Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish

Last time this was in stock, it was £39.00

Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, Chaetodon argentatus

  • Common Name: Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish
  • Latin Name: Chaetodon argentatus
  • Distribution: The Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish is naturally occurring in the Indo-Pacific region, including areas like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and various locations throughout the Indo-Pacific.
  • Max Size: These butterflyfish typically reach a maximum size of about 8 inches (20 cm).
  • Temperature Range: They thrive in water temperatures between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
  • pH Range: Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish prefer a pH range of 8.1 to 8.4.
  • KH Range: They do well with a carbonate hardness (KH) between 8 and 12 dKH.
  • Care Level: These fish are considered moderately challenging in terms of care requirements, making them better suited for experienced aquarists.
  • Lighting Preference: While they don’t have specific lighting preferences, they thrive under moderate to high-intensity lighting, which enhances their captivating appearance.
  • Preferred Food: Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish primarily feed on coral polyps in the wild. In a home aquarium, they should be provided with a diet that includes live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and high-quality marine fish foods.
  • Behaviour: They are generally peaceful but can be territorial, especially during feeding. It’s advisable to keep them as single individuals or mated pairs in larger tanks.
  • Suitable for Reef Tanks: While they can be kept in reef tanks, caution is advised as they may nip at or consume certain corals. Compatibility with other reef inhabitants should be considered.
  • Discoverer: The Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, Chaetodon argentatus, was not specifically named after an individual.
  • Interesting Facts: These butterflyfish are known for their captivating appearance, characterized by striking black pearl-like scales set against a white background. Their care level is on the delicate side, making them a challenging yet rewarding addition to marine aquariums.

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The Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, scientifically referred to as Chaetodon argentatus, is renowned for its striking appearance. It typically reaches a maximum size of around 8 inches (20 cm). This captivating butterflyfish showcases a predominantly white body adorned with distinctive black, pearl-like scales, creating an enchanting and unique visual.

Taxonomy and Identification:

This butterflyfish belongs to the Chaetodontidae family and shares its genus, Chaetodon, with a diverse array of butterflyfish species. Its closest relatives include the Collared Butterflyfish (Chaetodon collare) and the Raccoon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula). The species name, “argentatus,” originates from the Latin word “argentum,” signifying silver, emphasizing the silver-white scales adorning its body.

Natural Habitat:

In its native habitat, the Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish thrives within coral-rich ecosystems across the Indo-Pacific. These environments feature extensive coral reefs teeming with vibrant coral formations, sponges, and a plethora of marine life. This butterflyfish gracefully navigates reef flats and slopes, foraging among corals for its preferred diet of coral polyps.

Keeping Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish Healthy:

Ensuring the well-being of Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish demands a moderate to high level of expertise in marine aquarium care. Their care level is considered moderately challenging due to their specific dietary requirements and sensitivity to water conditions. Maintaining stable water parameters, including a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C) and a pH of 8.1-8.4, is paramount. A sufficiently sized tank equipped with efficient filtration and water flow is essential.

Special Requirements and Feeding:

Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish predominantly feed on coral polyps in the wild. In a home aquarium, their diet should encompass a variety of live or frozen foods, including brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and high-quality marine fish food. Consistent feeding and a well-rounded diet are crucial for their health.

How Many Should I Keep:

It is advisable to house a single Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish or a mated pair within an aquarium. These fish have territorial tendencies, especially during feeding, which may lead to aggression towards conspecifics or other butterflyfish species.

Lighting Preference:

While the Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish does not possess specific lighting preferences, they thrive under moderate to high-intensity lighting, which enhances the vibrancy of their scales and the overall aesthetic appeal of the aquarium.

Suitable Tank Mates:

Selecting compatible tank mates for the Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish necessitates careful consideration. They can coexist with other peaceful and reef-safe species such as tangs, angelfish, and additional butterflyfish, provided there is ample space and appropriate hiding spots. Assess compatibility with corals and invertebrates, as they may nip or consume certain types.

Reproduction in the Wild:

Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, or Chaetodon argentatus, reproduce in the wild by forming monogamous pairs. They engage in intricate courtship rituals, leading to the release of eggs and sperm into the water column. Fertilization takes place as the eggs and sperm combine, giving rise to drifting fertilized eggs. These eggs eventually hatch into larvae.

Breeding Chaetodon argentatus:

  1. Set-Up: Breeding Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish in a home aquarium requires careful planning. Start with a well-established reef aquarium, ideally with a mature and stable environment. Ensure stable water conditions with a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C) and a pH level of 8.1-8.4. The tank should provide suitable hiding places.
  2. Courtship/Spawning: To stimulate courtship and spawning, introduce a mated pair of Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish into the breeding tank. Courtship displays often include intricate swimming patterns and fin flaring. Spawning typically occurs near dawn. The female releases her eggs, while the male simultaneously releases his sperm. Fertilization occurs in the water column.
  3. Rearing: Once fertilized, the eggs become planktonic larvae, highly delicate and in need of special care. They require a dedicated larval rearing system equipped with appropriate filtration and temperature control. Initially, the larvae rely on their yolk sacs for nourishment. As they grow, you must introduce tiny live planktonic foods like rotifers and copepods. Consistent water quality and feeding are critical for successful rearing. As the larvae progress, they undergo metamorphosis into juvenile fish, at which point they can be transferred to a larger aquarium.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish do not exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, meaning that males and females generally share similar external appearances. Both sexes showcase the captivating black pearl-like scales against a white background.


The Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, Chaetodon argentatus, is naturally found in the Indo-Pacific region. Their native range encompasses coral-rich habitats throughout the Indo-Pacific, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as various other locations. These areas provide the ideal setting for the species’ distinctive lifestyle.


Black Pearlscale Butterflyfish, scientifically known as Chaetodon argentatus, offer a captivating breeding and care process. In the wild, they form monogamous pairs and engage in unique courtship rituals. Breeding in captivity involves setting up a mature reef tank, meticulous care for delicate larvae, and consideration for stable water parameters. Their minimal sexual dimorphism, Indo-Pacific origins, and captivating black pearl-like scales make them a distinctive addition to marine aquariums.


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Dry Goods Delivery.

The store has provided information regarding their order dispatch and estimated delivery times. Here are the key details:

  1. Dispatch Timeframe: Orders placed before 2pm will be dispatched on the same day. Orders placed after 2pm will be dispatched on the next working day.
  2. Delivery Date and Time Guarantee: While the store aims to dispatch orders promptly, they cannot guarantee a specific delivery date and time. As the delivery process relies on couriers, there may be factors beyond their control that could affect the delivery timeframe.
  3. 1st Class Mail: For orders sent via 1st Class mail, the aim is to have them delivered on the next working day after dispatch.
  4. 2nd Class Mail: Orders sent via 2nd Class mail typically take approximately 2-3 working days for delivery after dispatch.
  5. APC Next Day Delivery: APC Next Day delivery is available for UK mainland postcodes. It is usually delivered on the next working day after dispatch. However, please note that items being delivered to more remote areas may require additional time for delivery.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the store strives to provide efficient delivery services, unforeseen circumstances or external factors could potentially impact delivery times. For further details or specific inquiries about delivery, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Livestock Delivery.

The store maintains specific policies regarding the delivery of livestock. Here are the key points:

  1. Licensed Livestock Courier: The store exclusively uses a licensed livestock courier for shipping fish and coral. This approach is chosen to ensure responsible and ethical transportation of the livestock.
  2. Livestock Shipping Fee: The livestock shipping fee charged to customers of £19.99 does not cover the true cost, and therefore, there is a minimum spend requirement of £30.00 before the option for livestock shipping becomes available.
  3. Pre-Arranged Delivery: The store never ships livestock without first arranging a suitable delivery day. Before dispatching the livestock, the store must confirm the agreed-upon delivery day with the customer.
  4. Saturday Delivery Confirmation: Customers who choose Saturday delivery must have their availability confirmed for the upcoming Saturday before the store sends out the livestock. This confirmation ensures that the livestock can be received promptly.
  5. Failure to wait for livestock: Not waiting for livestock, even if there is a reasonable delay, or cancelling an order after it has been dispatched will lead to you incurring charges for an emergency return to the base. Additionally, any losses of livestock will also be charged to you. Please be aware that the items you are ordering are living creatures – livestock. We kindly ask that you refrain from ordering livestock if you are unable to accommodate the possibility of a delayed delivery.

    These terms and conditions are a fundamental aspect of our policy. Our primary goal is to dissuade individuals who could react negatively to a delayed delivery and subsequently request order cancellations. It is of utmost importance to underscore that your order pertains to living creatures, not mere inanimate objects. In the event of an occasional delay, it is crucial that you respond in a rational and responsible manner, taking into account the welfare of the livestock. We kindly request that you refrain from placing an order for livestock if you tend to react strongly to such situations. By proceeding with the order of livestock, you indicate your acceptance and agreement to abide by these specified terms and conditions.

  6. Signature Requirement: Livestock deliveries require a signature upon receipt and cannot be left in a safe location. This precaution ensures proper handling and the well-being of the livestock.
  7. Geographic Restrictions: The courier has strict geographic restrictions for livestock deliveries. Unfortunately, deliveries to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, and certain Scottish offshore postcodes may not be possible. Customers are encouraged to contact the store via email to confirm if livestock delivery is available in their area.
  8. Minimum Order Value and Order Cancellations: The store has a minimum order value of £30 for livestock shipping. Additionally, the store reserves the right to cancel orders that are deemed high-risk or involve a high number of single tropical freshwater fish species.

It is essential for customers to familiarize themselves with these policies before making a purchase. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or reach out to the store directly for clarification.

Livestock Geographical Exemptions.

The store has specific geographical exemptions for livestock deliveries. Here is a list of the areas and postcodes where livestock delivery is not available:

  1. Islands: Livestock cannot be delivered to the Shetlands, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man.
  2. Postcodes: Livestock delivery is not available to the following postcodes:
  • AB30 to AB39, AB41 to AB45, AB51 to AB56
  • DD8 to DD10
  • BT all
  • DG3 to DG9, DG12 to DG14
  • KA18 to KA19, KA26, KA29 to KA30
  • HS all
  • IM all
  • JE all
  • ZE all
  • KW15 to KW17
  • TD9
  • FK17 to FK21
  • GY all
  • KA26, to KA28
  • PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA49, PA60 to PA61, PA76 to PA78
  • TR21, to TR25
  • PH3 to PH26, PH30 to PH44
  • IV all

Customers residing in these areas should be aware that livestock delivery is not available to their location.

We can ship livestock to the Isle of Wight, this area is subject to a surcharge.

For further information or specific inquiries about livestock delivery to a particular area, customers are advised to contact the store directly for clarification.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the right to cancel an order within 14 working days of receiving the goods. To initiate the cancellation, the goods must be returned to the store in new and unused condition, adhering to their Returns Policy.

Important points regarding the return process are as follows:

  1. Return Condition: The goods must be returned in new and unused condition, as originally received. It is important to ensure that the goods are in the same condition as when they were sent out.
  2. Return Timeframe: The goods must be received by the store within 21 days of notifying them about the cancellation. During this time, customers are responsible for any loss or damage that may occur during the return shipping process.
  3. Refund Process: Once the store receives the goods in new and unused condition, they will initiate the refund process. The purchase price will be refunded to the customer.
  4. Return Condition Inspection: If the returned goods arrive in a condition that is less than what they were sent out in, the store reserves the right to return the goods to the customer, and no refund will be processed.

It is essential for customers to carefully review the store’s Returns Policy and follow the specified procedures to ensure a smooth and successful return and refund process. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s return policy, the following guidelines should be followed for returning goods:

  1. Use Returns Form: Customers need to use the store’s provided returns form to initiate the return process. This form helps the store acknowledge that the goods are being sent back.
  2. Return for Testing: If the goods are being returned for testing, the customer is responsible for covering the return shipping expenses.
  3. Refund of Postage Fees: The store will only refund postage fees if the order arrives damaged or becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of purchase. Proof of posting is important, and customers should ensure the goods are well-packed and obtain proof of posting as the goods remain their responsibility until received by the store.
  4. Refund of Postage Costs for Replacement: If goods are being returned within 7 days of purchase under the Replacement Policy, the store can refund postage costs. However, the customer needs to agree on a delivery service with the store in advance, and only standard or tracked shipping fees will be refunded. The store cannot refund the cost of any special delivery service.
  5. Non-Refundable Postage: Postage costs for goods returned for any other reason than those mentioned above are non-refundable. The store reserves the right to deduct the original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Mistaken Purchases: If a customer has made a mistake in their purchase, they need to return the goods to the store. The customer is responsible for the return shipping costs in such cases.

It is important for customers to carefully follow the store’s return procedures and terms and conditions. For further details or specific inquiries, customers should refer to the store’s website or contact the store directly.


If customers receive faulty goods, the following guidelines apply according to the store’s policy:

  1. Notification of Faulty Goods: Customers must notify the store within 7 working days if they receive faulty goods. This notification should be made as soon as possible.
  2. Replacement Parts: If possible, the store will dispatch replacement parts for the faulty goods.
  3. Return of Goods: If replacement parts are not possible, the store may request customers to return the faulty goods in accordance with their Returns Policy. The specific return procedures and conditions should be followed.
  4. Verification of Damage: Once the store receives the returned goods, they will verify the damage. If the damage is confirmed, the store will supply the required replacements.
  5. Return Postage Costs: If the goods returned to the store are found to be in good working order, the store is not able to refund the return postage costs. Additionally, the store reserves the right to deduct their original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Consequential Loss or Damage: The store cannot take responsibility for any consequential loss or damage that arises directly or indirectly from the goods supplied.

Customers should carefully review and adhere to the store’s Returns Policy and procedures for returning faulty goods. For further clarification or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Manufacturer’s Guarantees

The store works in collaboration with manufacturers to ensure that their guarantees are honored, and they make their best efforts to resolve issues within the warranty period. The following guidelines apply to refunds and replacements:

  1. Postage Costs under Manufacturer’s Guarantee: Postage costs can only be refunded if the goods are returned to the store within 7 days of the original purchase, as per the manufacturer’s guarantee.
  2. Refund of Postage Costs for Faulty Goods: The store will refund postage costs for guarantee/warranty returns only if the product becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of receipt.
  3. Replacements with Manufacturer Authorization: Replacements, whether parts or goods, can only be offered when authorized by the manufacturer. Customers should contact the store for further guidance in such cases.
  4. Prior Approval for Returns: Goods should not be returned to the store without prior approval. Customers need to contact the store and obtain approval before returning any items.
  5. Replacement of Glass or Ceramic Items: Glass or ceramic items can only be replaced if the store is notified within 48 hours of receiving the delivery.
  6. Replacement of Glass Bulbs/Tubes: Glass bulbs or tubes can only be replaced if they become faulty within 14 days.

Customers should note and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution of any issues with their purchased items. For specific inquiries or further information, customers are advised to refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the following responsibilities regarding breakages:

  1. Checking Goods on Arrival: It is the customer’s responsibility to thoroughly check the goods upon arrival for any damage. This should be done before signing for the parcel. If the parcel appears damaged, it is advised not to sign for it.
  2. Reporting Breakages: Any breakages or damages must be reported to the store within 48 hours of receiving the goods. It is important to promptly notify the store to initiate the resolution process.

By carefully inspecting the goods upon arrival and reporting any breakages within the specified timeframe, customers can ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the issue. For specific instructions on reporting breakages or further information, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.