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FAQs on Clown Triggerfish Systems

Related Articles: A Cruiser and A Bruiser, the Clown Trigger, Balistoides conspicillum, Triggerfishes (Family Balistidae), Red Sea Triggerfishes, Triggers of the Cook Islands

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


Re: Trigger question; now sys.        1/14/16
Hi, I just wanted to give you an update. After a few crocodile tears and we'll placed sniffles, my husband said he would buy me a used tank for my Clown fish and starfish :)So I will be able to get a trigger and keep my geriatric fin friends. I am still getting confused as to acceptable tank size for a clown trigger. Some on forums say my 150g will be fine but some
articles I read state a 300g.
<The smaller will do for years.... the larger... may become too frustrating to just have the one Trigger in.
Oh! IF you can start them small; you might try raising a group together.
Bob Fenner>

Clown Trigger; sys.       5/13/15
> Hello Bob,
> My name is Savvas. I'm from Greece and I'd really appreciate your opinion. I'm thinking about starting a saltwater aquarium again. I'm saying "again", because I'm not new in saltwater aquariums. From 1992 up until to 2003 I had 2 saltwater aquariums which were very successful. For various reasons, though, I had to stop them. (mainly for job-related issues and me not having the necessary free time to properly maintain them)
> Anyway, now I have a 95 gallon tank and here's what I'm thinking about:
I'd like to set it up and have only one fish in it. Yep, you guessed what that would be: A Clown Trigger. This would essentially be literally a "Fish-only" aquarium. No reef and not live rock inside it. Just properly set up for one Clown trigger with all the necessary hiding places for it.
Do you think that this tank would be small even for only one Clown trigger?
<Could work for a few years... starting with a not-too large specimen; not over-feeding it>

What I'd really like is finding a relatively small CT (like 2'' or so) and having it in this tank grow as much as possible. Do you think that it would be impossible for only one Clown trigger to live its whole life in a 95 gallon tank?
<Not "whole" life; no>

I understand that a far bigger tank would definitely be better, but for various reasons (mainly practical) I do not intend to buy a bigger tank.
> Thanks in advance for your time, I really appreciate it!>
> Best Regards,
> Savvas Fessas
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Juvenile Clown Trigger hiding and not eating in jellyfish tank      2/19/15
Hello! I found your site and spent hours browsing, so I'm fairly certain already that I may receive some scolding about the size of my tank...
First, I am a very amateur aquarist. I have a special tank for jellyfish (from jellyfishart.com) that I think is about 6 gallons. When my last moon
jelly passed, I visited The Fish Store and asked for suggestions for a different fish for the tank; they suggested a clown trigger
<?!... no>

(with the caveat that I'd need to bring him back when he outgrew the tank) and I purchased a juvenile about 1.5 inches long in December. In addition to the round substrate at the bottom, he has a live rock about 3x4 inches, and I added a plastic arch for him to hide,
<Dismal. Return this animal>

after doing some research. Problem
is, for the past few days all he does is hide and he used to be pretty active around the tank. And, he hasn't eaten in a couple of days either.
Yesterday I removed the rock and the arch (I know, mean) and he wedged his face between the wall of the tank and the substrate. I admit to pulling him out by his tail (not nice again) and now he is hiding once again in the arch. The only thing I can think that I've noticed in the past few days is that there may be some substrate preventing the water bubbler from blowing as hard as usual; but there is still movement and some small bubbles breaking at the surface. I do a 10-20% water change weekly and siphon out as much debris as possible (P.S. I take the trigger out during cleaning  and
keep him in a little bowl, is that ok?
). Any advice is appreciated - even if it's to take him back to the store :-(
Lauren in Atlanta
<I do hope this message is a prank. Bob Fenner>
Re: Juvenile Clown Trigger hiding and not eating in jellyfish tank      2/19/15

Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply. Not a prank unfortunately;
I just didn't know any better
<But the salesperson/clerk at the store did no doubt; disappointing>

until I found your site. Looks like I'll be returning him, thanks.
<Do see Neale's input on WWM re stocking such tiny systems. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Clown Trigger, sys.    6/14/10
<Hello Terry>
Thanks again for your reply, I do have one more question if you do not mind answering, is there a certain size tank that I can not go wrong with?
<Heee! The bigger the better for these fishes.. 500+ if you can..with a large surface area rather than depth..>
Thanks again, Terry
<No problem. Simon>

Aquarium For A Clown Trigger -- 03/29/09
Hello all, Shea here.
<<Hey Shea, Eric here>>
I just got done cycling my 75 gallon tank 1 week ago and was wondering what to put into it. My LFS has a beautiful 2-3" clown trigger.
They told me that the trigger would do fine in this size tank, given that it's the only fish in there.
<<For a time, yes 'but will eventually need a larger tank in my opinion. Balistoides conspicillum will exceed 20' in the wild, and is a very robust fish as well>>
This wouldn't bother me a bit; these fish are beautiful, smart, and very interesting.
<<I am much in agreement with you here>>
I also know how unpredictable/aggressive they can be.
<<Yes indeed'¦>>
So any tankmates that found themselves in there, I'm just going to assume would become a very expensive meal.
<<I have seen young specimens kept with other fishes for a time, but in every case I can recall, as the trigger matures the tankmates decline in number till nothing but the Triggerfish remains>>
So I'm just looking for your opinion on this matter.
<<You could do this for a while. As the sole inhabitant, the 75g would serve for a few years I think 'but a four-foot 120g display, or probably better a six-foot 125g display, will be needed for the Trigger's continued long term health 'in my opinion. Oh'¦and do be cautious when placing any equipment in the tank with the Clown Trigger. If/when it gets bored it may turn its attention to destroying such 'so something like a heater can be a real problem, for all 'best to keep these in a sump>>
Thank you so much,
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Clown Trigger, sys., sel.    10/4/08 Hi everyone! <Hello,> I am considering purchasing a 3" clown trigger, that is currently available at my local fish store. I would like to get you opinion if the follow setup will would work long term or not. <I'm a fan of triggerfish, and looked after several at university. BUT... do understand that they (largely) involve setting up a big tank, just for them, and don't really play nice with anything else. There are exceptions, but Balistoides conspicillum isn't one of them. A lot of people get triggers, keep them for a while, and then get bored with having to do a lot of work for just one fish. So think carefully if that appeals to you. Yes, these are the smartest fish on the reef, but that doesn't make them ideal pets for every fishkeeper.> I would have the clown trigger as the only fish in a 92 corner bow front tank. The tank has 40 pounds of live rock, a 44 gallon refugium, and a 20 gallon sump. I have an AquaC protein skimmer, and two Eheim Professional II canister filters on this tank. <Certainly viable. But do bear in mind that part of the space requirement is "psychological" as well as being required to give a big fish safe environmental conditions. Triggers will use up every scrap of space you give them. We kept our specimens in 200 (Imperial!) gallon systems, and they would patrol the whole tank, and even approached the front of the tank to drive away human visitors! Some species will attack divers in the wild: the reef-dwelling species at least are insanely territorial. Oddly, the pelagic species we get here in England seem to be schooling fish of sorts.> I know that they fish should have a bigger tank than a 92, but I'm wondering with the extra water volume from the refugium and the sump, if I stand a chance of making it work. <As I say, the extra water volume in the sump and refugium are "irrelevant" as far as the Trigger's behaviour is concerned, so he'll be limited by the 92 gallons. I'd actually recommend you avoid buying this fish "just because it's there" and instead research Balistids generally, and pick a species suitable for the tank you have, perhaps choosing one of the more compatible species so you could keep other things in the tank as well. I found Sufflamen spp. to be very personable, except with Ariid catfish (their clicking drove the triggers nuts, possibly because triggers use sound as threats?); Bob appears to recommend both Xanthichthys and Melichthys as good aquarium residents, by trigger standards at least, but I don't have personal experience of either.> Thanks, Todd <Cheers, Neale.> <<Well done. RMF>>

Clown trigger caught in my powerhead   9/14/08 Hello, <Hi there> I was hoping for some help. I came home from work today and found my recent addition (1.5-2") clown trigger stuck sideways on my powerhead for the UV sterilizer. I immediately turned off the powerhead and he came free. It looked as if he was sucked thin, as his torso seems oddly shaped. He was moving his fins, but slowly lowered himself into my live rock and I can't get a good look at him to see his condition. I can barely see his back fin, but he is deep in the rock moving his fin. Should I hope he comes out? Not sure what to do. Please advise. Tim- <Not unusual that this fish would behave as it is. I would leave this fish as is... AND place a screen over the pump/powerhead intake to prevent further trouble. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown trigger caught in my powerhead 9/14/08 Bob, <Tim> Thanks for the reply. He did come out, and his side looks injured. All his fins work and he did eat a little clam I put in front of his face. It just looks as if he has a cut or damaged scales on his side. <This is a very tough species... even when small> He's staying very close to the live rock and not swimming around too much, as he used to be very curious. I'm guessing he may just be recovering or gets tired more easily. I was able to feed him with the tongs I use to feed the eel. Do fish that are scared or injured heal over time? <Yes... or perish> He looks like he's doing much better. Is there any medication I should use, or just keep feeding him and hope he heals. <The latter> Thanks again for the help. I hope he pulls through. He' my favorite. Tim- <Patience here. BobF>

Minimum Tank Size - Clown Trigger 1/28/07 <Hi Adam, Mich with you today.> Can a Clown Trigger by itself be put in a 125 to 150 gallon tank? <Mmm, should be OK.  Minimum recommendation is a 135 gallon tank, obviously bigger is better.> I have one that is 7" or so and is in a 75 now. <Can get up to 20 inches!  Will be happier in a larger tank!> Can't seem to find a straightforward answer on this, want him to be happy! I have had him since he was 1" for two and a half years now. <Very good.> Thank You <Welcome!  -Mich> Adam.

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 -- >

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, Filtration Bob, thank you for your book and the web site. <<Actually, not Bob this time, but JasonC.>> Very helpful. <<Is a good book.>> Two things: 1)I have a 180 gallon with a 28" snowflake moray, 18" jewel moray, 8" golden puffer, 6" clown trigger. I would like to add another fish w/different coloration. <<good luck...>> The first three fish are non-aggressive, but the clown is unpredictable. I have tried smaller & tough: He was ok with a blackbelly trigger but harassed a maroon clownfish to death. I've tried larger but less-aggressive fish: He's been great with the puffer but murdered a harlequin tusk and a banana wrasse. I'm thinking of the following: a smaller undulatus trigger (am I nuts long-term with two such potentially lethal triggers in a 180 plus these tankmates?), miniatus grouper (I've had before and it was a pest re: space for my eels, is that common?), one of the larger Dottybacks or Hawkfish, or a large Koran, emperor, queen, annularis or half-moon angel. Suggestions/other fish? <<I really don't think you're going to get anything else in there. Your clown trigger now rules the tank, and anything coming in the top will be considered as potential food. I think that just about everything you list, with the exception of the grouper can/will be wailed-on by the trigger, the smaller species will be outright eaten, and all-in-all won't go well for any newly introduced fish. It's a time-tested and true quality of clown triggers; they just get mean. Your only option would be to remove the clown trigger for a month or more while you try to acclimate one of these larger fish into the tank and then return the trigger. Likewise, if you choose to try your hand at one of those angels, it's going to need to be larger than the clown trigger.>> 2) I want the best tank conditions I can get given the still-growing monster eaters in this tank. I have "dead" rock in the tank, an AMiracle SR 300b wet-dry with plastic media, with a Berlin skimmer fed by a pump sitting in the sump. I also have a Renaissance 30 canister acting as a mechanical on a separate line. This setup keeps nitrates between 40-70. Should I add live rock (how much if so) and discard the plastic media? <<I'm always in favor of live rock.>> Will too much rock cramp their swimming room? <<If stacked well, they should be able to swim around, through it, etc... like natural conditions. If that won't work, how about in a sump below the tank?>> Keep the canister or not-- is it adding to nitrates as is? <<I'm not a fan of canisters - is a maintenance nightmare.>> Route the skimmer differently? Other ideas? <<Upgrade the skimmer to something larger-scale, appropriate to the bio-load.>> Thank you for your advice. Keep up the great work! Steve. <<Cheers, J -- >>

Clown Trigger tank size  Hi <<Hi.>> I was wondering if a 30 gall on saltwater take would suit a clown trigger by itself? <<perhaps one of the baby ones that are so prevalent this time of year, but not for very long.>> if not what size would it require? <<I would consider a 75 the minimum with a larger system not far off in the future.>> P.S.-I love your site <<Glad you enjoy it. Cheers, J -- >>

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>

Are Acrylic Tanks Trigger & Puffer-Proof? Greetings Gents, As I sit here watching my 7" clown trigger pace back and forth, furiously biting at the glass pane of my tank because I'm ignoring his demands for more food, it got me thinking. Thanks to your great advice, I'm seriously considering a 300 gallon tank to eventually house my moody friend and his fake-coral-chewing cohort, a puffer. But do well-informed people who raise such fish to adulthood keep them in glass or acrylic tanks? Even at their present moderate size, these two have shown a penchant for biting anything and everything in the tank---including the tank. Acrylic is more prone to scratching than glass. Am I headed for a future of owning a huge acrylic aquarium with 500 bite marks on the viewing panes because of these guys? <I had not really thought about this, but having seen several large Clown Triggers biting the glass of tanks you may have a point. Glass may be your best option.> Or is the smart move to stick with glass (which would be HEAVY at 300g)? <Very heavy. I once installed a custom glass tank in West Virginia from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a two hour drive from the shop I was working at, but we were the only ones who could do it. The tank was made from 1" laminated glass, the stuff they build bullet proof windows from, 6' long x 4' wide x 3' deep. It required it's own separate footer in the basement and had a cinder block and steel I beam stand. The thing was a monster, but very nice when finished.> As a humorous aside, my trigger goes absolutely vein-popping berserk as soon as he sees the turkey baster I use at cleaning time, launching the fish equivalent of nuclear war on it every week...go figure!?! Thanks for whatever tips you have, Steve w/Predators <I would look for a glass tank. If you keep it at two feet deep or less, it should not be too difficult. -Steven Pro>

Re: Are Acrylic Tanks Trigger & Puffer-Proof? Steven, thanks for the quick reply. I was aiming for a 300 gallon acrylic, but given the need now (and weight issue) of glass, can I eventually properly care for this threesome in either my current 180 gallon or if not a 240 gallon: adult clown trigger, meleagris puffer (both which FishBase state can hit 20 inches) plus a 3 foot or less moray (either my current snowflake or Cortez jewel or Hawaiian dragon)? <You should be able to house those three in either, but the larger tank is always preferable.> I mention 240 gallon since you had indicated sticking with 2 feet in height, <You do not have to keep that height maximum. It was a recommendation to keep costs down.> as a standard 240 gallon is 96x24x24. Or if still not enough, what higher gallonage would be ok? I'd like the 300 gallon, but if I can get away with less while still giving these guys a suitable home I will have less weight to concern myself with. If not, I guess I'll have to hit the barbells harder to get ready for a 300 gallon move --yikes. Thank you for your always highly valued suggestions. Have a great weekend, and good luck with your book! <Thank you. I have to find sometime this weekend to get a major section (live sand) finished. -Steven Pro>

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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