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Pearl danio

Danio albolineatus

Photo: Pearl danio
Animal description
The Pearl Danio (Danio albolineatus), also known as the Spotted Danio or Pink Danio, is a captivating and widely appreciated species in the aquarium hobby. Native to the fresh waters of South and Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, and parts of India, this species thrives in a variety of aquatic environments ranging from slow-moving streams to still water bodies like ponds and ditches.

Characterized by its slender, elongated body, the Pearl Danio typically reaches a length of up to 2 inches (5 cm), making it a small but visually appealing addition to community aquariums. The body of the Pearl Danio displays a striking color palette that includes a light pinkish or silver base color, overlaid with iridescent hues that shimmer in the right lighting conditions. Along its sides, it sports a distinctive horizontal blue stripe that stretches from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail fin, adding to its visual appeal. Above this stripe, the body is sprinkled with small, pearl-like spots, which is how the fish derives its common name.

The fins of the Pearl Danio are generally transparent but may exhibit hints of yellow or orange, especially in the caudal (tail) fin, which is deeply forked and adds to the fish's agile and graceful swimming demeanor. Males and females can be distinguished by their body shape and color intensity; males are usually more slender and brightly colored, while females tend to be rounder and slightly duller in appearance.

In terms of behavior, the Pearl Danio is known for its active and peaceful nature, making it an ideal resident of the community tank. It is a schooling fish that thrives in groups of six or more, displaying more vibrant colors and engaging in playful antics when kept with conspecifics. This gregarious behavior not only enhances the visual appeal of the aquarium but also contributes to the well-being of the fish.

The natural habitat of the Pearl Danio is characterized by clear, well-oxygenated water with a rich presence of aquatic vegetation. In the aquarium setting, replicating these conditions can help in promoting the health and displaying the natural behaviors of these fish. They are adaptable and hardy, capable of thriving in a range of water conditions, but they prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH levels and moderate water temperatures ranging from 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C).

Diet-wise, Pearl Danios are omnivorous and not particularly fussy eaters. They will readily accept a variety of foods, including flake, frozen, and live foods, with a preference for small invertebrates and zooplankton in their natural habitat. A balanced diet will ensure optimal health and coloration.

Breeding Pearl Danios in captivity can be a rewarding experience for the aquarist. They are egg scatterers, spawning in the early morning hours, often among fine-leaved plants. No parental care is provided, so it is advisable to remove the adults after spawning to prevent them from eating the eggs.

The Pearl Danio's vibrant appearance, peaceful demeanor, and active swimming make it a beloved choice for both novice and experienced aquarists. Its adaptability to various aquarium settings, coupled with its intriguing social behavior, ensures that it remains a perennial favorite in the aquatic community.
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