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Pinktail Triggerfish
(Melichthys vidua) Easy Aggressive 14" 180 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Hawaii, Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only Pinktail Triggerfish (Melichthys vidua) originate from the coral reefs and rocky reef outcrops of the Indo-Pacific from the eastern coast of India to Hawaii. In their native habitat they have become quite popular with divers as they are very inquisitive and very willing to exhibit their strong personalities. These personality traits carry over to the aquarium environment as well, as Pinktail Triggerfish are well known within the hobby as being one of the more inquisitive and interactive species of Triggerfish. Due to their need to explore and entertain themselves coupled with their large adult size of about 14 inches, Pinktail Triggerfish need to be housed in larger aquariums with plenty of live rock or other reef structure. Like other larger Triggerfish species, they do become increasing more aggressive as they grow in size. Attaining a large adult size and being a fast growing species, hobbyists should put careful consideration into tank mates in order to avoid compatibility problems. Pinktail Triggerfish do best in FOWLR aquariums of 180 gallons or more, with plenty of live rock and tank mates that consist of other larger fish species capable of handling their aggressive nature. Pinktail Triggers are often purchased at just 2 to 3 inches in length, at which time they can be adequately housed in aquariums as small as 55 gallons. However, they are a fast growing species that will within just 1 years time require an aquarium closer to 180 gallons in size. In addition to physical space, they will ultimately put a lot of biological pressure on the filtration system as they are messy eaters with big appetites. Aquarium size and amount of live rock or reef structure is critical to successfully housing Pinktail Triggerfish with other large tank mates. The larger the aquarium and the more territory created by live rock formations, the more content and docile the Pinktail Triggerfish will be. In smaller aquariums with less territory, the Pinktail Triggerfish will often exhibit extreme aggression toward its tank mates which often leads to their injury or death. Ideally tank mates will consist of other large fish species that are hardy enough to handle the Pinktail Triggerfish and who have different feeding habits. Fish who are shaped differently and feed differently than the Pinktail will be less likely to be considered as competition and more easily accepted by an adult Pinktail Trigger. Small fish species, many invertebrates and all crustaceans will be seen as a food source to an adult Pinktail Triggerfish. Pinktail Triggerfish will need both live rock and shelled food items like crustaceans in order to wear down their ever growing teeth. Foods like shelled crustaceans and other large meaty items combined with the Triggers messy eating habits produce a lot of waste that must be handled by the filtration system. Excellent mechanical and biological filtration is crucial to maintaining quality water parameters in aquariums housing large carnivores like the Pinktail Trigger. Hobbyists will need to employ large canister or wet/dry sump filters in combination with power heads to provide additional water movement. Plenty of water movement will ensure that leftover foodstuffs do not settle on the substrate and instead are kept in the water column where they can be picked up by the filter intakes. Large canister filters, sumps and wet/dry units are capable of housing large quantities of bio-media in order to provide plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow, which will allow for efficient biological filtration. Pinktail Triggerfish are carnivores that eat mainly crustaceans and small fish in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be offered a wide variety of fresh or frozen marine based meaty foods like shelled shrimp, clams, squid, mussels, krill and other meaty seafood items. They can also be fed high quality marine carnivore commercial pellet and freeze-dried foods. It is generally best to feed them twice a day an amount of food that they will consume within five minutes. Providing plenty of variety in their diet is important as it helps to ensure that the fish will receive all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a strong immune system.
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Titan Triggerfish
(Balistoides viridescens) Easy Aggressive 30" 600 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.0-8.4, sg 1.021-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Predatory Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) are found living throughout the lagoons and shallow reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The Titan Trigger is by far the largest Triggerfish found within the marine aquarium hobby, reaching lengths upwards of 26 to 30 inches. Titan Triggers are very aggressive and have evolved as an apex predator within their natural habitat. They bring this apex predator attitude to the aquarium as well, which when combined with there very large size makes them generally only suitable for species only aquariums. Hobbyists with extremely large aquariums of 1000 gallons or more may be able to keep a Titan Trigger with other very large aggressive species; however, success would really depend on a case by case situation. Hobbyists with very large aquariums looking to keep a species only setup will find that the Titan Trigger is very personable, inquisitive and also very intelligent (for a fish). Overall the Titan Trigger is easy to care for; however, they do have specific needs in regards to aquarium size and strong filtration. Simply put Titan Triggers grow to be very large fish that require equally large aquariums in order to thrive. An adult Titan Trigger will reach upwards of 26 to 30 inches in length and close to 12 inches in height. Adult specimens will require an aquarium that is at least 8 x 4 x 3 feet in order to have adequate space. Along with a very large aquarium, Titan Triggers require very strong mechanical and biological filtration to keep up with their messy eating habits and the large bio-load produced by such a large fish. Both wet/dry filtration and protein skimming should be utilized along with some form of nitrate removal either through water changes or the use of a nitrate removal solution. Aquarium decor will me limited to live rock, base rock and fossil coral skeletons as Titan Triggers will view all corals and invertebrates as a food item. Larger rocks are recommended since Titan Triggers will both move rocks around and dig in the substrate extensively. Suitable tank mates will consist of only other very large fish species, and only in very large aquariums. Most hobbyists will need to keep adult Titan Triggers in a species only setup due to tank size requirements. Care should be taken when working within the aquarium containing an adult Titan Trigger, as they will see the aquarium as their territory and will defend it with their sharp and powerful teeth. While not suitable for the average hobbyist, Titan Triggers are an amazing specimen for hobbyists with large aquariums looking for a very unique and intelligent fish specimen. In the wild Titan Triggerfish feed on a variety of shellfish, urchins, crustaceans, small fish and corals. They will not think twice in rearranging rock work or overturning aquarium decor in order to search for possible meals. The Titan Trigger has an appetite to match their size, which combined with being a relatively messy eater puts a real strain on the biological filtration of any aquarium. It is best to feed them smaller meals multiple times per day and monitor their overall girth to determine the ideal feeding frequency. They should be fed a variety of marine based meaty foods to ensure that they receive a balanced diet of vitamins and minerals. Recommended foods include: squid, clams, shelled shrimp, chopped fish, mussels, urchins, shelled crustaceans and other similar meaty items.
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Kiri Triggerfish
(Xanthichthys kiritimati) Easy Semi-aggressive 10" 125 gallons 72-80° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 sg 1.020-1.026 Carnivore Christmas Island, Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Reef Compatible The Kiri Triggerfish (Xanthichthys kiritimati) is a recently discovered species of Triggerfish found living in and around the deep water reefs of the Christmas Islands. They exhibit a deep white, silver and blue body with brilliant neon blue stripes on their face and a neon blue and orange tail fin. However, the Kiri Triggerfish is not only an attractive Triggerfish species, but also a reef safe species that will not harm corals or sessile invertebrates. Like most reef safe Triggerfish, the Kiri Trigger is capable of consuming small fish species and cleaning crew members like crabs and snails. However, well fed specimens have shown not to be aggressive towards either fish or cleaning crew tank mates. Unlike many Triggerfish species, adult Kiri Triggerfish (Xanthichthys kiritimati) maintain a good disposition and do not tend to become more aggressive with age. Thus the Kiri Trigger is one of the few Triggerfish that are suitable for reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums containing peaceful community fish species. Due to their very limited availability and high demand, the Kiri Triggerfish is currently a very expensive and difficult to obtain species. Kiri Triggerfish require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with a sand substrate and plenty of live rock for refuge (they enjoy caves) and territory. They greatly appreciate unobstructed swimming space where they can swim about freely. They should be provided with high quality biological and mechanical filtration as well as efficient protein skimming to ensure pristine water conditions, proper oxygenation, and a moderate amount of water movement. C are 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. Although they are not aggressive, they will sometimes get into arguments with other Triggerfish and should be housed as the only Triggerfish in their aquarium (mainly for their own safety). They will usually get along with most semi-aggressive or even peaceful tank mates of a relatively similar size. They do well in reef aquariums, but may prey on crustaceans, mollusks and tiny fish if not well fed. They are ideal candidates for a peaceful to semi-aggressive, large FOWLR systems. Kiri Triggerfish are carnivores that eat mainly crustaceans and small fish in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be offered a wide variety of fresh or frozen marine based meaty foods like shrimp, clams, squid, mussels, krill and other meaty seafood items. They can also be fed high quality marine carnivore commercial pellet and freeze-dried foods. Feed them 2 to 3 times a day and only what they will eat within a few minutes.
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Golden Heart Triggerfish
(Balistes punctatus) Easy Aggressive 24" 180 gallons 72-82° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Tropical Eastern Atlantic Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only Golden Heart Triggerfish can be found all along the tropical western coast of Africa, where they live in and around shallow coastal reefs. They are an apex predator for their environment, where at 2 feet in length they have very few natural enemies and plenty of food sources to choose from. Utilizing their extremely powerful jaws and unique "Trigger" shape, they are adept at getting into rocky crevices and extracting small crustaceans and bivalves on which to feed. They generally maintain a relatively small patch of reef as their territory and will aggressively defend this area against similarly sized and shaped competitors. They can live with other fish species within a marine aquarium, but they must be very large in size and ideally having a different shape and feeding habits. As with most predatory marine species, it is very important to provide adequate territory, plenty of food and tank mates that do not present themselves as direct competitors in order to mitigate aggression within the aquarium. Golden Heart Triggerfish live along the West Coast of Africa where they inhabit rocky coastal reefs usually at depths of just a few feet down to about 150 feet. They spend the majority of their time patrolling the rocky reefs in search of crustaceans and small fish on which to feed. An aquarium housing the Golden Heart Triggerfish should have a sandy substrate and plenty of rock, live rock or coral rubble for the Trigger to swim about. The large size of the Golden Heart Triggerfish should be taken into consideration in regards to swimming room and tank mates. In order to provide enough rock work and open swimming areas, nothing smaller than a 180 gallon aquarium should be considered, with a 300 gallon or larger aquarium making a more ideal setup. Also the large size and aggressiveness of the Golden Heart Triggerfish should be taken into consideration when selecting tank mates, with only other larger aggressive species like groupers, large wrasse, gruntfish, etc. being considered as suitable tank mates. Providing plenty of swimming room, a large rocky reef providing plenty of territory and plenty of quality marine meaty foods will go along way in mitigating the very aggressive nature of the Golden Heart Triggerfish and should help with easing its aggression towards its tank mates. In the wild, Balistes punctatus feeds primarily on crabs, bivalves and other similar crustaceans found in and amongst rocky coastal areas. However, Golden Heart Triggerfish are not picky eaters and will readily consume a wide variety of meaty marine foods including: shrimp, clams, scallops, fish flesh, squid, krill and other similar fair. It is important to provide them with quality marine based meaty foods in order to provide them all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system. It is not recommended to feed them non-marine based meaty foods like goldfish or other freshwater feeder fish as they do not provide much nutrition the Golden Heart Triggerfish, thus leading to a weakened immune system.
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Sargassum Triggerfish
(Xanthichthys ringens) Moderate Semi-aggressive 10" 110 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Western Atlantic, Caribbean Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only The Sargassum Triggerfish, also commonly referred to as the Red Tailed Triggerfish, is one of the least aggressive triggerfish species in the hobby and is highly prized for that very reason. Sargassum Triggerfish are endemic to the tropical reefs of the West Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Sargassum Triggerfish have a beautiful tan to powder-blue base coloration with a bright red to maroon outline around their caudal fin in addition to dark markings along the base of the dorsal and anal fins as well as a dark frontal dorsal fin, which houses their dorsal spine. They also have dark speckling on their flanks as well as three horizontal, purple to blue, stacked stripes across their operculum. Sargassum Triggerfish have eyes that work independently of each other in order to scan the area for predators and prey alike. Sargassum Triggerfish also use their forward dorsal spine to securely lock themselves into the reef and rock structures while sleeping. Sargassum Triggerfish are considered to be fairly peaceful for a triggerfish and are in high demand as they have been successful reef inhabitants. The Sargassum Triggerfish can sometimes be hard to acquire, but can usually be special ordered or eventually found through online retailers and auctions. Sargassum Triggerfish require an aquarium of at least 110 gallons with a sand substrate and plenty of live rock for refuge (they enjoy caves) and territory. They greatly appreciate unobstructed swimming space where they can move around freely, unhindered. They should be provided with high quality biological and mechanical filtration as well as efficient protein skimming to ensure pristine water conditions, proper oxygenation, and a decent amount of water movement. 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. Although they aren't truly aggressive, they will sometimes get into arguments with other triggerfish and should be housed as the only triggerfish in their aquarium (mainly for their own safety). They will usually get along with most semi-aggressive or even peaceful tank mates of a relatively similar size. Although not recommended for reef aquariums, they will not usually bother sessile invertebrates or stony coral species, but like other triggerfish, they will commonly snack on crustaceans, mollusks and tiny fish. They are ideal candidates for a peaceful to semi-aggressive, large FOWLR system. Sargassum Triggerfish are carnivores that eat small fish and invertebrates (mainly crustaceans) in their natural habitat. In the aquarium they should be offered a wide variety 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, and other freshly chopped or prepared meaty seafood items. Feed them three times a day and only what they will eat within a few minutes.
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Clown Triggerfish
(Balistoides conspicillum) Easy Aggressive 20" 240 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only 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. 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. 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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Undulate Triggerfish
(Balistapus undulatus) Easy Aggressive 12" 75 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only The Undulate Triggerfish or Orange-lined Triggerfish is an attractive fish, with a unique emerald-green body with yellow-orange vertical stripes. The Undulate Triggerfish is a very aggressive species, even compared to other aggressive species, including other Triggerfish, groupers, Lionfish or even sharks. Typically it is best to keep this species as a single specimen in the home aquarium, but it is possible to keep with other large aggressive species in a large aquarium. The Undulate Triggerfish can become quite tame and is easily trained to hand feed from its owner. It is a very inquisitive species that should be provided with a good amount of aquascape for it to explore. The Undulate Triggerfish is a very hardy species, that can be kept by beginning hobbyists, assuming they have a large aquarium (min 55 to 70 gallons) and are aware that of the extremely aggressive nature of this fish towards other tank mates. The Undulate Triggerfish is primarily green in color with a unique pattern of yellow stripes on its body with yellowish orange fins. It also has a unique body shape that is characteristic of Triggerfish in general, with an oval body, close set eyes, small pectoral fins and large powerful dorsal fins. The dorsal fins as the primary means of locomotion, and are flapped back and forth in unison, propelling the fish through the water. The Undulate Triggerfish requires a 55 gallon or larger aquarium with extensive rock and caves for it to swim about and explore. It will without a doubt rearrange the aquarium landscaping and will excavate the substrate to its own desired layout. The Undulate Triggerfish may also bite or chew on pieces of rock or coral in order to keep its ever growing front teeth worn down. The Undulate Triggerfish is a very hardy fish species that will actively interact with its owner and can even vocalize through a grunting" sound. When threatened, the Triggerfish will dive into a tight crevice, wedging itself tightly and anchoring into place by erecting and locking its first spine. When the second spine is depressed its acts as a trigger, unlocking the first spine thus the name Triggerfish. There are no specific lighting or water movement requirements for this species; however, excellent biological filtration should be provided as the Undulate Triggerfish can be a messy eater, which creates a fair amount of waste. The Undulate Triggerfish needs a varied diet of meaty foods including; squid, krill, clams, small fish and hard shelled shrimp. Hard shelled shrimp of similar items are more than just a food source, as they help wear down the ever growing teeth of the Undulate Triggerfish. It is also possible to hand feed the Undulate Trigger as they will quickly learn where their food comes from and will eagerly await each feeding. Warning: Do not keep invertebrates or corals with this species unless they are intended as food. The Undulate Triggerfish will consume any snails, shrimp or crabs it comes across in the aquarium.
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Starry Triggerfish
(Abalistes stellatus) Easy Aggressive 20" 180 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-West Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only The Starry Triggerfish originates from the coastal reefs of the Indian Ocean. The body of this Trigger is a tan in color with many dark spots that fade into yellow as they progress downward on the fish. The fins of the Starry Trigger are striped in blues, tans and browns. The Starry Triggerfish is a large Trigger an can grow to about 1' 8" in an aquarium environment, and thus requires a large aquarium (125 gallon plus) to be housed properly. There should be an abundance of rock-work with caves and crevices to provide a good habitat for the Starry Trigger. Starry Triggers will rearrange the landscaping and rocks as it sees fit, which is an attribute of most Triggerfish. Starry Triggerfish are very interactive towards humans and make a great pet as well as a great conversation piece. The body is mostly tan with some darker brown areas near the top part of the body. Dark brown dots start at the top of the body and fade to yellow as they reach the lower areas of the fish. The fins of the Starry Trigger are striped in blues, tans and browns. One of the great aspects of the Starry Triggerfish is their aquarium behavior. This species is very inquisitive and friendly towards people and because of this makes a great "pet" fish. Like most Triggerfish, they will rearrange the rock-work and substrate to suit their fancy and will explore every nook in the aquarium. For this reason they should be provided with as many caves and crevices as possible to keep them both interested and happy. They are a large species for an aquarium, and this should be kept in mind when selecting a suitable aquarium and suitable aquarium mates. The Starry Triggerfish is a great species for those who would like to interact with their fish especially those who like to hand feed their fish. Starry Triggerfish need a varied diet of meaty foods including; shrimp, mussel, squid, krill, small fish and shellfish to help them wear down their ever growing teeth. Like all Triggerfish the Starry will happily consume most invertebrates in the aquarium including crabs & shrimps. The Starry Triggerfish is a hearty eater and can even be taught to hand feed.
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Queen Triggerfish
(Balistes vetula) Easy Aggressive 24" 180 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Atlantic Ocean Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only The Queen Triggerfish is a large Triggerfish species found in the tropical the Eastern Atlantic ranging south to southern Angola, Western Atlantic, from the northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil. Queen Triggerfish can reach an impressive 2 feet in length and are very powerful swimmers that will require a large aquarium with adequate swimming area. They are commonly found along rocky or coral areas and sometimes in underwater grass flats, where they can be found either in schools or solitary. In the wild they tend to prey mostly on urchins, starfish and other similar prey, but will eat small fish when opportunities arise. Queen Triggerfish are very bold feeders and are hardy and easy to keep, if kept in a very large aquarium (300 gallons and up for adults) with very good filtration and water movement. Queen Triggerfish have a base color of light yellow with green and blue markings on the body, with yellow and bright blue accents on the head and fins. There are two broad diagonal curved bright blue bands running from the snout to below and in front of pectoral fins, the lowermost continuous with a blue ring around lips; a broad blue bar across caudal peduncle, and blue sub-marginal bands in median fins. Their eyes are set high on either side of their head to allow them to scan for prey, and they have a small but powerful mouth with very strong teeth. Like all Triggerfish, they have the ability to lock their dorsal spine in an upright position, which they use to lock themselves in rock crevices and as defense against larger predatory fish species that might try to eat them. Queen Triggerfish are a very hardy aquarium species when kept in large aquariums (300 gallons plus as an adult), that do well in many aggressive fish-only setups. They are more aggressive than most Triggerfish species, especially as they grow larger, thus should only be kept with other Triggerfish species in a very large aquarium capable of producing enough territory for each Triggerfish. They can be kept with most any other large semi-aggressive to aggressive fish species that is similar in size to the Queen Trigger, with the exception of most sharks species seen in the aquarium hobby, as they will often pick at their fins. Queen Triggerfish need to be provided with both large amounts of live rock & aquascaping and large open areas for swimming. While they can initially be kept in smaller aquariums, adults of this species will need very large aquariums with excellent filtration and water movement. Strong biological and mechanical filtration is important, as Triggerfish tend to be messy eaters and can put a strain on aquarium filter systems. They should not be kept with invertebrates or crustaceans as they will eat them, and can also be destructive to some coral species. Queen Triggerfish are a carnivorous species that will eat a variety of meaty foods from invertebrates and crustaceans to live fish. Ideal food for this species in the aquarium environment includes chopped fish, squid, shrimp, mussels and other similar meaty foods along with quality pellet or frozen marine meaty preparations. They will also feed on ornamental shrimp, crabs and snails along with some corals and sessile invertebrates, so they should not be kept with these species unless they are intended as a food source.
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Picasso Triggerfish
(Rhinecanthus aculeatus) Easy Aggressive 12" 75 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only The Picasso Triggerfish or as it is also commonly referred to as the Humu-Humu, Lagoon, Pig-Nosed (rough translation of its Hawaiian name) or Blackbar Triggerfish is found from the Hawaiian islands southward to Polynesia and Australia, westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, through the East Indies including the Philippines, across the Indian Ocean, to the coast of Africa and the Red Sea. This species enjoys shallower waters near reef structures where there are lots of rocks and crevice structures present to both hide in and search for food. The Picasso Triggerfish behaves in the typical aggressive manor of other Triggerfish; however, it may be housed with members of the same genus if they are added at the same time and/or if ample space is provided. The Picasso Trigger is best kept in an aquarium with other similar temperament aggressive species of the same size or larger, as it may opportunistically eat smaller less aggressive fish. Picasso Triggerfish are easily distinguished by their angular body, distinctive color pattern (resembling a painters color palette), fin arrangement, and characteristic dorsal spine. This forward spine on the dorsal fin lies slightly above and behind the eye. It is very strong and rigid, serving as defense adaptation, that when raised can lock the trigger in a protective position within a rock crevice or cave, giving the Triggerfish its name. This is a sturdy well-built species, that reaches a maximum length of about 12 inches. It has a small but powerful jaw, equipped with sharp, cutting teeth, which it uses to crack through shells. The eyes of the Picasso Triggerfish are set atop its head, and can move independently, which allows it to scan the reef for possible prey items. Picasso Triggerfish spend much of their time swimming about the reef looking for crustaceans, invertebrates and small fish to prey on. In the home aquarium, they will appreciate an aquarium that will allow them both plenty of swimming room and lots of rock or coral to swim about and hide in if threatened. They prefer to have rock caves or crevices to sleep in at night, in which they can lock their dorsal fin in place to securely lock them into place. While Picasso Triggerfish are not nearly as aggressive as some other Triggerfish (undulate and queen Triggerfish), they are still an aggressive carnivore that should only be kept with other large aggressive fish species. In the aquarium it is important to provide plenty of rock or aquascaping to help to reduce aggression towards other tank mates, by providing ample room and shelter to allow this fish to establish an adequate sized territory of its own. While this species can be successfully housed with other Triggerfish, groupers, large tangs and angelfish, it should not be kept with most smaller reef sharks as it may pick at the sharks fins. Picasso Triggerfish should also not be kept with most invertebrates or crustaceans, unless they are intended as a food item. Overall an excellent addition to large fish only semi-aggressive to aggressive aquariums with plenty of live rock or aquascaping and large areas in which to swim. Picasso Triggerfish consume a wide variety of meaty items ranging from invertebrates and crustaceans to fish and coral. In the wild the Picasso Triggerfish will consume small crustaceans, starfish, worms, urchins, crabs, snails and less commonly fish, corals and tunicates. They are very versatile feeders that hunt around reef rocks and sand looking to prey upon crustaceans, mollusk and small fish. In the aquarium, they should be fed a mixed diet of meaty foods including live, frozen and flake carnivore preparations.
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