Aquarium Fish

Triggerfish

posted: 05/15/12
More Information[b]Main Menu[/b]

Triggerfish belong to the Balistidae family. Genera of interest to aquarists include Balistoides, Melichthys, Pseudobalistes, Xanthichthys, Sufflamen, Odonus, and Rhinecanthus. Triggerfish are found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world inhabiting various areas of the ocean. They feed primarily on bottom dwelling invertebrates, small fish, and some algae. Most Triggerfish are found as individuals or pairs, but some species can be found in schools in the wild. Most of these fish reach an average size of six inches in length in an aquarium, and in the wild, the largest member of this family grows to an adult size of over 30 inches.

Triggerfish get their name from their ability to lock (or trigger) their first dorsal (top) spine vertically, anchoring themselves into a crevice or hiding place. This spine can only be unlocked by positioning their second dorsal spine horizontally.

Triggerfish are very hardy aquarium specimens that adapt well to captivity if provided with a large tank with ample hiding places. Large Triggerfish often become very aggressive toward the same species and other tankmates. Triggerfish are best purchased as juveniles or when small. Smaller triggers will grow quickly, and are usually more docile in adulthood than Triggerfish that have matured in the wild.

Live foods such as feeder fish often increase the aggression level of Triggerfish in an aquarium. Feed captive Triggerfish a varied diet that includes primarily meaty foods, supplementing the diet with Spirulina, algae, or dried seaweed.

Males of the genus Xanthichthys are usually more colorful than females, but other genera of Triggerfish have no distinguishing characteristics to differentiate males from females. The breeding of these fish in an aquarium is extremely difficult.

Caution is required with: Dwarf Angelfish, Large Angelfish, Anthias, Blennies, Boxfish, Butterflyfish, Clownfish, Damselfish, Eels, Goatfish, Gobies, Groupers, Grunts & Sweetlips, Hawkfish, Hogfish, Lionfish & Scorpionfish, Parrotfish, Puffers, Squirrelfish, Tangs & Surgeons, Triggerfish and Wrasse.

They are not compatible with: Anglers & Frogfish, Basslets, Batfish, Cardinalfish, Filefish, Pseudochromis, Seahorses & Pipefish and Sharks & Rays.

- Blackbelly Triggerfish

- Bluechin Triggerfish

- Bluelined Triggerfish

- Clown Triggerfish

- Halfmoon Triggerfish

- Indian Triggerfish

- Niger Triggerfish

- Picasso Triggerfish

- Pinktail Triggerfish

- Rectangular Triggerfish

- Undulate Triggerfish

More on
Aquarium Fish