Pearl danios, also known as Danio albolineatus, are a splendid, colorful fish perfect for the beginner aquarist. They are hardy, undemanding, and adapt to a range of water conditions.
These fish are very calm indeed and ideal for a planted community tank. They school peacefully with most of the popular aquarium fish. Being unfussy eaters, they enjoy the varied diet of the other fish.
Pearl danios are a species many hobbyists enjoy. Read on to learn why you can’t go wrong if you add these tiny, easy-going fish to your aquarium.
Pearl Danio Stats
|Common name||Pearl danio|
|Scientific name||Danio albolineatus|
|Family||Burma, Sumatra, Thailand|
|Adult size||Peaceful schooling fish|
|Social behavior||5 years|
|Life span||20 gallons|
|Min. tank size||Omnivore; eats most food|
|Care||6.5 to 7.0|
|pH||5 to 12 dGH|
|Hardness||64 to 74 F|
– Description of Pearl danios
The species is known as the Pearl danio because its body has a pearly sheen with beautiful color schemes. Under bright lights, their bodies will reflect blue or purple.
They have a shimmering pink body with a yellow or red stripe stretching from the dorsal fin to the caudal fin. These many-colored fish have neon-orange or yellow eyes and a tinge of olive on the body. The fins have subtle shades of yellow.
Pearl danios are especially fond of early morning sunlight. If you keep your aquarium close by or in front of a window, you will be able to see the lovely mother of pearl color of these fish in natural daylight.
The male Pearl danios are smaller and slimmer yet more colorful than the females. The typical adult length of this fish is 2 inches, with a few specimens reaching 2.5 inches. Pearl danios have two sets of paired barbels and a forked tail.
– Origin and Distribution of Pearl danio
Pearl danio has been a popular fish in the aquarium industry since it was first imported to Europe in 1911. They come from the rivers and clear, fast-moving streams in Myanmar, Thailand, and Sumatra.
They come from a range of different habitats. They live in well-oxygenated streams with rocky substrates that pass through forested areas or still bodies of water such as ditches, ponds, and rice paddies.
– Social Behavior and Temperament
The Pearl danio, a shoaling species by nature, is at its best in groups of five or more. If you keep one by itself in a tank, they may become slightly nervous and stay in the upper corners of the aquarium.
Pearl danios are perky and high-spirited, constantly chasing one another around the tank. Yet you rarely find a fish getting injured while playing. However, this liveliness is sometimes stressful for the quieter fish in the group.
An appealing quality of Pearl danios is that they are dither fish. You will find this very helpful if you have timid fish species in your aquarium. Their regular, whirling swimming patterns calms nervous tank mates and coaxes them to come out of hiding.
If you keep these fish in groups of eight or more, the Male Pearl danio displays brighter colors as they compete with others to attract females.
How to Care for Pearl Danios
You can see the Pearl danios’ iridescent colors at their best in a densely planted setting with a dark substrate. Design a riverine aquarium to recreate the Danio albolineatus’ natural habitat of flowing rivers and streams. The ideal substrate is stones of various sizes and a few large, water-worn boulders set in gravel.
Anubias and water ferns are good plants as you can secure them to driftwood and rocks. Plus, they are hardy, meaning they will tolerate a moderately strong current. Other suitable plants are Microcosm and Bolbitis. With more light, both these plants will grow quickly and abundantly. You must ensure your water contains sufficient nutrients for the fish.
Place driftwood roots and branches to provide cover for the Pearl danios.
Pearl danios require a slightly higher oxygen level than other danios, so it is vital to have good filtration. These fish tolerate colder temperatures well, and you may even keep them in an unheated aquarium.
Additionally, you can use filter outlets or powerheads to generate a moderate flow. Take care to avoid strong currents since small danios occupy the calmer stretches and marginal areas in their natural habitat.
The aquarium must also have a tight-fitting cover as Pearl danios are excellent jumpers and can squeeze through tiny gaps.
What is the Best Way to Breed Pearl danios?
Pearl danios are egg-laying fish that are easy to breed. They form breeding pairs, just like other danios do. Although the breeding pair remains loyal to one another, they do not look after their fry like many small cyprinids.
A protein-rich diet will condition the Pearl danio. Feed them brine shrimp, bloodworms, or tubifex worms for at least a week. The protein conditions the females and helps to develop the roe.
Pearl danios will produce more eggs if you look after them and they are in good condition. It would be best if you kept twice as many females as males in the tank. You can condition the group together.
You can initiate spawning by adding small amounts of cold water every few hours to simulate the natural habitat’s rainy season. Top up the tank gradually and feed the adults small quantities of live and frozen foods. The Pearl danios will spawn the following day.
When the female is about to spawn, her belly will appear swollen as it’s full of eggs. Move one or two pairs into the breeding tank toward evening since spawning will occur around dawn. When the female is ready, she releases about 300 eggs. The male follows behind, fertilizing the eggs as he swims along.
The easiest way to tell if the female has laid the eggs is by looking at her. She will be noticeably slimmer. Remove the adults as soon as they finish spawning; otherwise, they will eat their eggs.
– Preparing the Breeding Containers
If you have a mature, thickly planted aquarium, small numbers of fries may start to appear without any intervention from you.
However, if you want to obtain more fry, you will have to develop a slightly more controlled approach.
Set up small 5 – 8 gallons containers for breeding. Keep the breeding tank warm with the temperature at 79 to 86 degrees F and add about 4 to 6 inches of heated, mature water. You should maintain the pH from slightly acidic to neutral.
You can install a small power filter and position it to direct the flow down the length of the tank. In addition, your tank should have an air stone for circulation and oxygenation.
Plant fine-leaved aquatic plants in a group or let them float. The best substrate is marbles. The eggs fall through the spaces between the marbles, keeping them out of reach of the hungry adult fish.
If marbles are not available, the plastic ‘grass’-type matting that’s widely available also works well. Alternatively, you can fill most of the tank with Java moss or put a spawning mop on the bottom.
– Looking after the Pearl danio Fry
Incubation of the eggs depends on the temperature of the water to some extent. It is best to keep the tank dark while the eggs develop to prevent fungal growth.
The adults will eat any eggs they can reach, so it is best to move them back to the main tank after a couple of days.
The fry will hatch in 36 to 48 hours. At this point, change the power filter for a mature sponge-type unit to prevent fry from being sucked into the mechanism.
Young Danios develop rapidly, and they will be free-swimming in six to seven days. In the beginning, you should feed them Paramecium, finely ground dry food, or any proprietary dry food. The food must be of sufficiently small grade from 5 to 50-micron diameter.
If you don’t have any small dry food available, feed the fry with liquid food for egg-laying fish. At this stage, the fry will be too tiny to eat big pieces of food.
You may introduce Artemia nauplii, freshly hatched brine shrimp, infusoria, or microworm once the fry is large enough to eat them.
Compatible Tank Mates for Pearl danios
Pearl danios are spectacular in a species-specific aquarium. Yet, their gentle temperament makes them well-suited for community aquariums as they get along with any peaceful fish.
Pearl danios tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making them compatible with various other fish. On the other hand, you need to consider Pearl danio’s robust nature and constant activity when choosing tankmates.
It would be wise to avoid small, slow-moving tank mates that are passive at feeding time.
The list of compatible tank mates is quite long, but some suitable species are:
- other small Danios
Pearl danios serve as an excellent dither fish for many species of smaller and less aggressive cichlids. If you have Kribensis, Keyhole cichlids, and Flag acaras in your community aquarium, the Pearl danio makes a good tank mate as it would help calm these more timid fish.
A Balanced Diet for Pearl Danios
Pearl danios are omnivores and feed primarily on insects and larvae in their natural habitat.
They are happy to eat brine shrimp In the aquarium, mosquito larvae, zooplankton, daphnia, live and frozen bloodworm, tubifex, and good quality small pellet and flake variety diets.
Like most other danio species, Pearl danios prefer to stay in the upper half of the aquarium, swimming close to the water’s surface. This trait is due to their feeding habit in nature, which happens to be eating small insects at the water surface.
However, the Pearl danio is such a sturdy species; they will feed at mid-water or even at the substrate. It depends on the variety of feed you add to the aquarium.
Pearl danios seem to have unending energy and are always on the lookout for their next meal. You must be careful and make sure to close the lid to your aquarium securely after adding food. They can leap out of the tank when jumping up to reach the food floating at the surface.
The Pearl danio is not a picky eater. It will readily accept almost any commercial aquarium food you offer it, but a balanced diet will certainly enhance its color and health. It would be best if you rotate feedings among brine shrimp flakes, spirulina flakes, color-enhancing flakes, and a frozen brine shrimp/bloodworm mix.
While small live foods are not essential to maintain the Pearl danio’s well-being, they help initiate the spawning process if you wish to use them.
We have shared detailed information about the beautiful Pearl danio so you can see if they would fit into your community tank. However, if you are still undecided, let us look at this summary.
- Pearl danio is a hardy undemanding species.
- They are the best fish for beginner fish hobbyists.
- They are lovely because of their iridescent colors.
- They are highly active and playful.
- They are unfussy and hence easy to feed.
- They adapt to a variety of water parameters.
- The pearl danio is the ideal resident for a community aquarium of peaceful fishes.
- Pearl danios are good dither fish for shy, sensitive companions.
- They reproduce readily in captivity.
Whether you’re a new fish hobbyist setting up your first aquarium or an experienced enthusiast looking for a pretty, colorful inhabitant for your community tank, the Pearl danio will not disappoint you.
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