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Pearlscale Angelfish

Pearlscale Angelfish is a rare fish found on offshore reef slopes and lagoons. These fish are timid and elusive, making them difficult to find and study.

With a pearlescent white body and bright blue fins, these fish can turn any reef into a sparkling wonderland.

Although they are peaceful angelfish types, they can be aggressive towards other angels and fish that resemble them.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about keeping Pearscale Angelfish in your aquarium.

Pearlscale Angelfish Characteristics

Scientific NameCentropyge vrolikii
Similar speciesThe Pearlscale Angelfish resembles the juvenile Mimic Surgeonfish, Acanthurus provirus, but can be distinguished by the presence of a large spine on the lower preopercular margin.
Alternative name/sPearl-scaled Angelfish
Care LevelEasy
Size6″ (12 cm)
Temperaturefrom about 75 to 82 degrees F
pH5.8 – 7
OriginSouth America (Central Amazon, Peru, Eastern Ecuador)
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Threat to humansHarmless
Color FormWhite
Pearlscale Angelfish Characteristics

Pearscale Angelfish Origin & Habitat

Pearscale is found throughout the Indo-Pacific, from Christmas Island to Southeast Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia, and east to the Marshall Islands.

It also can be found in northern Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

The Pearlscale variety is most common on offshore reef slopes and lagoons, especially those with rich algal and sponge fauna, and can be found at depths from 1 to 25 meters.

Pearscale Angelfish Features

1. Appearance

The Pearlscale Angelfish has a brown to grey-green front and a black back. The anal fin, caudal fin, and rear part of the dorsal fin have blue edges, while the eye, pectoral-fin base, and opercular border are orange.

2. Length

Like normal Pterophyllum scalare, they reach about 6″ in length and get taller when they reach maturity.

How to Care for Pearscale Angelfish?

1. Water Parameters

Water Changes

Water changes are essential for every aquarium and should be done regularly.

For the Pearscales, it is recommended that you change 10-20% of your aquarium water each week.

Water Temperature

These hardy species can live in a wide range of temperatures, from 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. However, to make them feel more comfortable, it is best to maintain a water temperature of around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

pH Range

A pH of around 6.5 to 7.5 with low hardness is ideal.

Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate

Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates should all be at 0 ppm for the fish’s health.

Water Movement

The fewer vibrations and gentle water flow, the better these fish can thrive.

2. Tank Setup

Tank Size

When they’re tiny and young, it’s probably best to keep them in a tank with at least a 40-gallon capacity.

However, as they grow bigger and taller, they’ll need to live in a much larger and taller aquarium.

An 80-gallon aquarium that is approximately 24″ tall would be perfect.


Clean water is essential for every aquarium, especially one that houses Angelfish.

To ensure that the water quality in your tank is high, it is recommended that you use a canister filter or a sump with an overflow box.

It is also good to use a protein skimmer to remove any excess waste from the water.


Pearlscale Angelfish prefer a well-planted aquarium with rocks and driftwood for hiding places.

So, it is good to use live plants, such as Anubias and Java Fern, in your tank.

Pearscale Angelfish Diet

 Pearscale Angelfish are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat just about anything.

Their diet consists of algae, small invertebrates, and zooplankton in the wild. So to keep your fish healthy and happy, it is best to feed them a varied diet that includes live food, frozen food, pellets, and flakes.

Pearscale Angelfish Gender Differences

Pearscale angelfish are challenging to determine the gender of because most aquarists don’t have much expertise with them.

When a group of Angels is raised together, the males quickly become the larger fish and joust more aggressively.

Last Words

The Pearscale angel is a beautiful and unique fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium.

They are peaceful, hardy, and easy to care for, making them perfect for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

We hope you enjoyed learning about this fantastic fish and that you now feel confident enough to add one to your aquarium.

If you still have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment.