Celestial Pearl Danio
(Celestichthys margaritatus) ROBERTS, 2007
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- Temperature: 20 – 26 °C
- pH: 6.5 – 7.5
- Hardness: 90 – 268 ppm
- Max Size: 21 mm (Standard length)
- Min Recommended Tank Size: 45 cm x 30 cm
Following information extracted from seriouslyfish.com
Likely to feed on small invertebrates, algae and other zooplankton in nature.
In the aquarium it will accept dried foods of a suitable size but should not be fed these exclusively, and as it rarely rises to the surface there’s little point in offering floating products.
Daily meals of small live and frozen fare such as Daphnia, Artemia and suchlike will not only result in the best colouration but encourage the fish to come into breeding condition.
The type locality is an area of permanently-flooded grassland formed by the damming of a spring for agricultural purposes.
The water is only around 30cm deep, transparent and supports dense growths of aquatic plants, mostly from the family Hydrocharitaceae which includes such genera as Elodea, Egeria and Blyxa.
Sympatric species included Devario sondhii, a Microrasbora cf. rubescens, an undescribed Petruichthys species known to aquarists as the ‘rosy’ loach and Channa harcourtbutleri.
From images most of the the other habitats look broadly similar, i.e., shallow areas of wetland surrounded by open grassland though at least one population was supposedly discovered in ‘deep forest’.
This timid species should ideally be kept in a heavily-planted set-up, preferably with a dark substrate.
The broken lines of sight that exist in such a display allow it to display natural behaviour as well as helping to reduce skittishness.
Floating plants are a useful addition but driftwood and oak/beech/almond leaf litter are best avoided as the tannins they release are not a feature of its natural waters.
Use gentle filtration; an air-powered sponge-style unit should prove adequate.
Behaviour & Compatibility
Likely to be intimidated or outcompeted for food by larger or more boisterous tankmates, although the presence of similarly-sized, surface-dwelling species seems to help reduce its shyness.
Other small cyprinids from Myanmar such as Celestichthys choprae or members of the genus Microdevario are suitable companions, and we suspect it might also do well alongside Dario hysginon or D. sp. ‘Myanmar’.
The closely-related C. erythromicron is not recommended as it’s probably capable of hybridising with C. margaritatus .
Though gregarious by nature it’s a shoaling rather than schooling species with rival males sparring on a regular basis during daylight hours.
It’s not uncommon to see nipped fins within a group though this behaviour does not normally extend to tankmates.
Buy as many as possible, ideally 20 or more, as when larger numbers are present the aggression is spread between individuals plus the fish are bolder, more often-seen, and exhibit better colouration.
Males have a steel-to-deep blue body colouration extending over the majority of the flanks and intense red and black striping in all fins except the pectorals.
The spots on the body are pearly white to cream-coloured and in nuptial individuals the abdomen turns reddish, overall body colour intensifies and as a result the pale stripe running lengthways over the top of the head becomes better-defined.
Females have a blue-green base body colouration and less prominent, weakly red to orange colour patches in the fins with the ventrals patternless.
The body spots are cream to golden and don’t extend into the anterior portion of the abdomen.
They tend to grow a little larger than males and have a more rounded overall body shape, especially when gravid.
When in spawning condition they display a small dark marking at the vent.
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