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FAQs about Balistoides (Clown, Titan) Triggerfishes 2

Related FAQs: Balistoides Triggers 1, Balistoides Identification, Balistoides Behavior, Balistoides Compatibility, Balistoides Selection, Balistoides Systems, Balistoides Feeding, Balistoides Disease, Balistoides Reproduction, Triggerfishes in General, The Clown Trigger: Clown Trigger Identification, Clown Trigger Behavior, Clown Trigger Compatibility, Clown Trigger Selection, Clown Trigger Systems, Clown Trigger Feeding, Clown Trigger Disease, Clown Trigger Reproduction, Triggerfish: Identification, Selection, Selection 2, Compatibility, Behavior, Systems, Feeding, Diseases, Triggerfish Health 2Reproduction,

Related Articles: Triggerfish, Balistoides Species, Red Sea Triggerfishes

A Titan Trigger, Balistoides viridescens cruising about in N. Sulawesi.

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Titan Trigger Care       10/13/16
Hello to whom ever finds my email. I spend a lot of time on your site researching my various ideas, thank you for all the knowledge you share.
So I may have recently acquired a 4 inch Titan trigger? It was being sold as a pineapple trigger but from the from the few pictures I have been able to find of juveniles, I'm guessing Titan. I also might have known this prior to purchasing it, but that is in the past. It is currently residing in a 280 gallon aquarium but I am building a 1600 (ish) gallon aquarium, of
which I was hoping the Titan would grow into. The very few personal accounts I can find of people keeping them implies that Titans are extremely slow growers and might never reach their adult size or coloring in an aquarium.
<Best to just feed... not cause to grow more quickly>
Also, due to the lack of titan specific information I can find, I am caring for him the same manor I would any other trigger fish,
<Yes; as gone over, archived on WWM>
shellfish mmm. Any information you can provide specific to keeping a Titan would be great and should I alter my plans of him being the king of the new aquarium?
<Would plan on this being the alpha animal; NOT place any other Balistids.
This fish CAN become belligerent... not on the same scale as the Clown Trigger, Queen... but some individuals are terrors at some point. The usual price of freedom here: constant vigilance.>
OH! almost forgot, what are your feelings on keeping a goat fish as a clean up crew for triggers?
<I REALLY like goatfishes... for this purpose and for general stocking in large-enough systems. Bob Fenner>
Re: Titan Trigger Care

Wow that was quick! Thank you so much!
<Ah, welcome Michael>
I completely intend for him to be the alpha, he's already got the personality, just needs to grow into it.
Thank you again.
<Do keep us informed of your ongoing adventures! Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger, Yay or Nay?!  5/12/06 I have a question regarding Clown Triggerfish Selection. <Sure-thing.> I ran across one at the LFS yesterday.   <Okay.> It is about 2" from end of the nose to the tip of the tail. <A bit small, juvies of this species don't really acclimate or ship well in my experience.> Its stomach is looks pinched and it seems to have general signs of lack of food. <Not un-common.>   My questions first should a Clown Triggerfish in this condition be passed on or can they recover quickly? <Depends, is he/she eating now, is the animal alert, "spunky", and aware of the aquarists presence.>   Also I couldn't find an article on the website that details the selection of a Clown Trigger fish, could you point me to it or help me out a bit as to what to look for regarding size and appearance when purchasing one? <I'm not sure if we have a article specifically on clown triggers but here is a general article that may help you; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/selection.htm ; Adam J.>

Clown Triggerfish Compatibility  - 5/2/2006 Hello! <Hi> I'm new to the hobby and am in the process of planning my first marine tank. I want to keep a healthy tank and ensure that I am doing things correctly. <Great.> I saw pictures of the clown trigger and immediately fell in love with it. I'm sure you have had this question asked before: What can I put in with a clown trigger?  I haven't completely decided on the size of the tank but it will be most likely in the 75-90 gallon range, depending on the relative increase of cost as the tank goes up in size. After doing a bit of research, I found mixed opinions. Some suggest that the clown trigger should be kept alone and some say they can be put with other aggressive fish that can defend itself.    I would love to put, in order of preference, a volitans lionfish, a boxfish/puffer and a tang. I saw a volitans lionfish at the LFS and it was gigantic. I guess I could settle for a smaller species if the volitans is not manageable in a 90gal. Are there any other clown trigger compatible species that you can recommend me to look into? <These species you list are not clown trigger compatible.> Also, I found mixed information regarding the adult size of the clown trigger. How large can they get when raised in captivity?  <They can grow up to 1' 8" which will soon make your 75-90 gallon tank much too small.> Finally, are there any invertebrates that could potentially be in this tank? <None that I could recommend.  Here is further reading on that family of fish. Do your homework on this guy before buying. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/triggers2.htm James (Salty Dog)>

A theoretical question about size <Not a Viagra ad!>    3/31/06 Hi, I am wondering if most marine species actually _do_ grow to their full adult size in aquarium. Some sources list captive size of a fish as small as 1/2 of that in the wild. Also, do you think there is some rational to the notion that available aquarium space may limit fishes' growth? I am particularly interested in clown triggerfish. Thanks in advance for your opinion. Taras <Do think the half as natural is a good guess/estimate... including Balistoides spp.... given time, space. Have seen the Clown grown to about a foot from small in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Need an intervention... marine addict... Clown trigger systems, tossing in cnidarians  09/13/2005 Dear Aqua-Gurus: <Eric> I've just overheard my dogs chatting about turning me into the ASPCA, as I've been pretty busy these past two months diligently enhancing, upgrading and/or setting up seven--yes seven--tanks. Two are freshwater, which I'll bypass in this query (indeed, they're so straight-forward, my dogs could pretty much run 'em).   While I've garnered much from reading various postings, I do have some unanswered questions about three of my marine tank outfits: First, I have a 55-gallon tank wholly dedicated to a clown trigger (3").   He rules the roost! Wet/dry set up with an external canister for extra bio, chem, and mechanical filtration and a decent protein skimmer.   I've become a fan of live rock in recent months as I've spent time developing a nano reef tank. From a filtration standpoint, how much live rock would you recommend adding to supplement the wet dry (rather than replace it)? <Ten, twenty pounds here... need room, and will need a larger tank soon... for the Trigger> All parameters continue to be favorable, though nitrates climb to 5-10 ppm in between water changes. That boy is one messy eater (loves thawed frozen shrimp the most).   I recognize that he would benefit from the biological plusses of the live rock, but are there other benefits I should be considering? Will the live rock eventually "bring to life" the non-living rock in my tank? <To some extent, yes>   I suspect the clown will "clean" off the rock of any tasty items that hitchhike their way into the tank, true?    <Again, for the most part, yes> Even the coralline algae? And will I need to add calcium supplementation and the like should I decide to add the live rock to the Clown quarters? <Maybe... but not likely... With the requisite water changes, enough alkaline reserve and biomineral will be added> On a maintenance issue, I'm judicious about water changes and regular cleaning, but are there any "clean-up crew" options to address the mild to moderate algae growth on the tank floor and walls? <Not with this Trigger in place> Longspine black urchin with its defensive qualities? A Mexican turbo snail with its own fortress? A nocturnal emerald crab? <All will/would be alternate play things and food items> These might be questions in vain....he is a clown after all, but thought they were worth asking. He seems like one of the nicer ones--at least at this size. :) Second, I am up and running with three other tanks--two nanos and a 40g--each serving as different reef ecosystem variations. One is well along.... 15 lbs of beautifully colored live rock, four different small polyp colonies, two small vibrant red mushrooms, a small green trumpet coral, a feather duster, a friendly yellow bellied blue damsel, and a Rainford goby...all doing, well, swimmingly. Yesterday, I purchased a beautiful green star polyp--attached to a live rock the size of a small fist--from the LFS. It was pretty showy there in the store, but after placing it in my tank--after an acclimation period of about 45-50 minutes-- <... you should, will learn the lessons of quarantine> the polyps have not reappeared. How long does it take them to show themselves? <... depends...> I have them at the top of the tank where there's strong water flow and great lighting. Shall I just leave it alone? <At this point, I would> Or try different placements to see what appeals to it? Are there sensitivities that I'm not considering? <Oh yes...> Or have they buried themselves in the rock never to be seen again? I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with this species. <... study before purchase...> All my water parameters are great, though my nano-tank runs a little warm...between 79.8 and 82.5....and the calcium readings are in the mid 300s. Trying to bump it up gently over time. For my 40-gallon set-up, my LFS talked me into a small hammer coral, which I also added yesterday, joining a fair amount of live rock (adding more later after it's  moved through its curing), some hermit crabs, an Emerald Crab, and a Mexican turbo snail. Like the green polyp, the hammer seemed to be more "exposed" at the store. How long will it take to present itself? <Maybe a week, perhaps never... impossible to say> I tried offering it some small brine shrimp with an eye dropper and it retracted--a coral's version of turning up its nose. Just a little while ago, the moon lights switched , and it's now out again slightly--just not to the degree that it was in its tank at the LFS. As an aside, its "mouth" is now stretched open with a very interesting small web apparatus coming out periodically--I'm guessing to nab micros in passing. (Anyone who thinks all the gee-whiz stuff happens when the light is on needs to sit in the dark with the moon light on and check out all the fascinating spectacles behind the tank wall!)  It's the only coral in the tank for the time being, as I want to move slowly with this set-up. I believe I did read that hammers along with elegance corals and a few others in the family actually prefer/thrive in water with higher nitrates than what one usually finds in reef tanks. True?? <Yes> I do plan on adding a few fish to this tank over time....considering a filamented flasher wrasse, royal Gramma, Fridmani Pseudochromis, cinnamon clownfish, and neon blue goby as well as (possibly) an elegance coral, a Kenya tree coral (aquacultured), a short tentacle plate coral, an orange sea star, and one or two feather dusters. See any challenges/problems/compatibility issues with any of those I mentioned? <All sorts> I would plan on spacing the aggressive corals at opposite ends of the tank. <... not enough> Finally--and perhaps most importantly given my bordering-on-insane marine tank obsession, I am setting up a 20G quarantine tank. <Yay!> You all have made a strong argument in its favor. My LFS has excellent stock, and I've never had a problem... but it only takes one outbreak.   Question though....if I get 4-5 fish at the same time through my LFS or a mail order option, is it problematic for them to share the quarantine quarters? <Possibly... depends on the mix> (They're all peaceful, so there wouldn't likely be any compatibility issues....but what if 4 are healthy and fit and one is on the verge of an infection?) Also, how often do you recommend water changes in a quarantine tank? <More Q tanks, more time...> I could ask dozens of other questions, but I fear I've already crossed the proverbial line. My "crew" and I are deeply grateful (in advance) for your guidance. Eric in North Carolina <Keep studying... and enjoying! Bob Fenner> Clown Trigger Compatibility.  9/7/05 Hey Guys! Quick question for you...  We've got a Clown Trigger and a Dogface Puffer together right now in a 75 gal... (I know  <that's not nearly big enough>  :o)  there, saved you the typing.....  anyway... were getting a 220 to put them in ... is that big enough for only these two ? but right now in quarantine in a 75...  my concern is... will they be able to get along together for the next 20 years or so?  Do you suggest I go ahead and separate them now?  I love both of these fish very much, and I've read clown triggers can be a little savage.... thanks sooooo much for everything, -Liz >>>Greetings Liz, Two fish of any kind in a tank is almost never a good idea unless they are a mated pair. The reason is that one fish will always be dominant, and this leaves only 1 fish for the dominant individual to pick on! In your case, this will almost certainly be the clown trigger. Now having said that, I've seen unusual cases of "buddy" fish that just seemed to get along despite common wisdom and/or other experience to the contrary. You might try the 220 for a time, but I would consider at least throwing in 8 or so Yellow tail damsels or similar fish to give the trigger something else to think about. Unless you have on your hands a very unusual case,  You'll be looking at a separate tank for the trigger far sooner than 20 years from now. Make sure you vary the diet of your trigger, and supplement with vitamins. Clown triggers have a tendency to lose color vibrancy in captivity. Best of luck Jim<<< Christmas Island Clown Triggers 29 Jun 2005 WWM Crew, <Hi there>     I am in the process of trying to obtain a Clown Trigger.  When viewing photos of Clowns in books and on the internet, you usually see this fine example with radiant coloring. <Does vary... with mood, health...> More times then not you also will see an almost fluorescent green on the tail area as well as a very bright blue on the edge of their fins, however when you see them at the LFS or see photos of other hobbyist' Clowns, they mostly just exhibit black, white, and yellow colors.  When asking my LFS about this, they stated that the more colorful Clowns originate from the Christmas Islands. <Island... Kiritimati... in the eastern Indian Ocean...> Any truth to this??? <The fishes from this location are exceptional... mainly due to the good practices of the folks in the trade there> My Clown is going to be the centerpiece of my aquarium and I would like to be able to obtain one with this type of coloration.  Wasn't for sure if there was anything that you could do diet wise to help the Trigger exhibit these colors as well.  Thanks in advance for your reply!!!                                                               Jeff K <Much has to do with the environment the fish is placed, kept in subsequently... Lots of room, circulation, filtration... low organics... Bob Fenner>

- Tank Set-Up For A Clown Trigger - Great Site.  Here is my predicament.  I have been researching saltwater aquarium systems since October of last year ('04).  I bought a lot of books, spent a lot of time on the net, and wore the ears off of the guys at my LFS.  I absorbed as much of the info as I could, read the books I bought 2-3 times, and began purchasing the little things (power heads, heater, etc.) one at a time until I finally had enough.  I purchased my tank and all the remaining needs about a month and a half ago.  The system has been up and running and is cycled :).   Here is my set-up..... 75 Gallon All-Glass Aquarium W/ 48" Double Strip (Blue Actinic/Full Spectrum 50/50) Pro-Clear Aquatics Model 75 Wet/Dry Filter Aqua-C Remora Protein Skimmer 20 lbs. live sand 40 lbs. aragonite 10 pounds live rock It didn't take long for me to become fascinated with Triggers.  More specifically the Clown and Picasso.  These were the guys that I wanted and planned to start them out small (2 1/2 to 3") with the hopes of being able to keep them for a couple of years, see how I do with this whole salt water thing, then if I am successful, go ahead and sink a lot more dough into a larger setup.  Since I wanted such aggressive species, my LFS told me to take the Wet/Dry Filter as opposed to the Live Rock method as I would never really get the beauty benefits from the LR, just the biological. <The biological benefits still out-weight the wet/dry.> They said that I would never be able to establish the purple coralline algae as my Triggers would just pick it to death. <Don't agree with this either.> Low and behold a couple of weeks ago, one of the guys at my LFS broke down one of his very established reef tanks and sold off the LR.  this stuff was tremendous.  Purple coralline all over the place and even a couple corals!!!  That is where the 10 lbs. came in to the picture as I have hopes that this live rock will colonize my other 85 lbs. of "lace" rock with the nitrifying bacteria through the years.  My questions are first, Is it feasible to house the Clown and Picasso Triggers in this 75 for a couple of years if I get them at the 2 1/2 to 3" range? <Not much more than a couple of years. After the first year you will likely start having problems as these fish get larger and more territorial.> Second, If I just decide to go with the Clown, lets say 4-5"'s how long can he be housed in this setting and what are some possible tank mates. <Not much more than two years.> Obviously bio-load comes in to play any time you have messy eaters, so I am keeping this in mind but wouldn't mind being able to throw one or two smaller fish in there with him for variety. <Would be nice, but as the clown trigger grows, you're probably not going to be able to keep anything in there with it. Will be expensive snacks.> Lastly, How come anytime I see a Clown Trigger for sale on the many online fish stores, they have a picture of this awesome example that is just marked perfect with these amazing colors?  When I see pictures of other enthusiast Clown's or see them at my LFS they are almost limited to just black, yellow, and white and are lacking the bright blues and greens around the fins that are showcased on the already mentioned websites? <Well... part of the reason is the same as why the Big Mac on the billboard looks so tasty - the picture has been chosen to whet your appetite, but the fine print always says something to the affect of 'your mileage may vary'. Another factor is origin - some points of origin product more brightly colored Clown triggers than others - so be selective when you purchase yours. Another reason is often diet and environment. Clown triggers are durable fish but do show signs of neglect - either from lack of things to do, or mono-typical diets. Make sure you have lots of small rubble laying around so the trigger can rearrange as needed, and also offer a varied and mostly meaty diet - throw in something green [like Formula Two or Pygmy Angel Formula] once in a while and you'll find your clown trigger stays bright.> Are these Clown's from a particular region??? <Yes.> Apologies for such a long email.  I am new to this and I want my fish to thrive and I want my system to be healthy. Jeff K <Cheers, J -- >

Clown & Bursa Trigger Coexistence I currently have a four-five inch Clown Trigger which I really enjoy. His/her only current tank mate is a comparable sized Banner fish. <Yikes... an uneasy existence for the Heniochus> I didn't originally want to add any other triggerfish. However, I have been contemplating adding a Bursa Trigger into the mix. <Not a good idea> The particular fish that I have had my eye on is roughly the same size as my clown and is in good health. Currently, the three would be sharing a 90 gallon tank but would move into a 220 by the end of the summer. <Still not likely large enough for long> I have excellent water filtration, via: an over-sized wet/dry, UV, and very efficient protein skimmer. Is this a bad idea in a 90 gallon? <Yes, bad> Would the 220 even be enough room? <Not likely> What would make other good additions outside the trigger family? Thank you very much for you time and expertise!  Sincerely, Jon <Please... see WWM re... trigger, Balistoides compatibility. Bob Fenner> 

Our poor Clown Trigger First off, hello and hope you all are doing well. Hopefully, this question will become helpful to others that might have the same scenario! <I hope so too> Secondly, my wife and I have a 70 gallon tank which, after the rocks and crushed coral and fish added is, about 60 or 55 gallon. We have 5 fish total: -Spottyback Wrasse (purple body with orange face and gnarly teeth only approx. 3"=healthy) -Yellow Tang (approx. 4"=healthy) -Foxface (approx. 6"=healthy) -Huma Trigger (which I bought about 2 years ago for my wife's birthday as she is the Trigger collector which is approx. 3"=healthy) -Clown Trigger (which I bought WITH the Huma who is now approx. 5" or so=EATING BUT LAZY and LETHARGIC!!!). <Mmm, this tank is too crowded... psychologically... and soon to be physiologically... If you wanted to keep just what you list here you'll need a few hundred gallons> We just did a 50% water change about 1 week ago and they all seemed fine. Tests were all perfect (we've had the tank now over 3 years with the two Triggers added just 2 years ago). The wife tells me that "trigger's like to play silly games. they pretend to be sick and lay at the bottom until you walk over to check on them only to find out they are fine. Let's just keep an eye on him/her to see how it is doing and keep a log".  Now, I have never had a saltwater tank, she and her brother had a 150 or so when they were teenagers that fell over after the Northridge Earthquake with approx. 2-3K worth of equip., livestock, etc., so, she has had more "practice". I do notice when I go to feed them, the Clown is very active. Today, this morning, I was sitting with my a.m. coffee and noticed the Foxface and Yellow Tang pecking at the Clown's "poo" and the Clown was just LAYING THERE! So, I went up to the tank and behold, the Clown starts doing his usual barrel rolls, swimming horizontally...etc. My questions/comments are: 1. I'm disgusted that the fish even eat poo that hasn't come out yet! YUCK!-Is this normal? <Yes, and not harmful in general> 2. WHY is the Huma (which secretly I like more but will never tell the wife) SO much SMALLER? BTW...HATES seaweed...eats only krill and Trigger formula. <Different species... propensity for growth is less and ultimate size...> 3. Is the Clown doing this for attention or is there something wrong? <Not likely anything "wrong"... your wife is correct in stating re their play behavior... this fish is very likely "just bummed" out... > 4. The wife keeps telling me "don't get attached to the fish, they eventually get too big for our tanks and we will eventually have to trade them in for smaller fish"...is this true? I really love all the fish we've had so far and they have been with us for 3 years! I really would hate to trade them in. I would love to get a bigger tank but with that comes more work and focus and we have a baby on the way. Is there a peaceful resolution? <Not really... your wife is correct here as well...> 5. Is my tank "okay" as far as inhabitants? The only thing I notice as far as "aggression" is, the Huma keeps getting it's butt kicked by the Wrasse only because it wants the Wrasse's "home"! <It is not okay... is way too crowded, stressful... equivalent to you living in something space-wise like your house with a bull and a bear...> That's it...let me know if I missed anything. <Mmm, all seems well-written, complete... I would trade the Clown Trigger in or get a much larger system... with plans to get one or more even much larger systems down the near road. Bob Fenner>

Discolored Clown Trigger... poor mix, environment (Marina Looks for Photos..) I have a 4 month old Long 30 gallon tank. heavily filtered. Prizm (H.O.T.) skimmer, old school gulf stream wet dry filter, 8 lbs live rock, phosphate absorbing media, carbon, PolyFilter. Also left in the undergravel filter, (covered by very little gravel) with 2 powerheads to pump the fish waste back up to the skimmer (ideally.) <Mmm, am sure you realize the requirements of substrate with UG filters, their shortcomings/strengths> I have more bio balls on order to increase the nitrifying bacteria for the system. I currently fight the nitrite with heavy skimming and a 1/3 water change weekly. currently levels are 2.5 PPM nitrite and 30 ppm nitrate. everything else is ideal. <... any nitrite is dangerous...> I have 1 Niger trigger 2.5 inches, 1 nano undulating trigger 1 inch, <<A what?>> 1 Royal Gamma 2 inches (lives in barnacles) 4 brave and fast damsels 3 Emerald Crabs (clean up crew) and a 2 inch clown trigger. <... crazy to have this much fish life in an uncycled system> everyone gets along. <Mmm, for now perhaps... apparently> - I know that your recommendations are for huge tanks with triggers, but I live in NYC and the triggers live as we do, in well laid out, small quarters. sleeping places for all and a good circuit to do laps. I do not want to reduce stock or trade in until they grow too big 1+ inch growth.  I purchased the clown trigger 3 weeks ago. The clown trigger survived and ich infestation 10 days ago. I treated with a 5 minute fresh water dip, and then treated with copper. When I bought the clown it had some discoloration, but was eating well, and was an excellent price retail at $49.00. I decided to bring it home and with TLC bring it back to fighting strength. After undergoing medication, the clown is eating well, although only brine shrimp or Mysis. Does not seem to have the desire to attack the krill like the Niger. On one side of its body the colors are perfect. The photo attached is of the other side. There are white discolored patches. under close observation, it does not look to be fungus. Although the fins have some white bits forming, perhaps bacteria attacking post ich? <Mmm, no, at least not immediately, directly the problem... the source of troubles here is/are environmental... nitrite, likely transient ammonia, too much stress from unnatural assortment, crowding> Also the pectoral fins appear to be enduring some rot. I am going to the LFS to buy some Maracyn, is this the best course of action, given I am dedicated to not making tank size change or destocking? Also how long should scales take to grow back if scrapped from netting or shipping? <Mmm, no... antibiotics period are not a good idea in main/display systems... this one, Erythromycin is not a good idea period> Thanks for your help, your site is very interesting. - JR <Keep the nitrite down below 1.0 ppm... through huge water changes, careful feeding, add more substrate, get a bigger tank/s. Bob Fenner>

Trigger = Eating Machine (3/2/05) I have recently upgraded my aquarium and have invested in a 300 Gallon system.  <I am green with envy.>  I have not yet stocked the tank but ultimately want to put a clown trigger in it.  <Cool fish. Great tank for it.>  I know from reading your previous Q&A that this fish has great personality but may tend to be somewhat aggressive.  <Variable personality. It's one of the "less aggressive" members of the family.> <<RMF disagrees... this fish often is an unholy terror when large>> If I placed a small trigger (say 2") into this system with a flame angel, a few damsels (green Chromis, 3 strip, yellow tail), a few percula, some regal tangs, and invertebrates (snails, hermit crabs, cleaner shrimp, brittle stars) and coral (hard and soft) what would be the outcome. My gut tells me to kiss the inverts and damsels good-bye.  <Smart guts.>  Any advice given is appreciated. Thanks in advance.-Rob  <The Trigger will eventually eat all of the inverts. Mine nipped at the "chips" on my starfish, so I eventually got rid of it. It did leave my big green brittle stars alone. Check the picture on WWM of a Trigger eating a Linckia star. Smaller fish are eventually at risk as well. Damsels can be very aggressive with each other. A "few" Perculas may not get along so well either. What do you mean by "some Regal Tangs?" Are you moving some fish from another tank? Have you considered a pair of Maroon Clowns rather than a "few perculas?" If you decide to go FOWLR, which you must if you have the Trigger, you might consider fewer interesting big fish rather than a bunch of small ones. Examples would be a Snowflake Eel (no small tankmates), Lunare (beautiful fish) Wrasse or Bird Wrasse, a larger angel or butterfly. With plenty of $, a pair of Chaetodon semilarvatus would really look great. If you want corals and other inverts, you will have to choose strictly "reef-safe" fish. Consider a harem of fairy wrasses. I'm getting excited just thinking of all the possibilities for a tank of this size. My most important advice is to be very, very patient. Research and plan and move slowly. This patience will really pay off. Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Who's Afraid of Clowns? I have an 8" masked puffer (Arothron diadematus) in a well furnished 90 gal- alone!  this is because I adore him and my experience tells me that the utmost caution is needed when selecting tankmates in even the most docile communities else tank mates soon become snacks. so I really want to add another fish with a little bit of color and an equally charming personality and I have become fixated on clown triggers.   of course I had to pick one of the most aggressive types of fish and one of the rudest species in the bunch.  if I add a very small clown trigger am I testing fate?  would a Picasso trigger be equally as risky?  or can these fish mix, assuming I keep a watchful eye? thanks. Reuben Hello Reuben, This puffer will attain a decent size, big enough to warrant having that tank all to himself. One of the last fish I would consider putting in with him is a clown trigger. Clowns almost always end up needing a tank of their own, and when they DO work out long term in a setting with multiple fish, it's almost always in a very large tank. Remember that aside from being very aggressive, clown triggers attain a size approaching 2 feet in the wild - 20 inches or so actually. In captivity they max out much smaller, but can be relied upon to reach a size of 15" or so. Much to large for your 90 gallon, even if he was by himself. A MUCH better choice would be a Huma Huma trigger. Triggers of this genus are much smaller, and they grow VERY slowly. Annoyingly slow actually if you're trying to grow up a show specimen. Good news for you though! They are much less belligerent as well. Start with a small individual, and you should be good to go for quite some time. The trigger itself will never outgrow that tank. One warning though, keeping only two fish is often a bad recipe for a tank of any kind unless you have a pair. One fish will always be dominant, and will often badger the other fish relentlessly with no other fish present to take out it's aggressions. Nothing is all the time though, and if you start out with a small trigger, you may not have any issues. Try a 3" Huma Huma or Rectangulus. Nothing left to say but, give it a try! Good luck Jim***

Help!  Sick Clown Trigger Hello, <Hi, Mike D here> You guys have been nothing but helpful before, so I'm back again in need of your expertise.  I have a 2 year old 55 gallon saltwater tank.  It  contains some live rock, a large sailfin tang, large maroon clownfish, a rainbow wrasse, a medium-small lionfish, and a medium-large (4" or so) clown  trigger.<Ouch! You are already maxed out on population with some major growing occurring as we speak...you have some hard choices ahead in your immediate future>   Everyone in the tank is doing fine, eating well, swimming around  . . . except my clown trigger.  I've had him almost 2 weeks, and he's been  doing great.  A few days ago, I noted some suspicious white spots that  looked all too familiar, so I dipped him for 10 min. in a HydroPlex freshwater  dip.  The spots have not returned (my UV sterilizer should have kept that  from happening to begin with).<I assume you're referring to ick and 1) the spots disappearing doesn't mean that the freshwater dip worked, as it's part of the lifecycle of the fish, with each "spot" that disappeared falling off and splitting into up to 200 new smaller parasites to re-infect your fish. Often what happens is this second, stronger infection begins where it's not seen, in the gills! Another fallacy is that the UV sterilizer will cure/control ick, which it almost universally does not. Read the FAQs on UV sterilizers and I think you'll find what I mean.>  Last night, I notice the trigger did not  have his usual appetite, and did not eat.  I just got home from work today,  and he's lethargically moping around the bottom of the tank, breathing rapidly,  and again, refusing to eat even when the food is in front of him.  The  water has had a recent change, tests appeared normal, all other fish are doing  as well as usual.  What might be wrong?  Is there anything I can  do?<I'd suggest removing to a separate hospital tank and begin your treatment of choice for Ick (there are many.. hyposalinity, dips, formalin treatments, etc.>  This is my prize fish!  I just got him at a once a year store  sale for 50 bucks off!  That won't happen again . . . . any ideas that can  help me?<Again, hospitalize/Quarantine and treat for Ick as it's likely infesting his gills (often new fish that have been stressed will be parasitized while healthy, established fish will remain largely or completely normal due to their immune system and slime coats functioning at 100%)  Once you've beaten this problem you need to start considering that both Sailfin Tangs and Clown Triggerfish get HUGE in a fairly short time (2-3 years) and will need a MUCH bigger tank ASAP.....imagine a full sized football painted the same color as your little clown trigger and you're looking at a 2/3 grown specimen, keeping in mind that marine fish do not grow only to the size of the tank they are in like some freshwater fish. Good Luck!>   Thanks a billion, -Dave

Sick Clown Trigger Thanks Mike. <You're more than welcome> Sadly, I awoke to day to find my clown trigger has gone on to a better   place.  Yet, thank you kindly for your advice.  You're advice about  tank size with the animals I have will be a major factor in future  considerations. <At least he didn't die in vain then. Clowns in particular are actually well known for being extremely delicate as small juveniles and indestructible as adults, where they BECOME the major cause of death for other tankmates> Thanks again, -Dave

Clown trigger 27 Aug 2004 Hey this is Steven again, <Hey Steven, MacL here with you tonight.> I decided to skip the shark idea and I am starting to take an interest in the clown triggers. I have a 48x12x15 aquarium and was wondering how long I could keep a small one in that size tank before upgrading. <I don't mean to be wishy-washy on your answer but the answer to that is that it varies by fish.  How fast they grow, what they get to eat, etc.  It also will depend on the competition of other fish. Good luck MacL> What fish can live with a clown trigger? I am currently upgrading from a 75 gallon to a 240 gallon. I made out a list of fish that I plan to add to this new tank. But realized after further research that the clown trigger would eventually as it matures, kill some of the fish that I had planned to get. Pakistan Butterflyfish Imperator Angelfish Zebra Moray Flame Hawkfish Achilles Tang Paddle fin wrasse and an orange spotted blenny, *maybe a bicolor Foxface in addition to my current fish in the 75 gal Arothron Reticularis Puffer Yellow Tang ocellaris clown 4 yellow tail damsels and my black and white banded Percula clown I was wondering which fish the clown trigger would kill or hurt so I can substitute them for the trigger. << Well I'm not sure if you meant that the clowns and damsels would be in the same tank or not, but I wouldn't have them together with the trigger.  I would avoid that combination, as well as the orange spotted blenny.  The rest of the fish should be fine.  It is important to consider size, because a large Achilles tang is much different from a small Achilles tang.  >> Also what fish are really good and hardy with the clown trigger? << Well the fish you listed are not known for being hardy.  I would say the Pakistan butterfly and the Achilles tang are poor choices for a new aquarium.  I would be taking this slowly and adding them at a much later time. >> Thanks <<  Blundell  >> Clown Trigger Pairs? Hello WWM crew, hope everything is well with you. Bob and Anthony, I saw you both at IMAC and was very informed and entertained with your presentations. You both are doing wonders for the hobby. Here are my questions: I have a 10" Clown trigger I have had for many years, and it is the family pet. It is in a 250 gallon aquarium with a few other fish. My question is have you seen many people ever keep them in pairs, especially at larger sizes? <Not I... in captivity or the wild. They must "get together" some time... but every time I've seen two near each other one was fleeing or they were fighting> I have seen it once before in the 18 years I have been in the hobby, but always thought they may have been collected together. Sometimes I use a mirror on one side of the aquarium to give my fish some stimulus, and the Clown trigger will sit in front of the mirror and orient its body vertically in front of it and sometimes almost upside down. The Clown never acts aggressively towards its reflection and seems to enjoy it. If I move the mirror it will follow it. Do you think it may be possible to add another Clown trigger to the aquarium? <Doubtful> I know it is risky, especially with the unknown behavior of a possible new trigger, but do you think I would be nuts to try? <Not qualified to render an opinion re your mental state, but I would at least have other quarters nearby and only do this when I could be present for the first few hours... Our old company fabricated acrylic plus other materials systems, some quite large (tens of thousands of gallons) and at times tried to put in more than one Clown Trigger... with WW III eventually breaking out> Over the years I have read everything under the sun about triggers, but do you know of any sexual dichromatism or dimorphism (I know I'm reaching here)  for Clown triggers? <Not for this Balistid, but you know there are ones that are quite different sexually>   I am determined to find out. Any references would be welcome. Thank you. PS. When should we expect another book from you guys?   <Perhaps another half year from now... it looks like we'll have to divide the reef fishes into two volumes. Bob Fenner>

Adding A Clown Trigger hi guys!!<Hi, MikeD here>  I know you hear it all the time but you guys are awesome! <Those are the Pro votes. There are two sides!>   the knowledge that I have gained by just going through your website has been immeasurable!<Me too!>  thank you guys.<You're welcome!>  there has to be tens of  thousands of people that you guys have helped like me out there.  anyways, I know you are busy so I'll get right to it.  my tank has been up and running for two years<Excellent, as it should be well stabilized.> and the set up is as follows: 270 gallon tank, crushed coral substrate, a Rio 2100 and a Rio 1100 pointed on opposite sides of the tank for water movement, 100 lbs of live rock, UV.. sterilizer, CPR Bak pak2 with skimmer and bio-bale,  20 gallon hang on refugium with bio-balls (just for growing some Caulerpa for the tangs and to compete for nutrients with nuisance algae), and a Eheim 2028 canister filter with Ehfimech and tri-base pelletized carbon.<Nice system!> I have very aggressive tank with:  7"  Indian black trigger , 5" Picasso trigger, 6" regal blue tang, 7" blue-lined grouper, 4.5" maroon clown-gold stripes with a small bubble tip anemone, 3.5" yellow tang, 5.5" sailfin tang, 4" puffer, and a slightly beat up 3.5" puffer (I didn't know that puffers were so territorial, the other puffer has been harassing him constantly)<Not all are. You might want to consider trading in one puffer or the other, as it's likely to get . everybody gets along adequately (except the puffers) with the occasional nipped fin here and there.  Believe it or not, the regal blue tang actually is the dominant fish in the tank right now (I know that will probably change with time and growth of the triggers, but he is running things right now) <Not necessarily. Tangs can be VERY dominant fish when larger, and are often heard humming ,"Mack the Knife" as they swim back and forth!>.  my water readings are good except that my nitrates are high (I suspect that the BioBale in the Bak Pak or bio-balls in the fuge might have something to do with that)<As well as the  high bioload, which will worsen as the fish grow.>.  I do a 25% water change monthly. <With fish that heavily tax systems by their food consumption and subsequent excreta, sometimes  a 5 gal/week change works better than a once monthly plan. There's less build up this way, plus it's a smaller job, making it less likely to be postponed.> my question is this, if you believe my set up is okay (any advice or comments would greatly be appreciated) and you believe I have enough room, do you think it would be okay to add a 2.5-3" clown trigger?<Honestly, NO>  I know that they are really aggressive and can become meaner with age, but I think since he will be the last addition to the tank and he will be almost the smallest guy on the block, it might work out<It will, FOR A WHILE, and then the killing starts. You are afflicted with an ailment common to many of us at one time or another, which I call the Juvenile Fish Syndrome, or JFS. You have a larger tank and apparently LOTS of room, but the key fact here is FOR NOW, as those kids are growing. All are hardy and with potential to survive and get LARGE, which is going to REALLY tax your system, and possibly set the stage for a major epidemic as the crowding gets worse.>  Let me know what you think.  your input, whatever it may be, will be greatly appreciated.<LOL! I hope so. Envision a football swimming around in your tank with a buzz saw for a mouth and that's close to the reality of a larger Clown Trigger.  Mother Nature doesn't dress fish in regalia that garish without good cause, and hiding isn't the reason.> Lucius

Clown Trigger Growth Rate (3/9/04)   I appreciate your help on my last question, however I have another.  I realized in buying the clown trigger that it would eventually out grow my 40 tank, I was originally hoping to upgrade to an 100 gallon tank. However due to recent events this upgrade might not be possible. <Which is why one should always buy on the basis of what one has available now, not what one hopes to have in the unpredictable future.> How long will it take for my clown trigger which is now 3.5-4 inches to outgrow my current tank and around what size will it be when this happens. <It is likely to feel crowded within a year after only growing a few inches. Clown Triggers are mean and get meaner with age. When it gets unhappy, it will start biting your eel and even you.>  Thanks again, -Brad <If you don't think you can upgrade by Christmas, you should consider finding this fish a new, bigger home elsewhere. Steve Allen.>

Clown Trigger & Passer Angel Behaviour Hi Bob, <Hello Matthew> I have bought and read your book and really enjoyed it (great photo of that adult clown trigger being held by a diver!). <I recently met someone (John Phillips of Tideline, LA) who had met and dived with none other than Rodney Jonklaas... a famous diver (RIP) from Ceylon/Sri Lanka... who was my inspiration as a collector and had a very nice pic of him and a Clown Trigger that circulated quite a bit...> I have a 100 gallon fish only tank with two aqua medic Turboflotor 1000multi hang on skimmers, a Eheim 2229 wet/dry biological and a Eheim 2028 for mechanical/carbon filtration.  I have no live rock but use A-Z No3 to keep Nitrates at about 2ppm - ammonia and nitrite are zero. I am proud of how healthy the fish look - their colours seem to glow. <Sounds very nice> My fish display some really interesting behaviour that I thought you might be able to explain. I have 3 fish - a 6" Clown Trigger, a 5" Passer Angelfish (it has yellow pectoral fins - female I think) and a 5" Lunare Wrasse. They have been together for about 6 months. <Going to be a very crowded system with time, growth> The trigger and the angelfish sleep together! There is a small "cave" in the tank and the triggerfish settles down in there when the lights go off at night and the angelfish then follows the trigger in and then seems to defend the cave. The angelfish will do regular patrols of the tank before returning to the cave with the clown trigger. If I get close to the tank the angelfish will charge at me and then return to the cave - it is normally hand tame when the lights are on and will follow me around the room in the tank. I even put a large plant pot in the tank to create another cave and although both fish go in there from time to time during the day they still choose to sleep together in the cave. During the day they do not react to each other and can even bump into each other without any reaction from either fish . I thought you might be interested!   Regards,  Matt - UK <Yes, thank you for sending this observation along. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Clown Trigger & Passer Angel Behaviour Thank you for the quick reply. <Welcome> Please find attached a photo of the clown trigger. Your book is a real inspiration and by applying your recommendations I hope you will agree that this is a very happy/healthy fish. <Yes, appears so! Bob Fenner>
Regards, Matt

- Clown Trigger Problems - I have some pics of the clown trigger fish, also the queen angel is in another tank along with the tusk.  Right now in my 125 I have the Emperor angel, clown trigger, and some damsels,  I am thinking about adding a powder blue tang to the mix though. <Please hold off on this choice for a little while - is best to stock very slowly and let the fish get a chance to get to know one another before you add any more neighbors. Also, the Powder Blue is a notoriously ich-prone fish so you should quarantine FIRST, before adding the fish to your main system. More info on those tangs here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/powdbluetg.htm > Anyway here you go, hopefully you can tell what it is that's on my clown trigger, thanks a lot. <Hard to make anything out very well from those photos, but I think it might be a mechanical injury - perhaps from trying to work over one of the other fish - wouldn't be too concerned.> Rene Brunetti <Cheers, J -- >

Clown and Titan Triggers (12-3-03) Hello Bob,<Cody here today.> I was wondering if a 11 inch Titan Trigger could be compatible with a equivalent in length Clown Trigger? <Nope!  The titans are known to be very aggressive and sometimes even go after divers in the wild! They also get very large and would require a huge tank.>And, if that's possible what size tank would you recommend them to be housed in? <Hundreds or even thousands of gallons.>How can you tell between male and female Titan Triggers?  <Hmm, not sure on this one, try searching www.fishbase.org for info on this.  Cody> Thank you, Titus

Clown Trigger behavior Hey Crew, I have a clown trigger (3.5in.) in a 55 gallon that has been running for about 8 months now.  The clown was the first fish I introduced after my damsels.  Until a couple of days ago he would always have tons of personality and race back and fourth from one side of the tank to the other.  About a week ago I added a yellow tang (4 in.) I don't know if there is any correlation, but a couple of days ago the trigger has been acting much different. If it is out, it isn't swimming around. It still eats, and the coloration looks normal, but it just seems like it is lazy or something.  Also, when he is eating, he sometimes rotates onto his side, then flips back over.  If you have any ideas, I would be most gracious to hear your diagnosis.  Thank you  Eric <Good accounting of your system and pertinent points. It may be that your triggerfish is "just bored" (a fifty five gallon system is a very small world for this species... it needs more room), but I do suspect you're correct in correlating the addition of the Yellow Tang with its feeding/behavioral differences. I would not be overly concerned, and suspect that all will "self-correct" in a short while. Do look into and invest in a larger system. Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger With Ich 7-25-30        Hi my name is Paula <Cody here, sorry for the delay.>and I purchased a tiny clown trigger from the company I work for. I never acclimated it to the system when it came in at work. I brought it straight home and put it into a twenty gal. with 15 pounds of live rock and 2 maroon clowns the clowns do not bother it. I noticed the trigger clown had ich on it's fin  before leaving work and was hoping that being in an established system the fish could recover on it's own. Before going any farther my ammonia is 0 ppm my nitrites are 0ppm and my nitrates are 10 ppm and salinity is 1.018. I purchased the fish Thurs. it's now Tues. (5 days) no better no worse eats great a little shy unless he's being fed but is doing well so far. My dilemma is do I wait or treat with CopperSafe now. I have a 75 gal. with a Foxface rabbit, regal and yellow tang, blue fin angel, yellow headed goby, bi-color and lawn mower blennies, snowflake moray which will eventually go in with the trigger, and a Percula clown with two cleaner shrimp and a fire shrimp. The only time I have ever had a problem with Ich is when I first brought the 75 gal. home stalked with 1/2 the fish in it now, bought from individual already set up. That was a chore in it's self I carried 60 gal. of water back with me and kept all rock submersed separate from fish. This is the last fish I am buying for a long time I have wanted a clown trigger for several years but knew it was not reef safe and it gets so large I wasn't ready to tackle that feet until my reef was complete. Anyway I haven't dealt with triggers much I know what they eat and what they are like but am concerned with how the clown trigger will react to the CopperSafe. Also I don't like using this with out knowing a little more about how to mix it, I have purchased a copper test kit but CopperSafe doesn't have the number amounts just teaspoon or what ever. What is the amount I should achieve and how long do I keep it their. I have read .35 and others .25 and others as high as .50 although I feel .50 is probably to hi what amount will actually kill the parasite after it falls of the fish? Or should I try something else? wait it out? Lower salinity How low is low enough? I thought 1.016 but I have read 1.010 is that to low? I have a 2 1/2 inch cleaner would a 2 inch or less Clown trigger  kill him? I fear yes if not I will try the cleaner shrimp first?<The trigger would probably eat the cleaner.  Just add copper until the correct level is reached, put about 15 drops in the tank, if you are using the 20 gal.  Then add more drops as needed.  I would shoot for copper levels around .2-.25.  Also if you want to keep the LR live you will need to take it out before treating.  It would be best to also have no substrate as it can absorb the copper.  The rock will need to sit in a separate container for at least a month before it can be put back in with fish.  It would be best to also have no substrate as it can absorb the copper. Also if you use copper I would keep the salinity up to normal levels.> What do I do???   Help!

How long does it take for a BABY clown trigger (1"-1.5") to change into his adult coloration <Just a few months. Bob Fenner>

- Baby Clown Trigger - I got my baby clown trigger in today from fishsupply.com. I must say I'm not very happy. The fish came with TWO CLOUDY eyes. My wishful thinking is telling me that maybe its normal for Clown Trigger fish for their eyes to appear cloudy? <Cloudy eyes are not normal.> But I know its probably hopeless. <Not so... make sure it's eating, has good water quality, and isn't being hassled by other fish or getting sucked into the filter and it should pull through.> Only reason I say that is because I remember having a HUMU HUMU and his eyes always appeared cloudy but they really weren't. <I know what you're talking about but the clown trigger eyes are not the same as the Huma Huma.> That's just the way the looked and if u looked closely they were a real pretty blue. You think this is the case with the Clown trigger? What can I do? I have a 5 day guarantee on him but I'm sure he'll live for at least that long. <I agree with you there... might want to at least talk to the folks where you bought it and report its initial condition - perhaps ask what happens on the sixth day.> Cheers, J -- >

Baby clown trigger... gentle... for NOW! Thank you so much for actually writing back to me. I know I'm a pain, but I love your alls feedback.  OK my baby clown trigger is eating fine. He comes out anytime I put food in the tank.<yes, they are hungry all the time> He is rather shy though, is just because he is like this or is it just cause he is new and still getting used to his surroundings.<He will turn into a menace soon enough!> He still has the cloudy eyes but do you think THIS IS A BACTERIAL thing or FUNGUS?<Not fungus, bacterial... it should get better with good food and good water quality> Or was it just a shipping thing that he'll get over.<should get over it, but not a shipping thing-could be stress, this doesn't always happen when fish are shipped> I wrote to fishsupply and the owner personally called me last night kinda shocked about the fish I received.<ok> He said he picked it out himself because he knew I was so anxious to get it.<ok> He told me it was the most active one and he was perfectly fine when bagged.<ok> He also assured me that the cloudy eyes would go away and that it was just a stressful shipping. WHAT DO YOU THINK? <could be the truth, I didn't see this fish before it was shipped so I really don't know its original condition> I mean he was positive it would go away.<It should> This is my favorite fish, my prize fish..<Are very nice fish, but choose its tankmates very wisely. You might not believe me now but clown triggers become very, very aggressive fish (I know from experience)> I don't want him to get away.  Also he was scaring me today because when I get real close to the tank and he sees me he just lies down on the live rock.. COMPLETELY motionless, PLAYING DEAD.... Is this normal? <yes, they exhibit this weird behavior... they lock their dorsal trigger and they are almost impossible to remove from the rocks> Is this a trait of this clown triggerfish? <of all triggerfish> Or is he in fact dying? <He is ok> PLEASE WRITE BACK, your feedback means the world to me <well your trigger should be alright. He is eating so that's a good sign. I would not be too concerned about this, Good Luck, IanB>

Tiny clown trigger getting ready for the feast of a lifetime! Hi! I love the website. Just had a question. I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank. It currently houses four damsels, one clown a blue-headed wrasse and a snail. We just added a Clown Triggerfish ( I know. very aggressive, but only as big as the size of my thumb). <That's what I love about this season, tiny clown triggers are readily available.> I was just wondering, because of small size could it grow accustomed to smaller fish? <A little, but it will likely surprise you some day and massacre everything.> If not ( I'm assuming once big all small fish Could be meals <You got it>) what other tank mates could be considered for this fish, and should we introduce them early so the fish can 'grow up' together and not be as aggressive towards another? <Well, first keep in mind that clown triggers max out at just under 20 inches. Tankmates for him would include groupers, lionfish <Maybe. RMF>, puffers, and at this point pretty much anything that's bigger than it. Also keep in mind that all the fish I mentioned get huge as well so a larger tank will be in order if you plan on keeping these critters happy. Enjoy! -Kevin> Sorry so many questions in big paragraph. Thanks for your time.

- Titan Triggers - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Hey guys it is Kim again (most recently sent ya a email about Zebra Moray eel), anyway my addiction in the saltwater world is Triggers. <Can't blame you there, triggers are very interesting fish.> I absolutely love them and currently have 4 different species and 5 triggers (1 Clown, 1 Queen, 2 Nigers, and a Huma Rectangle), but have had experience with most others (Undulated, Humas, Lei-Sufflamen bursa, Bursas, etc.).  Today I walked into a fish store that I haven't been in, in a while and low and behold they had a 2" Titan Trigger for sale and on sale for $30.  I looked into the other trigger that is commonly sold as Titans (Balistoides (or Pse.) flavimarginatus) and looks nothing like it so I do believe it is a juvie Titan.  Do you have any pictures of a juvie Titan (it looked in a way like a juvie Queen without coloration- has the little bushy things protruding from scales and has the eyes like the Queen and Blue Line). <Sorry, no pictures of a juvenile Titan Trigger.> I have read on your site how aggressive they are, and know via Queens and Undulateds. <Well - in addition, and as the name implies - these trigger get big! I've only seen a medium sized one in the wild and was worried enough then... similar to Queen Triggers, wiser divers stay clear of these triggers - they will come after you and bite you.> I am probably going to go up on Thurs and buy him cause I currently have a 75 gallon with a 5" Arothron manilensis puffer.  This should work short term but what is an ideal tank size long term. I would assume like a 180 or 200 (am I close?) and will it be able to live with the Arothron for life (I know all triggers are different and have different personalities but from your experience what do you think?). <Not the safest of bets, these triggers define the word mean and top out around two feet. 180-200g would be too small.> Thanks and thanks for the great help you have helped me with thus far.  Kim <Cheers, J -- >

An Addition To A Nasty Tank? What are the chances of a six inch clown trigger getting along with my fish which include a 10 inch Volitans lion fish, 4 inch porcupine puffer, 3.5 inch maroon clown, 4 inch yellow tang, two small domino damsels and a seven inch Popsicle squirrel fish? <I don't like the idea... unless you are dealing with a tank that is several hundred gallons...I wouldn't do it...> It would be going in a 120 gallon tank with reef lights and  some nice caves to hide in. I have read your information on clown triggers and I am puzzled on whether or not this fish would make a good last edition to the tank. Would you take a chance and put this fish into the tank or would you say its not a wise decision? <To be quite frank- you're just talking about too much life in too small a tank...I'm glad that you're taking the time to think it through before you act- but I'd shelve these plans in the interest of your animals. Take care! Regards, Scott F>

The Lion And The Trigger Hi Bob: <Scott F. at the ready today> I have a nice 120 gal tank with 40 pounds of live Rock, I have 2 blue damsel fish 2" and my clown trigger 4" I recently bought a 3" Lion fish and they get along just fine. My question is should I be worried that the small lion fish stinging the trigger?? <Actually, I'm much more concerned about the trigger using the lionfish as his personal chew toy at some point! Do keep a close eye on these guys to make sure that no one gets hurt> Because they get along just fine but swim very close all the time, should I be worry about it???. <Again-keep observing them closely for signs of aggression, and be prepared to intervene if necessary> And the other question is that I know that lion fish take a few days to adapt to their new tank to start feeling at home, and start eating properly, but do you suggest some personal tips to get him to eat??? <I'd try tempting the lion with some frozen krill, strips of fresh clam, squid, etc. Lionfish should adapt to a "non-living" diet in a short time. It's not mandatory, or beneficial, for that matter, to feed them living fishes permanently> I only intend to keep these two fish, because I want them to enjoy of the space and grow with out any problems. <So glad to hear that, because these two fishes will need lots of room to be happy and live long, healthy lives> My final question is that one of the dorsal spines of the lion fish is bended (or broken), do they grow a new one or it will just fall, and will it be a problem for the fish??? <Generally, this should not be a problem for the fish, if he is otherwise in good health> Any suggestions will be appreciated ... and please give me some pointers of how to avoid any pre-problems between these two fish. I all ready read a lot of research, one of my personal favorites its http://reefkeeoing.com/issues/2002-11/fm/feature/ there is a lot of information about all lion species. PS. who its more likely to hurt the trigger hurting the clown trigger or the lion hurting the trigger???? <Well, once again- I'd be a bit more concerned over the trigger inflicting damage to the lionfish.. Keep providing excellent water conditions (regular water changes), quality food, and don't add any more fishes, and these guys should live long healthy lives in your tank. However, they will ultimately need to be moved to a larger aquarium (like 200 gallons or more) to be truly happy in the long run...Good luck! Regards, Scott F >

- Clown Trigger Questions - Hello, <And hello to you, JasonC here...> I've recently set up a semi predator tank with inhabitants including a clown trigger (3.5 in), snowflake eel, <My friend, with these two creatures alone, the word "semi" does not belong - this is a true predator tank.> formosa wrasse and a recently added Imperator Angelfish (4.5 in) and my triggers colors have been fading since his addition I am not sure if this is a sign that he is stressed out from the new arrival or if it might be related to either a feeding or disease issue. <Could be any one of those - how big is this system?> About 6 weeks ago, I noticed spots on him and corrected by treating my tank with a mild based copper treatment (killed my cleaner wrasse) which seemed to correct the situation and regularly am checking for signs of return <Egad... this is not a correction by any means. Treating your main system with copper will likely stall your biological filter and could even lay it to waste. You should do some rudimentary water tests to make sure ammonia and nitrite are not building up...> In regards to feeding I try a few goldfish/ghost shrimp twice a week and for the balance of the week feed the tank brine shrimp and frozen krill. At what size can I feed him crayfish and what size should they be in relation to him <I would stick with frozen foods like Prime Reef and other meaty foods, shrimp, krill, squid, etc. Live foods tend to cause too much aggression which this clown trigger doesn't need to have encouraged.> All assistance is greatly appreciated <I would encourage you to browse and read the Wet Web Media site - all of these animals and their captive care requirements are covered there in addition to quarantine and treatment procedures for ailing fish.> Chris <Cheers, J -- >

Titan Trigger... titan tank I do not believe the Tesselata eel gets that large. <<this fish is Gymnothorax favagineus FYI>> <Hmmm... You do not believe the measurements taken in the field or that we as aquarists have the potential to realize the lengths observed and measured in the field? Do trust fishbase.org as a reliable and objective database. Not perfect for sure... but reliable> From the many aquarium books I have read they said the size is about 6-7 ft in the wild 4 to 5 ft in captivity. <Please keep in mind why fishes do not grow as large in aquariums as they do in the wild... it is an artifact of confinement: the aquarium. Stunted growth, poor development, unnaturally high concentrations of DOC, etc, quality issues in general. The abbreviated size is not natural or even healthy.> I am planning on getting a large tank built in my basement that will be over 1000 gallons. <I am very grateful to hear you say it, good sir> I would not put any of my animals in jeopardy and if they grew to large I would take the appropriate measures. <OK> I am actually looking for someone that builds large tanks that would be able to assemble it my basement. <agreed and wise... look up the folks at some regional public aquariums for advice on regional builders of such large vessels. I would hope that you can find an aquarist or docent on staff that admires your ambition and can hook you up with a contact> I will eventually get a 10 ft long tank by 4 feet wide and 4 feet long. or something of similar size. <cool... but indeed it is better to buy the tank before you buy the fish> and I would not keep any dog larger than a German shepherd in a 180 gallon. <<G>. Best of luck in the endeavor and education. Anthony>

Scarlet cleaner shrimp and clown triggerfish together I am thinking of getting a saltwater fish tank and buying a scarlet cleaner shrimp and a clown triggerfish. Do you think I will be able to put them in the same tank or will the clown triggerfish nip/ kill the shrimp. Thanks Josh <Have seen stranger things, but the vast likelihood is that the trigger will consume the shrimp. Bob Fenner>

Re: Scarlet cleaner shrimp and clown triggerfish together I just went to a store and they had very small clown triggerfish about 2-3''. The Scarlets there were almost bigger without their antennae. do you think that, that would make a difference? <Mainly just smaller bites, longer meal. Please read through our Triggerfish sections (articles and FAQs files) starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm on to "selection", "compatibility". Bob Fenner>

What?!?! Fish stocking levels- adding a titan trigger I know about its aggressive nature. I am putting it in a 180 gallon with a 2.5 ft Tesselata eel and a 12 inch unicorn tang. I also have a 120 gallon reef and a 125 gallon fish only tank with less aggressive fish. thanks for the reply. <George... please reconsider this. Beyond the aggression, you will have a dangerously overstocked tank. I have to believe that you simply did not know what the potential adult size is of these fishes, although that makes you no less responsible for it. Your eel is one of the two largest species in the entire Indo-Pacific attaining an adult size of... 10 feet long!?! By any definition it is cruel to keep this eel in a 180 alone for even 5 years (let alone with other fishes!!!). Many ethical aquarists doubt this species should even be kept in home aquariums that are so small. See profile here http://filaman.uni-kiel.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5391&genusname=Gymnothorax&speciesname=favagineus The Unicorn tang you mention is a fish which needs vast stretches of open water. (Even has the nose like billfishes). It reaches an adult size of over 2 feet long. See profile here: And then you want to add an extremely aggressive trigger (titan) that approaches three feet long. And so... if we take the sum total of 15 feet of adult fish length and cut that in half because of overcrowding and poor development and stunting... that still leaves 7.5 feet of fish that will not live to see a healthy 5 years of age, let alone a potential lifespan of a couple decades. I sincerely hope that you find a 1000 gallon fish tank before you find a titan trigger. You wouldn't happen to be keeping three St Bernard's in another 180 gallon aquarium around the house? <G> I'll keep the ASPCA number handy just in case. Anthony>

Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps I have a clown trigger that is acting somewhat odd and I was wondering if you could give me suggestions.  He has not eaten for a day and a half (and he usually is VERY willing to eat!) and doesn't swim around much.  He just stays lodged under his rock most of the time -- only coming out momentarily.  His color looks good and I have not noticed anything strange on him -- looks totally normal.  I did a water test and everything is perfect.  The other fish show no signs of anything odd.  Got any clues or suggestions?  Is he depressed after the holiday rush maybe???  :) <Likely my favorite species of fish (commissioned a stained glass model years back!). This is about the "most intelligent" species of a smart family of fishes... that does "just seem" to "get the blahs" every now and then (as well as "the children's play hour")... I suspect, given the other input, that there's nothing wrong with yours... it will just as suddenly "wake up" and eat everything in sight. Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps Mr. Fenner, Please help. . . I don't know what to do.  My clown trigger is still acting strangely.  3 days and no eating.  Yesterday he barely came out of his rock all day.  His color still looks good and he is still swimming fine (at least for the very short time he IS swimming and not in his rock).  However, he did come out for very short period of time last night and was being picked on.  First the maroon clown picked on him (normal for her to do this -- but he usually just ignores it. . .she just nudges him) and he quickly retreated to his rock.  Then he was out again and my supermale (about 6 times triggers size) started picking on him pretty bad and he quickly retreated again.  I turned the lights off immediately and of course the wrasse went to bed.  I looked in the tank this morning and could see Trigger in his rock and he was breathing but he wouldn't come out of course. <Yikes... maybe this fish is just being too bullied> What should I do?  Should I leave the lights off for a time period?  Should I put Trigger in a separate container in the tank with a rock or something (the hard part would be trying to catch him or get him out of his rock though). <Yes... either this or move at least the wrasse>   Normally the wrasse never picks on him -- is he sensing that Trigger is sick (even though he doesn't look it) and is deciding to pick on him for that reason?  Please help. . . he's one of my favorites (not to mention expensive) and I just don't know what to do to help him. <Would you feel safe, like eating if something six times your size was in your world, chasing you?> You have mentioned before that Triggers sometimes "get down in the dumps" -- how long does this typically last?  Are their symptoms what I describe?  Please help. . . your suggestions would be much appreciated!!! Thanks!  :) <Do separate these fishes... and try offering your trigger an opened clam or "cocktail" shrimp (sans sauce). Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps Thanks for your advice.  I will separate them when I go home for lunch today.  How long should they be separated?  Is it safe to re-introduce them in a few days?   <not likely... even if behaviorally "safe", the stress of moving a fish from one water chemistry to another and then back again within days is too dangerous. Personally... I'd wait closer to 2 weeks> Should I re-introduce them with the lights off?   <often helpful... please do> Thanks again for all of your help! :) <best regards, Anthony>

Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps Thanks for your advice.  I will separate them when I go home for lunch today.  How long should they be separated? <... until the trigger is able to hold up on its own> Is it safe to re-introduce them in a few days?  Should I re-introduce them with the lights off?  Thanks again for all of your help! :) <Likely to take weeks, perhaps months. But you could try in a few days... when you're home so if there is overt aggression you can re-remove the wrasse. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps Thanks for your response. . . here's my problem though. . . . my sick tank crashed a week ago and I don't have it up and running again yet.  I would have to put my trigger in a separate container (Tupperware with holes in it) within the larger 160 gallon tank.  Is this ok?  I know it won't give Trigger the space he's used to but will this suffice for the time being?   <Yes, as a matter of fact, an all-plastic colander floating with some air trapped under the edge works great. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown Trigger Down in the Dumps Yesterday at lunch I tried to get Trigger in the plastic container (even had an opened clam ready to entice him with) but I couldn't get him out of the rock he was lodged in. <If large enough, one can depress the second hard spine of the dorsal fin/trigger to remove... else wise move the whole rock it's wedged in>   I didn't have time to move everything around and take the rock out so I decided to separate the wrasse until I could get off work.  When I got home however Trigger was floating at the top.  Very very sad. . . <Ohh> he was one of my favorites.  I just don't understand!  When I took him out and looked at him he looked perfectly normal!  No marks, not even fins torn! I really think wrasse just picked on him that one time that I saw.  There was absolutely no evidence of foul play -- even his color looked great.  What could have happened?  What did I do wrong? <Psychologically battered is my strongest inclination... maybe a latent internal problem?> I love triggerfish.  Could you recommend another that I might try?  I have a 160 gallon with a wrasse, maroon clown, Naso tang, and two yellow tangs.  What other trigger (hardy ones of course) would you recommend? <A Rhinecanthus species... of about the same size as your dominant wrasse. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/rhinecanthus/index.htm> Thanks for all of your help.  Hopefully you can shed some much needed light on this. . . . I just don't know what happened to him.  I've had him for 2 years (with the wrasse!) <What? Mmm, this IS strange...> and he has been the smallest one in the tank but a very confident, hardy fish.  He survived two very bad bouts with ICH and has always swam around like he owns the place.  My tank has always been a peaceful tank even with the constant loads of energy portrayed by the wrasse.  This was just so unexpected. . . thanks for any help! :)    <Maybe the wrasse has become "more alpha" in recent times. Sorry to hear/read of the loss. Bob Fenner>

Balistoides conspicillum (Clown trigger compatibility) I am sorry that I didn't inform you that I already have the 180gal (72" X 24" X 24") with the 13" vlamingi tang and 9" emperor angelfish already in the aquarium.  The 75 gallon tank quarantine and/or emergency aquarium) is the aquarium in which I was going to place my clown triggerfish after I quarantined him for 4 weeks.   <Okay. Good idea.> And I was planning on purchasing an aquarium twice the size of my 180gal in the next couple years.  My question was do you think the tang, angel and (10") clown trigger will get along in the larger aquarium (180) or do you think he will be too aggressive?   <I would spend some time watching this guy at the store. Personally, I never buy a fish without spending at least two hours staring into the tank at the LFS. The aggressiveness that is in question exists in this fish species whether or not they have large quarters. They are accustomed to swimming in the ocean and they are aggressive there too! The smaller quarters simply aggravate this aggressive tendency and increase the overall stress level within the tank. IMO I think he will probably be okay for a while since his tankmates are rather rough and tumble also. But alas...there are no guarantees. The last trigger that I had was totally passive the first year that I had him. Then suddenly he began eating the corals and biting every fish in sight. You never can tell what a trigger will do. They change fast! But they are wonderful pets> By the looks of things I think they should have enough "personal space" but after all I am not a fish. <Ha! Good point! The tank is big enough to hold this guy for a while. Just keep in mind that a clown trigger tops out at almost 20"> Well thank you for your much needed advice and next time I write I will be clearer on the info that I give. <The clarity wasn't your fault...I just made a mistake.> Ian Behnk <I'm glad that I could be of assistance to you! David Dowless>

Re: Balistoides conspicillum (Clown trigger) Good afternoon gentlemen <Greetings!> After reading your email I have thought about a couple things 1) I am extremely interested in obtaining this fish and 2) I am going to do everything in my power and budget to get him. Do you think he would be compatible with the (9") Pomacanthus imperator and the (13") vlamingi tang by themselves? <IMO This is already quite a load for a 75> I know these fish grow to about 4 feet combined but in another year and a half I plan on upgrading to an aquarium double this. <But what happens if you don't upgrade?> Also these fish combined produce a lot of waste and are messy feeders, if I were to add the trigger would it throw the bio-load off whack? <well...the best indicator of how heavy your bioload is relies on water testing. Do your numbers ALWAYS come out perfect? 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and low nitrates? If your nitrates stay really high (40+) or you ever have ANY level of ammonia or nitrite, you're already maxed out and then some!> I try to keep my nitrates as close as possible to zero and my phosphates low so I don't have any un-wanted algae. <Very wise> I have decided that the 4" clown triggerfish can be placed in the already established 75gallon tank until he grows more and then I will place him in the 180 once I have my future aquarium put together.   <If this were my tank I would wait until I had appropriate housing. Would you buy a dog or cat and put him in a 3"X 3" box and wait (possibly years) until you could get something bigger? How long is your tank... 48" or less? Does 26" (and growing) sound like a lot of life in a tank that's probably 18" wide and 48" or less long? UHHHHH> One of my main concerns is I have had mixed opinions on the aggressiveness of this fish. <No mistake about it my friend. These fish tend to be very aggressive. Many unsuspecting aquarists have had their hand or fingers bitten by this guy.> My LFS owner put him in a 90 gallon holding tank which was (36" X 36" X 36")  with a 14" broomtail wrasse and he said within an hours time the trigger was chasing the large wrasse around the aquarium.   <Good observation! It would be unusual if this didn't happen! That's another reason why this fish shouldn't be kept in a small tank with other fish> I think the reason the trigger went after the wrasse because the tank was way to small for two 10+ fish. I don't know if that would happen to my fish or not since the angel and the tang are much faster than the clown and will not stay in its way.  But on the other hand I don't want my fish to live in fear the rest of their lives.   <IMO adding this fish would likely create a disturbance in a tank this size> So I haven't any idea on what I am going to do.   <Here's my suggestion: Leave the aquarium the way it is or settle for another interesting fish that will stay smaller and won't be quite as mean. Then when you get the 180 get all of your fish small and watch them grow. Believe me... watching them grow is really rewarding and healthier for the fish> I am not going to purchase this fish unless it is in the best interest of the fish. <You must decide for yourself. Read all the information that you can find. My opinion is leave this fish out for now. The tank is too small> Well thank you all again for providing this wonderful service to us aquarists. <Thank you for the compliment! Take care! David Dowless> Ian Behnk

Titan Trigger Hi Robert, <Hi Kelly> I have a 155 gallon bow aquarium waiting for my new Titan Trigger that will be coming at the end of this month.  <I hope it's not "lost" in your new tank... this is almost always imported at a few inches in length... and not a super-fast grower...> I planned on keeping this fish alone since it is so aggressive. Although, I was wondering do you have your trigger with any other marine species like a eel? Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kelly <Mmm, not always an aggressive animal... and I would definitely try keeping other fishes with it... for its and your benefit. Do read over its habits, geographic range, temperament on WetWebMedia.com, fishbase.org... and select some other likely compatible species to go with this Triggerfish... and introduce at least some of these ahead of it. Bob Fenner>

Found a Titan Trigger Hi Rob, <Hello Kelly> I think I might have located a Titan Triggerfish. <Ahh> The woman I have been talking to owns a fish store in NY.  She frequently goes into the city to handpick her fish.  She believes on Monday that she will be able to get a show size Titan Triggerfish.  Needless to say, I am excited about this.  She also has the ability to pick up a 31" Dragon eel (Enchelycore pardalis).  She said the dragon eels her supplier has are gorgeous.  In her opinion, an adult dragon eel and show size Titan could remain in the tank together. <Likely so>   Before I jump into this, I wanted to get your opinion if you agree.  Again, my tank is a 155 gallon bow.  Only the eel and the trigger will be housed in this tank.  I have a fully closed tight lid on the tank as well.  My Gold Puffer is in the 90 gallon tank. <You will want a larger system... soon.> Have a happy Turkey day!  :)  Kelly <Thank you my friend. You as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Thanks for the info. Regarding my puffer. I will definitely try this. I will make sure I watch them very closely. Thanks again for all the fish information you have helped me with. Is there a particular place on your web site where I can go to see exclusive info. Regarding Titan Triggers.  <Oh, the shared genus, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/balistoides/index.htm and the linked files beyond/around... you might want to start from the homepage to the index, fishes 2 and go through all the Balistid files...> By the way Rob, do you have a title. You are so knowledgeable regarding the aquarium hobby that I figure you must have an educational background in fish husbandry. <Umm, have been called a few things... do have a couple of life science degrees... have been about in the ornamental aquatics hobby, trade for quite a while... most friends just call me Bob... after all, it is my name...> I am a Sr. Programmer Analyst in Rhode Island.  <Oh! Was born in N. Kingston, and parents in Providence...> My job requires long hours and stress. <Mine, endless (though I wish there were more) time and nothing but self-imposed/imagined stress... seriously, very enjoyable to be "here" (cumulative experience, reflection, sharing), and realize how much fun, help, inspiration we are generating...> There is nothing more relaxing then coming home and watching my fish swim back and fourth in the tank. Kelly <A glimpse of yourself, your unfolding becomes real. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Hi Rob, <Hello Kel> You think I should try and put my gold puffer with the Titan? The scientific name that you mentioned below for the puffer is xanthic Arothron meleagris, correct? The puffer is 8 inches. :) Kelly <I would likely try this... for both their company, interaction... Both about the same in terms of nutrition (messy, meaty...) and temperament. The scientific name for the Guinea Fowl Puffer is A. meleagris, the term xanthic ("yellow") refers to an absence of melanin (black color) in your "sport mutation" specimen. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Yeah I thought as much. Fortunately, he is at a pet store two hours from me. I have someone who is going to help me transport him at the end of this month. This will prevent the shipping cost. As soon as I saw him, I knew I had to have him. He cost me 700.00. He is absolutely gorgeous. I have a puffer and some clownfish at the moment in the 155. I am in the process of transferring them into a 90 gallon. <A good move... likely to eat the Clowns for saying hello... and depending on the type, size puffer... maybe bat it around like a balloon!> I went to your site. It is packed with lots of great info. What an excellent site! <Thank you> Is it possible for me to add an eel? Anything at all in the 155 with the trigger? Thanks, Kelly <Worth trying. Something large, sturdy. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Thanks for your advice Bob. I'll keep you posted as to what I add with the Trigger and how I make out. My Gold puffer is a good size, but he is real calm. I wouldn't want to take a chance with him getting pushed around. Take care : ) Kelly <Ahh, a xanthic Arothron meleagris... a good choice to try... if it's big now (at least seven, eight inches total length... and you can be about the first day to make sure they're getting along. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Yeah I thought as much. Fortunately, he is at a pet store two hours from me. I have someone who is going to help me transport him at the end of this month. This will prevent the shipping cost. As soon as I saw him, I knew I had to have him. He cost me 700.00. He is absolutely gorgeous. I have a puffer and some clownfish at the moment in the 155. I am in the process of transferring them into a 90 gallon. <A good move... likely to eat the Clowns for saying hello... and depending on the type, size puffer... maybe bat it around like a balloon!> I went to your site. It is packed with lots of great info. What an excellent site! <Thank you> Is it possible for me to add an eel? Anything at all in the 155 with the trigger? Thanks, Kelly <Worth trying. Something large, sturdy. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Thanks for your advice Bob. I'll keep you posted as to what I add with the Trigger and how I make out. My Gold puffer is a good size, but he is real calm. I wouldn't want to take a chance with him getting pushed around. Take care : ) Kelly <Ahh, a xanthic Arothron meleagris... a good choice to try... if it's big now (at least seven, eight inches total length... and you can be about the first day to make sure they're getting along. Bob Fenner>

Re: Titan Trigger Hi Bob, Hope all is Well! <Yes> I am disappointed.  The Marine Source called me today to let me the Titan Triggerfish jumped out of the tank and died. <Unfortunate... this does happen> I ended up canceling my order because I really wanted this particular fish.  Unfortunately, the owner does not know if he will be able to get any more or not. <Correct, an honest statement. Dealers have to rely on the collectors, who in turn are subject to the vicissitudes of nature> I have tried to locate a Titan through the internet from a reputable dealer to no avail.  My husband and I are trying to decide if we should buy the Yellow-Margin (Mandarin ;) giggle) or should we wait.  What do you think Bob? <I would wait... in all likelihood, another Titan will show up in a few weeks... worth the wait. The Yellow-Margin is not just as spectacular in appearance, but quite shy comparatively... I'd wait>   Do you know of any good sources for finding a Titan?  I already tried all the ones on your web site.  Any advice, I do appreciate.  : )  Kelly <The only route to go is the one you're trying... to query competent suppliers, let them know what you're looking for and be patient. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob for your advice.  I will wait and be patient to get a Titan. Hopefully, I won't have to wait too long.  Kelly <I sense you will be very happy with your decision. Bob Fenner>

Re: Found a Titan Trigger (and a bit of the nature of the truth) Hey Rob, It seems like you know me well!  I have already been contemplating a larger system. <I am (to some strangely) fairly clairvoyant/empathical pet-fish wise> No one told me that when I started in the aquarium trade that it would turn into a justifiable sickness. ;) As a mater of fact, all the articles that I read said that it is so hard that most aquarist give up within a year. <I must amend this statement... Most people do leave this fine hobby/interest w/in a year... due to a combination of factors... Principal of which are a lack of timely, accurate, significant, meaningful information... basically missing friendship... A great shame, and one we are striving to diminish> Well, here I am three years later and still obsessed with  fish.  Although, I spent almost a year studying aquarium design and maintenance before I started. <Ahh, this belies, underlies your persistence>   I have also lost many fish before I got it right.  Now, I have a maintenance man come to my house to help maintain my tanks. I'll keep you posted as to how this all works out.  Take care Rob. <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger I was reading articles/emails on your website and read one in which you advised someone against adding a baby clown trigger to their tank. You said that it may "eventually kill all tankmates". I have a clown trigger (he's about 1 1/2 inches) and he lives very peaceably with my maroon clown, Naso Tang, Yellow tang, and Supermale Banana Wrasse. I've had him for about a year now and all of his tank mates are bigger than he is. He has never shown any aggression towards any of them to my knowledge. The maroon clown often times "picks" on him (slightly) when he enters her territory but he never responds with aggression. Do I really have cause to worry? Will he one day wake up and suddenly become a killer? Will he eventually outgrow the others and then become aggressive? Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks for your help! :) Elizabeth K. Birdwell <Hi Elizabeth....you don't mention the size of your tank, but to house these fish you need a heck of a lot of space. This is a 16" fish! Here's the poop on Clown Triggers: "The genus Balistoides: two species. Both species of Balistoides are sold in the trade, and both are in the Undulatus and Queen Trigger aggression range, i.e. MEAN.  The Clown Trigger, Balistoides conspicillum (Bloch & Schneider 1801), grows to sixteen or so inches. Get one small, and feed it sparingly... and keep your eye on it and your other livestock... this is an Alpha Alpha species that typically takes over a system of any size... and woe be to the tankmates that don't get and stay out of its way." There you have it.....they can be kept, but keep an eye out as he gets bigger, they grow bigger and more dominant at the same time, not unusual in the animal world. Craig> 

Clown Trigger II Thanks for your advice. <Steven Pro in with the follow up.> I forgot to mention the size of the tank which is a 180. <Just fine> If I've had him a year and he is only an inch and a half, (probably has grown 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch since we got him) realistically how fast will he grow? <This depends on diet and water quality for the most part.> If he's always the smallest in tank (assuming that the others who are bigger than him now continue to grow) <They will eventually reach their adult size. At which point, your Trigger can outgrow them.> won't his aggression be less likely? <Take a look around his favorite hiding spot. You are looking for a tiny diary. If you find it, you will see he is recording all the times the Maroon Clownfish picked on him and remembering to make her pay for it later.> I guess the fact that he is passive right now and seemingly harmless is not a good sign? <Just about everything is passive and harmless as a baby. Wait until your Trigger grows up and makes everyone rue the day they picked on him.> Thanks again! :) <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro> 

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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