What to Know About Celestial Pearl Danios

Medically Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on December 10, 2022
3 min read

Active swimmers with bold colors and patterns, celestial pearl danios are a striking addition to a tropical aquarium.

Danios are tiny fish that live in Southeast Asia. Most prefer small streams. There are at least 25 different species of Danio, and the largest is only about 3 1/2 inches long. Being small and vulnerable, they like to swim together in large groups called schools.

Before scientists classified the celestial pearl danio, people who kept them in aquariums called them "firework rasboras" or "galaxy rasboras". Some called them "galaxy microrasboras" because of their small size. The "firework" and "galaxy" names made sense in describing the many bright colors of the fish, but a rasbora is a different type of fish altogether. The current name, celestial pearl danio, still reflects the unique beauty of the little fish and accurately puts it into the Danio family.

Celestial pearl danios have a large eye for their size and a very small, upturned mouth. The body of the male is deep blue with lots of oval-shaped spots in a shimmery gold, white, cream, or pearly pink color, depending on the individual fish. A greenish-bronze stripe runs along the top of its head and body. There is a narrow strip along the bottom of the fish that has a rosy tinge. The male celestial pearl danio has blazing red fins with bold black stripes. Females have similar colors, but in muted tones. 

They are the tiniest of the Danios. Celestial pearl danio sizes range from ¾-inch to 1-inch long for full-grown adults.

Scientists thought that the celestial pearl danio only lived in shallow pools on a particular plateau in the country of Myanmar. This is such a remote area that scientists only discovered celestial pearl danios because people captured them and sold them to pet stores and aquariums.

Celestial pearl danios later showed up in small ponds in other areas of Myanmar and in the neighboring country of Thailand. They swim in pools and slow-moving streams that are full of aquatic plants. If you are recreating their habitat in an aquarium, add lots of plants of several different kinds. This gives the fish places to hide and helps them feel safe.

Celestial pearl danios are from a warm part of the world. Keep their water between 71 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They also need the pH of the water to stay between 6.5 and 7.5. Watch the temperature and pH carefully and change the water often.

Celestial pearl danios like to school, or swim together as a group. Get at least five or six of them for your tank so they feel safe, and make sure there are more females than males. Five celestial pearl danios need at least a 10-gallon tank. Allow two gallons more for each additional fish. A healthy celestial pearl danio diet includes a variety of dry flakes and pellets that are small enough for them to eat with their tiny mouths. For the most vivid colors, feed celestial pearl danios live or frozen krill.

When a male celestial pearl danio courts a female, his colors get even more intense. The rosy stripe on his abdomen turns a deeper red. The black bars of color on his top fins darken to increase the contrast with the red stripe on those fins. If the male succeeds in courting the female, she will lay about a dozen eggs on bushy plants. Each of these eggs is only 1 to 1.3 millimeters across, and the adult males like to eat them. Add a barrier to the tank to protect the eggs or move them to a different aquarium. 

Celestial pearl danio lifespan ranges from three to five years in a healthy aquarium.