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FAQs about Canthidermis Triggerfishes

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Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Care for Canthidermis maculata    10/6/11
Howdy from Galveston!
<Oh! Have visited there... Moody's... some nice restaurants>
Each year see's me out collecting, primarily on the beachfront and jetties of Galveston Island. Directly after Hurricane Don, I took the opportunity to collect on the beachfront as a result of the unusually high/low tides.
As the tide makes its way out, tide pools appear behind the granite blocks at the West end of the seawall. Many of these pools dry at low tide, and are filled with its return. While it isn't often I keep much from these forays, every once-in-awhile something is found which piques my interest, which brings me to the subject of my email.
In one of these draining pools, a small shore bird was trying to grab what appeared to be a piece of flotsam. As I approached, it became clear that it was some kind of fish-usually it is a Lobotes surinamensis which has become trapped, and I figured it would be best to just toss it into the surf and give it a fighting chance. When I got to the fish in question, it became immediately apparent that my original assumption was incorrect.
Once in the dip net I knew the fish to be a triggerfish of some-sort, but was unable to specifically ID it on site, so it got to tag along for the ride to my house. The little guy (2") was in a grave state with pecked skin, torn fins, and a stressed coloration:
[Canthidermis maculata2.JPG]
[Canthidermis maculata.jpg]
Once he settled down and his coloration returned to normal, I determined it to be Canthidermis maculata. I'll have to take some updated pictures, as his coloration is now slate with blue dots...Unless he's eating, then he can change to yellow body, white spots, and black fins.
<Typical juvenile...>
After reading wet web media's conclusion that these fish aren't well-suited to life in an aquarium
<Mmm, are fine when young>
it seemed as though I was at a bit of an impasse. Even though I only keep animals collected from the areas previously listed, my rock is dead rock which has been resurrected in bait live wells, and I feed locally caught grass shrimp/snails/squid/crab, I'm not overly keen with releasing fish having been kept in an aquarium.
<Am generally against this practice as well... but in your case... w/ naught but locally collected matter, livestock...>
The aquarium in which he currently resides is a 48"x24"x24" Tenecor with a 30g sump including: skimmer, refugium, and DSB. Lighting is (4)x 48" t5 fluorescent.
Included livestock are 3 Sergeant Majors, 3 Seaweed blennies, Sharpnose puffer (2") and a Chasmodes of some sort.
He is eating well, and all the injuries have healed, but I do not wish to watch him languish with age/size. If he is to become a permanent resident of my aquarium, what would be the recommendations of your staff so that he remains the happiest possible?
Scott McDonald, RS
<Really just simple feeding and aquarium maintenance... IF you perceive the specimen is getting too large... a return trip to the sea. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Care for Canthidermis maculata   10/6.5/11
Thanks Bob!
General question- I have photographed some juvenile fish collected in Galveston, TX and would be more than happy to share them with you. Photos include: Scartella cristata (Molly Miller Blenny), Chasmodes either bosquianus or longimaxilla-(jury is still out), Parablennius marmoreus (Seaweed blenny), Histrio histrio (Sargassum Frogfish), Serraniculus sp. (Pygmy Seabass), Lutjanus apodu, (Schoolmaster snapper), Chaetodipterus faber (Atlantic spadefish), and Lobotes surinamensis (Tripletail).
Let me know where to send them and any size requirements.
<Thank you for your offer Scott. Please do send along... .jpg's are fine... about a meg each; and I'll post w/ credit to you. Cheers, BobF>

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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