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FAQs about Balistoides (Clown, Titan) Triggerfish Compatibility

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

Related Articles: Triggerfish, Balistoides Species, Red Sea Triggerfishes

Sooner or later... dinner.

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>

Stocking Question, Clown Trigger    2/4/07 Hello all. I have a quick question. My main display tank is a 400 gallon fish only salt water tank. The fish I have in there have been raised together since they were babies the past 2 years and cohabitate well. I have an 8" queen angel, an 8" clown trigger, an 6" blue chin trigger, an 6" niger trigger, an 8" miniatus grouper, an 6" red Coris wrasse and an 6" lunare wrasse, and lastly an 10" Atlantic blue tang. I am running enough filtration, protein skimming and uv sterilizing to run an 800 gallon system .  I have 300 pounds of live sand and 500 pounds of live rock built into a circular rockscape. The clown and queen are definitely the "bosses" but aren't nipping, only flexing their muscle in posturing. I am aware of the "adult" sizes all these fish will attain and want them to have as much room as possible and not overcrowd them.  I would like your personal opinion on whether this tank is considered fully stocked or if I may dare try and add another compatible fish or 2 to the mix. I appreciate your advice and opinions. I love reading your site. It has helped me IMMENSELY in my fish keeping:). Paul Kidd <Mmm, well... likely you are looking at a "time bomb" situation with the Clown Trigger... some day it will likely "snap" and start to (and likely quickly continue) to attack its tankmates... Only time can/will tell here if this happens. If it were me, mine, I'd leave the stocking as it currently is... unless and until you remove this Trigger. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Stocking Question, Clown Trigger   2/6/07 Thanks for the response Sir. I have heard that the clowns can be either nice or turn as you said. <Ah, yes> I have a 120 gallon fish only housing a Gymnothorax fimbriatus, (1 foot) a snowflake eel (2 and a half feet) a dogface puffer ( 8") and a Harlequin tusk (5"). I know from experience that the Miniatus in my 400 will harass and kill the harlequin, I have seen it happen to my last one and have read it online (please correct me if this is wrong). <Mmm, quite individualistic... I too have seen this and other Cephalopholis spp. get along and not in captivity> My question is could I move the contents of this tank to the 400 and leave the clown in the 120 either by himself or with the miniatus and NOTHING  else ever. <Mmm, not indefinitely, no... this is just too little physiological AND psychological room/space for the species> I would love your advice here and will change immediately if you think this will work. I just love that clown and along with the queen are my absolute favorites. I will have my net in hand and await your advice:) Best regards. Paul Kidd <Well... just an incalculable risk you must take/change... Unfortunately, the experience of many has been that "one day all is fine", the next day there are fishes with missing eyes, fins... lives. Perhaps your Clown will get along indefinitely here. I would take care to NOT feed it live foods... nor likely introduce any new tankmates... for fear that this fish may learn of all their edibility. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Question... Clown trig.   2/6/07 Thank you again Sir for your help and advice. I think the only thing I can do to still make things work and keep what I want is to bring the miniatus back to the LFS, put the 2 eels dogface and Tuskfish in the 400 and make the 120 the permanent home alone for the clown. I know your site recommends a 135 for him but I already have a 225 freshwater and the 400 and 120 salt and my wife would go NUTS if I talked about another tank;). I will rearrange the rockscape to give him one huge cave and all around swimming room. I never feed him live just a nice food processed mixture of squid, clams, shrimp and crab, spectrum pellets and fresh seaweed which I feed all my fish. The last possible option I guess would be to convert the 225 into a saltwater tank and house the clown and grouper in there but I don't know how hard it's going to be to transfer the live rock substrate from the salt and vice versa to the cichlid tank. If you have an opinion on this I would greatly appreciate it. Paul Kidd <Given the circumstances you list, I would do as you state. BobF>
Re: Stocking Question... Clown trig.   2/6/07
Hi Mr. Fenner. Once again thanks for the timely replies and advice. I have made a decision and have begun implementing it. I drained my 225 cichlid tank and took the few fish I had in there to my LFS. I then thoroughly cleaned it, bought live sand and rock, and refilled it. After it cycles it will be the permanent home for Cypress...aka my clown trigger. He's just like a dog to me and I can't bear to either give him up or my Queen angel, which I fear will meet it's end with this guy eventually:(.  He will have the entire tank to himself and be the centerpiece in my basement lounge area where the tank is built into the wall. I hope he will be happy there and have enough room even when he reaches full size. Best regards. Paul Kidd <Okay. BobF>

Clown Trigger and Compatibility....  - 10/15/06 Hi there, < Hello to you >   I only recently found your site and have accumulated vast information from it that I have been unable to obtain anywhere else. My boyfriend and I recently purchased a saltwater aquarium (180 gallons).  Included with this tank was one very beautiful and humorous fish 'a clown trigger.   This is personally my first saltwater aquarium, although my boyfriend used to own them a few years back in Florida.  Neither one of us have ever dealt with a triggerfish.  So far, our new little trigger has had loads of personality.  We thought he was dead a few times.  He tends to swim sideways, sleep sideways in shells, occasionally hang out upside down, I think he overall likes to play dead to scare us.  I don't know if the fish has seen 'Finding Nemo' or not, but I wonder if he's trying to get me to flush him back to the deep blue sea. < Triggers are definitely fish with character. It's just too bad most are so darn mean. > Anyways, point is we want some more fish.  I have read up as much information as I could on the clown triggerfish, and I know that he would do best as the only fish in his tank, but we would like to cautiously add something else.  He is about 3' -- 4', so I would assume that he is a juvenile.   < More like a juvenile delinquent!:) Clown triggers are one of the meanest fish available to our hobby. > My boyfriend desperately wants to have more additions; he believes that there is a waste of space in that tank with only 1 fish. < His opinion may change when the trigger grows over a foot in length. > Thus, he is considering getting rid of our new little addition to our family so that he can add more.  I don't like the idea of getting rid of our silly little fish.  I am attached.  I would like to try and compromise and see if we can try to add two more fish.   < Your resident trigger may bully/harass/kill any new additions to the tank unless they are a good deal larger and of an aggressive temperament. I cannot advise adding anything bigger as this would result in an overcrowded tank within a year or two. It would be best to either enjoy a trigger only tank or trade it in and restock. > Any suggestions you could give me would be highly appreciated. Thanks so much, < You're very welcome, and I wish you the best. -- Emerson > Trish

Clown Trigger in a Mixed Species FOWLR...Not Recommended -- 10/09/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I currently have a 75 gal aquarium with about 90 lbs of LR and a few corals.  We were going to go for a reef aquarium, but have been drawn more to the large exotic looking fish. <<Indeed...many interesting facets to the hobby>> In our tank now, we have for fish a 4 in. yellow tang, a 4 in. tomato clown, a 1.5 in. clown trigger, and six 1 in. damsels. <<Mmm...the trigger does not belong with this mix/in this tank>> We plan to be upgrading soon to a larger tank. <<Still won't do...with the trigger>> We haven't decided on what size yet but probably in the 120 gallon area. <<Neat...a nice size/nicely proportioned tank>> The only fish I am intent on keeping are the clown trigger and the yellow tang. <<Still not a suitable mix, Balistoides conspicillum is a 'bad boy' even as triggers go.  Even when kept in systems of a couple hundred gallons, these triggers have the nasty habit of one day just 'killing everybody' (will also munch your corals/inverts)...this fish is usually best kept 'alone' as a specimen display>> The clown trigger is pretty much the reason I want to go to a fowler setup. <<I understand your attraction...a very exotic looking fish.  But do understand the dangers of keeping this bruiser with other fish.  At the size you have it's not so much an issue, but as the trigger grows, matures...>> I read in a book that the clown trigger would be compatible w/ angels, damsels, Squirrelfishes, tangs, Dottybacks, and wrasses. <<For a time maybe...but who's to say just when it will turn on the other fish?  It is better, in my opinion, to not put these other fish in danger at all and exclude the trigger or keep it on its own>> I was wondering how much truth there was to that? <<No so much a matter of truth as a matter of timing, luck>> Also, if angels are appropriate, does that include any of the dwarf angels? <<The dwarf angels might be able to evade the trigger better...but that doesn't make it right...>> I know that the clown trigger is going to get quite large and want to keep any other inhabitants smaller if I can, so as to keep the water quality in check. <<Not only large, but really mean too...water quality will become less of an issue as the fish population dwindles>> I would like to set the tank up as follows: 1 clown trigger 1 yellow tang 1 flame angel 1 Pinkface wrasse 1 flame Hawkfish <<All but the trigger are fine choices>> Do you think this would be too much for a 120 gallon system? <<Exclude the trigger and you've got room for a couple more fishes>> If this is unsuitable, do you have any suggestions for other compatible fish? <<To coexist with the trigger?...no.  In lieu of the trigger?...perhaps a Foxface  (Siganus uspi or Siganus magnifica) or a handful of Cardinal fish (Apogon leptacanthus, Sphaeramia nematoptera)>> Thanks, Marci <<Happy to assist, EricR>>

Incompatible and Overstocked -- 09/25/06 Hi WWMC, <<Hello>> I have 180 gallon tank with a Picasso Trigger (3"), Clown Trigger (3"), Emperor Angelfish (5"), Maroon Clownfish - King of the tank (2.5"), and a Dogface Puffer (5"). Can I have a Black Dogface?  He's 6 inches.  The tank has over 100lbs of live rock (adequate number of hide outs.) Thanks! <<Not in my opinion...I think you're already overstocked with an incompatible mix of fishes (do take in to account adult size/temperament of these fishes).  I recommend you remove the Clown Trigger...this will soon be 'King of the tank', and eventually, kill all others present.  Regards, EricR>> Clown trigger comp.   9/22/06 Hello people. <Jason> Great site.  You are a great service to this hobby. I have a 120 (5ft) with lots o' live rock, (180 lbs)  I can eliminate some if need be. I was thinking of switching over to the predator scheme from my current expensive reef setup. <Okay> I love the clown trigger as most do.  There is one available to me that is about 2".  Assuming I removed all of my current snacks for him, what pray tell, could I add that would do ok with him? <Mmm, nothing that will indefinitely be "safe"... but other large, predaceous species... some angels, basses, wrasses, puffers...> I like the panther grouper, marine Betta, puffers of all sorts, other triggers, or what else could you suggest.  Also in my case, I don't plan on having anything for it's entire life.  Or who knows, maybe I would enjoy something enough to have for its lifetime.  Is it unethical to say that I may trade something after a few years to "try something new".   In other words, I know these fish all get huge, but it does take several years to get to that point.    Again, I greatly appreciate your insight, Jason <Mmm, have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/balistoides/faqs.htm and the linked files above? I would. Bob Fenner>

Trigger Compatibility/Aggression - 08/08/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I have been reading on your site about triggers, I know they can be quite aggressive but like you answered one of your emailers, they can vary in personality. <<Indeed...as can/do all fishes...animals>> My question is there any chance of a clown and a Picasso, if bought young enough and small enough and being introduced into a 200G tank at the exact same time, getting along, or am I just wasting my money? <<Is possible...for a time.  But you need to be aware that Balistoides conspicillum is notorious for turning on and killing all tankmates at some point as they mature.  A behavior no doubt compounded by the unnatural confines of an aquarium>> I have successfully had a red tooth, queen and a Picasso together with no worries. <<The Clown Trigger is a different beast>> Previously I had these triggers in a bare tank, I plan on having coral in the new tank will they nip at the corals? <<Most assuredly they will, if not just outright consume them...best to limit tank decor to some live rock>> Thanks for the help, great site. Regards, Adam <<Happy to assist.  EricR>>

Clown Trigger in a FOWLR? - 06/26/06 Hi guys, <<Don't forget we have some really sharp gals here too!>> Having become bored with the petty squabbling and incessant bickering that I associate with so called "peaceful" reef fish, I am finally seeing the folly of my efforts in "reef" keeping and think I will return to the ruff and tumble world of FO. <<Ay...to each his own>> I have come to the conclusion that you lose more animals, more sleep, more money, more time, and more effort messing around with a reef that you have no time to actually enjoy it. <<Maybe for you this applies...but as a "generalization", I disagree>> At least with "big" fish you either have them or you don't - they either live peacefully, or they don't, and that is about the extent of the decisions one has to make. <<I hope this is truly not your attitude towards the life in your care..."they either live peacefully, or they don't,"..."and that is about the extent of the decisions one has to make."!!!  Reef tank or FOWLR, you still have the responsibility to provide acceptable living conditions/tank mates for these animals...which means researching and choosing proper specimens for the environment in which you plan to keep them and providing proper care re.  Perhaps this is where you failed with your reef?>> So ...... now that I have that off my chest, I am considering taking all the livestock (except the LR) back to the shop.  I am then thinking of something centered around something big, mean and nasty, like a clown trigger - which is at least honest in that it is a wolf in a wolf's clothing! <<Agreed...and should be the only fish in the tank...else it will be before too long>> I would buy a decent size juvenile clown trigger - 3 or 4" maybe, and grow him on. <<A good size to purchase>> My tank existing reef tank is a 180, so basically I would be looking at keeping him, and maybe one or two other decent sized tankmates, and that would be it. <<The tank size is suitable, but I urge you to reconsider adding "other" tank mates.  Either keep this beast on its own, or choose a different animal>> Any suggestions what these tankmates might be?  I was thinking along the lines of a lunare wrasse or passer angel, or maybe both. <<Eventual trigger food in my opinion>> If I were to introduce all three fish, all at the same time (don't forget the tank is mature a few years), all at the same size, what would you think the odds would be of peaceful co-habitation - or is it likely that the clown trigger just murder them all...... <<Ah, yes...murder it would be.  Maybe not right away...but is inevitable>> I was sort of hoping that the wrasse would be too quick, and the angel too smart, and that there would be a good enough differentiation between species to diffuse any real battles (in terms of diet, geographic origin, colour, shape, size, and behavior). <<In the expanse of the wild this may hold true...but not in the confines of a 180 gallon tank>> I would really like your thoughts on this matter. <<Indeed...you have them>> Thanks, Regards, Matt <<Cheers, EricR>>

Clown Trigger in a FOWLR? II - 06/27/06 Hi Eric, <<Hello Matt>> Thanks for the reply. <<Your welcome>> I think you got the wrong impression from my previous email, and I just wanted to assure you I take the welfare of my animals very seriously and have a huge respect for any animal that has been torn from its natural environment solely for my viewing pleasure. <<Ah...is good to know>> I think you got the wrong vibe from my email so I just wanted you to know that I go to great lengths to ensure the well being of the animals in my care - I will be relying quite a lot on you guys (and gals!) over the next couple of months, and I would hate you to think you were wasting your efforts on some twat who had no real care for his little fishy friends. <<Thank you for this my friend.  And while I never consider this a waste of time (is seen, reflected upon my many), it is reassuring to know you are not so "cavalier" about our wet-pet's well being as I initially surmised>> I can see how you would miss read "they either live peacefully or they don't"..... I meant that to read that if you put say an angel and a tang together, you will know in no uncertain terms if they get on or not <<Indeed>> - and in my view constant fin flaring and displaying is as bad as an out and out fight, <<Agreed...stress>> and not acceptable in my view....... so if they don't get on, you clearly know - and can easily separate them - read as "catch a 6" angel in a FOWLR is a lot easier than a 2" flame angel in a reef"...... <<Mmm, yes indeed>> I didn't mean to suggest if they fight, just let the best fish win, and the other perish.......I suspect you interpreted my mail that way. <<I did...thank you for the clarification>> I wouldn't say I have failed with my reef as such; I have just grown weary......  I have had a so called peaceful sixline wrasse murder a royal Gramma and a blenny. <<Ah!  I think if you were to search/ask around the reef forums (RC, Reefs.org, etc.) you would find that a sixline wrasse is generally considered anything "but" peaceful>> I have had a flame angel maim my clown fish. <<Again...Centropyge sp. is known to be pugnacious...as are the clown fish.  I have to say, your choice of fish thus far sounds "less than peaceful" to me.  Granted, in a large enough system I would expect them to "get along"...but I would not consider any of them as "peaceful">> I have a "peaceful" mimic tang that terrorized my regal tang (both small 3" specimens)..... <<But...this would not be considered unusual or uncommon...very often "luck of the draw">> and so on...... conversely, when I kept FO, so called aggressive species, I lost a goby, and that was it - and he jumped out..... I kept FO for 5 yrs, and reef for about 3.  But truthfully, I am a very 'conscientious marine aquarist' thanks in no small part to Bob, the wet web media founder. <<Has helped/enlightened many...>> I have stayed up many nights until 3 or 4 am to rescue fish, despite getting up for work at 7am, I have driven an 8-hour return journey to my nearest LFS <<Yowza!>> to return a sixline, despite him murdering two of my fish - and didn't even get a credit note for a $20 fish that cost me about $60 in petrol! <<I'm sorry Matt, the character you used to denote your currency was not interpreted correctly by our email server.  I'm not sure of your country of origin based on your email addy so I'm inserting dollar signs ($) instead>> And generally, I typically take about a year between getting deciding I want a fish, then actually going out and getting one. <<And researching thoroughly in the interim I hope <grin> >> Anyhow, suffice to say the clown trigger is out. <<Really best if you want more than a single-fish display in my opinion.  Balistoides conspicillum is a spectacular fish and it is easy to see their attraction for hobbyists (myself included). But their nature/personalities demand much respect for how they are housed.>> I like the idea of two or three larger characterful fish.  I know its a broad question, but would you have any suggestions? <<Hmm, let's see... Since your partial to triggers, I would consider one of the Rhinecanthus species...much better temperament for a FOWLR/FO tank in my opinion.  In your 180 this species of trigger would likely do fine with the Passer Angel you mentioned, but a better choice of wrasse over the Lunare might be from the genus Halichoeres.  Much research/decision making ahead...>> About the only big fish I do not like are rabbit fish. <<Really?  I have a 7"-8" Siganus uspi (Fiji Foxface) in my reef system.  I find them to be very personable and "peaceful" fish>> Thanks for reading, and sorry if I gave the wrong impression in the previous email. <<No worries mate, all cleared up now <G> >> Regards, Matt <<Cheers, EricR>>

Trigger Compatibility...Morays and Fishes - 06/05/06 Bob, <<EricR here today>> Tremendous site.  Thank you for the service you provide the fish-keeping hobby. <<Bob, all of us, are pleased you feel this way>> I am blessed to have three large saltwater aquariums. <<Indeed!>> One is a 125g in which I currently have a Niger trigger and a Humu Humu trigger, both about 3-4".  Also in the tank are 5 yellow-tail damsels. <<I see>> What say you to adding a baby clown to the mix (after evacuating the 5 damsels) and then keeping those three triggers--and nothing else--in the 125g from here on out?  (I also have plenty of live rock and a large cave in the tank.) <<I think if you do this you will eventually have only the Clown trigger.  Balistoides conspicillum is a brute of a fish, even where triggers are concerned.  Juveniles can often be mixed with other fish (I even saw one in a reef tank...though I strongly recommend against this), but as the fish matures its tolerance for tankmates becomes less and less.  Clown triggers are known for killing "everyone" in the tank without warning>> Another tank is a monster 240g.  Right now there are just three damsel fish in it to cycle the system. <<Ugh...don't care for this method...not necessary in my opinion>> I'd like to put a Zebra moray eel in there as I understand they will not try to eat other fish but instead prefer to be fed shrimp, crab et al. <<Yes>> If I do put the Zebra moray eel in there...can I add large schools of peaceful fish--like Chromis and pajama cardinals--without being overly concerned about the little guys becoming lunch for the Zebra moray? <<Might be possible, though I'd want to keep the moray well fed just the same>> Also, in a 240g...are there larger peaceful fish that can be kept in schools? <<Hmmm..."large" and "schools" isn't usually synonymous with "home aquarium" <grin> >> If so, which fish (and in what number?) would you recommend? <<One of the larger Anthias species might be what you're looking for.  My vote goes to Pseudanthias squamipinnis, the Lyretail Anthias.  These are durable and handsome fish that can grow to about 5" in the home aquarium.  A harem of a male and 4 females would be possible in your tank...more if you decide to exclude some of the other fish>> All the best from the desert Southwest, Adam <<And to you in kind from the steamy Southeast.  EricR>>

Trigger Compatibility...Morays and Fishes II - 06/07/06 Eric, <<Adam>> Thanks for your insight--I really appreciate it. <<Is my pleasure>> What I'm gathering is that a Clown trigger is best kept alone in its own tank? <<Is what "I" think, yes>> If so, I think I'll pass on a clown because while they are beautiful, it's more fun to have a community of some sort, in my opinion. <<Agreed...unless you have the facilities to do both <G> >> I've never had an eel.  When you feed them with the tongs by sticking the food in front of them...how do you prevent other fish from "stealing" the eel's meal? <<This indeed can be problematic if you have fish that share the same diet.  Best to feed the fish first, then attend to the eel...warding off the fishy thieves as/if necessary>> Would my Niger and Humu Humu triggers be OK tankmates with the eel? <<The Rhinecanthus is likely a danger to the eel while the Odonus, though somewhat less a threat, may still take a nip if afforded the opportunity (While diving off the Kona coast last fall I saw a large Pink-Tail trigger chasing and nipping at a three-foot moray as it frantically searched the sea floor for a place to escape/hide)>> If I went this way then I'd have to opt against putting Chromis, pajama cardinals and your recommendation of Lyretail Anthias in there as the Triggers would kill them, right? <<Here again the Humu Humu is the bigger concern.  I have a male Blue-Throat trigger (Xanthichthys auromarginatus) in my 375g reef with Lyretail Anthias and some assorted small wrasses...never been a problem.  The mostly planktonic feeding triggers can be mixed with smaller fishes quite successfully.  Though I must say, Odonus niger gets considerably larger than most (to 18" in the wild) and will outgrow most home systems.  The Blue-Throat, Pink-Tail, or Crosshatch triggers would be better choices in my opinion>> Assuming the Niger and Humu Humu could go with the zebra moray in the 240...what else would go well?  A lion fish?  A puffer? <<The lion fish would be suitable in my opinion, but the puffer would not...another "nipper">> I'm from the southeast myself--grew up in Atlanta. <<Ahh...I'm a transplant actually...20 years in the military, happened to end up in SC at retirement...liked it and stayed>> Best, Adam <<Regards, EricR>> 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)>

Soldierfish as Clown Trigger toys and food items - 5/2/2006 My local dealer told me that Soldierfish can outrun clown triggers and hide under rocks. <They certainly do hide under rocks/in caves, yes.  They can likely outrun the clown trigger as well BUT do you want to take that risk?  There's still a very good chance that the trigger will make a meal of the solider.> Also, that even though they are nocturnal, they will come out during the day. Can this be true? <Yes, though you may not see much of them.  I see my soldier flit about during the day sometimes, but not much at all.  He comes out in the evenings for food and that's about all we see of him.  Your mileage may vary.  Jodie> Dale

Convict Tang chew toys  - 4/24/2006     Hi! Small question....can you put 5, 3" convict tang with 5" clown trigger 2 months in a 240 gallon tank? Dale <Mmm, not for long. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking/Compatibility/Tangs    4/9/06 THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!   <You're welcome.> I have been raising fish for 20 years. The reason I asked the question was JUST IN CASE things have changed.  <Nature doesn't change my friend.> My wife and I raised 3 angels... to 13" French, 10"queen, 12" Emperor over 5 years in the 240. <Good to hear!>  We sold them to an aquarium maintenance company. We had a 135 gallon with a 5" pair of semilarvatus and a 6" asfur for 4 years and moved them into the 240. We bought 8 Anthias females and on male. One by one every day they died. Out of frustration we bought 11 green Chromis...again 1 by 1 DEAD. <Not good, these fish are very hardy.> So, the clown trigger was bought because we ran out of MONEY!( PATIENCE) I like (as a challenge) a center piece, the blue face angel and 11 Heniochus diphreutes, I was told that nobody can tell a diphreutes from acuminatus, true??  <Don't know, Bob?><<Can be discerned... though much easier side-by-side... or in a still photo. RMF>> or keep the clown with ???? Sohal?? <The choice is yours.  You have been keeping fish for 20 years and I'm assuming you know what you are getting into.  I just do not like mixing triggers with relatively peaceful fish.> Also, what circulation gal./hr. in the 240? We've always used Rio 2100 or Rio 2500 for wet dry and the 18 watt turbo thrust UV.  Supposedly, you can't count the powerhead in wet/dry or UV? Is that right? in terms of gal./hr. It gets so confusing.  <A 2400-2600 gallon per hour rate is what I would strive for.  Since this sounds like a fish only tank, I would want at least 1500 gallons per hour going through the wet/dry.  The remaining 900-1000 gallons can be made up with power heads.> FYI We have 900 ocellaris babies.  <Did you actually count all these little guys?> Thank you,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Dale Crown trigger  - 02/25/06 Hi! Question: What fish can be put in a 240 gallon tank after a crown trigger has been there 1 month? The only fish. <... mainly food animals. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fishindex3.htm scroll down to Triggers, Compatibility, Balistoides... Bob Fenner>

Ridiculous mis-stocking questions w/o research  - 1/30/2006 Hi, <Hello>       I have a 110 gallon marine aquarium with live rock, live sand, aqua c EV 180 protein skimmer, wet dry filter and sump.  Could I keep a clown trigger in here indefinitely as long as it is the only tank inhabbitant, <No, you silly wabbit> would it be ok with a snowflake moray eel considering their different territorial areas? In a larger tank would the clown trigger be compatible with a porcupine puffer Diodon holocanthus? Thank you,                      Chris <No, no, study oh! Bob Fenner>

Re: dogface w/ clown trigger?  9/8/05 Thanks a ton for your help.... we went ahead and separated the two guys, I think it's better to be safe than sorry.  The Clown Trigger is alone in a 120g and the Dog Face Puffer is in another 120 with a couple clown fish (mated pr), a yellow tang, 6-line wrasse, and a Toby (Canthigaster jactator)**sp?.  these are the permanent homes... do you think the Dog Face will eventually need a larger aquarium? he's about 6-7" right now, but I've read / heard conflicting opinions on the proper aquarium size. You're the greatest! -Liz >>>Hello again Liz! I'm very happy to be of service to you! You should be fine with that tank. These fish rarely reach maximum size in captivity anyway. Cheers Jim<<< 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>

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>

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>

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>

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 >

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.

- 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 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

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  >> 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***

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>

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> 

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<<< Clown Trigger Compatibility: a Few Q's Hey Bob, thanks for your previous replies......... This question is really a waste of both your time and mine, but apologies for even asking, but I must ask it for if I were not to ask it, and later regret I would be really annoyed with myself. <Then please do my friend in fish> As you recall, I was hoping to keep a clown trigger in my 84"x18"x18" (131 gal) tank, along with my Emperor angel, yellow tang, and red sea 4 line cleaner wrasse. You strongly advised against "keeping a clown trigger with these fish in this sized system". <yes> Here is the stupid question: Is there anyway that the clown trigger and Emperor angel could be kept together in this sized system ??? Even if there were nothing else kept in there with them (or if something was else was suitable to be housed with them) ??? Given that the clown trigger has been in the tank since he was about 1.5", and is now about 3", and is yet to show aggression. <Likely yes... at least for some time... there is a percentage of Clown Triggers that will/do grow to become terrors in such settings... if yours is such, it will at some point attack the Angel... But I have seen, and can relate anecdotes of this and other "aggressive species" growing up with potential and real food fishes and leaving them alone...> I know the answer to this is still "NO", for the same reasons you said the last time, but if I got rid of the trigger now, and then hear in 6 months that they would probably would be ok, well that would really gut me :-) So, sorry again for wasting your time, I just need to make sure and absolutely certain that I am doing the right thing removing the trigger, before I do it. If the answer is "NO" , which I am 99% certain it is, then just one word "NO" at the top will suffice as a reply :-) <No worries... I would not do this mix... for fear of the consequences... the incalculable risk is up to you... Have you gathered others opinions?> Thanks for reading. Cheers, Matt (who really is finding it hard to let this little guy go) <I understand. Bob Fenner>

Tankmate Hi Bob, How are you? <fine, thx> I think my clown trigger is a bit lonely beside eating it only swim up and down the front aquarium. Is it a good idea to get a tankmate? <Possibly... do it sooner rather than... they get "meaner" with age, isolation.> Beside basses, is there other good tankmate? <Many choices... different sorts of puffers, wrasses, many more... read through the site: Home Page > Hope to hear from you again. David. >> <Bob Fenner>

Trigger tankmate Hi Bob, I am shopping around for a tankmate for my clown trigger. My clown is about 9" in size and living in a 42" x 24" x 27" ( h ) tank with 2 damsels. <Not a good gamble> I still feel that it need a tankmate. What is the best tankmate for his size? And how big is the tankmate? <No need for a tankmate... you are already enough social company> I was pondering of getting a cleaner fish too, is it a good move? <No> Very concern, <I do hope/pray that you and I are not reincarnated as this sort of tank-mate... Bob Fenner>

Baby clown triggerfish Hello My name is Ian Behnk, and I was reading over your site and a lot of other information and was getting mixed information on keeping 2 (3") baby clown triggerfish in the same aquarium, what is your opinion?  <Likely to chew on each other a bit...> I have a 100gallon tank with Aust. Harlequin tusk fish and 1 baby clown triggerfish. P.S. I LOVE YOUR SITE <Thank you my friend. Even though your tank is good sized, I would stick with just the one Clown Trigger. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Snowflake Moray, Nitrates, Clown Trigger Hi Bob, I have a 28" Snowflake Moray in a 180 gallon tank. I have had him for six years, during which time he has grown from 16". His appetite is great, eagerly eating silversides and supermarket-bought squid, scallops and shrimp. He is also pretty active for a moray, swimming about in the full light of the tank during the day. He gets along well with his tankmates, which consist of an 18" Jewel Moray, 4" Bursa Trigger, and 7" Clown Trigger. About four weeks ago, I noticed a white spot on the outside of his eyeball. I assumed it was the result of a scratch from the usual tussle at feeding time, or perhaps from accidentally scraping up against a rock. However, the spot has not gone away. It is covering 25% of his eye, and is the color of "whiteout" you use on typewriter paper (not really grey or cloudy). The shape is irregular. His behavior is still very good. He never scratches and isn't breathing heavily, nor has his appetite diminished. But, I'm puzzled as to how to rid him of this. The only step I have taken is to lower the SG to 1.017, hoping to discourage/ kill possible parasites. I'd rather not medicate if it is not necessary, and I don't have a quarantine tank large enough to house this bruiser should I decide to pull him out & medicate. Suggestions/ ideas on what this is? <Probably a bacterial infection from some sort of physical damage. Try using one tablespoon of Epson salt per 5 gallons of water. It will help to remove fluid from behind the eye and allow the eel's immune system to rid itself of the infection.> Also, considering the hardy yet heavy feeders I am keeping (with the probable addition of a fifth fish, likely a grouper or large angel), <The grouper would be a better choice.> what should my nitrate ceiling be? I'm consistently struggling to get it to 40ppm. Is that unrealistic? Is 60-100ppm acceptable long-term with these fish? <I do not think anything over 40 to be acceptable. Try increasing the frequency and/or amounts of your water changes, aggressive protein skimming (with these guys you should have a full collection cup of skimmate the color of hot tea to coffee daily, and possibly the use of purified water.> Also, how large and aggressive do you think the clown trigger will get in this tank? <Fairly large and fairly aggressive. I am frankly surprised you have had not trouble with him and the other trigger, yet.> He has a moderately bad trigger "attitude", ok with his present company, but with some temper tantrums (biting the glass when unfed, tossing shells around, etc.), and has killed a 7" Harlequin Tusk added to the tank. Thank you for your advice! You are a great resource! Steve <Thank you for the compliment. I will be sure to pass it along. -Steven Pro>

Clown Trigger and Cleaner Wrasse snacks Bob, Just a quick question about the unpredictable. I have just introduced a 3" Clown Trigger into my 120g. tank. I currently have a L. cleaner wrasse that is in the process of doing his job on the new inhabitant. I have had the cleaner for two years now so my question is...are the two compatible or will the cleaner end up dinner? I take pride in the length of survival that I have been able to achieve with this fish. Doug <Only time can tell here. As you state, "unpredictable"... Have seen these two kept together, and know of many mysterious disappearance episodes. Bob Fenner>

Clown trigger and Chaetodon semilarvatus Hello Mr. Fenner, <Author/friend Anthony Calfo here in your service> I currently hold a 75 gallon tank that is about a year old supported by a 29 gallon reef/refugium. In it, I have a 4~6 inches big juvenile Clown Triggerfish. <beautiful> Would semilarvatus get along with the clown? I plan to make no more additions after the butterfly. <not at all... truly unnatural and inappropriate mix. Even if the trigger did not impose aggression, its presence and posture are a threat and stress to the butterfly species. Alas...you need another tank <wink>. Kindly, Anthony>

Re: clown trigger and Chaetodon semilarvatus Thank you very much for the quick reply. I will look for some other tankmates. - Vince <Please do read through the many "Livestocking" FAQs pages posted on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Clown trigger and friends? I've read the FAQ for the clown trigger and I've got a quick question. I've got a 5" lunare wrasse housed in an 80g Tall. Currently there is a Naso, a Saddle Back Butterfly and a Blue Spotted Toby in there with him. The Naso and Butterfly have a new home that has been running for about 7 weeks now. The Naso will move probably this week and the butterfly will go in another couple of weeks. The Blue Spot is waiting for a tank to free up at the LFS where they'll give me credit for him. So the real question is this: Will the Lunare Wrasse survive the onslaught of a 2" clown trigger? The LFS says yes. In addition she suggested a larger Maroon Clown Fish for these two. I'm dubious of the clown fish suggestion but fairly sure the lunare will hold his own. Am I on the right track? <Should be fine initially, and with addition of other fishes for the next few to several months... the Clown Trigger will eventually outgrow the system though... maybe a year or so, but the species is unpredictable... I would have a contingency plan to move it or the other tank inhabitants for this eventuality. Bob Fenner> David Rencher

Re: Clown trigger and friends? Being single the contingency plan is to buy a bigger tank. Do you have any other trigger suggestions for a Lunare Wrasse? <Please see the coverage on Triggerfishes on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm particularly the genus Rhinecanthus. Bob Fenner>

Titan/Clown Trigger Question How are you doing - I love your site and have found the information to be invaluable. I have two questions (if you have time). I have a 75 gallon with a UV, skimmer, wet/dry and canister filter: 1) Would I be able to keep a Titan Trigger and Clown Trigger together (both would be 2-3 inches and the only fish in the tank). <Yikes... a risky proposition> 2) How aggressive are the Titan Triggers? <At times, seasons, large individuals have been known to challenge (and bite) divers... I have experienced this species on nests in the wild... you can tell something's up... because all other mobile macro-life is missing in the vicinity.> I am not too familiar with them and was wondering if they can even live with any Lionfish or Morays? <I would not, do not encourage this... unpredictable animals that can bite other fishes into oblivion... I would not place the two Trigger species together... unless you had the capacity to observe them almost constantly and move the loser/s apart. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, Jason Haefner

Re: Titan/Clown Trigger Question Thanks for the quick response - I was afraid of that. I will be sure to avoid that situation without question. The last thing I want to do is hurt or put any fish's life in jeopardy intentionally. <You are smart here... too much chance of real trouble... psychological and physical.> Thanks again. Jason <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Skimmer and fish questions Hi Anthony, I have two questions, one skimmer and one fish. <not bad... I have two answers: unfortunately, one of them has to with imitation cheese products and gastric discomfort> Fish first. You might remember that I have a 125 g reef it is doing just great after my massive water change and my chemistry is very stable!  <excellent> I also have a FOWLR 90 g with 25g sump. Due to my relationship with my LFS I sometimes get fish I want to add to my tank, not necessarily in the order I should add them. Luckily so far things have worked out. Here is my dilemma. I have a Koran Angel 3 3/4" head to tail, a Purple Tang 3 1/2", a Coris Gaimard 5". I now want to add a Clown trigger that I've had in quarantine for three weeks.  <a reasonable combination of fishes except for the trigger, however that point is moot: your tank is not even remotely large enough to house all in the 2-3 year picture. There will be stressed aggression from the unnaturally close quarters or there will be health issues (higher incidence of disease... "stunting" and premature death, etc. My friend... the cumulative adult size of these four fishes is easily over 48" total! This adult size is attained easily in less than 5 years on a reef. Keeping them for a couple years in 125 for a couple years is still less than ideal. Please tell your family that Anthony says you have to set up another tank <VBG>... and that its not your fault ;)> Here is the problem, the clown is fairly small (I know I should leave the small ones alone) he is about 2 to 2 1/4 " long. Will he be O.K. with the other fish that are larger? <hell no... in so many ways. If not for aggression, then by intimidation by virtue of its size. This fish can approach 18" (!!!)... if you keep it healthy enough to even see 12" it will have had several sushi dinners by then and the family cat will be nervous. Even if there are no aggression issues... the "baby" fish "baby" tank rationalization does not sit comfortably with me> Skimmer. On my 125 I have a Berlin classic for 5 plus years.  <my condolences> On my 90 g I purchased an Aqua C Urchin Pro.  <excellent> I have had advice that says the Red Sea is a poor skimmer, but the Urchin Pro pulls out the same amount of skimmate about 1/3 to 1/2 cup per week. Now I know that the bio load on my 90 is less with 3 fish, I would guess that my 125 has 40 plus corals and 9 (2-6" Tangs) fish. Is this amount O.K. for the Aqua C?  <hmmm...many variables here: feeding frequency, water change schedule, tuning of the skimmers, etc. All said I could live with a half cup daily on the 90 gallon fish tank while these fishes are small> I have read on your site that adding the Kent Venturi valve helps the Red Sea skim better. <definitely.... you'll be amazed. And there are even much better venturis out there (albeit some expensive models)> Thanks as always Larry <kindly, Anthony>

Clown Trigger Hello, Currently I have a 65 gallon tank with a Flame Hawkfish and a baby Clown Trigger. I plan on adding a Valentini Puffer, a Percula Clown, and a Hippo Tang very soon. As I told you in my last email, we got conned into putting in the Clown Trigger in first which was not a very good idea. My original plan was to replace the baby Clown Trigger with a baby Huma-Huma Trigger, which will not get as large and is far more easy going. However, my family loves the little Clown Trigger, which is about a little over an inch. Today I was talking to the guy who maintains our tank and he told me not to worry about it and that because the trigger is so small he will grow up with the other fish and get used to the them. <Not really true. Too many individual personalities to make broad guarantees. It may fight a little one day and discover that one of the fish it was cohabitating with is tasty.> He said that they may occasionally chase each other around but nothing too bad will come of it. <Not necessarily> He also told me that the Clown, in my tank will only get to about 8 inches. I am very skeptical of all this. Should I be? <Fish can be stunted, but it is not healthy nor something one should try to do.> Thank you, Nate <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Problem with Clown Trigger Hello,  Can you please help me.  <yes, indeed my friend> I have a 60 gallon with a pearl butterfly, Koran angel, 4 damsels, and baby clown trigger. <a very incompatible mix in long run.. the butterfly is likely to be intimidated and killed by angel or trigger and the trigger is a threat to all in time> My clown trigger has developed a bad case of both eyes clouding up and are very swollen. It basically happened over one day.  <a bacterial infection that needs treatment in a bare bottomed quarantine tank promptly (antibiotics will compromise other fishes/kill main bio filter)> He can barely see, but is still trying to eat. He's also discolored (colors very faded). My angel also has a little white coating on his front fins (they see to be a little rotted as well). Again, that seems to have developed over the last couple days. <do examine water quality... if bacterial, it is usually from poor water quality (low pH, lack of water changes, etc)> Can you please recommend a treatment.  <Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone cocktail meds at double strength if FW brand daily for 5 days. Must be treated in bare bottomed QT> I just want to make sure I treat this the right way Thank you so much, Frank <best regards, Anthony>

Clown Trigger Aggression Hi Bob, I have had a baby clown trigger for about two months now and he has recently provided me with a great deal of stress. In my 55 gal tank I have about thirty pounds of live rock, a eibli angel, flame angel, six-line wrasse, yellow tang, and the trigger. I was noticing some cloudiness in the eyes of my angels, so I started treating with Melafix. The condition cleared up, but then returned. Upon further intense investigation, the eyes appeared to have abrasions on them. I watch my tank for at least an hour everyday, and the clown trigger shows no aggression towards the angels, but I had my suspicions. I consulted my LFS and they told me that if he did not show aggression, then the he was not the problem. To my absolute horror, when I came home from work today, the eibli angel's right eye had been totally eaten out.  <!> I know I definitely need to move the clown trigger ASAP, but what are your thoughts on exchanging him for a very small niger trigger.  <Much less chance of overt aggression... but I must state that one aspect/factor in all this is the current and proposed crowding... a fifty five gallon tank is too small for a trigger species even by itself> Also, what should I do with my eibli angel?  <Trade it in, keep it, euthanize it... for now, wait> It breaks my heart to look at him. Is my tank too hostile for him in his disabled condition?  <Not necessarily. Only time, experience can tell. Many fishes do fine w/o an eye> The eibli and the flame had a rough introduction, with the eibli establishing seniority, but they seem to co-exist peacefully now. Thank you for your time, Derek Fulford p.s. your site provides an invaluable wealth of information, you are a true gift to the aquarist hobby. <We are more than glad to share ourselves. Bob Fenner>

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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