most common diseases of this fish. It can be caused by water that is not changed enough. It is usually introduced by individual fish with damaged fins.

The best thing you can do to remedy this is change water frequently. If that doesn’t work, you can always quarantine and treat affected fish with antibiotics.

This is a popular fish for a nano tank, but this is only room enough for one male. If you are interested in any more than that, go to at least a 5-gallon tank. A 10 gallon if you want a whole group (5-8).

Water parameters and temperatures should not go to extremes. The ph. level around 7 and medium water hardness. Regular water changes are the most that this fishkeeping requires.

You will need a sponge filter, and a bright light. There is no need for a heater unless the room temperature gets below 70 degrees. Don’t forget about the plants and other adornments for hiding.

They are not necessarily schooling fish, but they do like to group together. The males fight in a circular motion like a ritual dance around each other. This is when they may fight to decide on the dominating male.

The weaker male can usually flee without harm if he can swim away. It is imperative that there be plenty of space and places to hide or the weaker males will be continually harassed.

One of the most important behaviors to watch out for is the males as they compete for the females. The more dominant males tend to attack.

Diet and Feeding

The Celestial Pearl Danios is an omnivore. They eat plant and animal matter. In the wild, they also feed on very small invertebrates.

They are not picky eaters, usually eating whatever live food they can find. They like a wide variety of foods, preferably plant matter, but they like small worms.

They can be fed flakes or pellets. They do have very small mouths. If they are not feeding well, make sure they are not being harassed or stressed by other fish in the tank.

Make sure you alternate their food to ensure they get a varied diet. Observe them at feeding time to make sure they are eating everything you give them.

Their mouths are very small, so if the food is not tiny, they will not be able to eat. If they are not eating it all, lessen the amount that is given at one time. If there is food left over, it will rot in the tank and cloud the water, potentially causing sickness or disease.

They do well, given a small amount of food several times a day. If they hang out at the bottom, make sure you give them foods that will sink, such as pellets.

Observe and learn their individual eating habits so feeding can be done effectively. Their natural habitat is full of vegetation, so that is one of the more important food sources.

Feed the fish only what it can consume when you first present the food. Food that is left over will collect in the filter or decay in the substrate and pollute the water.


For breeding success, you will need a spawning tank. Line a 5-gallon tank with marbles or a single layer of round rocks. Place a spawning mop inside. It will replicate aquatic moss.

You will need a sponge filter. Place two females and one male in the spawning tank. It is easy to distinguish between the male and female, which makes breeding simple.

Keep them in there for about a week, they will be continuously spawning. The male chooses the location then strikes the pose and the female comes to him.

This can occur anywhere, usually aside a plant, in the bottom of the tank or near the surface. It is best to use a single pair in a separate tank.

The females will lay eggs in the mop and they will drop into the marbles. Remove the fish after about 5 days, if not they will eat the eggs.

The eggs will begin to hatch in 3-5 days depending on the water temperatures. It will be hard to decipher the larvae. You’ll probably want to refrain from any cleaning or water change until they are plainly visible.

They are very fragile and could be destroyed easily. The fry will begin to appear in the substrate or on the glass, maybe floating.

They will be dark colored, and they won’t move much. After a while they will lose their dark coloring and be swimming around.

It is safer, overall, to have them in a separate tank for breeding. Then you won’t have to worry about any disturbances to the fry.  Now you can start feeding them fine flakes or powdered food, or maybe micro foods.


These small vibrant fish are a wonderfully peaceful group to add to your aquarium. You don’t have to maintain a strict water parameter in your fish tank.

They only require clean, room temperature water. Your tank doesn’t even need a heater if your room temperature stays between a consistent 70 to 75*F.

The aquarium for your Celestial Pearl Danios does need to be well-lit and have lots of plants. These fish are rather timid and having plants makes them feel more comfortable.

They also feel more secure if they are housed in groups with the same species or other fish of the same size and temperament. Good tank mates would include angelfish, Corydoras and rasboras.

The Celestial Pearl Danios are not picky eaters, they are omnivores. They like to eat plant matter and small invertebrates.

The plants in the tank will provide for sustenance as well as protection. Keeping a clean tank environment, bi-weekly water changes and grouping the species together will give the Celestial Danios a happy and healthy life. Their expected life span is three to five year.

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