Triggers tyrants of the aquarium

Don’t be fooled by their comical looks and clever antics, Triggerfish are often tyrants of the tank. Many of them love to rearrange the rocks and décor to their liking and they will eat anything that does not get out of its way.

Picasso Trigger Fish picture

Picasso Trigger Fish – Thalassoma duperrey picture

Triggerfish have sharp teeth and powerful jaws that are used to crush the hard shells of crabs and mollusks; they can also take a nice chunk of flesh out of your hand if you are not careful!

Triggerfish also have long noses, eyes that are positioned far back on its head and a unique dorsal spine that they can “trigger” into a locked position, making it impossible to remove them from their cave.

They are found in the warmer ocean waters around the world, usually as solitary individuals but sometimes in large groups. The Triggerfish’s natural diet includes all types of crustaceans, shellfish, and smaller fishes. They range in size from a manageable 8 inches to an enormous 3 feet long.

Triggerfish are usually very hardy but they do require large aquariums with efficient filtration systems to deal with the copious amounts of food consumed and waste produced. They also need some rockwork and hiding places to retreat to.

Triggerfish will greedily eat all types of food and should be fed meaty as well as vegetarian fare (shrimp, krill, clams, dried seaweed sheets, etc.).
It is best to purchase smaller specimens (2 to 5 inches) as they seem to be less aggressive on the whole.

Triggerfish should be kept one per tank and they should only be housed with larger fish that are able to defend themselves.

Several species of Triggerfish have spawned in captivity but they are very difficult to breed. They form harems consisting of a male and several females. After digging a pit in the substrate, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them.They both guard the nest vigorously and will chase away intruders, no matter what their size!

TankConditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

Compatibility: Hogfish, parrotfish, pseudochromis, squirrelfish, puffers, tangs and surgeons, live corals, live rock, sand.

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