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Danio margaritatus

Danio margaritatus

(synonym: Celestichthys margaritatus)


    An elaborate version of its cousin the Tiger Barb, this mostly peaceful fish does best as part of a small school.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Adult Male: .83 inches (2.1 cm) Adult Female: .79 inches (2.0 cm)
    Tank: One male with 3 females: 10 gallons (38 liters) or larger More than one male: 20 gallon long (76 liters) or larger (Due to sparring between rival males.)
    Strata: Top levels (pelagic.)
    PH: pH range: 6.0 8.0
    Hardness: Soft to medium. KH range: 8 12.
    Temperature: 68°F to 77°F (20-25°C)


    Order: Cypriniformes
    Suborder: Cyprinoidei
    Family: Cyprinidae
    Genera: Danio
    Species: Danio margaritatus


Common name:

    Celestial Pearl Danio, Chili Rasbora, Fireworks Rasbora, Galaxy Rasbora, Microrasbora sp. 'Galaxy'

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Southeast Asia: Eastern Myanmar through northern Thailand, including small bodies of water associated with the Salween River. Occupies shallow, permanently-flooded, heavily-vegetated grassland ponds created by the damming of small brooks and streams.

General Body Form:

    Males: A rounded, fusiform body with a very short snout and moderately long, rounded fins. The caudal fin is homocercal and indented. Females: Are generally a little larger than the males and are notably more round-bodied when gravid.


    Male: The more intensely colored of the sexes, males have a dark, midnight blue background studded by multiple bright, pearlescent spots. Fins are primarily translucent gray and possess one or more bold red bands framed by smaller black stripes (the caudal fin is gray with large red bands on each lobe.) Only the pectoral fins are completely translucent gray. A translucent silver line traces this fish dorsally from snout to caudal peduncle. Coloration intensifies during courtship, including the abdomen taking on a reddish hue. Female: Field of the body is paler, more of a silvery olive-blue adorned with pearly dots. The abdomen is silvery-white. Dorsal and caudal fins (as well as the anal fin, occasionally) possess a paler version of gray, black, red striping seen in males. A small black spot appears at the base of the anal fin when females reach reproductive age.

    Danio margaritatus


  • water:
    Freshwater: For best success, perform regular large water changes and employ a slow-bubbling sponge filter to keep water pristine (in heavily-planted tanks, a micro power head-type filter provides filtration and gentle circulation.) Dissolved organics and nitrates should be kept to a minimum.
  • Diet:
    Omnivorous: Thrives on a diet of live and frozen artemia, daphnia, grindal worms, moina, nauplii and small white worms. Compliment with micro-pelleted food several times a week. To condition new fish, start with the live and frozen diet, adding dry foods once they're settled.
  • Tank/Decor:
    Easy. Smaller tanks (10 20 gallons long) that are heavily-planted, have dark, sandy substrate and receive bright daylight replicate the essence of their native environments. Stones and small amounts of tannin-free wood would provide additional hiding places for these sometimes skittish fish. Java moss or spawning mops would provide cover for fry as well as harboring protists on which the fry can begin to feed.
  • Communities:
    A relatively peaceful fish that does well in both species-only and non-competitive community aquariums with amiable, like-sized tankmates including boraras, small danionins and microrasboras. Among D. margaritatus it is advisable to stock one male per every three females. While males spend most of their time courting females, they can be somewhat territorial and they participate in hierarchical forms of aggression where fin-nipping is common. Aggression is most evenly distributed in tanks that are larger, heavily-planted and house larger numbers of fish. In these conditions, fish are more confident and more brightly colored.


    Usually inhabits clear streams strewn with rocks and boulders, frequently found below waterfalls. It is also found in the open areas of flooded swamps.


    Easy. OVIPAROUS: Egg-scatters. Sexual Dimorphism: both Dimorphic and Dichroic. When ready to mate, the male will briefly chase the female to ensure she is receptive. They then move to the bottom of the tank where they will scatter and fertilize approximately 30 eggs in dense vegetation (spawning mops may be substituted.) Observing the mated fish, non-courting males may either try to fertilize the lain eggs or engage in egg-predation (at this point it's advisable to remove all adults to a separate tank prevent egg-predation.) There is no parental involvement past spawning. Generally, larvae hatch in 3 to 4 days and hide out as close to the substrate as possible. They lighten in color as they grow soon begin free-swimming and venturing for food (the larvae can be fed paramecium.) At 8 to 10 weeks the larvae metamorphose into their adult forms and changes in their coloration are distinct by week 12 onward. Fry can be fed artemia, nauplii and microworm. A sponge filter is recommended for keeping the water clean while sparing the larvae and fry.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.






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