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Home > Marine Life > Saltwater Fish > Butterflies
Pearlscale Butterfly
Chaetodon xanthurus
Pearlscale Butterfly
  Care Level
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Price Elsewhere: $29.99
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Tank Stats
Size: 3-3.5 inches
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Safe: No
Diet: Clam
Origin: Indian Ocean
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Coral Safe:
Invertebrate Safe:
Minimum Tank Size:
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With its striking color pattern, it makes a very pretty fish in the tank. The Pearlscale Butterfly has black edged pearly scales that gives a cross-hatched or netted pattern overall. The Pearlscale Butterfly is commonly referred as Yellowtail Butterflyfish, Crosshatch Butterflyfish, Netted Butterflyfish, Orange Butterflyfish, and Crowned Pearlscale Butterflyfish. It is quite a hardy fish and makes a good choice for an intermediate aquarist with some experience. The Pearlscale Butterfly is best to keep in a tank not les than 35 gallon, and if you wish to keep it more than one then a bigger tank is required. It can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful inhabitants, and once it is acclimatized in the tank it is proved to be a sturdy aquarium fish. The Pearlscale Butterfly needs a well decorated aquarium with plenty of hiding spots, e.g. caves and crevices to give an opportunity to carry out its natural browsing behavior in captivity. It grows up to 5.5 inches and has an average life span of 5 years and possibly longer with proper care. Since it is an omnivore, it can be given a diet of shrimps, spirulina and other sponge based frozen foods. The Pearlscale Butterflyfish is ideally kept in a large fish only (FO) or fish only with live rock (FOLR) community tank. In a reef the Pearlscale Butterfly does well with soft corals and may be safe with stony corals. However, it may eat coral polyps in nature and could snack on the polyps in the aquarium, so be vigilant. It is susceptible to marine ich like diseases and can be treated successfully with copper drugs.
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The Pearlscale Butterfly is one of the few Butterflies that does extremely well in the home aquarium. These exquisite fish are white in color with black markings, as well as a large yellow-orange patch towards their tailfin. They also have a black eye bar and spot on their nape. These fish will accept many fish foods, but require excellent water quality. The Pearlscale is very docile and gets along well with other community fish. More than one can be kept per tank, and they flourish in larger tanks.The family of Butterflyfish get their name from their behavior of fluttering around the reef. These fish typically have rather round and thin bodies. They are very colorful and some have extended snouts which they use to reach worms entrenched in the reef.Photo by Saltwaterfish.com member, mx#28
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All sizes listed are only approximate representations. All pictures and descriptions are generalizations and cannot be exact representations.