Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum), also known as the big spotted triggerfish. The triggerfish has large white spots on its black belly and small black spots on its yellow back. It has a thick, white band under the eye and bright, yellow-orange lips. Clown Triggerfish makes it a very popular choice for hobbyists that have aggressive aquariums. They are widely known for their vibrant and distinctive coloration, making them a popular species in the aquarium trade.
The clown triggerfish is a large fish, growing up to 50 cm (19.7 inches) in length. It has a stocky body with a large head and a terminal mouth. The body is covered with small, overlapping scales. The first dorsal fin is composed of three spines, one of which is longer and stronger. The second dorsal fin and the anal fin are similar in shape and size. The caudal fin is forked.
Clown trigger in Aquarium
The clown triggerfish is an aggressive fish and should only be kept in an aquarium with other large, aggressive fish. It is not reef safe and will eat any invertebrates that it can fit in its mouth.
Size of the Aquarium: Clown Triggerfish can grow up to 50 cm (about 20 inches) long, so they require a large aquarium to accommodate their size. A tank of at least 300 gallons is typically recommended. They need ample space to swim and explore.
Tank Setup: These fish are reef dwellers in the wild, so providing a similar environment with plenty of rocks and caves can make them feel more comfortable. However, they can be destructive to live corals and invertebrates, so artificial decorations might be a safer choice.
Water Conditions: Like most tropical marine fish, Clown Triggerfish require clean, well-filtered water with a stable temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be maintained between 8.1 and 8.4.
Diet: Clown Triggerfish are omnivorous and have a robust appetite. They should be fed a varied diet that includes meaty foods such as shrimp, squid, clams, and fish, as well as some plant-based foods.
Behavior and Compatibility: Clown Triggerfish are known for their aggressive and territorial behavior. They’re not typically suitable for community tanks, especially with small, docile, or slow-moving species. They’re best housed singly or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.
Health: Like all aquarium fish, Clown Triggerfish are susceptible to common fish diseases. Keeping the water conditions optimal, providing a healthy diet, and reducing stress can prevent many common issues.
Scientific Name: Balistoides conspicillum
Minimum Tank Size: 300 gallons for only 1 Clown triggerfish in the tank
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Very aggressive
Temperature: 72-78° F
Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 20 inches
Diet: Carnivore, the varied diet like squid, krill, clams, small fish and hard shelled shrimp
Origin: Australia, Indonesia, Sumatra
Coral Safe: No
Invertebrate Safe: No
Clown triggerfish tank mate
Clown Triggerfish are known for their territorial and sometimes aggressive behavior, particularly in smaller tanks. They’re usually best kept in a species-specific tank or with other fish that are similarly sized and can handle the triggerfish’s assertiveness.
When considering tank mates for a Clown Triggerfish, it’s important to avoid putting them with smaller, slow-moving, or docile fish, as well as invertebrates and crustaceans. They are known to eat invertebrates and can harass or harm more docile or timid species.
Potential suitable tank mates could include:
- Large Angelfish: While not always the case, certain species of large angelfish can cohabitate with Clown Triggerfish. Be sure to monitor their interactions closely.
- Tangs: Larger species like the Naso Tang or Blue Tang could potentially work as tank mates.
- Other Large Triggerfish: Some aquarists have had success keeping different species of large triggerfish together. Again, this requires a sizeable tank and close monitoring.
- Puffers and Porcupinefish: These fish are often robust and large enough to coexist with Clown Triggerfish.
- Lionfish: Provided that the Lionfish is larger than the Clown Triggerfish, they can usually live together peacefully.
- Eels: Larger Moray Eels can sometimes share a tank with Clown Triggerfish.
Remember that individual fish personalities can vary, and compatibility can depend on factors such as the size of the aquarium, the order in which fish were introduced, and the specific species involved. Always monitor new introductions carefully and have a backup plan if aggression issues arise. It’s also crucial to ensure all fish have enough space, hiding places, and resources to minimize territorial disputes.
Because of its attractive coloration and dramatic coloration, Clown triggerfish is one of the most highly prized aquarium fish. Like many other triggerfish, it can require a large aquarium and be aggressive towards other fish. The young triggerfish can be housed in an aquarium as small as 10 gallons. But it will outgrow an aquarium of this size quickly. If kept on its own, an adult clown triggerfish can live its entire life in an aquarium as small as 75 gallons, but if you want to house it with other fish, an aquarium of at least 180 gallons is best. Clown triggerfish should not be kept with small fishes and also prey on invertebrates in the aquarium they should be taken in selecting its tank mates, choosing other aggressive, large fish. Clown triggerfish can become tame enough to be hand-fed; however, one should beware of the fish’s sharp teeth.
Here are some additional facts about clown triggerfish:
- The first dorsal fin spine is used as a defense mechanism. When the fish is threatened, it erects the spine and locks it in place with the second spine. This makes it difficult for predators to swallow the fish.
- Clown triggerfish are territorial and will defend their territory against other fish.
- Clown triggerfish are solitary fish and only come together to mate.
- The female clown triggerfish lays her eggs in a nest that the male has built. The male guards the nest until the eggs hatch.
- Clown triggerfish can live for up to 20 years in captivity.