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Niger Triggerfish
(Odonus niger) Easy Semi-aggressive 12" 55 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 Niger Triggerfish needs a varied diet of meaty foods including; squid, krill, clams, hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth. Niger Triggerfish are very hearty eaters and will also except marine flake and pellet foods, but should be fed a variety of meaty foods in order to provide them with a complete nutritional balance. Niger Triggerfish are not only just a great looking species; they also share many of the characteristics that make Triggerfish in general great pets. Niger Triggerfish are similar to other Triggerfish in that they are very inquisitive, can become tame, can be hand fed and have many other interesting habits and personality traits. Where the Niger Triggerfish is different then many other Triggerfish is their more pleasant disposition. Niger Triggerfish can be easily kept with a whole range of other fish species, which makes them an excellent addition to a non-invertebrate community tank. In fact it is not uncommon to see Odonus niger living peacefully with Tangs, Angelfish, Clownfish and large Damsel species. The Niger Triggerfish which, is also known as the Red Tooth Triggerfish, can vary in color from a radiant purple to a blue/green color. Niger Triggerfish can change from day to day between a bluish/purple to a greenish blue color with striking light blue highlights on their fins and long tail lobes. As an adult, their teeth will change from a white color to a bright red, making them quite interesting to watch when they eat or chew on coral or rock. The Niger Triggerfish requires at least a 55 gallon or larger aquarium with enough aqua-scaping to provide caves, crevices and similar areas for the fish to feel comfortable and provide a place to sleep at night. Niger Triggerfish will often rearrange the landscaping and rocks and substrate to their liking, creating their own caves and crevices in which to sleep at night. Niger Triggerfish will also use the rock and dead corals to chew on to grind their teeth down and keep them from protruding uncomfortably out of their mouths. Niger Triggerfish are known for their ability to vocalize using a grunting sound; as well as, their ability to lock their dorsal fin in place to wedge themselves in a crevice if the feel threatened. They are a great active fish species for most fish-only aquariums (small non-boisterous fish species should not be kept with Niger Triggerfish). Over time the Niger Trigger can also become quite tame, both identifying their owner by sight and also will begin to take food from ones hand. The Niger Triggerfish needs a varied diet of meaty foods including; squid, krill, clams, hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth. Niger Triggerfish are very hearty eaters and will also except marine flake and pellet foods, but should be fed a variety of meaty foods in order to provide them with a complete nutritional balance.
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Crosshatch Triggerfish
(Xanthichthys mento) Easy Aggressive 12" 70 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only Triggerfish swim by rippling their soft dorsal and anal fins, which allows them to swim backwards as well as forward, which can be advantageous when moving in and out of rock crevices. Triggerfish generally make good aquarium inhabitants because they are hardy, disease-resistant and easy to feed. Many possess a certain "personality," which further endears them to aquarists. Crosshatch Triggerfish are distributed throughout the tropical and sub-tropical Eastern and Western Pacific Oceans. They can be found in large schools in open water, usually at depths of 90 feet and greater. They feed on passing zooplankton, which partially explains their relative rarity and expensive cost in the aquarium trade. They will however quickly adjust to more normal meaty aquarium foods and like most Triggerfish will readily consume meaty foods. Adult Crosshatch Triggerfish usually reach about 12 inches in length in the aquarium environment. The Crosshatch Triggerfish has the typical triangular shape of other Triggerfish when its fins are erect, most similar to other members of the genus Xanthichthys. The male has a more intense yellow background color on the body and has a red-rimmed tail, as opposed to the female, which has a yellow-fringed caudal fin, making them easily distinguished. Both sexes have blue radiating lines on the face and black lines that criss-cross along the body, giving them their name "crosshatch." In the aquarium environment Crosshatch Triggerfish can be kept singly, in pairs, or in groups of one male and two or more females in the aquarium. Two males should not be kept unless you have a very large aquarium with many other inhabitants. Crosshatch triggers are active fish that grow to a fairly large size (12"), therefore a minimum of a 70 gallon aquarium for a single specimen should be provided 90 gallons or more for a pair. They require areas of open swimming space as well as places to hide at night or when frightened. Areas of reef rock set up along side an open expanse of sand will suit the Crosshatch Triggerfish well, providing them with hiding places and plenty of open swimming area, which is important for this species. With their anatomical structure, it is near impossible for the Crosshatch Triggerfish to feed on benthic invertebrates, thus making them suitable for inclusion with live rock. Also unlike most Triggerfish the Crosshatch has a mild disposition and is unlikely to bother other aquarium inhabitants unless overcrowded. It will mix well with most other reef fish, although small Pseudochromis, or other bite sized fish should not be kept with it. Existing small Damsels, Wrasses and Basslets are generally ignored. Similar to most mid-water plankton eating species, the Crosshatch Triggerfish are not finicky eaters and will consume most meaty aquarium fare. Their diet should consist of predominantly meaty foods, such as chopped whole shrimp, squid, larval silver sides, and mysis shrimp. Chopped krill is a particularly good food item because it provides beneficial carotenoids that help maintain the bright pigmentation in these fish. Similar to other reef fish that feed from the water column, crosshatch triggers should be fed a few times a day in order to maintain proper body weight.
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Bluelined Triggerfish
(Pseudobalistes fuscus) Easy Aggressive 24" 220 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only Bluelined Triggerfish are a hardy and aggressive predatory species that are best suited for large aquariums (220 gallons or larger) with other large aggressive fish species. Bluelined Triggers are a very hardy fish species that if kept in large aquarium with excellent mechanical and biological filtration due very well in the aquarium environment. This species is also known for rearranging aquariums by blowing sand and substrate looking for invertebrates to eat and for undermining the foundations of rocks and coral. The Blueline Trigger is highly sought after for its unique coloration and impressive adult size along with its ease of care when kept in a proper aquarium environment. Despite the popularity of this fish among aggressive marine species hobbyist, the Blueline Triggerfish is somewhat of a rare find at most marine fish stores. Bluelined Triggerfish begin life with very bright juvenile colors, which tend to fade a bit as they become adults. Juvenile specimens have a bright yellow or yellowish-tan body with bright blue lines all over its body, along with yellow markings on blue fins. As they grow the contrast between the yellow body and blue lines begins to lesson, and as mature adults they will have a tan body with less distinct blue markings throughout their body. They have the typical Triggerfish anal and dorsal fins, along with a crescent shaped tail fin. Like all Triggerfish, Bluelined Triggers have a spine located on the top of their head that can be locked in an erect position to help lock them in place when hiding in amongst rocks or corals. Blueline Triggerfish are a large fairly aggressive species that are best suited for very large aquariums with other large aggressive fish species. They are a very hardy species that can tolerate less than perfect water conditions, but do require adequate swimming room, and thus should be kept in a large aquarium of at least 220 gallons or more. Blueline Triggerfish are also known for their propensity for rearranging the aquarium aquascape to suit their preferences, including removing sand from underneath rocks and creating tunnels and caves where they were not before. It is also important to provide strong mechanical and biological filtration as this species eats large amounts of meaty foods that can quickly foul the aquarium water if strong filtration is not in place. This species should only be kept with other large aggressive or semi-aggressive fish species that can tolerate the boisterous nature of the Blueline Triggerfish. It is important to note that this species should never be kept with corals, invertebrates or smaller shy fish species as the Blueline Trigger can cause harm or even death to smaller less aggressive species. Bluelined Triggerfish should be fed a varied diet consisting of many different types of meaty foods including: chopped shrimp, squid, clams or fish. It is also good to provide frozen foods that contain marine algae and are enhanced with vitamins and minerals. This species should be fed at least 3 times a day to provide it with adequate nutrition and to decrease its aggressiveness towards its tank mates.
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Hawaiian Black Triggerfish
(Melichthys indicus) Easy Aggressive 12" 90 gallons 72-78° F; dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Balistidae Triggerfish Fish Only Hawaiian Black Triggerfish can be found living in a variety of locations from Hawaii and central Polynesia westward through Micronesia and Melanasia, East Indies, and the Indian Ocean to the coast of Africa, there are also similar species found in the tropical Western Atlantic Ocean. This species of Triggerfish is easy to care for if provided a large aquarium (100 gallons or larger) with plenty of room to swim, which makes it a good species for the beginning marine aquarists with a larger aquarium. The Hawaiian Black Triggerfish is a very active swimmer that will swim all about the aquarium from one part of the rock work to the other. While not as aggressive as some other Triggerfish (Undulate Trigger & Clown Trigger) the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish is still considered an aggressive species, thus it should only be kept with other larger fish species in a fish-only environment in the home aquarium. Hawaiian Black Triggerfish have oval that appear to be black in color from a distance, but on closer inspection under bright lighting their body is actually has very tightly interlaced dark blue and blue-green areas. The face has light blue accents on the forehead and around the eyes, with two bold white lines at the base of both the dorsal and anal fins. This species grows to about 10 inches and length and has a body that is a little bit more oblique than many other trigger species. Hawaiian Black Triggerfish require large aquariums (100 gallons plus) with both plenty of live rock or other rock work and large open areas for swimming. Similar to other Triggerfish, this species requires rock caves and crevices to swim in and out of and retreat to when feeling threatened, but unlike many other Triggerfish species kept in the aquarium environment, the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish also needs plenty of open room for swimming. In the wild they tend to live right on the outer edge of the reef, where they can sleep and retreat for safety in the coral and rocks, but also have easy access to open water on the edge and above the reef. If kept in smaller aquariums, this species tends to be more aggressive and less tolerant of other similar species. However, if kept in large aquariums with lots of reef or aqua scaping, this species does very well with other aggressive, semi-aggressive or larger community fish species. Hawaiian Black Triggerfish are not recommended for reef aquariums as they can be destructive to some coral species and will often feed on ornamental crabs and shrimps living in the aquarium. Hawaiian Black Triggerfish are omnivores that will appreciate a varied diet of both meaty food items and frozen or flaked herbivore preparations that contain marine algae and are vitamin-enriched. While this species will consume both frozen and flaked preparations, it is best to provide it a varied diet that also includes shrimp, squid, clams, chopped fish and other similar marine based fresh or frozen meaty foods. It is best to feed this species 2 to 3 times per day, what it will consume within 5 minutes. Like many other Triggerfish species, the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish can be trained to hand feed at the surface of the aquarium and is considered a bold feeder.
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