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I just got two CPDs, and boy are they tiny. They are 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. I'm just wondering at what size I would be able to sex them. They are both doing well in my 8 gallon community tank. I know it would be better to have a larger shoal of CPDs, but they are pricey. They have two different body shapes and color shades. It seems I have a male and female, but the red markings seem the same. I wish I'd taken pics while they were still in the sack because I can't tell now in the subdued lighting of the tank if there are black bars in the finnage or black dots on the lips. Both of them have the background color and dots only halfway down. The rest is lighter below the lateral line and without dots, and they both had red on the front half of their bellies and in their fins. Could that be an indication of age or sex? I don't know if I have a male and female or two females with one not eating as well.

Has anyone had any experience with this relatively new species?
 

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The females are a little fuller and often have yellowish to golden shades on their bellies. The males are of a deeper steelblue, but not much. A telltale sign are the anal fins, the females' are more of an orange red and have weak bars at best (and only when the females are fully grown), the males' are larger and display a fiery red with pronounced black stripes. They also have black bars on their tail and dorsal fins.

I guess you already know the Wikipedia page on them, but the pix are pretty good: Celestichthys margaritatus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ulli
 

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Thank you for such a great description! I'll grab my magnifying glass and see if I can tell that way.
 

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I got another pair of CPDs so now have a small school of 4. I for sure have one boy and two girls. The fourth one is definitely a boy or a girl ... lol. But they are all happy and filling out nicely. No more 'hungry' look. Hope to have them for at least a couple of years.
 

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Sounds good!
They breed pretty easily, so you might have some more soon. The males predate on the eggs, but some larvae always survive.
Half a week of live or frozen food, a colder water change (make sure the water's not too cold, two degrees centigrade is the maximum difference that's ok), and you'll see mating dances soon.
I've tried to breed them in a net spawning box, something that's really working out nicely! I put some moss and a few waterplants (hornwort) in as well as some snails and then the pair I was able to catch ;). Left them inside for a week, took them out again and a day later I started seeing the first commas. The last count was 12 young fish, that's not bad at all (and I'm pretty sure I never see all of them). I feed twice a day with powdered food, Cyclop-Eeze or live Parameciums and vinegar eels. When they're a little larger I'll start using the old brine shrimp breeder again, however, they're still a little small for these naupliae at the moment.

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Ulli
 

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Thank you again Uli. I've already seen the breeding circle/dance from my first pair. I guess the next step is to get a new net breeder box. I seem to have misplaced my old one. I'd like to get some fry. Lowering the temp may be harder since the temp in my tank is all enclosed and is determined by the fluorescent lighting. But it has vents in the lid. I'll open them to see what happens.
 

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Nah, you don't have to do that. Just use colder water when next changing (just not too cold, only about two °C difference).
Cold fresh water together with ample amounts of live or frozen food signals to them that the rainy season has started, which is the time they mainly reproduce. Sometimes you just have to trick 'em ;).

Good luck!

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Ulli
 

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Geographic Location: Wetland Habitat east of Lake Inle (Myanmar)

Habitat: Dense Vegetation in a cool highland marsh

Diet: Small Live Foods, Crushed flake, Hikari Micro Pellets

Temperature: 75°F-78°F

pH: 7.3

Compatibility: Best kept in a species tank. Found with Danio sondhii and Yunnanlus sp. (Rosy Loach) in the wild

The Galaxy Rasbora is a spectacular fish only that would be ideally suited to a smaller aquarium. The fish's bright colors, schooling nature and tiny size make it perfect for small planted tanks.

If you are interested in breeding this fish. Males are more brightly colored with bright red fins. Spawning has successfully taken place over a bed of java moss. The moss needs to be removed to another aquarium as the males are highly predatory of eggs and fry. This should be done with care as the eggs are only slightly adhesive. Rearing should be done in a large, heavily planted aquarium with rich infusoria cultures for the highest potential for success.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Since this is such a newly discovered species (August 2006) and has such a limited territory, I'm glad that they breed readily in the aquarium. When they were first discovered they were thought to be a subspecies of the microrasbora (M. erythromicron) and named 'galaxy' for their beautiful coloration and tiny dots which looked like the night stars. They were then named Celestichthys Margaritatus. Since that time studies have proven that they are actually a miniature type of danio, and named Danio Margaritatus. They have had a number of popular names, but the Celestial Pearl Danio seems to be sticking.

They had suggested since this was such a new species and brought nearly to extinction in the first lake they were found in, and because they are so tiny, that they be kept as a species only fish in hopes that they could be bred for the aquarium industry. Luckily, there were populations found in nearby pools. Some not so brightly colored.

They are very peaceful, suitable for the small tank and been found to be a good community fish. I've got mine with an algae eating goby, two small darters (1.5 inces), and my old mellow male betta. They all get along great. But then, my male betta is a very mellow fellow. I wouldn't suggest anyone else try to put them with bettas. One problem is the size of the food required. Everyone but the betta eats very tiny food. I have to feed them separately. Most bettas are more aggressive, so not compatible. I may move my betta to another tank.

These are incredibly tiny fish (.75 to 1.2 inches) and school loosely. Very interesting little jewels for the heavily planted desktop aquarium. They are still harder to find, but hopefully will become more available since they are easy to spawn.
 

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What they are not telling you is that the captive breed fish is weak and much smaller and the collor are not as bright. Another thing is they are longer importing them into the states..
 

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Hi, I have to contradict here - I've been breeding CPDs in captivity for nearly one and a half years now, and my offspring grow as large and are as brightly colored as the original (collected) fish.
They need quite some time until they color up, though.

BTW, Danio erythromicron and D. margaritatus are really closely related and they even mix. The crossbreeds look very unspectacular, though: :: Datz - Perlhuhnbärbling trifft Blauband-Zwergbärbling

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Ulli
 

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You have a wild pair of breeding stock in a home aquarium, and that makes a huge difference in the off spring. I talking on a wholesale level, ( where most sotres get they supplies) I know several breeders that have ponds full of them and when compaired to my wild caught fish they are weak in every sense of the word. The other thing that wholesellers are finding out that the captive breed version is not transporting will almost a 70% death rate when shipped. SO much so that alot of them are not shipping them until they can figure out how to get that rate down.
 

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They don't like differences in their water, that's true.
I've switched to breeding them in the tank, using a net breeder. However, that applies to the wild-caught stock, too.
The offspring of those already bred in captivity seems to be more stable, though.

They are not a mass-production fish, that much is sure.

Cheers
Ulli
 
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