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FAQs about Triggerfish Compatibility 1

Related FAQs: Trigger Compatibility 2, Triggerfishes in General, Triggerfish: Identification, Selection, Systems, Behavior, Feeding, Diseases, Reproduction, Balistapus, Balistes, Canthidermis, , Melichthys, Odonus, Pseudobalistes, Rhinecanthus, Sufflamen, Xanthichthys

Related Articles: Triggerfish, Triggerfish Regional Accounts, Red Sea Triggerfishes, Hawaiian Triggerfishes

Even easygoing Triggers like Sufflamen bursa need room or can become cantankerous.

Puffers... Some... always a risk... Damsels... Mostly as food items Other triggerfish species? Uh, not usually
Eels of all sorts can turn into chew toys.

Triggerfishes for  Marine
Diversity, Selection &Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Pseudobalistes Fuscus Jigsaw Triggerfish Compatibility (in-)     5/29/14
Hello, this is my first time asking personally for help and have appreciated the vast amounts of information you have repeatedly provided.
Currently I have a 370 gallon aquarium that is home to a 7" map puffer, a 5.5" harlequin tusk, a 4" clown triggerfish,
<... keep your eye on>

a 3" half moon (or white tail as I believe they are two separate species and I can not identify him 100% for sure) and two 2-3 foot morays, a zebra and a snowflake.
<Chew toys for Balistids>

All of the fish have very laid back personalities so I am very lucky so far. I have plenty of live rock, in particular Tonga branch rock which has created vast numbers of overhangs and caves of all sizes, a large sump filtration system, 2 UV sterilizers and an 850 Deltec protein skimmer. My main question is regarding the addition of a young jigsaw triggerfish, Pseudobalistes Fuscus and whether you believe any negative outcomes could occur. I would plan on adding one around the 3-4" range (similar to the clown trigger or slightly smaller)
so as not to disrupt the clown trigger too badly, however you may have a better idea for going around this.
<See WWM re...>
All the fish I have seem to get along with each other fine,
<... for now>

with the only minor conflicts involving the map puffer having his food stolen by the clown trigger. Typically the "half moon" is the only fish to show any aggression towards new fish by his grunting whilst the others just ignore them or keep a close eye on them. My main concern would be adding the jigsaw trigger and its effect on the clown trigger, which I hope would be fine.
<In the long term... trouble>

The clown trigger simply did not care when the "half moon" was added at all. My tank is 3.1m long and 0.8m deep with plenty of large open areas alongside the live rock so I hope this provides enough swimming room for all the fish when they reach a mature size. Again you may not believe this to be a realistic idea and I would appreciate any advice you have to offer.
Thanks. Jake
<Time will tell. Bob Fenner>

Hello! - Two Trigger Question. Two trigger species in one tank? - 07/13/07 First of I want to say that this is an amazing website that has been helping me for years with my saltwater tank. You provide the hobby with a tremendous amount of information, and I appreciate it. <Glad you like the site.> This is the first time I have written because I cannot seem to find an answer after days of reading. <So you probably have read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm  and the FAQs on compatibility.> I am contemplating introducing two triggerfish into my 125 FOWLR tank but cannot find anywhere what triggerfish genuses <genera> are compatible with each other. Are all triggerfish compatible with each other? <Triggers are unpredictable personalities, but like most fish work best in a community when bought small and at the same size. They also should reach a similar maximum length. Balistoides and Balistes in general are quite aggressive and Melichthys as well as Odonus are more peaceful. Anyway, no one can guarantee you everlasting harmony even with the latter two. It is well possible one trigger someday will get the idea that he's now the boss of the tank. Chances are not too bad such will happen.> Thanks in advance! <You are welcome. Marco.>

Odonus niger compatibility   3/29/07 Hi WWM, <Samantha> I've used the site for advice for a long time, but have finally run into a problem I couldn't find any information on.  I have an established 180-gallon saltwater fish-only tank with an 8" snowflake moray eel, a 5" porcupine puffer, and a 6" Volitans lionfish.  They have all been co-existing for several months now with no health problems or aggression issues.  (I was concerned about the lion getting nipped at, but the puffer is very much the "wimp" of the tank, and avoids confrontation. <Good... sometimes can change... but often when "grown up" together, these groups of fishes do "live and let live"> Surprisingly, the most aggressive of the three has proven to be the eel.) Anyway, there is a Niger trigger who has been at the fish store a few months.  He is eating well, and has the most charming personality.  I was wondering if you think there's a possibility that he would be compatible with my other three fish. <Mmm... I give you about even odds that they all would get along now, AND into the future... However, as stated for the Puffer, there is always the chance of the Trigger turning suddenly>   I've read that triggers can be nippy with lionfish spines, but also that Nigers are maybe the most peaceful of triggers. <Amongst the most> If I could get the trigger, are there any special pre-cautions (besides the obvious, like QT-ing) I can take in introducing him to the tank?  I have fake rock decorations, about 30 pounds of live rock, and three feet of PVC piping (that no one's using) in the tank right now. Will he need more hiding places? <Mmm, no... will likely find a cave, area to sleep, swim to when frightened...> The eel and the puffer have each claimed separate fake decorations, and the lion prefers the open spaces. Sorry for the long-windedness, and thanks for any info! Samantha <No worries, and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re:........................Compatibility/Tangs......... no..... triggers  - 5/7/2006 Sorry, what other choice? I don't want another trigger. I've already raised 6 large angels. Puffers are kind of ugly and venomous. Triggers eat lions' fangs. What to do?? <Dale, I'm not saying that the trigger would definitely go after the tang you would like to purchase, just cautioning you as to what may happen.  I'm posting a compatibility chart you can view and help you with selecting a fish that would be relatively safe with your trigger. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=245 <James (Salty Dog)> Dale

Triggers and Stars  11/15/05 Dear WWM, <Garen> I have two aquariums, one with a three inch Niger Trigger and one with a three inch Undulated and a Dogface Puffer. I was curious if i <I> would be able to keep a sand sifting star, blue-legged hermit crabs, and Astrea snails in both aquariums. <As food choices?> My thinking is that the sand sifter is buried most of the time and that the hermits and snails are "armored." Also, would any triggers pose a threat to mushrooms, star polyps, Zoanthids, or any other soft, SPS or LPS corals and sponges? <Mmm, yes> Thank you very much, Garen <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Pulling The Trigger (For a Short Time!) or Pulling My Finger 11/4/05 Hi. <Hey there! Scott F. with you!> I wanted to rearrange my live rock in my tank. I have a 90 gallon with one Humu Humu in it. He's about 7 inches. Can I put him in a bucket or container with water from the tank? <You certainly could, provided the container is large enough, and provided that there is sufficient heat some vigorous aeration of the water (an airstone or one of those internal power filters would do the trick). If we're talking an hour or two, I see no problems. It's of more concern if you're talking about a longer period of time, as these fish tend to give off metabolic wastes rather quickly, and could overwhelm a small container, poisoning themselves in the process. Do use your common sense here, and configure this "holding facility" accordingly.> If so should I just throw him back in the tank, or some type of acclimation. <If it is the same water, I suppose it's best to simply place him back in the tank with as little fanfare as possible.> I thought it would be easier to rearrange things with out him inside. Put aside the fact that he looks like he might rip my arm off when I stick it inside? Thanks, Sam <Correct on both counts, Sam! I had a Humu once that I loved dearly, but he did give me a nasty "love bite" once. Do be careful when handling these guys or moving them around! Good luck on your "re-decorating" project! >

Re: Marine Stocking Choices, Triggers don't play nice 11/4/05 Okay, what do you recommend?  <The trigger is really restricting your choices, hard to say what....if anything...to put with him.>  I'm not getting the lionfish. What would your other suggestions be? Are there any fish compatible with the Picasso? <Not as he ages, they become quite mean.> <<There are others, but would all require a tank size around 500 gallons or more. Marina>> Should I get rid of the Picasso?  <Would open you up to lots of choices.>  If so, what would you recommend that would go with the coral beauty & the blenny?  <Oh lots and lots to choose from, gobies, cardinals, clowns, even some surgeon fish if tank size permits...keep reading.>  Thanks! <Welcome, Adam J.> 

Humu Aggression…Incompatibility with parrot fish (Scarus), Incredibly Poor Purchasing Choices 10/26/05 Hey, I have a 90 gallon FOWLR with about a 7in rainbow parrot.  <Wow, a Scarus guacamaia…talk about tank buster at a potential 50 inches!! Definitely not suited to private aquaria.> He was in there for about 3 weeks. I recently purchased a 7 inch Humu Humu.  <A risk…to say the least.> They seemed fine for two days. The third morning I was looking for the parrot, to my surprise I eventually find him floating behind rocks with an eye ripped out, and pieces of his body bitten into.  <Mmm, while I am sorry to hear of the passing of your specimen I am not surprised.>  I was told that parrot fish can live with a Humu Humu, is this wrong, or is this trigger crazy?  <Triggers have varying personalities, one trigger can be docile the next can be the Boston strangler…..its always a gamble, always a risk mixing triggers and anything else really…nest kept a single specimens.>  <<When speaking of the Humu, take Adam's admonitions seriously - I once cared for a juvenile Humu who literally stalked me around the tub (3K gallon holding tub) - I had to take very real care that he didn't sample me.  MH>> What fish do you recommend I consider for this guy? <In this size tank…and now that he is alone, this trigger will likely not tolerate any tank mates at all.> Thanks a lot. ~Sam <Adam J.> 

Sex change of Bluethroat Trigger...  10/20/05 Hi WWM, I am writing to ask about the chances of sex change in Bluethroat Trigger... <Just saw a nice male yesterday... diving at the end of the Old Airport Rd. north of Kona... Sabrina and I (and the Russells today) are visiting out in Hawai'i> Do you have any idea whether will they go through sex change like Clownfish and Anthias if there is two of the same sex... Or they don't experience sex change... <As far as am aware Tetraodontiform fishes don't change sex... may be "juvenile colored/marked", and just "changing" into their/its determinate sex> I have two male Bluethroat with me now... No aggression so far, so if they are able to change sex... I would just leave them alone... Would there be any long term problem if there are two males... <Likely so... better to separate, trade one in> Thanks in advance.. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Avoiding Trigger Troubles (Over-Crowding Triggerfish?) 10/18/05 Hello again, <Hiya! Scott F. with you!> Sorry about my lack of information. I have an 80 gallon tank with a canister filter and am thinking of an internal as well, so was just wandering what the chances are of my 4 inch Niger Triggerfish with a Picasso Triggerfish of the same size. <In this sized tank, I'd recommend against adding another Trigger. In fact, I'd be looking for a much larger tank to accommodate just the (potentially 20") Niger for his natural life span.> Or if you think otherwise, what Trigger am I best to try??? Do you also think its a good idea to get the new fish the same size or bigger than my Niger? <If you had the right sized tank, I'd be looking for a fish that is of similar size. However, as indicated above- I'd spend my time looking for a much larger tank first!> Thanks a lot for your help Jarryd <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.> 

Lack Of Input - 10/16/05 Hi wet web media crew, <<Hello>> I believe I have been very good as I have been doing a lot of research into the decisions I make in terms of the keeping of marine fish. <<Research is good...>> Here is my question: I currently have a 4 inch Niger triggerfish and am wondering what the chances are of a Picasso triggerfish, of the same size, living together with my trigger. If you suggest otherwise, what would you think would be the best trigger to house with my fish?? <<I need more info on your system (size/filtration) to be able to help.>> Your site is so informative and one I refer to a lot, well done!!!  Any opinions would gladly be appreciated. Thanks again, Jarryd. <<EricR>>

That Old Triggerfish Compatibility Question!  9/22/05 Hi, <Hi Adam J with you this morning.> I have a 56 gallon tank, full of live rock, live sand, ample filtration   and water current....i have two damsels, Humbug and Southseas Devil....and a   Yellow Tang <This fish is (or will be) much too large for this system, US 100 gallons minimum for any tang, and even larger for some.> .....but I've always loved Triggerfish especially Picasso's! I've   seen a really perfect tiny one at my local shop, and would like it! Is this a huge mistake? <Each trigger had his/her own personality, this fish could be a saint and get along with everyone else or it could be a terror from the get-go…..It could also be a saint as a juvenile and then "snap" when it gets bigger.  Unfortunately I will have to advise against purchasing it do to its potential size at nearly 12", this tank buster will need a tank in the 100-150 gallon range.> I know the damsels could end up as a meal, but then I've also read  the Southseas devil is a good companion for a trigger with its added   belligerence! Is a Tang a good match for a Trigger? I also know my tank isn't an   ideal size, but I am going to get a far larger one in the future! <Wait for the upgrade.> would love to  see what you think! <Adam J.>

Compatibility  9/19/05 Hi everyone today I buy a fish... a niger triggerfish.  I always said that I would never buy a trigger but the seller said to me that this one was reef safe and that it would be no problem with my other fish (a big yellow tang (4"), 2 Firefish, true percula clown, yellow watchman goby, green Chromis and 1 cleaner shrimp).  First I didn't believe de seller so he give me a book (marine atlas) and it was true, it even said that if I want to have a cleaner shrimp I just have to put it in the tank before the trigger.  So I buy it (it's about 2") Now I come see on Internet, on your website and it don't give the same information... What's true?? <The truth is that none of the triggers are reef safe.  You may have been given dated information. Research a fish before you buy on the WWM.  Information here is kept current. James (Salty Dog)> Did I just made a big mistake? my tank is a 90 gallons with a 35 gallon sump I have some soft corals thanks! p.s. sorry again for my bad English

Blueline Triggers  9/2/05 Mr. Fenner, I have one last question for you. I have had horrible luck with BlueLine triggers. They die when there are other triggers in the tank. Are they 'sensitive' to having aggressive tankmates? <Yes...> More so than others? <Ah yes> Have you heard of this with this specific trigger? <Yes I have experienced it first and other hand. Best as the only Balistid, most aggressive fish in a system> Hope to see you in Sacramento Friday night in April. Dan North. <I look forward to it. Bob Fenner>

Trigger & buffer question  8/30/05 Hi, I have experienced 2 different times where a trigger of 4 and 5 inches in length started out fine in my 100 gallon tank and after a couple of weeks they stopped eating, then got a bloated stomach, started breathing hard, then 3 days later would die. There is a big undulate (almost 7") in the tank but it never bit them, she would let them know she was there, but did not chase them. When a trigger is stressed, is the stomach thing I saw common? It just looked like they had a full stomach. <Is very likely "just" stress... like you having a "friendly" tiger in your house, no way to get out> Second, I have been experimenting with baking soda and borax. I have been reading all I can find, and with my own experimentation have found that 2 parts baking soda and 1 part borax produces 8.2 Ph. Have you guys heard of this before? <Oh yes> I have been using it for about 3 weeks now without trouble (besides the noted triggers) from a niger, louti grouper, lionfish, undulate, miniata, Coris wrasse, humu. (they are in various tanks!!!!) Thanks, Dan. <These are the principal ingredients in most "pH buffering" commercial products. Bob Fenner>

Mixing triggers... crowding 8/18/05 Great website, I have found the answers to so many of my questions by reading through all of the FAQ's.  Although, I still needed <No longer?> some confirmation regarding mixing triggerfish.  I have 3 Blue Throat trigger fish that I have had for about 7 months they are about 4 inches each and I recently purchased a Huma Huma trigger also 4 inches (he is in qt. tank).  My question is, can I move these 4 guys into my already established 125 gallon tank with a Stars and Strips puffer that is about 6 inches without them being aggressive towards each other? <... maybe> I will place them in the 125 all at the same time and if necessary I can get a larger tank for them in the future. <... you need it now> Also, to consider is the Blue Throat's have been living together already since day one but, they have outgrown the tank they are in.    Thanks in advance. <Mmm, if not for the puffer, I'd say come out to Hawaii with us and see these Balistids in the wild... once you experience the volume of water they "live in", you will not crowd them. Bob Fenner>
Re: mixing triggers 8/19/05
Bob-thanks for your prompt response and I would love to come to Hawaii with you guys, should I take that as an invitation?  Do you offer room and board? <Not room and board per se, but you are indeed welcome to come along, stay at our house in Holualoa, on the Big Island (mauka of Kailua). I will be out there for the entire month of October... lots to do... and some of the WWM Crew are hauling out for R & R, a bit of FrontPage learning... dive instruction, hiking, visiting...> Really, I hear what you are saying and I will most likely upgrade to a larger tank in the near future, but in all reality no size aquarium will be big enough if compared to the ocean.  Thanks again. <You are... so right. Do consider coming out. Cheers, BobF>

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> 

Predator vs. Invertebrate -- The Former Eventually Wins in a Tank (4/28/05) Hello, and thanks in advance for your time and help.  <My pleasure to play a small role.> <<Who are you?>><<Hee! It was roll!>> I have been reading the FAQs and have learned a great deal already.  <Great to hear.>  However, I have not been able to locate the answer to a couple of questions that I have. These may seem like no-brainers, but I would really just like a definitive answer. First, in a tank that contains live rock (with plenty of nooks and crannies) and aggressive fish such as lions, triggers, and puffers, is it possible to have shrimp and crabs running around... <No> ...or are they doomed from the start?  <Triggers are shaped the way they are for a reason--so they can stick their snouts into those nooks and grab their prey. They also have wickedly sharp teeth and an impressively strong bite. Many divers and aquarists have learned this the painful way.>  Will they find adequate hiding places amongst the live rock or just end up being another meal?  <Ultimately the latter. My Trigger managed to kill some crabs I didn't even know were in the tank. I just found the pieces of shell.> The second question somewhat dovetails on the first. What are my options for putting in snails, like Astrea or turbo to help with algae control  <Pretty much zero with triggers and puffers.> ...or other cleaner critters?  <Large Brittlestars will eat detritus, but they may get chomped on here and there.>  Will these end up being a meal as well?  <No gastropod or crustacean is likely to survive for long in the environment you are proposing. In nature, millions and millions of them are eaten, but they have a hugely larger volume to escape so some survive to produce billions and billions of eggs. I'd venture to guess that the rate of survival from fertilized egg to reproduction is under 1% in nature, but that really is just a guess.>  If the above animals will not be left alive in my tank, what options do I have for algae control?  <The only one that really works: water changes, nutrient control, etc. The people who rely the most on animals to "control" algae are often the ones who have the least success in controlling it. Read more on algae control on WWM.>  Again, thank you. Neil  <You're welcome. I hope this helps. It should save you a lot of money on expensive trigger/puffer foods.><Was/is Steve Allen>

Trigger Tank Hi, I am finishing the cycle of a 100 gallon fish only tank. Filtration is 2 Emperor 400s, and 2 CPR BakPak skimmers. I am going to do a trigger only tank with the exception of a 6" porcupine puffer and a 4" lawnmower blenny. I am going to put in a 2" undulated, 2" bursa, 2" Picasso for sure. the additional fish I'd like to add are any or all of the following again in 2-3" size: Blueline, queen, Pinktail, Bluethroat, Redtail. Now I can make any change necessary to this list.  I have seen in a previous setup a 4" undulated chase and force to try and escape out of the tank a 7" Harlequin. But that same undulated was a baby to the porcupine and very submissive also to it. What do you suggest I keep? I understand the nature of this tank is going to be tough. I also know that they grow. Of the fish you suggest, in what order do I introduce them? There is a bunch of coral to hide around. Thanks, Dan North. >>>Hey Dan, Ok, fortunately for you, you've got someone on the line here with a ton of experience with all the above fish. The bad news is that long term, (or maybe not even that long) your plan is doomed to fail. In fact, your tank is too small to keep some of the mentioned species even as a single specimen for any great length of time let alone a group of them. When I give advice, I ALWAYS do it assuming this will be their final home. Otherwise, you can keep a small Queen trigger in a 7 gallon, cause it's going to be moved soon anyway - make sense? Let's consider their long term needs. Starting with the undulatus. This is bar none the most aggressive aquarium fish on the face of the planet. You CANNOT keep this fish with other species in anything under the largest of tanks for any length of time. At times they can be kept with other aggressive species while they are young, but this is always a temporary situation.  I had a 2" specimen attack a grouper the size of a football in a tank twice the size of yours. He lasted all of 5 minutes in there and had to be removed. They will also destroy aquarium equipment such as the intakes to your skimmers and power filters, heaters, you name it. I've seen pics on the net of someone keeping an undulatus in a large tank with a variety of other species. This should be considered a VERY rare thing to be able to pull off, and even then I can guarantee you that the situation is temporary. The Blue Line and Queen are both too large for you to even consider. The Queen especially needs at least a 200 gallon tank for a lone specimen. They are very aggressive, and will beat up and kill their tankmates as they grow, especially in such a small tank. Yes, 100 gallons is small, and it's common for newer aquarists to overestimate the capacity of this size tank. Remember where they come from. :) Some of these fish hold territories of hundreds of cubic meters in their natural habitat. Your best bets are the Rhinecanthus species such as the Huma Huma or Rectangulatus. These can be mixed if added at the same time. The Sufflamen and Xanthichthys species should do fine as well, again if added at the same time as all the others. You should keep in mind though that these are all large fish in the wild, and at least a 10" fish in captivity. So, your tank is still on the small size to keep to many full term. Fortunately the Rhinecanthus and Sufflamen species are very slow growers, maybe an inch and a half a year - so you have some time. My advice based on experience, select 3 of the fish recommended above, and forget the larger fish that are doomed to be a problem. So you're doing fine and the Bursa and Picasso (Huma Huma), but select something a bit more appropriate for your third fish. Maybe the Pink tail? Good luck Jim<<<

- Triggers and Ornamental Crustaceans - Dear Bob, <JasonC here this time.> Each time I go into a fish store that has ornamental shrimp, my father stares fascinated at them until we have to leave.  <They are fascinating.>  He wants me to get some.  <Heh.>  He also really likes arrow crabs.  <Tell him these are trouble... even though they look rather like the creature from "It Conquered the World", they are genuine predators and trouble for small fish and other crustaceans.> My questions are:  1) I have a Huma Huma trigger, will he eat the shrimp or the crab?  <Yes.>  2) Do the shrimp or the crab need a reef tank or any special lighting? -if I get them-  <They would need their own system... would suggest you and your father set one up just for this - would be a nice display. If the tank is just simply for the shrimp, then they won't require special lighting... most shrimp are reclusive and prefer the darker corners.>  3) What do they eat?  <Anything they can get their claws on.>  4) How many of each should I get? I read that they do better in multiples.  <Do fine as individuals or in groups. Certain combinations don't work so well though so I suggest you read through our pages and FAQs on crustaceans and study up on these fascinating animals. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marind5_5.htm > I don't have a reef tank or the lighting a reef tank needs.  <Again... could start up a fairly simple system with minimal lighting that would be fine for shrimp.>  I do have live rock. I am also unsure if the trigger would just see them as that nights dinner.  <For certain he would... maybe not on the first day, but is an eventuality you can take to the bank.>  Let me know if they would be ok for me to get. Thanks, Mike <Cheers, J -- > 

Pinktail and Kole tang? I have a 75 gallon aquarium with a 20 inch zebra moray eel and a 3 inch coral beauty angelfish.  I would love to add a Kole (yellow eye) tang and a pink tail triggerfish. Do I have enough room for a small Pinktail to grow for a couple of years or is it too small. Thanks for the GREAT website!!! Julie Bryant, Marquette MI. <Melichthys vidua gets about 15" long full grown, so yes, it will need to be moved.  I'd err on the side of caution and get this fish when you have a bigger tank, but it should do fine in their while small.  Won't pick on corals, shrimp, or any other desirable inverts.  A reef safe trigger! <<Uh, no. RMF>> The Kole is also an outstanding choice for a 'small tank' tang.  It should do fine.>

Grouper Grudge Hello all.  Sorry to be constantly asking you questions.  I am a very curious person and you all seem to be one of the only well-versed and reliable sources available (not that I don't also like you and appreciate the work, but you understand the difficulty in finding reputable information I'm sure). Just a quick question this time.  I have a four inch or so Huma, had him about a year now, and I was just wondering- when you say they are very very slow growers, exactly how long should I expect for him to take to become a sizeable specimen?  It seems like he's only grown an inch or so.  It's hard to tell since I see him everyday and it happens so slowly, even though he eats more than any other fish I own.  My concern is that I acquired a small (maybe 2 inches at the time) miniatus grouper who is rapidly putting on size, already about three plus inches.  The trigger has completely dominated him thus far.  Though they do not cause any harm to one another, the trigger has certainly asserted himself as the top dog (or fish) in the tank.  I can see how this may become a problem as the bitter miniatus has a mouth that will probably soon be able to fit around this long-term enemy.  Should I be concerned?  Is my grouper going to hold a grudge? thanks again. Reuben >>>Hello again Rueben, nice to hear from you. If you had a very small trigger, say 1", then it would be difficult for me to predict exactly what would happen here, but I can guarantee you it would be one of two things. One, the grouper, having been raised with the trigger, would grow larger and leave the trigger completely alone. Often, when a predatory fish is raised with another, smaller fish, (especially a more aggressive one) the predator will not consume the fish when it finally gets large enough to do so. It doesn't see the fish as food, just another part of it's environment. It's acclimated to the other, smaller fish's presence. The other possibility, things would be fine for a long time, then one morning you will wake up minus your trigger. Now, since your Huma Huma is already 4", you have little to worry about. Although they are a SLOW grower, as I said before. (about an inch a year, as you have witnessed) they are a tough mouthful. It will be quite some time before the miniatus is large enough to even THINK about ingesting a trigger of this size, and your trigger will continue to grow. No worries. It would take quite a large grouper (by aquarium standards, say14"), to eat a trigger of that size I had a 3" Huma Huma with a 9" miniatus for quite a long time. Cheers

Sting Ray Companions for now? I have a 55 gal "long" aquarium - 48"x13"x20" with 2 reef Chromis in, that finished the cycle period and is now left over ( I am transferring them to my reef very soon) . I have a Round California Stingray (only 3" D baby) in Quarantine in my 20gal. I have Another reef tank so I am pretty experienced with the fish keeping hobby, so im trying something new. I am upgrading to a 125 later this year and am hoping to put the stingray in there when he gets a little bigger. I am actually asking about what fish would be good partners for the ray? I am thinking of a small bamboo shark that can go into the 125 (later in about march I was thinking to get the new tank). However I want some actual fish in there too. I have seen rays and bamboos do pretty well with a small baby humu. I would just like to know what fish will be a good bet for now, that I might be able to upgrade when they get bigger to my large tank, since that is what I'm aiming for. So I was also thinking about maybe a small yellow tang (I have a LFS that gets in many baby fish, and are much smaller than the other LFS have). So please let me know what is a good addition , even if they do need a bigger tank when they get bigger, since I will provide them with one, no questions asked. Are, they're any good SMALL tangs, triggers (humu is the only "small" one I found) butterflies etc.... just as long as these fish will be good with the ray. Thank you very much Chris >>>Greetings Chris, First, some info on tank size. 125 gallons is a *small* tank. The minimum tank size for any of the cat or bamboo sharks is 6 feet in length, by 24 inches wide. This amounts to a 180 gallon tank. Again, this is the minimum size, not only for the sharks but for the ray as well. You should know that I'm not just quoting numbers from some book, but speaking form experience. I've kept these animals in the past for several years. Secondly, most triggers are very poor tank mates for cat sharks, bamboo sharks, and rays. I've seen them lose eyes to curious triggers on more than one occasion in store display tanks. Appropriate trigger species would be the niger, Bluejaw or crosshatched triggers. Tangs are fine, as are angels, larger damsels, groupers and lionfish. Again, a large tank is needed for some of these fish, larger than 125 gallons. I suggest you budget for at least a 180 gallon tank. Cheers Jim<<<

Trigger Compatibility Hi there! <Hello to you!> I have recently asked a couple of questions regarding my 75g FO tank.  I really appreciate your help!!  I currently have a yellow tang, flame angel, and Perc clown, all doing well!  I  would really like a trigger fish, but the only two that interest me are the Humu Picasso and the Clown, the clown being my first choice.  I recognize the aggressive nature of these, epically the clown and also recognize that I would only be able to have them while they are young.  If I were to acquire a young one, how long could I have either of these two in my tank before I would have to remove it (or upgrade), or may I not have to remove the Picasso at all?  I ask because I have been told by different LFS that either of these fish could work in my tank.  Again, I really appreciate your input!  Wes.   <A small (a few inches) Clown Trigger might go in this system for a few to several months, but a Rhinecanthus species (there are some three that the common name Picasso is applied to... all of about the same type, range of temperament) would go much more likely and easily. Ultimately you might need to move the Picasso, but this will likely be years from now, starting (as I would) with a small specimen (again, a few inches in overall length. Cheers, Bob Fenner>      

Tough Choices (Fish Population And Disease Treatment) Hey Guy's. <hey! Scott F. your guy today!> I have a 55 with a 2 inch Yellow Tang and a 2 Inch Niger and a QT with my 2 inch maroon clown. <Woah! Right off the bat, I need to let you know that these two guys are gonna be a bit crowded in a 55...I hope that your short-term plans include a larger tank?> He is getting over Brooklynella, improving so so. Anyway, I read your input on Clown Triggers; I inherited one. He, too, is still young and about 2 inches. It seems like the preferred method is to put a couple of Damsels in before the Clown Trigger. So I did. My Niger, and Tang have long worked out their differences. They don't really notice the 2 1-inch Damsels. <The triggers WILL notice the damsels at some point; they'll become tasty treats before to long! Get 'em out while you can!> The Maroon clown was also happy in there too before he went to the hospital. I have a 125 that is sitting waiting for some space and more cash for the best equipment I can afford. <Okay- I feel a bit better about the long-term plan here!> SO, I introduced the Clown Trigger, He ran and hid, Came out later to inhale his food and then ran again. Then the Niger and the Tang took noticed and are really harassing him. <To be expected...> No biting ,yet. The Tang is wanting to show him his barbs. I immediately moved the Clown Trigger into a hanging net cage for protection while I decide if I can stomach this behavior. Question: Should I let them sort things out? If so, how long? They are all young and might get to know each other. Plus when they get larger I can move 1 or all to the 125, if they ever settle down. Pursue or trade, that is the Question? <Well, you're asking- and I'll give you my two cents worth...I don't think that it is in the best long-term interest of either fish to mix these two species together in the same 125 gallon tank. Both are very aggressive, have large appetites (and eliminate copious amounts of metabolic waste), and need a lot of space, because they get quite large! My advice is to trade one and keep the other...> Also a Quickie, When I set up my QT I used a established Bio-wheel from my 55 and took the water from the 55. A couple of my live rocks, bare bottom. I checked my water parameters after a couple of days and everything matched the 55 perfectly. The day after I added the Formalite, I checked again. NH3/4 stayed at 0.0. but NO2 rose up to 0.8 in 2 days. NO3 also went from a trace to about 15mg/l. PH is steady at 8.1 and SG is steady at .023. A water change already? Did the Formalite kill the Bio? <Well, if you're talking about formalin- yes, it is entirely possible that the nitrogen cycle has been disrupted. My advice is small water changes. However, do realize that you may need to replenish some of the medication to maintain a proper therapeutic dose.> If so why is the ammonia staying 0.0? <Hard to say...Couldn't tell you from here, unfortunately.> Should I get the Maroon Clown out before the treatment program is complete?   <Unfortunately, this is one of those tough decisions that you'll have to make. The "lesser of two evils" as the sayings goes is probably the nitrite, which is manageable to a certain extent with water changes or a "bacteria in a bottle" product. Brooklynella is simply virulent and deadly if left untreated, and is highly contagious. Best to leave the fish in there until the course of treatment is completed and the fish healthy again. Stay the course! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Trigger Tank? Hello, <Hi, MikeD here>         I have a 65 gallon tank with approx. 65 pd.s of liverock and a 3" Niger trigger and a 3" Picasso trigger. The Niger was added second and was picked on severely by the Picasso for a few days but they now get along fine and have been for months. I am thinking of adding a undulated trigger to the mix, I'm thinking if I get a larger one, say 5-6", the size difference may diffuse some of the aggression upon introduction. Am I crazy to even attempt this?<Yes. An undulated triggerfish can make a piranha look like a real wussy> And if so do you have any suggestions for a third and final fish for my tank.<In my opinion, you need to go back and do some serious reading before you proceed.....the Undulated Triggerfish is considered by many to be the single most aggressive fish in the marine hobby that's likely to be encountered by the average person. With the two fish that you have, they are surviving for now because they are both small juveniles, but as they grow their aggression will  become MUCH more evident and the Niger alone is capable of growing to at least 18", almost double the size of the Picasso. While triggerfish are beautiful, intelligent and fascinating animals they need LOTS of room and are not school fish in an aquarium environment of less than several hundred to thousand gallons. While a lion cub is cute, cuddly and adorable, it will grow into what it is and your triggerfish are exactly the same....have you seen a larger triggerfish offered for sale with red fangs, often sold as a "Vampire Trigger"?  These are sub-adult and adult Nigers, what yours will grow into. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but it IS the truth and anyone who tells you otherwise probably is interested in the contents of your wallet rather than the welfare of your fish and your satisfaction with the hobby.> Thank you.

Niger Trigger I have a 135 gallon tank in the works.  <Ooooh lovely> I have had a 55 set up for about 6 months now. I've been planning on what fish to stock the 135 with, I was thinking a Niger trigger a humu humu trigger and a harlequin tusk? <I really would like to caution you about the two triggers. Let me be honest and tell you that I know people who have them together with good results and I know people who have them together with bad results. But triggers are aggressive and can hurt each other. They are also very competitive and might over compete with other fish for food.> are all these fish appropriate for my 135? Will they out grow it? Also would a Niger trigger be ok in my 55 for about 2 months? <Yes it should be just fine for a short period of time. But these fish as they grow need the mental stimulation of a larger tank. The ability to swim back and forth.>The one I'm looking at is about 3 inches right now. His tank mates would be a Scopas tang and a Percula clown fish. <Let me know what you decide Sharon, keep us up-to-date on your setups. MacL> thanks a lot Sharon

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 too 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***

Picasso Running Scared? (9/6/04) Hi, <Hello. Steve Allen here.> I would like to ask your crew a question regarding my Picasso trigger. He or she has been a hardy specimen for some time now. I recently added two puffers to his tank which already had a clown. He (the Picasso) quickly asserted himself as alpha male within minutes. They have been getting along <or putting up with one another> now for some time (a couple of weeks maybe).  I have always fed him from my hand and he has always been a good eater. <Haven't been bitten yet, eh? Can happen & hurts.> The two puffers have also been eating from my hand also, especially the porcupine. This last Saturday, I got up to feed them, a little later than normal, and found the Picasso hiding in the coral he normally sleeps in and the dog face puffer had changed color. They both have not responded to my feeding. The porcupine is still eating well but I can't get the Picasso out of his hiding place. He now has started coming out very slowly and does not eat well. He will NOT eat from my hand anymore.  He also stays in his hiding place all day long. He has hardly eaten anything.  The dog face is starting to eat again from my hand and is starting to be himself again. Except today the dog face blew himself up for no apparent reason. I am concerned about this behavior from my Picasso, this is not how he used to act. I am planning on buying a new tank next week for all the other fish except the Picasso. <A big one, I hope. These puffers will grow to over 10" and will need plenty of room.> I read that these triggers can be a little aggressive as they age. <Not as bad as Clowns, but all Triggers get more aggressive as they grow/age.>  Will this behavior end soon and what do you suppose happened. <Hard to say, but it sounds as if they may have had a nasty tussle.> I have a 60 gal. tank and all chemistry is excellent. The new tank I am buying will be 120 gal. <Good>  Any help would be greatly appreciated. <How big/old the Trigger? You may need to house it in quarantine while getting the Puffers into your new tank. Keep an eye out for any symptoms suggesting infectious our toxic ailments as well. It does seem to me that the solution here is separation.> Thanks, Mike Jamison <You're welcome. Good luck.>

Triggers and invertebrates? What type of invertebrates in general that help clean the tank can be housed with a humu Humu triggerfish or Niger or Pinktail. << Wow that is a tough one.  I would think many snails may do okay, but I wouldn't count on it.  I do think "hard shells" like Chiton would be fine, but for the most part I think you are risking it with any small invertebrate. >>  Would these types of triggers be good together? << They would do fine, given plenty of swimming room (like at least a 100 gal) and much rock work to hide in. >> <<  Blundell  >>

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. <No.... Blunder All.... Terrible. RMF>  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  >>

Boomerang Trigger Boomerangs <Hi, MikeD here> I recently purchased a small (about 2 in.) boomerang or whiteline trigger for a community tank. I understand that they are one of the least aggressive of the triggers. What kind of algae eating creatures (crabs, snails, etc.) can I put into the tank that are least likely to become snacks.<I'm afraid the sad fact is none. The term "least aggressive" is highly arguable and pertains largely to fish tankmates. IMO, the "safest" of the triggers are the pelagic species such as the Bluechin, the Crosshatch and the Sargassum which are safe with most larger crustaceans and inverts.> Thanks, Kirk Alexander

Solo Trigger in Tank Hi, just one more question, if you don't mind.  Would a 90 or a 100 gallon tank be sufficient for the Clown triggerfish? <In my opinion it would be big enough for them to get plenty of exercise. You'd have to watch out for boredom if they were the only fish in a tank. You could solve this by giving them shells, etc to move around> Again, I would only keep one of these two fish in the aquarium by himself, he would be the sole occupant in the aquarium. I would also place about 100 lbs. of live rock in there. Thanks again. <Live rock will be great for the filtration and help keep the trigger happy.> Paul

Niger Trigger hello!<Hi Sean, MacL here today> I have a quick question! Can 4 Niger triggers or more be kept in the same 270 gal fish tank? <It is my opinion that they cannot. They may be okay for a while if introduced at the same time but eventually there will be a big problem.> and are these ok with the Niger? yellow tang, <Yes> blue tang, <Yes> tomato clown, <Yes> black Percula clown,<Yes but not with the tomato unless they are in a very big tank> snow flake eel, <Yes but not with the clowns>black damsel,<maybe> blue damsel,<Maybe> turbo snail,<Nope will get eaten> rose anemone, <Depends on your lighting> cleaner shrimp,<Nice snack> marine Betta,<Yes with places to hide> coral beauty, <Depends> dwarf angel,<Snack> flame angel,<Maybe with places to hide but could be problems with the other angels> hermit crabs, <Snack> any kind of gobies,<Dinner> any kinds of live coral, <They are not reef safe.> any kind of angel <Some of the large ones> and that's it! Sorry if its long because I'm making a reef tank and I'm wondering if a Niger trigger is safe in one? <NO NO NO NO NO  sorry but they aren't.>

- Clown Trigger Neighbors - I have a 5 inch Clown Triggerfish and a 5 inch Niger Triggerfish in a 215 Gallon Tank with 2 125 gallon sumps connected together and a very large protein skimmer. I am thinking of adding a 7-8 inch Queen Angelfish or a 2.5-3 inch Undulated Triggerfish to the mix. There are lots of hiding places. Do you foresee any compatibility issues? The Clown has a nasty side to him. <This is typical of grown clown triggers, and typically only gets worse with time. The large Queen Angel would likely be able to fend this off for a while, but triggers are smart and the angel would likely succumb in time. The Undulated Trigger might fare a little better, but are as well known for their mean streak as Queen and Clown Triggers. In spite of the size of this tank, I'd almost consider skipping any additions at this time and instead enjoy what you have. Clown Triggers are almost like dogs, and can be really entertaining pets.> Thanks, Rodney <Cheers, J -- > 

A Mean Streak Hi- <Hi! Ryan with you> I have a 350 gal tank and have just added a new Blue Jaw Trigger and this is my first real disaster!  My current mix has been getting along fairly well (except the Atlantic Blue has been picking on my File, so I think his days are numbered)   Here is what we currently have: Huma and a Niger Trigger, a Tassel File, Powder Blue, Naso and Atlantic blue tang, a Dog Face Puffer, Lion, Harlequin Tusk and a Navarchus (?sp?) Angel. Surprisingly, the Niger immediately has forced the Blue Jaw into the corner and has been on the constant attack, biting, etc. <Not surprising for triggers-Nigers are pugnacious to the core.> My fish guy has suggested covering the tank for 3 days to keep it dark and feeding very small amounts on the hour (being careful not to over feed) to distract the fish from the newcomer.  <I would recommend re-arranging the rockwork, as well as a dark period.> The good news is, this is day two of the tank covered and the Blue is out of the corner on occasions, but still hovers in the corner most of the time.  <Doesn't sound like this is the right mix- He'll die of stress.  Remove one of the two triggers for a healthy tank.> Is there hope of them coming around?  We have a very large amount of live rock and coral with plenty of spots for all to hide, but I don't see the Blue Jaw finding a "spot"? I am afraid once we uncover, the Niger will come out more and go back to his violent attacks? <He will- Even though you've got a nice big tank, you're overloaded with predators.  The fish (with the exception of the tangs) you've added are all top level predators- And need lots of space to feel at home.  More predators won't help, but add stress.  The more room they are given to feel safe, the better they will display.  I encourage you to look at other tanks in your size/realm.  They will give you a little insight into stocking.  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks for all your help and advice! Wendy

Trigger in a Reef!  Dear Crew:  Thank you for all your past help. The information from your site has always proven to be very reliable. I have a fish sold to me as a Niger trigger in quarantine. I remember having read in various places that this fish is a good reef-tank fish but on checking your site today, I am no longer so sure. In fact, after reading your section on triggers I am no longer sure that I have a Niger  trigger. Perhaps it is a black trigger to judge from the photos. My question is "Should I keep it?": I have a 6-month-old 125G reef tank with 4" DSB and 100 lb. live rock. It's only inhabitants are 2 ocellaris, 2 Mithrax crabs, one Sally Lightfoot crab, 1 crocea clam and 1 reef lobster. Plus there are lots of little crustaceans - mostly amphipods. I have been very slow in making additions to this tank because I want to try and think out what I am doing. My 75G reef tank is too crowded because I stocked it with more zeal than thought and consequently it doesn't have a very natural feel. For months I have been searching for the right addition to the 125G. I have avoided tangs, which I really fancy, because I want to keep the macro algae that has grown up from the live rock. Is the black trigger a good choice for the tank? If not, what would be? I am afraid to put in small fish because of the reef lobster, which has turned out to be quite predatory.<I don't really consider any triggers to reef safe and especially not with inverts. So I would not add this guy. You could try a larger angelfish as long as you researched it and meet its needs. There are also butterflies which have a few species that could do well in this situation. Cody>  Respectfully,  Karl Wiedemann

Blue throat Trigger in a reef? 4/6/04  Hi crew, I just noticed a blue throat trigger (Sufflamen albicaudatus) for sale and it was said to be reef safe. I thought no triggers were considered reef safe but, after searching WWM I did even find one minor mention: "Have even seen this species kept in reef systems".  <Depends on your definition of reef safe. If you don't want to house small fish, urchins, shrimp or hermit crabs then triggers are perfectly reef safe. They certainly won't eat corals, and this genus is less likely than other triggers to be very aggressive toward too-large-to-eat tankmates.>  I have several cleaner shrimp, hermits, snails and a few corals. Is this fish commonly considered reef-safe? I would love to have a trigger would this one present a low chance of causing reef problems in your opinion?  <This trigger is no risk to corals, but I would consider it at least a small risk to snails and hermits and med-high risk to shrimp. These fish also get quite large!>  Thank you for the advice! --Greg  <No problem! One last bit of advice... These guys can be a bit shy around boisterous tank mates. It is strongly advised to quarantine as you would any other fish, but in addition, I would suggest feeding it at least a small amount of something every time you approach the tank. If the fish learns to associate your approach with food in quarantine, it will get over it's shyness around the fish in your display much more quickly. Best Regards. Adam>

Movin on Up! I have finally received a 90 gallon to relieve my overstocked 50. (3 small triggers <Uhh Ohh>and large moray) Have added 3" sand to the 90 - now in cycling  stage. Q: On the 50 right now I have a AquaClear '75 Pro' SUMP w/Skimmer, a Eheim 2224 large canister filter, 30+lbs of LR and 3" of LS. Will this transfer to the 90 alright or do you think I need more Bio. filtration? i.e.; bigger SUMP or running it all in addition w/ a penguin 300 that came w/ the new tank.<A bigger sump would be good along with more live rock.  I would not run the canisters as they need constant cleaning or else they end up a nutrient trap.  Add in more live rock would definitely be a good idea.> Thanks, as always. -J PS.. Compatibility question:  Clown Trigger, Picasso trigger, (both small -1.5') Blue Check Trigger (2-2.5') and Zebra Moray (18.5') co- habitation - any problems?<Yes!  I would definitely remove the clown trigger and you may need to move out one of the others.  The clown just gets to big as tends to get more and more aggressive with time.  Cody>

The Necessity of Additives... Hi Guys, <Scott F. your guy today!> Just set up a new 125 reef tank, transferring from a 29 gal. which I am going to keep up as a small-aggressive type tank, maybe 1 trigger, Imperator,  and puffer, etc. What can I use as clean up critters in that tank that the trigger won't eat? <Very little, actually! Snails and hermit crabs will be snapped up like so much popcorn! In these types of systems, there is really no substitute for good husbandry and talented use of the siphon hose by the aquarist!> In this tank I was using previously strontium and iodine twice a week. In my new 125, my reef store guy suggested B-Ionic part 1 and 2 instead. The bottle tells you to use this once a day. Can I get away with twice a week like before. Is this stuff that great, or should I stick with my previous strontium and iodine, or can you suggest something better? <B-Ionic is a great product, IMO. Do ask yourself, however, what purpose you are adding things for. You should always test for anything that you add to a system. In most systems, strontium and iodine are replenished via regular frequent water changes. If there is some sort of deficiency in your system revealed by regular testing, then their addition is warranted. B-Ionic is designed to help maintain the calcium/alkalinity balance in your system. The frequency and amount of the dosage can only be confirmed through- you guessed it- testing!> This tank will have mostly soft coral, maybe a couple of hard, a couple of reef safe fish, and a pink anemone. Also just bought RO/DI set-up. Can I store some of this water for topping, and also pre-mixed with salt for water changes, if I store in, say, a container like the Instant Ocean comes in, with a big O-ring gasket cover, and if so for how long? <I'd make it a few days ahead of time, so that you have a supply ready to go.> Hate to be so long, but I hear so much, and you guys have always steered me in the right direction. Thanks, Louie <Glad to be here for you, Louie! Regards, Scott F>

No such thing as a "REEF SAFE" Rhinecanthus aculeatus! Hi I'm considering buying a trigger fish to put in my reef aquarium - which I know would not usually be a good idea but the guy I would buy it from (private buyer) already has this particular trigger in a reef tank.  He seemed surprised to hear that they weren't reef safe and says this one has never touched his corals although he does admit to feeding it on very good quality food - cockles, etc rather than just flakes.  To add to this I don't have to just take his word for it because he's sent me pics of his set-up and in one of them the Picasso is swimming around with a great big coral in the background and a tiny damsel fish next to him. <It still is a GIGANTIC risk...adding this aggressive species of triggerfish could devastate an aquarium.> His set up is 5'/2'/2' whilst mine is only 2'/2'/2' - he selling up everything so I'm planning to buy quite a lot of coral off him (leather, mushrooms, cabbage etc) - his cleaning crew (7 hermits and a scarlet shrimp),<The shrimp will be eaten for sure> and a few fish: Lemon Peel Angel and Red Wrasse. <Wow... your aquarium is way too small...the lemon peel angel and red wrasse can be picked on by the triggerfish... or even killed>  If I did by all those fish I would get rid of my 3 green Chromis (which were just starter fish anyway 6 months ago) which would leave me with an urchin, and yellow tang, a goby, one clown (maybe I need to get him a mate) and the above three fish.   Is this too much - my tank is 55-60 gallon (sump included - pretty big sump).<I would not add the Centropyge angelfish nor would I even consider adding the Rhinecanthus Aculeatus> I had read that some Picasso's - those with upturned mouths - are sometimes less aggressive. At the moment he is only 2 inches long - is there a chance he will turn more aggressive later. <most definitely> If so what I might consider doing is buying him now and setting up another smaller tank with just the Picasso in it (and a bit on rock obviously) - how big would that tank need to be?<at least 75 gallons for now> Thanks for your help - I know all the literature says triggers are "not reef-safe" but it was the one fish I've always wanted so when I decided to go reef I was very disappointed to find out I couldn't get one.  Have I found a reef safe trigger? <Negative, Good luck, IanB> Thanks again

Lions, Triggers and Clowns <Hello, Ryan Bowen with you today> I searched your website to make sure I didn't miss an answer...<Thank You!> I just got a medium-sized Volitans Lion and would like to put him in my 58g tank with: 2 black and white perculas, a Chromis that has been with me through thick and thin, and a 2inch Humu. I read that both Humu and lion should hold their own, but my concern lies in them. Will the lion eat the Humu if he can catch him? <Likely no, but there is always a chance> Is that normal? Will the Humu break spines on the lion? <Yes, he will nip away at the long appendages, and the breaks in his skin will become infected in time.  Not a good combo in such small quarters.> Should I just return the lion to the store for credit? <Or the rest of your fish.  You've done the responsible thing.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks for any help! Ian

Picasso Trigger tankmates Hello!  I have a 55 gal fish only saltwater setup.  It has a Penguin 330gph BioWheel,  SeaClone 100 protein skimmer, and a 300 gph powerhead.  The tank currently houses 3 damsels that are left over from cycling and a 2 1/2 inch Picasso trigger.  I would like to get rid of the damsels and provide the trigger with a compatible tankmate.  My LFS has suggested a harlequin tusk, possibly another wrasse species, or another trigger.  I'm new to saltwater and would love to hear your ideas on acceptable tankmates for my trigger. <I would either choose a small Pufferfish, or the Tuskfish. <<RMF would choose neither of these>> I would choose one not both, Good luck, IanB> Thanks in advance, Brandy

Nasty Niger! >Greetings Crew! >>Greetings! >I've had a medium sized Odonus trigger and similarly sized yellow tang in my 150 for several weeks, and all has been well.  This evening I transferred my striped puffer, slightly smaller than the trigger, into the tank and all hell broke loose.   >>Oh my.. and here they're supposed to be so much more mellow than "other" triggers.  Shame on that fish! >The trigger chased the puffer for about an hour, until I took a damsel (that annoys me anyway) out of my smaller tank and threw into the mix.  The trigger then decided to chase him instead, until the lights kicked off and the trigger promptly went to his sleeping spot.  Now, my question is this. when morning rolls around, what should I expect?   >>More of the same, with a chance that the duel may not stop until the offending fish is dead.  I would watch closely. >Was this just normal territory-marking behavior?  The damsel is pretty good at running interference, but I know this isn't the long term solution.   >>It just may be.  You could try putting the trigger on a "time out" for two to three weeks in another tank.  This would give the puff time to make itself more at home, then the Niger would be the new kid in town. >Ideas?  Should I plan on taking the trigger back to my LFS tomorrow? >>I wouldn't be so quick unless it's REALLY obvious a fish's life is in real danger. >Many thanks, Dave >>You're welcome Dave, and good luck!  Marina

- Tankmates for a Picasso Trigger - Hi! I just converted my 55 gal freshwater tank to saltwater. I have a 330 gph penguin BioWheel, SeaClone 100 protein skimmer, and a 300 gph powerhead.  The substrate is crushed shells and I plan on it being a fish only tank. It has a few pieces of dead coral, large shells, etc. I currently have 4 damsels cycling the tank. As my tank is almost done being cycled, I have a Picasso trigger that the LFS is holding for me until I am done cycling. (I realize that the trigger probably should have been the last fish I add, but they are extremely hard to find in my area, so I couldn't pass up the chance.) My question is regarding tankmates for the trigger. He is approximately 2 1/2 inches right now, and is currently getting along with an algae blenny at the LFS. I would like to keep a yellow stripe maroon clown with him. I was also thinking a larger wrasse (perhaps a blue head wrasse).  How do you think these fish will do together? <Hmm... probably fine. You don't want to push your luck though and put too many fish in there. This trigger could likely get a long just fine by itself - they are very smart for fish and can end up behaving a lot like dogs, given the right attention. Do avoid over-crowding this system as that will bring out the bad behaviors in all those that feel cramped.> How long should I wait after adding the trigger to add the others? <Wait until the tank is cycled.> I am fairly experienced in keeping aggressive freshwater fish, but am completely new to saltwater. <Well... all the smaller fish will be safe for a while - years most likely, but the trigger will grow to be at least the size of your hand and will be able to easily devour most everything you listed, with the exception of that wrasse [which you probably shouldn't add]. That doesn't guarantee that the trigger will eat those fish, but will be something to keep an eye one.> Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. <Consider getting a better skimmer at some point.> Thanks in advance!  Brandy <Cheers, J -- >

Starfish with a trigger! Hello fellow aquarists, <Howdy, Cody here today.> at Wet Web Media! Terrific website, superb source for information! I wonder though, if you could answer a question for me? I have a Honeycomb Moray Eel (Gymnothorax favagineus) - 15'' and a Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum) - 3'' and was wondering, would it be possible to keep a Red Knobby Starfish with them? I saw one at my local marine store - Absolutely stunning!   The Clown Trigger is a particularly mellow individual and doesn't make a habit of biting inanimate objects, like some Triggers can. Would this make him less likely to try and eat one?<I would not trust him on it.  Triggers can be very unpredictable and it is very likely that you would end up with a empty wallet and a happy trigger!> Your expert advice would greatly appreciated.<Don't know about expert but we do our best! Cody> Thank you.

Triggers & Cows (1/4/2003) Hey guys, great website.  I had a quick question , Can a Humu trigger and a cowfish get along in a tank?  Thanks a lot, Jon <In a word, no. Triggerfish are aggressive feeders that will pull the food right out of other fish's mouths. I see this daily. They need to be with other aggressive feeders that can stand up to them (like my Snowflake Eel.) The cowfish will not be able to keep up. Additionally, if (when) the Trigger stresses it too much, it will release its toxic slime and everything in your tank will probably dies. Read more about cowfish on WWM. How big of a tank are you planning? Both of these fish get very big. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

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 and Titan Triggers II (12-5-3)
Hello again, thanks Cody. <No problem!> I have another question.  What if you put a juvenile titan trigger and a juvenile clown trigger together,  do you think that may work?<I wouldn't try it but it may work if you have a large enough tank.  They may also decide not be very friendly when adults. Cody>

- New Tank and Trigger - Hello Crew I have just set up my 40 gallon tank with Ten Kilos of cured rock to cycle. (with the help of you of course, thanks J). <My pleasure.> I was wondering, should I do water changes while the tank is in cycle or will this slow the process down? <It will slow the process down - best to not change water until you are certain the cycle is complete.> I have two filters running at the moment plus a skimmer. I have an internal Juwel filter that has chemical, bio and mech media. I also have an external with a much higher flow which has no media at the moment and is just being used as extra flow (I'm flowing over ten x tank). What media should I put in it if any at all considering I have lots of bio filter already with the rock and Juwel filter? <Hmm... good question. Guess that depends on what your options are for media, but perhaps you are best leaving it as is for the moment. Would consider something less demanding on electricity [like powerheads] if circulation is the only duty for this filter.> Also, once the tank has cycled I'm planning on having a couple of clowns (false). Also would love to have either a valentini puffer or Picasso trigger of which my LFS has a tiny baby I would love. I know they both a bit dodgy with clowns (and perhaps rock?) but your guidance would be great. <When purchased small, they are mostly harmless although a puffer is more likely to take a nip at just about anything. As they age and grow, they will become less predictable and at a certain point they will absolutely be able to 'one-bite' these fish so do consider your livestock choices carefully. Both the puffer and the trigger would make great pets, but in time they will likely need a tank to themselves.> I will move it out when it gets too large. Thanks again for all your help, you really are the super heroes of the marine fish world.. I'm guessing you even wear capes. <Actually, just a t-shirt and sometimes something warmer.> Cheers. <Cheers to you. J -- >

- Trigger Compatibility Question - Quick question: I am starting a new 180 Gallon Fish only tank. Wet Dry, Protein Skimmer, VHO Lamps.. I'm thinking of 3 Green Chromis to cycle the tank, then a Tang ( Yellow or Sailfin ), followed by a Maroon Clown and Anemone, followed by a Picasso Trigger. All at appropriate intervals, of course. Do you see any problems here with respect to the trigger? <If you procure a small one, then likely no problems at the outset, but given time this fish will grow to a size that it can consume most anything else on your list with the exception of the tang, and even then it can surely kill one. Even though the Rhinecanthus triggers are mostly easier going than some of their cousins, they are still individuals and will vary in unpredictable ways. If you do get this trigger, be prepared to either say goodbye to it one day or for this tank to become a species-specific tank - they do make great pets.> I think I can add gobies or Jawfish later to fill out the tank as they have the protection of rocks. <That will last for a while.> The main worry is Anemones and the triggerfish. <Don't think the trigger will bother the anemone, but then again... they will do whatever they want.> Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

Huma Trigger and 2 False Percula I currently have a 55 gallon tank with a Fluval 403, 75 gallon wet/dry, 100 SeaClone skimmer and no live rock. I've got (2) false percula clowns, (1) chocolate chip star, (2) emerald crabs, (2) cleaner shrimp and (1) long spike urchin.  I went to my LFS and fell in love with a Huma trigger and bought him about a week ago.  Things are going fine with no problems, but after reading some info from your site and others I'm starting to get a little worried about the fate of my other inhabitants. <yea.. you should have researched before the purchase. he will eventually consume all of your previous inhabitants!!!!> The Huma trigger is about 2" and the clowns are around 1 1/2".  The crabs and the shrimp stay within the base rock, but that's what they did before.  I'm just wondering if I should try to take him back to my LFS before anything happens or hope that since he's my last addition to this tank that he'll adjust since the others have already claimed territory. Thanks for your time, Randy <take him back and research your potential purchases before you actually buy them, IanB>

-Tank o' triggers- I am trying to get a predator setup going in one of my tanks. It's a well filtered and skimmed 50 gallon. I was wondering if these fish would get along: (The fish have bigger homes waiting for them after they get too large for the 50) I just wanted to start with babies. 1) Undulate Trigger (1.5") 2) Picasso Trigger (1.5") 3) Niger Trigger (2") 4) Clown Trigger (1.5") 4) Dog Face Puff (3") 5) Mono (1") <I doubt this mix of triggers will be successful.> ?'s 1) What families of fish generally compose a fish only live rock predator tank? <Triggers, puffers, lions, and groupers come to mind immediately, although many other types of fish may successfully be kept with these beasties, so long as you choose the right combination. The problem with most of these, especially with many groupers, is that they get far to large for even really big home systems. Choose carefully, and plan for the maximum size.> 2) Can different types of triggers be kept together? Will they grow to get used to each other? <Sometimes mixing triggers works, and sometimes it doesn't. The more triggers you mix together the higher the odds are that you'll have a catastrophe. If you were to try to mix, I'd suggest mixing the less aggressive juveniles.> 3) Is the undulate trigger something that should be avoided entirely in any community tank (docile or aggressive)? Or will it only bother fish that look similar to itself like other triggers? What about the clown trigger? <The undulate will get extremely aggressive. The clown is a very aggressive trigger by nature as well, but they will sometimes behave themselves. If you want to get a clown trigger, I'd suggest that it goes in last.>

Swollen spines?? (10/12/03) I trust you guys and live by your advice, I hope you can help me! <Ananda here tonight, hoping I can help, too!> I have a spiny box puffer and three of his spines are swollen and white, I had a niger trigger with him and thought it was biting him, so I took the trigger out and was wondering if it was bites or a puffer disease. <Hmmm. Never heard of anything quite like that being a disease... the trigger, on the other hand, definitely has the teeth to cause damage...and even though the niger is one of the mildest of the triggers, triggers can be a real mean bunch. Do keep the two separate for at least a while so the box puffer's spines can heal. To encourage healing, keep the water quality pristine, and feed the fish a good-quality food, preferably something you can add a vitamin preparation to.> I am hoping to hear from you soon!!!  Thanks <You're welcome! --Ananda>

Trigger - Lion Compatibility Hi <Hello, Scott V. here :) > I was just reading some of the questions posted and I have a question myself. I have a 55gal tank, stocked with 1 Picasso trigger and 1 bicolor angelfish. Both get along great, so we decided to continue our lil water family.  We went to a local pet store and talked with a guy who has a lionfish along with a trigger, told him what we had and he said the two will mix fine.  I read where you say not to mix these species, or at least, that's how I took it.    My question is can these two species get along??? <Hmmm.  Yes, I have seen many stores with them sharing a tank, and managed myself once long ago and got lucky.  However, it is quite likely the trigger will harass the Lion, nipping the fins to nothing and possibly even causing its death.  There are always exceptions, especially with a combination so often attempted, but I would not recommend it.  Risking a beautiful lion (not to mention expensive) to the trigger's jaws is a risk not worth taking.  Again, there are exceptions to almost everything.  If your local pet store is sure, have them sell you their trigger and lion together :)  There's still no guarantee though, with the change of environment you could soon find your lion without those nice long fins. > Thanks for your time. <Never a problem!> Nicole

Short Question on Undulated Triggerfish 8/11/03 Hey Crew! >>Hey yourself, Zack.  Marina here. >First off - what a great site! VERY informative!  I have a 75 gal tank with live rock enough to provide hiding caves and open swimming spaces.  Within this tank resides my only fish.... A female Undulated Triggerfish that I've had for 2 weeks to a month.  Right now she's about 4 inches or so. I was wondering how large I can expect her to grow (I am aware that males get bigger then females).   >>In prime conditions, you can expect this fish to reach approximately 12" at maturity (having trouble getting into http://www.fishbase.org at the moment, hope it's not that new virus!  That site, when up, will have best sizing information). >Secondly, I was wondering if a second fish is in my future.  My first choice is a snowflake moray eel but I would gladly take suggestions!  Thanks for the help!  Zack >>Well, Zack, unfortunately, you're quite pressed for space as it is, even with the trigger so small right now.  Also, they're rather aggressive, though a moray would be a better choice for their hiding habits than anything else.  If you start off suitably small and go VERY slim on the feedings, you might be able to get away with an additional tankmate for a year or two, and the snowflake would be a good choice with the B. undulatus.  Best of luck!  Marina
Single Undulated Triggerfish, Seeks Roommate - 08/12/03
Hi all! <Hi Zack, PF with you today> Thank you Bob for your response to my earlier question regarding temperament. <On behalf of Bob, who is probably off drinking from brown bottles after a "hard" day of diving, you're welcome.> I have another question for the "crew".  As I said before, I have a female undulated triggerfish (about 4 inches long) in a 75 gal tank.  She seems really passive (unless she sees her reflection in the glass which results in plenty of teeth-clicking and face-smashing!) and barely even goes after live feeder fish. I am wondering if I might be able to get a second fish if it's larger then her.  My current choices are a snowflake eel, a snapper, or a puffer.  What do you guys think? Any alternate choices that may work? <Well, I think that it would be an expensive way to feed a trigger. Reading up on these guys, I see the word "aggressive" used a lot, as well as the phrase "best kept singly". So, I'd give it a big "no". On another topic, I'd wean your beastie off of feeders and give her better things to eat, i.e. fresh seafood. She'll live a lot longer, and come to associate you with food. Feeder fish (unless they're actually salt water fish) are bad for her, and will eventually lead to her demise. Have a good night, PF> Thank you!  Zack  Newfoundland Canada
Tankmates for an Undulated trigger?? 8/15/03
Hi! <Hello!  Sabrina here, today> I stumbled across your site the other day and was happy to find such knowledge with regards to my recent purchase... an Undulated Triggerfish. About two or three months ago I purchased a 75 gal tank and began my first saltwater tank. (I had several freshwaters before but am now bored with the lacking diversity in fish.)  Once the tank was ready for fish I added a Clarkii clownfish, dragon wrasse, a blackmouth Chromis, and a Blood Shrimp.  Just about 2 weeks passed and I realized that these happy, friendly fish (the blackmouth and wrasse were still very young) were boring as hell!  Much to my girlfriend's dismay I decided that a predator tank was what I wanted so I exchanged the fish and shrimp for a small undulated trigger.  About 2 or 3 weeks have passed now and I'm pleased to say that the trigger is very healthy and about 4 & 1/2 inches long.  I have identified the trigger as a female but am unsure of where it's origin is.  "Gash" remains the only fish in the tank  which has lots of spaces to swim & hide.    <Okay, sounds good to me.> My first question is that I would love to have a second fish... my top choice is a snowflake moray eel but if that is a no-no either for Gash or the size of the tank I would gladly take suggestions (although I would like to steer away from other triggers).   <Well, unfortunately, I'm afraid that there really isn't anything you can safely keep with an undulated trigger.  These are absolutely without a doubt one of the most aggressive triggers out there - perhaps THE most aggressive.  It can even be difficult to clean their tanks when they get larger for their attempt to rid you of your pesky fingers or pieces of arm ;)  Holding a piece of acrylic between the area you're cleaning and the trigger will keep your arm bite-free, but I'm afraid there's no way to protect tankmates.  Even eels are very much at stake.  I'd recommend to stick with just the trigger; they become very entertaining, whimsical pets - more like a dog or cat than a fish.> Secondly, I would like to know how big I can expect my undulated to get (right now it's about 4 & 1/2 inches long and definitely a female).   <fishbase.org says 30cm (12 inches).> Thanks for the help!  Zack Rousseau <Glad to.>

Picasso Trigger (8-9-03) Hi, I have a small (2-3 in hard to tell though because the curved glass makes him seem larger but probably closer to two inch) Picasso trigger. Everything I have read says that Picassos are the nicest of the triggers<Certainly not the nicest, but not the meanest either.>...my girlfriends dad has a 7 inch Picasso trigger in a reef tank that he has had for 8 years and his trigger doesn't bother anything and he's got shrimp corals and small and larger fish. <He could probably sell that trigger for booku bucks.  There are a few reef safe types but these guys usually aren't one of them.> So I bought this small trigger and he absolutely mauled my fish.  I've heard lions and tangs can go with Picassos but is that only for these "tame" Picassos or is a trigger instinctively going to avoid a lion.  I would like either a fuzzy dwarf lion or a regal tang but don't want to kill them or if the lion could win don't want to kill the trigger...is my trigger doomed to be a species tank or can one of these fish go with the Satan Humu Humu?<I would say go for it, the tang and the lion are pretty tough customers, with the exception being the tang is a ick magnet and need a strict quarantine time before being added to the main tank.  Cody>

Triggers hi guys.... I know each trigger has it's own personality, but in general, can you list for me the top 5 commonly found species in order from least to most aggressive. <Okay... the Picasso/Humu Humu, Rectangulus, Odonus niger, Undulated, Clown> I am just getting my 90 gallon fish only tank up after converting from a 55.... I currently have a miniatus grouper, will be adding a Goldentail moray.... as well as a few others (probably a bird wrasse and a h. tusk).... <Umm, back to the drawing board... this is way too much fish for this small volume of water> I would love a trigger, but I'm not sure which of them would be a good tankmate..... I read that the niger is quite passive.... but I think I'm interested in something a bit more colorful. <Part of the fun and learning experience of being an earnest hobbyist is investigating the needs (including ultimate likely size) of ones livestock. Give a read through WetWebMedia.com, other reference works, fellow hobbyists (on-line, in stores, clubs) and keep making, revising your "wish-list". Bob Fenner> Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Trigger Compatibility Dear Crew: <Hello! Ryan here today> I am continuing to research stocking options for my 180G FOWLER that I am setting up in a couple of weeks. <Always of benefit to plan these things ahead.  Far too many impulse buying in this hobby has bad results.> I have become intrigued by the Picasso Trigger. From reading WWM & other sources, I gather that it is the "mellowest" of the triggers, but is still prone to undesirable behaviors. <It's as mellow as the "Mellowest" pit bull in the litter!> Are they really able to move rocks around? <Yes> What good tankmates can hold their own with this fish? <A huge selection> I am considering such as options the Bird Wrasse <Fine>, Snowflake Eel <Fine>, Red Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard) <Questionable>, Lionfish <Likely Fine>, Purple Tang <Questionable>, Freckled Hawkfish <Fine> or Harlequin Tuskfish <Fine>. Is the Foxface Rabbitfish too docile? <Yes and no- depends on the specimen.> (Obviously, I would not put all of these in the tank-just a total of four or five fish.) <Time saved on a long lecture!  Glad to hear it.> Are there any large angels or butterflyfish that could hold their own with the Picasso Trigger? <Plenty of angels.  Most of the larger angels will be fine with the trigger.  But as will all aggressors, please monitor his actions and keep a QT tank in the garage so that he may be removed if the situation calls for it.>  Or should I steer clear of this fish?  <Sounds fine, just be observant.  Best of luck! Ryan> Thanks, Steve Allen.

Trigger compatibility >I've been thinking about adding a Humu trigger. >>Ok. >First, is a 55 gallon tank with lots of live rock big enough for a trigger? >>No. >Will the trigger nip/kill my bubble tip anemone host to a pair of maroon clowns? >>Undoubtedly yes. >And finally, will it harass my two sand stars? >>Sand-sifting?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on whether or not it can see them.  Hope this helps!  Marina

- Shark and Trigger Compatibility - Hey guys have a quick question. <Ok.> I have a 7 in Banded cat Shark in my 150 gallon tank. He is currently in there with 3 damsels, a clownfish, and a mandarin. He's never made an attempt to eat any of them at least not for the 2 months I've had him. <Give it time... the ones that can't move quickly enough...> MY question is CAN I HAVE HIM WITH A CLOWN TRIGGER? <I wouldn't recommend it. If not immediately, eventually the Clown trigger would pick on the shark.> I really want a clown trigger but I don't want my shark to eat him or hurt him. <I'd be more worried about the trigger.> Are they compatible? <No.> If they aren't who'd win the battle? <Unless it was a juvenile, I'd bet on the trigger.> I'd much rather have the clown trigger now and regret getting the shark. I doubt the LFS would buy him back either so if they aren't compatible what can I do besides not buy the trigger? <Just skip it and raise a healthy shark. You've got a good tank to start with but will need upgrades in time.> Thanks in advance <Cheers, J -- >

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, 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.

The Trouble With Triggers... Dear Scott, <Hi there!> I have a 3 in Majestic Angel, a Firefish, a coral-banded shrimp and a 5 inch Emperor (adult). I would like your opinion as to whether I can add a baby Picasso trigger in my 500 l tank Will it nip the fins of my precious angels? <Well, it depends on the individual, but there is a possibility. These are some of my favorite fishes, but they can be a bit unpredictable! Usually, I have found these fishes to be relatively well behaved if kept with fishes their own size or larger. They do tend to get a bit nastier with age, however! All in all, I think that unless you're moving everyone up to a much larger tank in the future, you'd do better to pass on purchasing the trigger at this time. Those other fishes, particularly the Emperor, need lots of space...They get quite large!> I have recently bought some live freshwater shrimp which my fishes relish. Is this a better source of protein compared to Mysis shrimp? If I have a Picasso, is it possible for it to eat the freshwater shrimp and leave the Firefish alone? <Well, the freshwater shrimp might be a nice supplemental food for a trigger, however, I would still feed plenty of different food items of marine origin. Once again, as far as the trigger munching on his tankmates- it's really hard to say...Fish do display individual personalities, much like humans. However, there would be a certain degree of risk in mixing this trigger with passive, "munchable" fishes like Firefish...Perhaps you could get another large tank just for him..LOL. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> Thank You.

Trigger Happy! Hello <Hi there! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight> My name is Mustu. I recently set up a 2nd marine tank. Its 4 feet by 1.5 feet in width by 1.5 feet in height. I had put a small yellow tail blue damsel in the tank. I also have live rocks in the tank. Filtration is an Eheim 2213 and an under gravel filter and also a trickle filter. I also have a decent Orca 30 protein skimmer. I have introduced a baby clown trigger in the tank and wish not to add any more fishes in it. <Smart move- given the trigger's size requirements, massive appetite, and propensity for attacking tank mates!> Please can you tell me if my set up is ok for the little fellow. My tank is about 65 gallons I guess. I can put him in a 125 gallons tank once he is a about 4 inches. Current at 1.5 to 2 inches only. <Sounds fine for now, especially if you have larger quarters for him at a later date. Just obey good solid rules of aquatic husbandry (regular water changes, skimming, and common sense feeding). I think that you have a fine plan! By the way- he may even need a larger tank down the line! These guys get big! Magnificent fishes, though!> Oh-the small damsel is there and can't remove him as the set up is really nice. <Well, quite honestly- the trigger might do it for you at some point! Sad but true> Thank you, Mustu

Aggressive Assasi Hello, <Hi James, PF fielding your question tonight.> Searching the net for some answers, I found your site.  I recently purchased a young Assasi trigger for my 125 gallon tank.  He was my third "real" fish addition after letting it cycle - I had 9 damsels, a clown, a lawnmower blenny, in before.  A day after I purchased him, I bought a Jawfish.  Suffice to say, I have only 4 damsels left, and the Jawfish was torn to ribbons this weekend.  The clown and blenny seem fine, however, although I do not know how long that will last.  All of my research and questioning of fish specialty people, I was told I really shouldn't keep more than one trigger in a tank, but alas, if this keeps on, I'll be doomed to having one very aggressive Assasi only. Can you suggest some other triggers I could look for that would be...I guess, equally assertive in this large tank. (specs again were just 125 gallon, Hawaiian black sand w/ live black sand, no live rock). Any idea on puffer compatibility  - anything so I don't have a 1 fish show!! He was supposed to be the last one added, but now that he's decimated a number of damsels (at least he finishes his meals) and the Jawfish, the tank is looking sadly empty.....and he's only 2 1/2 niches! Thanks, James C. Graham <Well James, the humane thing to do would be to remove the other fish before they are eaten and find them a new home. That said, in my research on triggers the following words seem to come up like dandelions on a lawn: "best kept with no other triggers". Fish don't just recognize species, but general body build also. Just so you know, your little terror is going to grow into a bigger one, possibly to around 12". As for tank mates, something equally aggressive is in order. The Red, Spotfin, and Australian Dottybacks are all candidates. While smaller, they make up for it in attitude. These are the kinds of fish that attack divers (I wouldn't recommend you go sticking your hand in your tank either, a cleaning magnet is definitely in order). Avoid lionfish, while predaceous, triggers just tear them apart. In all honesty, I think a species tank would suit this guy best. If you want a community, I would recommend researching your choices more, after you return the trigger. Good luck, PF>

Poorly Tang <Hi Troy, PF here.> Hello, Haven't written to you for over 6 months, which is a good thing <Well, you could just write to say things are ok over on your end of the world.>, as my tank was running ok. Well I got home today and my yellow tang is hiding behind a rock, and doesn't seem to be able to swim. My Picasso trigger and algae blenny are both fine. I tested the water all levels were zero except Nitrate 0.25 (slightly pink). <That's not a bad level for a FO tank.> So I did a 20% water change. Added in some stress relieve stuff and watched. Well the tang can swim but not very well now and the trigger who used to get on with the tang better than me and the wife has started to attack her. <Unfortunately, not that uncommon for triggers who got along fine with their tank mates to turn on them as they get older and territorial instincts kick in.> I don't have a have any means of separating them so I just have to keep distracting him by stroking him on the glass (he likes this). <You could put a divider in, eggcrate (the stuff they have under the fluorescent light fixtures) works well for that. > I plan to run to my marine shop in the morning for advice, but I need to know what to do tonight. <Nothing short of separation will keep your trigger from separating your tang from this mortal coil, I would advise either getting another tank and separating them, or see if you can trade one of them in for credit at your LFS. Or, maybe someone nearby could adopt one of them.> Sorry if this is long winded.  <Positively short compared to a few I've seen.> These are all the fish I have. the tank is 90litres <Good luck Troy, I hope it turns out well.>

Don't Pull (Or Add) The Trigger   4/7/03 Hello to all at WWM:<Hello, you've reached Phil tonight.> I was at my LFS and they had a few blue throat triggerfish, male and female. They were about 4" and I was considering on buying one male and two females. However, I was concerned if they were compatible with my 7" crosshatch trigger and 6" Passer angelfish. These fish are in a 110 gal tank...the crosshatch for a year the passer for almost 2 years. The passer certainly is more aggressive so that is one of my concerns and the other is mixing these triggers. My first thought was by adding all three at the same time any aggression would be diffused. In the long run I want everyone to get along. Just wanted to get your opinion.  I always look forward to your thoughts and comments.<Well Gene, I hate to tell you but I think your tank is full.  Ananda and I have been talking about this and we think adding anymore "large" fish is not a good idea.  With the current fish-load your going to need a bigger tank in the future for just the two current fish.  But we also believe you may want to add one "small" fish to diffuse the aggression from the passer.  Ananda and I suggest adding a small damsel at night, after the fish have been fed well. (post QT, of course)  This way you get another fish without a large increase in "bioload".  Hope this helps!  Phil>  

Trigger and Live Rock  3/30/03 hey again Phil<Hey Tyler!> If i bought a Huma trigger what is the smallest size fish i could keep with it?<This depends on the trigger.  I've seen some that are fine with smallish fish, others rip damsels apart in a few minutes.> Would he get along with a flame angel, clowns, full grown Firefish.<There's a good possibly that this should work out fine.  The tank is between 125 gallons... so that gives "apprx." say 20 gallons per fish.  This is if you get 1 Angel, 2 Clowns, 2 Firefish and one Trigger.>   What's a good web site to buy live rock for cheap.<Hehe Cheep live rock??  Where? LOL!  Depends on what ya want.  I like Harbor Aquatics, but they do cost a bit more then other places.  But HA live rock has lots of life on it.  Read over our forums as we just had some posts about live rock.  www.wetwebfotos.com/talk  >   Thanks! Tyler<Hope this helps and good luck!! Phil>

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

Promise Your Fishes The Moon-But Not The Stars! Hi Scott: <Hello > I recently wrote you about my clown trigger and my lion fish. I have them in a 120 gal tank with 40 pounds of live rock for them to hide. I only intend to keep these two fish because I want them to be happy with all the space to them self. <Good intentions, for sure...As mentioned previously, however, there could be some problems between the two fishes in the long run...> But the trigger and the lion are very messy eaters, and I have to do water changes every week. <Yep! That's par for the course, as they say, when keeping these fishes> Doing some research, I found that the chocolate chip star, which is a scavenger, will help clean the bottom of the tank, but I want an expert second opinion like yours. <Hey! Flattered at the undeserved "expert" title- but I certainly can deliver a second opinion...I would be slightly hesitant to keep a starfish in a tank with a triggerfish...There certainly is that good possibility that the trigger will harass, injure, and possibly even kill the starfish with his activities... I would not risk it, myself... Just observe keen maintenance practices, careful observation, and good feeding habits- and you should be fine without one> I figure that the star won't be a space factor for the fish, but watt I am really worried is about the trigger picking on the star??? <My thoughts, exactly> Thank you for your personal advice. <And thanks for writing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Re: Clown Trigger Help - Hi Jason, Thanks for the email <My pleasure.> My inhabitants are in a 110 gallon tank and have been doing tests randomly and my water appears to be fine...In addition I have been doing biweekly 5% water changes...I'll retest again to ensure that it is up to spec tonight. <Good plan.> Any further ideas on the fading colors.. <Let's start with the copper treatment and water tests...> In regards to medication, I don't have a hospital tank available...Can you advise on an alternative? <There aren't many more than I can count on one finger - pH-adjusted freshwater dips, but even these are best advised with quarantine procedures. Really and truthfully, you should consider and obtain quarantine facilities for your fish.> In regards to aggression, I think he is anything but...Yes when I feed him goldfish, he readily catches and destroys but everything else in my tank is pretty well left alone <Give it time - the non-aggressive clown triggers are few and far between. These fish are well documented for becoming aggressive to a fault and the decimation of other tank mates.> As far as the Wet Web Media site, I just discovered it today and will undoubtedly read up on all relative articles in time...I was just hoping for a quick solution or advise on my immediate concern <There are no quick solutions in marine fish keeping. One of the best near and long term solutions is to augment your education. Here's some good places to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/balistoides/index.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/goldfshfd.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > Thanks Chris <Cheers, J -- >

- Keeping Multiple Triggers - Good day gents !! <And good day to you. JasonC here...> I recently acquired a beautiful juvenile Sargassum Trigger (about 3 1/2 to 4") and I was wondering if it would be possible to house another trigger (possibly a Niger, Clown, or Picasso) with the Sargassum? <I do believe that this trigger needs a huge system - 1,000's of gallons. You might want to hold off on a second trigger.> I get various opinions from 2 different LFS. Enlighten me OH wise ones !!!! I have a 140 gal. tank <I'm sorry to say that it's not enough. Cheers, J -- >

Trigger meals/crabs, UV timers Hello and thanks for all the advice,   1.  Is there any type of hermit crab that you can recommend that might have a chance in a fish only tank with a clown trigger (about 6" long)?  It's a 180 gal tank and the other fish in the tank are relatively peaceful (angels, tangs).  I'm looking to put something in the tank to help clean up. <Not really. Too much likelihood that even a large specimen would eventually become a toy, meal> 2.  Since I've turned on the UV filter the tank is running a few degrees warmer than I would like (80 -81).  Would you recommend putting the UV filter on a timer, if so, how long would you run it for per day? <Continuously. Not worth having, using otherwise. Look for other areas to reduce heat if you consider this a problem. Bob Fenner> Thanks for all your help.   rob stein.

Re: pink tail trigger ? I was considering adding a pink tail trigger (Melichthys vidua) to my 46-gal reef tank.  Currently I have a strawberry Pseudochromis and several LPS (Trachyphyllia, Euphyllia, bubble, brain coral) sorry about the last two I can't remember their scientific names.  I also have a mid-size feather duster and several types of mushroom anemones, and button polyps.  Before adding the pink tail I plan on also acquiring a  six-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) and adding a bicolor blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) from a different tank I have.  All my water parameters are good and I plan to do this over a couple month period with about a month in between each fish for quarantine purposes.  What do you think. <I wouldn't place even a "nicer", "easier-going", "staying-smaller" species of triggerfish as the Pinktail in such a setting. The tank is too small and some of your current livestock would be likely to be sampled. Look for something smaller to go here instead. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Alex

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: S
carlet 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>

Queen trigger in a 240 Hi, <Hello!> I have a 240 gallon FO system. I have  12" sohal Tang and a 15'' maculosus angel. They are the only 2 fish in my system. I love queen triggers, I know that they are the MOST aggressive fish in marine. If I buy a little one, and let it grow to an full adult, will it still kill my 2 other fish?? <My friend...all fish are individuals. If the tank is lightly stocked with lots of rocks and other things for cover, you should be alright. But no guarantees. David Dowless>

Triggers, Puffers & Tangs I have a 65gal, w/d, skimmer, power compact,50lb LR/LS with a small puffer, clownfish, and a goby. I want to stock my tank and the LFS just wants to sell me anything so they say everything is compatible when they are small. <Not true. Even if it were true, you will be amazed at how fast marine critters grow. I had a 4" volitans that grew to more than 8" in a little less than a year!> So I am turning to you guys for the truth. I am partial to triggers and puffers and would like a tang. <This grouping would easily work in a larger tank...but in a 65? If you must, I suggest one of each...no more. These fish if healthy and fed well, will likely outgrow this tank rather quickly. Did you know that a yellow tang can easily grow to 8" and a Picasso trigger to almost 10"? If you go with the above combination, I would stay with the yellow tang, one of the gentler/smaller triggers such as a Niger or Picasso and a puffer of the Canthigaster species. Only one Canthigaster in your tank, please. All of the other puffer species will outgrow your tank in short order. How much is too much and will puffers go with puffers? <Most puffers yes...but Canthigaster? one only> What about triggers <Trigger....S? Get a good book like Marine Fishes by Michael Scott to aid in your quest to stock your aquarium. Honestly...most if not all of the triggers will outgrow your tank rather quickly. I think one is enough for long term success> with what I already have? <I think it will work. After rereading your email, the addition of this trigger will probably fill your tank capacity. Skip the tangs and the additional puffers. May I suggest, if you must, add one small trigger and stop stocking. This will be much healthier in the long run> Thanks already. Hadley <You're welcome. I'm just trying to save you some money and a heart ache. David Dowless>

Compatibility questions To whom it may concern, <It concerns me, Christopher. How are you doing? Jason C here... > I have a large Fire Red Clown, (2 1/2") in my 27 Gallon Reef Tank along with 2 large red leg hermits and a large Coral Banded Shrimp and some sponge.   I also have 180 gallon FOWLR and some inverts. In the 180 I have a Med. size True Percula Clown, (1 1/2") along with many other fish; a large Purple Tang, Med. Christmas Wrasse, Large Blue Throat Trigger, Bi-Color Angel, a large Velvet Damsel, 1 Orange Tail Damsel, 2 small Blue Damsels, a serpent star and a large African Horned Star. My questions is.. In this size tank, the 180, can I add the other Inverts and Fire Clown from the 27 Gallon reef? <I would think so, yes.> Is it possible to keep the 2 clown fish together in a tank of this size with plenty of live rock and dead coral for hiding places. <Provided there is plenty of cover, sure.> Or will the 2 clown fishes eventually kill each other? <The tank should be large enough that the clowns could establish pretty large territories without needing to invade the other's.> I am pretty sure the inverts should not be a problem except I have read on your site that Triggers do at times make a meal of shrimps but in my case I have the Blue Throat Trigger who typically stays away from inverts and sticks with Zooplankton diet. <Well, there is no way to know 100% of your trigger's motivations. You may end up missing the inverts regardless.> Let me know because I want to strip down the 27 Gallon reef... it has become too much maintenance for me. I hope not to return the Fire Clown because I do like him a lot. Thanks! <Cheers, J -- >

Pulling The Trigger? Thank you for the quick response.  If I wanted more fish, would you recommend that I trade in the clown trigger? <I hate the idea of trading in a fish to a dealer, but unless you know someone with suitable accommodations for him, that's your best bet. Of the two triggers you have, I think that the Humu has the slight edge in terms of compatibility with potential future tankmates in your system. Study those potential tankmates carefully, and you'll be fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.

All Puffed Up! Thank you for your very informative response to Trigger Happy part 1 and 2. But now you have gotten me amped about a larger tank and a different mixture of predatory fish. <Uh- Oh!> I noticed you had a qualifier in your suggestion (Maybe ... maybe). I am assuming this to mean that no matter what, a Trigger may not allow another tankmate. <No- just that they have to be the right kind of tankmate-in the right kind of tank!> With that said I have seen several of your discussions about Triggers and Puffer being able to co-exist.  In my case you said maybe to a Canthigaster jactator which gets about 5 inches.  My question to you is was that to lessen the load on a smaller system or its ability to handle the onslaught by a Humu Trigger fish? <More the ability to handle the onslaught than anything else!> If it is the latter help me understand the tactics the Puffer uses when the Trigger decide he wants no company?  I am aware that the flesh is toxic and they can expand, is that enough to deter the aggression?  What are the tougher Puffers in the trade if tank size is no longer the issue? <Actually, this guy (C. jactator) has a rather "nasty" reputation for being nippy himself! It's more of a situation where "live and let live" should prevail. These guys can usually handle themselves-I've kept them with triggers myself, and have seen lots of people do the same without World War 3 occurring.> The other species you mentioned was the "Crosshatch Trigger" (what a beautiful species)--- I can't seem to get a mail order price on these guys --- do you have a ball park estimate on a small specimen? <Do try Marine Center, and be prepared to pay well over $100.00> Being a zooplankton feeder is the diet for the Crosshatch Triggers any different from the other Triggers/Puffers? <Not materially- they will gladly accept Mysis, chopped seafoods, etc. They are gorgeous fish, and generally (not I said "generally") a lot better behaved.> Lastly, as a side item do you have any source, preferably mail order to get live crayfish or any other live food for Triggers (retail)??? Thanks <Well- if it were me- I'd rather encourage them to eat frozen foods and fresh seafood, which they easily do. You don't want to risk the introduction of parasites, etc with live crayfish, IMO. Good luck on your future acquisitions! Regards,, Scott F.>

Trigger Happy-PT 2 Thanks Steve F. for your response to (Trigger Happy) <Glad to be of service!> Now that I have the two belligerent customers in the Undulated and Humu which I knew was highly risky, what adjustments do I make?  Since I probably won't be getting any time soon the 500 (love to have one do you have a inexpensive source?) gallon tank you stated I would need to accommodate what I really want, which is a predator tank with Triggers, Groupers and/or Puffers. <Understood...I really think that you should leave your population as is...Maybe, maybe...you could add a smaller puffer, like a Canthigaster jactator, which can "defend" itself. This fish can be nasty in it's own right-but can probably handle the aggression that may be thrown it's way. You take a big risk introducing any other fishes into the mix, IMO.> I am really interested in housing at least two triggers and maybe another predatory fish in larger accommodations.  I had a Niger and a Humu Humu for 2 years with no aggression at all --- was I just lucky? <Not lucky- a Niger is a more peaceful species- but gets HUGE!> Or is that fairly safe.  Is a Rhinecanthus species and a less aggressive Trigger a little safer bet than many other species? < Actually, yes- IMO. The Niger Trigger The Rhinecanthus species are better suited for situations where you'd want to house more than one. Another possibility would be the Xanthichthys species, such as the "Crosshatch" Trigger, which are much better choices. Please note that these guys still get quite large, and a larger tank, good husbandry, and lots of food is still a requirement.> I guess my real question is if you have the accommodations as you stated in the earlier post (500 to 700 gallon tank) and you were really interested in a predator tank, what would be your lowest risk combination -- with at least one of the fish being a Trigger??? Thanks    <I'd go with the Humu- still a rough customer- but can work out in a large tank, or one of the Xanthichthys species. Puffers, larger damsels, some groupers, etc, can work in this type of situation. Triggers are, unfortunately- really unpredictable in their behaviours and habits. Great fish- but require careful attention to their needs. Keep studying and learning- you'll get that 500 gallon tank one day! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Trigger Mix... Crew, <Scott F. here tonight> I recently converted my 100 gallon tank to a saltwater fish only tank. About 1 month ago I added my first two fish to the tank on the same day: a 2-inch Huma-Huma Trigger and a 2 inch Clown Trigger. <Wow-that's two pretty rough customers that will eventually need a larger tank!> So far they are getting along great.  They "hang out" together all over the tank.  I know I may eventually need to trade in the clown when it gets older and pulls a Linda Blair. <Yep- good call> What other fish, if any, can I safely add?   I was hoping to possibly add a tang or two and maybe an Emperor Angel. Any advise you can offer is appreciated. <Honestly- given the size requirements of these fishes, their eating habits, production of waste, etc., I'd be really hesitant to recommend the addition of any more fish into this tank. In theory, larger tangs, groupers, and puffers would be acceptable companions- but not in this sized tank...Better to let them grow, enjoy their "relationship", and move these guys on to larger quarters in the near future.> Thanks. Ray <And thanks to you, Ray, for stopping by. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Trigger Happy! I am aware all Triggers have their own personality --- but in general terms I am interested in what may work and what has the combination has the highest probability.  I have a 3.5 inch Humu Humu and a 3.5 inch Undulated (Indian Ocean) [100 gallon custom flat with live rock and skimmer and two filters which rate up to 125 gallons] --- presently they seem to get along fine the Humu is more active but the Undulated  can move the Humu out of any area of the tank. <I'm amazed that they are getting along at all- the Undulated Trigger is one of the absolute meanest fish available in the hobby! The Humu, although somewhat less belligerent, can be a tough customer... This tank will be too small for both in the long run-these fishes can reach 12 inches and 10 inches, respectively, and put out a lot of waste! They may have a "balance of terror" right now- but it is a matter of "when" problems will arise between these two.> The problem came when I introduced a Blue Line Grouper (which I was told could hold its own, apparently not).  The Humu went absolutely nuts.  He relentlessly chased the Grouper until I had to separate the two with a Lucite partition. <A life-saving move on your part!> After 6 months the Humu and Undulated live with no tattered fins.  My question is what has the highest probability of working with Triggers? --- another type of Grouper (Hind)? --- a Puffer? --- another trigger? --- or am I stuck with the two Triggers with no chance of another fish surviving this arrangement?.  I can take it (smile) --- Thanks

Triggerfishes for  Marine
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