Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Easy • Temperament: Aggressive • Maximum Size: 20"
• Minimum Tank Size: 240 gallons • Water Conditions: 72-80° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
• Diet: Carnivore • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Balistidae • Species: Triggerfish • Aquarium Type: Fish Only
Native Habitat and Species Information
Clown Triggerfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
The Clown Triggerfish are one of the most aggressive triggerfish (if not the most) around and they are the most popular triggerfish species (possibly the most popular overall marine species) in the hobby. Clown Triggerfish are a highly aggressive, predatory species endemic to the many tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Clown Triggerfish have a few interesting traits in addition to their amazing coloration and markings, they have eyes that have evolved to work independently of each other in order to scan the reef for prey or threats.
Clown Triggerfish can also use their forward dorsal spine to securely lock themselves into crevices in the reef while sleeping and they also have the ability to produce a grunting sound when agitated or disturbed. Clown Triggerfish are extremely popular and are readily and widely available through many local and online retailers around the world.
How to successfully keep Clown Triggerfish in the home aquarium.
Ideally, Clown Triggerfish should be provided with an established 240 gallon or larger aquarium with a sand substrate and plenty of securely placed live rock structure for hunting, shelter, and territory. They should also be provided with a large, open swimming channel where they can cruise around the aquarium at their leisure. Although they are an extremely hardy species, Clown Triggerfish should be kept in pristine and stable water conditions with plenty of water movement as well as surface agitation to assist with efficient oxygenation.
They are big and messy eaters and can have a substantial biological impact upon their aquarium; they require a strong, high quality system (preferably custom) to include biological and mechanical filtration as well as powerful protein skimming. Care should be taken if a need should arise to collect a specimen from the aquarium; they should not be collected with a net as their dorsal spine can shred it to pieces and they may also cause injury to themselves or others in the process. They should be collected by coaxing them into a collection container with a flattened net, that can then be used to cover the container to prevent escape and injury for all parties involved.
As an aggressive, territorial, and predatory species, tank mates should be considered carefully and would usually consist of similar mannered and sized, aggressive species to most likely include eels, groupers, large tangs/surgeonfish, large angelfish, puffers, lionfish, anglers, and of course other heterospecific, aggressive triggerfish. Clown Triggerfish are not recommended for a reef environment as they will destroy any and all invertebrates they can get a hold of and they may damage corals while trying to rearrange the aquarium to their liking.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Clown Triggerfish.
Clown Triggerfish are carnivores that live for gorging themselves on small fish and invertebrates (mainly crustaceans) in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they can be sustained with a wide selection of live ("gut-loaded" when possible), fresh, or frozen and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp krill, chopped clams, chopped squid, bloodworms, chopped mussels, starfish, small fish, and other freshly chopped or prepared meaty seafood items. Feed them at least three meals a day to help support their fast metabolism and to help control aggression.
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