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.

3 Replies to “Danio magaritatus”

  1. 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!


    1. 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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