Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Galaxy Rasbora - Celestichthys margaritatus
Common name: Galaxy Rasbora, Celestial Pearl Danio
Scientific name: Celestichthys margaritatus, Microrasbora sp.
Geographic location: Inle Lake, Myanmar
Size: Up to 2.5cm (1 inch)
Conditions: 70F-78F, pH 7.0-7.5
Skill level: Intermediate
Minimum tank size: 2.5-5 gallons
This is a brand new species, only first discovered last year. It was also recently renamed from "Galaxy Rasbora - Microrasbora sp." to "Celestial Pearl Danio - Celestichthys margaritatus." It comes from only one known location in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and due to over-collection is already threatened.
Its bright coloration and small size make it a perfect addition to a planted nano aquarium. It is similar to other danios in habits and shape. The males are much more brightly colored than the females and have a deeper blue coloration with much more red on the fins. Since this fish is so small even fully grown, it is advisable to keep it in a tank of non-aggressive smaller fish that won't try to eat it (and you won't want to loose one of these, they commonly go for $8-10 each or more, and that's only likely to go up). It prefers cooler, more alkaline water, but not much information is available on its natural habitat, as Myanmar is a military dictatorship. Like almost any fish, it will be much healthier and happier with live aquarium plants.
Some hobbyists have already called for a boycott of the fish to prevent it from being collected into extinction in the wild. Fish collectors are already reporting dramatically reduced catches. Others have tried and successfully bred these little fish in the aquarium. My opinion is, if you want to seriously try to breed these fish, go ahead and get some. Otherwise, who wants to contribute to the extinction of such a beautiful species?
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