Celestial Pearl Danio Breeding - Planted Tank Mates
Celestial pearl danio or galaxy rasboras (Danio margaritatus)

Celestial Pearl Danio Breeding


Celestial Pearl Danios, or CPD for short, are relatively new in the fishkeeping world.  They were discovered in the early 2000’s and were initially called Galaxy Rasboras or Fireworks Rasbora.  They’re super popular for their trout-like spotted bodies and bright orange fins.  For a fish that gets only about 1” in size, their distinct features really pop out in a community tank.  A bonus is that they can tolerate a wider range of water parameters making Celestial Pearl Danio breeding relatively easy.

Celestial Pearl Danio Breeding

First things first, you need a male:female ratio of at least 1:2.  A tank with more male will stress out the female and not give her time to relax or spawn.   You can identify males by their brighter colors, narrow body and orange abdominal fin.  Females will be slightly more gray in color with a rounder belly and transparent abdominal fin. CPDs are ready to spawn as old as 10 weeks.

Male celestial pearl danio or galaxy rasbora profile
Male Celestial Pearl Danio – CPDs available on Amazon
Female celestial pearl danio or galaxy rasbora profile
Female Celestial Pearl Danio

Feed them well.  Be careful not to overfeed and pollute the water, but provide a varied diet like baby brine shrimp, bloodworms, cyclops and daphnia.  This is especially important if the female is looking plump with eggs.  This is also indicative when their bellies are dark in color.  Keep the water temperature cooler; high 60’s to low 70’s is their preference.

Breeding set up

Celestial Pearl Danio breeding does not require anything special.  The male will chase the female around and rub bodies to get her to drop her eggs.  With the right ratio, they will naturally spawn and lay eggs almost every morning.  If it’s in a species only tank, provide a lot of plants and hiding spots.  If you do not have dense planting or substrate, most eggs will get eaten but a few will naturally survive and make it in the community.

The other option is to use a breeding box or set up a separate tank to isolate them from the others.  An aquarium as small as 2 gallons is more than sufficient for breeding.  A trick is to place a breeding mop or tie a bunch of moss together at the bottom of the tank.  The CPD’s look for a nest-like area to drop and fertilize the eggs.  Again, this can occur daily, so if you see tiny white or semi-transparent spheres, those are eggs!  Prevent the eggs from becoming snacks and return the male and female back to the community.  

Celestial pearl danio eggs in planted tank.
Celestial Pearl Danio Spawning Eggs

You can also do the opposite with a separate tank or breeding box.  If you see eggs in the community tank, suck it out with a small turkey baster or a cut pipette and isolate.

small liquid baster – available on Amazon
plastic pipet
plastic pipette – Available on Amazon

Caring for Fry

Literally 3-4 days later, the eggs will hatch and you can see really tiny fry resting and maybe swimming a bit.  They’ll feed off algae and micro powder foods such as Sera Micron Growth Food.  After about 2 weeks, the fry will grow and you can feed baby brine or finely crushed flakes.  It’ll be hard to gauge, but ensure you don’t overfeed and pollute the water.

Celestial pearl danio fry on aquarium glass.
Celestial Pearl Danio Fry on Glass

All Things Considered

Celestial Pearl Danio breeding is easy and rewarding.  Most aquarists will have success on their first try, but don’t get discouraged if you fail the first time.  Make observations and keep a log.  They’re a popular and expensive fish, so breeding them has the added benefit of populating the species and selling to local fish stores.  Have the fry food ready, especially if you order online.  The eggs hatch in less than a week, so it’s best to not to wait around for deliveries.  Take photos, use a macro lens and have fun!

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