Danio magaritatus

Here is a video of my celestial pearl danios.  I do keep fish other than cichlids!  I have worked out a pretty easy way to breed this species and get plenty of eggs.  I spawn them in a 2.5-gallon tank with a false bottom made from a piece of plastic needle-point screen cut to fit into the bottom.  A couple pieces of pvc on the bottom keeps the screen up enough to create a safe zone for the eggs to fall into.  Over the screen I put two or three sinking yarn mops.  When I set them up to spawn I use an R/O & tap water mix (about 50/50) that makes the water about 125 ppm TDS, KH 7 and pH 7.3, which has proven to be soft enough for this species.  The tank is filtered with a very small Ista Mini sponge filter.  I really like these little filters!  They are the smallest sponge filter on the market with a weighted base.  The air is driven all the way to the bottom where there is a built-in diffuser.  The lift tube is small, so little air is needed to get a good flow rate.

I do not bother separating males and females before setting the danios up to breed.  This species, if they are in condition, will spawn every day.  I put 6 – 10 adults in equal sex ratio 9or close) into the spawning tank in the evening.  The lights come on the next morning and the fish will start to spawn.  90% of the eggs will get stuck in the dense yarn, and the few that fall through go through the grate bottom.  At midday I shake out the mops to see if eggs fall out (and through the false bottom).  There are usually a dozen or so.  I let the group spawn again for another day and then return them to their aquarium.

I add two drops of methylene blue and remove the plastic grate.  I let the mops stay in the breeding tank.  Fry will appear within a couple days.  CPD fry are larger that you would expect for such a small fish, but I start them on paramecium as a first food anyway.  At five days they can easily eat baby brine shrimp.  After two weeks there are usually about 2-dozen fry growing up.

I let them stay in the spawning tank for a total of four weeks, and I do a 50% water change every three days.  Then I move them to a 10-gallon tank.  At 8 weeks they look like miniature adults and can be moved in with the colony.  I try to set up a group to spawn once a month or so.  I manage to give more than a few away at club meetings, but the production is enough that there are always a dozen or so adults to work with.


Filed under Fish

3 Responses to Danio magaritatus

  1. Tim

    I would love to see a photo of your egg layer screen you discuss.

  2. steve

    I just got some of the danio margaritatus. I was wondering what you recommend feeding. I have repashy community plus but they don’t seem to interested in it. I had heard soilent green works well for them?
    btw…I recently bought the repashy community plus from you…thanks!


    • tjudy

      Hi Steve,

      Most of these micro danios key on small live foods like bbs, microworms or vinegar eels. I do feed them Repashy, but I crumble it up and let it settle in small pieces into the plants and hiding places in the tank. I would think any of the meatier varieties would work, but I feed them Community Plus and Shrimp Souffle more than anything else.


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