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9 Tank Mates for Celestial Pearl Danios (With Pictures)

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Two Celestial pearl danio

Celestial pearl danios are beautiful freshwater fish that are regularly recommended for newcomers to the hobby. Their easy care requirements and beautiful coloration make them top choices for beginners and experienced fishkeepers alike. However, tank mates can be added just as easily.

As peaceful fish, this species tends to get along best with other, similarly-sized peaceful fish. You don’t want to put them in with anything aggressive or much smaller than them.

For specific suggestions, keep reading.

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The 9 Tank Mates for Celestial Pearl Danios

1. Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

neon tetra
Image Credit: Kristiana Berzina, Shutterstock
Size 1.5 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Neon tetras are beautiful, bright fish. They also happen to be one of the most popular fish, likely due to their easy care level and striking appearance.

These are schooling fish, so you will need to keep them with others of their kind. Generally, the more tetras you have in a tank, the better. You will want at least six in a tank to witness their true behaviors.

They do best with other peaceful fish, like the celestial pearl danio. They also have similar tank needs, though you will have to invest in a larger tank.

2. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata)

guppies in aquarium
Image Credit: Piqsels
Size 0.6–2.4 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 20 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Guppies are small and quite similar to both tetras and celestial pearl danios. They are peaceful schooling fish that typically keep to themselves. They are also not difficult to keep, making them suitable for beginners to the hobby.

They do have a fast-breeding rate, though not many babies may survive to adulthood with other fish around. They are easy to find and often quite inexpensive. Most people will have no problem keeping them healthy in a community tank alongside the celestial pearl danio and even a few other fish.

3. Killifish

African killifish
Image Credit: Karel Zahradka, Shutterstock
Size 1–2 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 20 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Killifish are well-known for their large variety of colors and patterns. They add a bit of oomph to an aquarium thanks to their stunning appearance. They are also easy to take care of, and they often get along with a wide variety of other fish. They are considered go-to options for many aquarists.

Despite their popularity, these fish can be somewhat difficult to find. They aren’t always available at regular fish stores, so you may have to order them online or go to a specialty store. Typically, online options have the most diverse collection of colors.

These hardy fish can survive many different water conditions, though they prefer sub-tropical waters. Despite their seemingly dangerous name, these fish are peaceful. Their name comes from the Dutch term “killi,” which refers to their habitat of low-lying channels and streams.

Related Read: 12 Best Tank Mates for Killifish

4. Molly Fish (Poecilia sphenops)

Image Credit: Eldergeek, Pixabay
Size 4.5 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Molly fish are well-known throughout the fishkeeping world. They are quite popular because of the wide range of species available and their easy care needs. You’ve probably seen this fish at your local pet store. They’re relatively inexpensive and a good place for beginners to start.

These fish are hardy and adapt to many different tank setups. They are also relatively peaceful, which allows them to get along well with other peaceful fish.

The large variety of species available enables you to choose the best one for your aquarium. They come in many different colors, with crossbreeds being produced all the time. Your local store may only have one or two colors. However, you’ll find a wider selection online.

5. Cory Catfish (Corydoras)

Sterba's cory catfish
Image Credit: Guillermo Guerao Serra, Shutterstock
Size 1–4 inches
Diet Bottom Feeder
Minimum tank size 10 to 20 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

If you’re looking for a good bottom feeder, you can’t get much better than a cory catfish. These little catfish are easy to care for and quite friendly. They mind their own business much of the time and get along with various other fish.

Most other fish will leave them alone. They spend their time on the bottom and out of other fish’s way. They are fairly easy to take care of. Most will need supplementation of some sort, though, because most tanks aren’t dirty enough to support these fish.

You can have just one per tank, but we do recommend getting at least a few.

6. Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

red cherry shrimp
Image Credit: topimages, Shutterstock
Size 1.5 inches
Diet Bottom Feeders
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Cherry shrimp are relatively common in freshwater tanks. They get along with most other fish species, especially those that are peaceful. They are also relatively simple to care for and a decent option for beginners of all sorts. They help keep the tank clean by feeding on algae and leftover food, though they will often need supplementation.

These little invertebrates are hardy and can do good in a wide variety of different environments. They are easy to manage and fun to watch. Their coloration will add a splash of color to the environment.

7. Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentate)

Amano Shrimp
Image Credit: Grigorev Mikhail, Shutterstock
Size 2 inches
Diet Bottom Feeders
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Amano shrimp are the “default” shrimp species for freshwater tanks. These shrimp are easy to care for and get along well with most tankmates. As you might imagine, they will easily eat all the algae in your tank. Most will require supplementation of some sort, however, such as blanched veggies and algae wafers.

These little shrimps are extremely hardy, which is one reason that they are so popular among hobbyists. It takes a great deal to upset them, and they tend to mind their own business. They can get along well in tanks with other peaceful inhabitants—just be sure the other fish won’t try to eat them.

8. Endler’s Livebearers (Poecilia wingei)

Endler's livebearer
Image Credit: Aleron Val, Shutterstock
Size 1.8 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 20 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

While they may have a strange name, the Endler’s Livebearer will easily become the stars of an aquarium. They are easy to care for, which makes them ideal for most beginners. They aren’t nearly as common as some other fish, though. You’ll likely need to special order them online.

If you’re looking for a fish that is both beautiful and easy to care for, you can’t get better than the Endler’s livebearers. These fish are related to mollies and guppies, so they are fairly similar. Their scientific name was in fact just given to them for conservation purposes. Otherwise, they are basically a common guppy.

9. Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)

Image Credit: Colisa lalia Joos, Shutterstock
Size 2 inches
Diet Omnivore
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Honey Gourami are extremely hardy fish. They are easy to manage, making them ideal for beginners. They are also peaceful and do great in a wide range of different community tanks. They are widely available and quite pretty. If you’re looking for a fish to brighten up your aquarium, this is a suitable option.

This fish has various common names. You’ll also hear them called the sunset gourami, red flame gourami, or red honey gourami. All these names come from their bright orange-red coloration, which is also one of the reasons that they are so popular.

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What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Celestial Pearl Danio?

Celestial pearl danios do best with their own species. You need to keep at least six to seven fish in a tank. While they aren’t prone to as much schooling behavior as some other fish out there, they can become stressed without at least a few other fish of the same species.

They can get along with various other species as well. They are extremely peaceful and don’t seem to bother most other fish. However, they will eat anything that they can get their mouth on. Luckily, their somewhat smaller size means that there aren’t many fish out there that they can eat.

They do best with other peaceful fish. More aggressive fish tend to pick on them, which can lead to injuries and death.

Image Credit: Bos11, Shutterstock

Where Do Celestial Pearl Danios Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?

These fish tend to swim all around the aquarium. Unlike some other species, they don’t spend most of their time in one layer. They will use the whole tank.

For this reason, you can’t base your choice of tank mates on where these fish are. Your best bet is to choose peaceful fish that won’t mind the pearl danios in their space. Aggressive fish are often a no-go because pearl danios are simply too docile to fend for themselves.

Water Parameters

In the wild, these fish are found in shallow pools with plenty of natural vegetation. The presence of all this vegetation means that the ponds are low in salt and minerals. Keep this in mind when preparing the water for your new tank.

Pearl danios prefer a temperature of 73 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should be around 6.5 to 7.5, while the water hardness can range from 2 to 10 dKH.

We recommend investing in a water testing kit to monitor your aquarium’s parameters. While these fish are hardy, they only thrive when placed in a tank that matches their needs.


The average celestial pearl danio only measures 1 inch when fully grown. This is quite small. Often, they will be eaten by larger fish, and they are not large enough to eat many other fish themselves.

Due to their smaller size, you can often get away with small tanks. However, if you add tank mates, you’ll need to increase the tank size considerably. Most fish species that get along well with pearl danios are larger than 1 inch.

celestial pearl danio
Image Credit: Besjunior, Shutterstock

Aggressive Behavior

These fish are peaceful. They usually group up with members of the same species and spend their time exploring the whole tank. They will also branch off and spend time alone, which is why they aren’t “true” schooling fish.

These fish are not aggressive toward other species at all. However, male pearl danios can be aggressive toward other male pearl danios. They will fight over females constantly. It is best to have far more females in the tank than males to avoid as much fighting as possible.

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The 3 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Celestial Pearl Danios

1. Keep the Tank Clean

Danios won’t do anything to remove the algae in your tank. They aren’t bottom feeders. Therefore, adding a few bottom feeders to your tank can be beneficial. They can help keep it clean and provide a bit of variety.

2. Take Up More of the Tank

While these fish can be beautiful, their small size often means that they don’t take up much of the aquarium that they are in. Unless they are in a nano tank, you’ll likely want larger fish around to make the tank look more lived in.

3. Add Variety

If you want a vibrant, living tank, you’ll likely want to choose multiple species. Celestial pearl danios are beautiful, but they all look the same. For variety, you’ll want to branch out to other fish.

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Final Thoughts

Celestial pearl danios get along with most other peaceful fish of a similar size. They are docile fish that tend to mind their own business. As long as you don’t try to house them with aggressive fish, they will often be fine.

Your main job will be preventing them from being eaten, which often means you’ll need to choose smaller fish as their tank mates.

Of course, you’ll also need to ensure that the other fish match up when it comes to water parameters. Just because a fish is technically the right size and temperament doesn’t mean it will thrive in the same tank that a danio will.

Browse this article for specific suggestions, but feel free to branch out as well.

Featured Image Credit: Bos11, Shutterstock

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