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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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