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FAQs about Melichthys Triggerfishes

Related FAQs: Triggerfishes in General, Triggerfish: Identification, Selection, Selection 2, Compatibility, Behavior, Systems, Feeding, Diseases, Triggerfish Health 2, Reproduction,

Related Articles: Melichthys Triggers, Triggerfish, Balistoides Species, Red Sea Triggerfishes,

A Melichthys vidua in the waters off Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Triggerfish growth rate      11/6/17
Hello, this is Jinoo Kim. I have 2 juvenile triggerfish in my 29 gallon refugium. I want to grow them out before they get to the main display so they don't get eaten by the bigger fish in there. I have a Black Durgon Triggerfish and a Red Sea Niger Triggerfish (aka pink tail niger triggerfish). How fast do these guys grow?
<Mmm; not quickly... a couple inches per year, perhaps three if pushed>
Right now they're about 3 inches and I want them to be at least 6 inches so they don't get destroyed by the
other predator fish. Thank you.
Jinoo Kim
<I'd count on a year plus here. Bob Fenner>

Pink trigger       2/8/15
My pink trigger has developed about 5 white spots on his head and face. He had one for about a year but the rest are fairly new. In all other ways, he seems fine. He shares the tank with a Huma Huma trigger and a clown.
Any help would be gladly appreciated.
<... can't tell what these spots are w/o sampling, exam. under a 'scope... but likely are either from running into something hard or bites from the other Balistid. Bob Fenner>
Pink trigger with white spots

This is a photo of the pink trigger I just wrote about. Forgot to attach it. Thanks again
<Same resp. B>


Pink Tail Triggerfish And Crosshatch Triggerfish pair     9/9/14
Greetings Mister Fenner/Crew. I have an 8" Pink Tail Triggerfish that used to live in my 8 Ft x 3 Ft x 3 Ft, system. I moved him temporarily to a 75 gallon tank, several months ago. I did this because I was trying to introduce a 6" female Crosshatch Triggerfish, and the Pink Tail took an immediate disliking to her.
<Ah yes>
I have since added a 9" male Crosshatch Triggerfish, which paired up with the female, and they have spawned regularly, for months now. I would like to try and re-introduce the pink Tail Triggerfish to this lightly stocked system loaded with live rock, because he seems very restless now in the confines of the 70 gallon tank.
<I'll bet; though you may have to net it out again...>
I don't have another option in my 2 other large tanks, because a single 7"
Clown Triggerfish dwells by himself in one,
<Ah yes>
, and the other is loaded with Fairy Wrasses and a huge French Angelfish.
I hate to take him to the LFS, but I also don't want him to be crowded in a smaller tank. Your advice has been invaluable to be for well over a decade.
I will wait to hear from you before making a decision here, as always thank you very much.
<Certainly welcome. Oh, am out diving in Nusa Lembongen in Bali... seeing many Melichthys>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Pink Tail Triggerfish And Crosshatch Triggerfish pair Compatibility     9/9/14

Wow glad your diving and seeing lots of my favorite fish! I love all Triggerfish and Red Coris Wrasses
<Saw C. gaimard juv. this AM as well>
, my 2 favorites! My wife and I were in the Isla Mujeres
<Just north of Cancun I take it>
area getting a little underwater time last month, heading back out in November! The Pink Tail Triggerfish started going after both of the
Crosshatch Triggerfish pair within 5 minutes. I caught him and took him to my long time LFS. I've known them for 15 years and they will make sure someone with a 125 gallon plus system adopts him. Oh and that he is the sole Triggerfish. I raised him from an inch and when he was about 4 inches, he actually beat up my 3 inch Clown Triggerfish!. He gets along well with all other fish but hates other Triggerfish...not the typical Pink Tail I have seen in the part. Enjoy your dive and thanks again! I enjoyed growing him for almost 3 years! Someone else can enjoy him now!
<Ah good>
Best Regards,
<And you, B>

Pink tail trigger; hlth.     4/13/14
The right side of my titter lip is swollen upper portion. He is housed in a 75 gallon tank with a urchin sailfin tang coral beauty and a fox face rabbit fish. The swelling has increased but it look almost like a an abscess you would see. Not sure what do or even where to begin. He's still eating swims around should I worried about the other fish we have no hospital tank.
<Likely either swam into something or possibly jabbed by the Siganid or Acanthurid. I'd leave in place. These fishes now need or will need more space (like twice). Bob Fenner>

RE: compatibility      2/5/14
but one fish Id love to have is a Hawaiian black durgeon trigger. I have read they are a safer bet for sharks,
especially compared to the humu. Is this possible with the marbled cat? is it worth trying and observing, or are they just as bad as the more aggressive triggers?
<See WWM re. B>
(Looked and did not sea anything specific about durgeon trigger and sharks.
I know some places state no triggers at all, but I have also read certain triggers such as clowns, queens etc, are absolute no no's. Others like the pink tail or blue jaw, are pretty docile. Was lead to believe the durgeon is similar to the latter.)
<I do concur; though no Balistid should be trusted explicitly. B>

Stocking question, adding a trigger to a growing group of fishes      6/17/13
I have a 125 gal FOWLR tank with 125 lbs of live rock. Inhabitants:  yellow tang, powder blue tang, raccoon butterfly (all approx 3 inches), flame angel, flasher wrasse, long nose hawk, red Hawkfish, blenny, royal gramma.
Running a Remora skimmer with a 205 and a G6 Fluval plus a couple of emperors - heat maintains around 79 degrees and all water parameters are zero with ph at 8.3. Do weekly 10% water changes. Question - thinking of adding a pink tailed trigger - do you see problem?
<Mmm, not likely problematical... Though when all grow up, you're going to need/want more room; particularly for the Acanthurus leucosternon>
 There are also several snails or various sizes.  Thanks in advance for your input. Diann
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Melichthys indicus    11/6/12
Hey guys, what do you think about housing a 6" Melichthys indices in a 90g fowlr?
<... too crowded already. This genus, species really needs more room. See WWM re>
I currently have a 3 inch hippo tang, 2 inch flame hawk, and a 5 inch saddle back wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey). Your advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Melichthys indicus, sys.     11/7/12

What about if I remove some of the fish? Or keep him by himself with one aggressive/hardy fish?
<Mmm, no... the genus Melichthys... though these Balistids don't grow super-big, are really not happy in systems less than 5-6 feet in length... 125 gallons plus. B>

Pink Tail Discolored 10/26/11
<... eight megs in a pic?>
Can you help solve the issue with my pink tail trigger. She eats great.
I feed squid, frozen Mysid, plankton, and garlic pellet. She swims around with the other fish. Is active and likes to swim toward the powerheads.
I simply cannot figure out why she is so discolored. She also is eating a ton of the algae I put in the tank for my Foxface Rabbitfish. I have a 150 reef with about 200 lbs of live rock and 75 lbs of live sand. The tank is stocked with a Blue Jaw trigger (male), a pink tail trigger, a pair of ocellaris clownfish, a mandarin goby, a cleaner wrasse,
<This may be the issue>
a Forktail blenny, a lawnmower blenny, a Foxface Rabbitfish, and a male leopard wrasse. There are some peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, and about 30 snails, a Sandsifting starfish, a pink and green cucumber, we have a blue Linckia starfish that was a hitchhiker on a star polyp coral. The ALK of the tank is around 13 dKH. The tank parameters are: ammonia is 0, nitrite is 0, nitrate is 10, phosphate is 1ppm,
<Way too high>
and calcium is at 400.

Re: Pink Tail Discolored 10/26/11
?? the cleaner wrasse could cause this issue?
<Yes; see WWM re Labroides "bothering their customers">
I am working on the phosphate. I am having to use tap water because all the LFS here mix their
water but allow it to sit stagnant for days at a time and I did not want to use that water. I live on the beach but was scared to use water from the ocean because of the contaminants

Re: Pink Tail Discolored 10/27/11
Interesting read....so you think she is healthy and this is nothing to be too worried about?
<IF the cause is from being harassed, and that removed...>

Pink Tail Trigger, hlth. 10/15/11
Hey guys and gals, I just had a quick question about a pink tail. I have one that is about 4 to 5 inches long in a 250 with about 300 lbs of live rock. He has a tear on his top lip. He still eats very well although a
silverside seems to be difficult for him right now, swims around the tank and does not seem to have any stress. I believe he did this trying to eat a clam off of a rock.
<Such injuries do occur>
As long as he is eating and is not stressed, is there anything that I should be doing for him?
<No; nothing. Balistids are very tough... self-healers under good circumstances>
What vitamins would you recommend for him and what antibiotics would you give him to keep infection away?
<None of the latter... see WWM re the former>
There are a few coral and inverts in the tank.
<These may be sampled in time. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pink Tail Trigger 10/19/11

Will the pink tail's lips grow back or will they stay like this? he is still eating very well and seems to have no ill effects from the injury other than how he looks.
<Almost assuredly will grow back. B>

Pink Tail Trigger.....Reef Safe?/Triggerfish Compatibility 4/10/10
Hey guys,
<Hello Jeromy>
I keep getting conflicting reports. Some say yes, others no. I have a 180g reef tank with a Yellow and Purple Tang, two Tomato Clowns, Green Chromis, Flame Hawk. Will a 6" Pinktail be ok here?
<It will eat crustaceans and likely go after any small fish. A better choice would be the Blue Throat/Chin Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus). They have a decent track record in reef tanks.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

02/03/10 stocking list. Triggerfish -- 3/3/10
<Hi Connor>
Thanks for the quick response
My tank is 150 gallon and already has a Harlequin Tusk. This is my planned stocking list:
1 Harlequin Tusk
1 Russell's Lionfish
1 Hippo Tang
1 Bluethroat Trigger(male)
1 Freckled Hawkfish
The last response said that the Foxface Rabbitfish would work instead of the Trigger, what about with the Trigger?
<Should all go together, but not in this size... I would reduce the numbers of large fish on this list, you have five that get to a foot or more.. too many.. reduce this to three at most>
Last question, will this Trigger have personality like the others?
<They are nice fish, but yes many of the others have more 'personality' than this one, but that is also what makes them sometime troublemakers. For a good balance, I actually like the Melichthys Triggerfish, my fave?
Melichthys indicus, because it only gets to about 8 inches, is pretty good natured, and still has that 'beefy' look. Try here:

Triggerfish... again, beh. 10/2/2009
I have a small pink tail trigger fish (about 3 inches) in a 120. My water is in good shape with ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0, nitrate at 5ppm, I have about 100 pounds of live rock and 75 pounds of live sand. The other fish
in the tank are 2 oc. clowns, 2 pearly Jawfish. My question is about my pink tail, he seems to be overly enjoying the cleaner shrimp. He goes to them about every 10 to 15 minutes, spends a few seconds there and then leaves. I have taken him out of the tank and FW dipped him and QTed him so I could examine him but found nothing. He eats like a horse and swims around everywhere and acts normal. Is it normal for him to do this or should I be looking into the situation further?
<... Dustin, I answered this a few days back... Did you read on WWM re Balistid, Cleaner Shrimp behavior? It appears not. BobF>

Compatibility... Pinktail Triggerfish and smaller peaceful fish 09/15/09
Hey Guys,
<Hey there, you got one of the gals tonight.>
thanks in advance for the info.
My question is about compatibility. I have a 120G with 100 pounds of live rock and about a 7 inch sand bed.
<Oooh! Nice deep sand bed! I like!>
The livestock that I would like to place together is a pair of pearly Jawfish, <Is one of my favorite fish! You could likely have more than a pair if you so desire. I have seen 4-5 sharing the same burrow successfully in
captivity, but I have not observed this in the wild.>
an orange spot goby, a six line wrasse,
<Good choices.>
and until he starts to get big (in which by then I will have another tank) a Pinktail trigger,
<Mmm, this fish can grow to more than a foot long in it's normal habitat, and may quickly out grow your tank particularly if your tank is only 4 foot long. The Pinktail Triggerfish (Melichthys vidua) may not do well with your smaller more peaceful fish and may eat your shrimp. Would you consider a different trigger? The Bluechin Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus) may be a more suitable fish for your system. The Bluechin does not get as big and would less likely to outgrow your 120 gallon tank.
This fish may also not do well with smaller more peaceful fish and may also eat your shrimp, but I have seen more instances of success with this triggerfish than the Pinktail. A word of caution, Bluechins have been know to spit water like pufferfish commonly do, so make sure your electrical cords and outlets are not on the receiving end of the spray.>
along with some shrimp, snails, and 2 emerald crabs.
Is this going to be a problem?
<All depends on the behaviors of the specific fish, just like people, each fish is an individual, with it's own quirks and tendencies, some fit the mold, some break them. So it is impossible to say if it will or won't be a
Good luck with your setup.

Unknown sickness (pink tail trigger)... env. 12/9/08 Wet Web Crew, <Brian> I setup a traditional 90 gallon tank with about 100 lbs of live rock and another 100 lbs of live sand about two months ago. Two weeks ago I bought a pink tail trigger that has since come down with some sort of sickness that I cant seem to identify. <Mmmm> I have attached a picture, but it looks like there are patches where he is losing his scales and irritations around its right eye. <I see this> Whatever is wrong does not seem to be bothering him. There is no scratching, he eats as much as i feed him (raw shrimp since I've bought him), <Good> and doesn't seem unhappy in any way. I have been thinking of treating this with hyposalinity, <I would not do this> but I'm not 100% on what this sickness is... I was thinking it was ich, <Mmm, no> but there are not any white spots that resemble sugar or salt like on other pictures I have found on the net. The spots that you see in the picture are spots where a random scale is missing outside of the main areas. For extra filtration the tank has a sump with a EuroReef RS 80 and a 16w UV. The water parameters are zeroed for everything except nitrates which are around 40ppm. <Much too high... need to be fixed... kept under 20 ppm. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above> Thanks in advance for any help, Brian <This specimen is "beat", and much too thin... the white blemish on the upper left flank is from its capture, handling (a thumb print if you will)... your other photo shows how poorly fleshed this animal is... and the white pus-like markings are simply mucus being produced in excess from neuromasts et al... As you state this organism is eating and acting fine, it will very likely improve with your good care... Fix the nitrates, keep feeding it well... perhaps supplement with soaking foods in a HUFA, vitamin mix (e.g. Selcon), and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Pseudechidna brummeri in a 75 gal ? 04/28/08 Hello Crew, <Hi.> My question comes in regards to a white ribbon moray (Pseudechidna brummeri). Is it easier to keep than other ribbon morays? <Generally easier to feed. Almost all of the ones I've seen in the last years have been doing well.> I ask this because I saw one at my LFS which had been in their for over 5 months. <Ensure it eats various types of frozen food. That's the most important thing.> If it is would it be okay in a 75gal with an 7inch Indian Trigger? <Melichthys indicus, could work. Tank size should be okay for the eel if well filtered. Your trigger species is generally more mellow and tends to leave other fish alone, but generally many triggers may occasionally try to bite the fins of other fishes, especially small eels. While it is improbable your Melichthys will do that, in case it exhibited aggressive behaviour before, I would not try, and even if you decide to try, watch closely for a while to see how they get along. Provide enough live rock and caves as shelter. Cover the tank tightly, since Pseudechidna can escape even through the smallest gaps. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2004/fish.htm and a WWM search for Pseudechidna (your original spelling in this email was Pseudechidna, which is wrong and will not bring many hits) will get you further opinions. Cheers, Marco.>

Black Trigger(s) clarification 12/19/07 Team, <Joe> Thanks for always being there to clear up the confusing and often badly informed SW communities. My question today is about a fish that I may be interested in acquiring from another SW enthusiast (the Black Hawaiian Trigger). <Mmm, would rather say/state the or a Black Trigger, sometimes collected from Hawai'i.> However, there seems to be a great deal of miss-information out there on this species and I'm hoping for some clarification. I have seen them called: 1. Black Hawaiian Trigger - Claims of up to 18" <Mmm, more like a foot or so> 2. Indian Trigger - Claims of sizes up to 10" <About this... and a separate species> 3. Black Durgeon Trigger - Claims of sizes up to 12" <Mostly the/a common name applied to Melichthys niger...> Each seems to have different sizes, but they seem to be cross referenced a lot. I have also seem the technical names of: 1. Melichthys niger <Numbers one and three above> 2. Melichthys indicus <Number two...> So question one are they different and if so, which one is the one pictured? <Please see both here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/melichthys/index.htm <Your pic looks like the Indian species> Second question is this species one of the Lionfish safe triggers (if there is such a thing) that could be mixed in a large tank (200+gallons)? <"Pretty" Lion safe... I give about even odds...> Wanted to be somewhat certain before I drop a holy terror in an 8' tank that would be nearly impossible to catch him out. Thanks, Joe <Two (sturdy) nets if so. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Pinktail trigger ID 11/10/05 My LFS just received a Pinktail trigger in their last shipment. I have been trying to acquire one of these for quite some time. The question that I have is, are these fish known to be darker as a juvenile? <Yes, generally so... more dark green to brown typically> I have only seen a larger specimen in person, and it had an awesome green color. He is currently dark toned, but the fins don't compare to those of other triggers within this genus. So I am quite sure that it is a Pinktail. James <Likely so. Bob Fenner>

Pinktail Triggers 9/10/05 I was curious to know if the Pinktail triggers were as hardy as the many other species. <Mmm, I'd say "medium" for triggers... which is relatively "high" for marine fishes used in the aquarium interest> This species is not as common in the areas that I live so information from first hand people is hard to come by. Also, as other triggers do, can I expect a slow growth rate from them as well? <Yes to the slow growth... an inch or two per year for the first few years. Bob Fenner>

Trigger selection question 9/9/05 Hi Bob. I have been looking through your site-- it's great by the way--and I have a specific question that I was hoping you could answer. I am switching a 75 gallon tank to a 110 gallon. I currently have a snowflake eel, maroon clown, and yellow tang. I want to add a trigger. I have had Nigers in the past, but I was thinking about getting a pink-tail trigger or a blue-throat trigger as they seem to be less aggressive than the Nigers. <Are> I was also hoping to add a puffer--maybe a porcupine. I am wondering if one of these trigger species tends to be less aggressive than the other, and also if there is a better choice of puffer for the tank. Thank you for any advice you can give and the great website. ~Jocelyn <The Pinktail would adjust better to your conditions... but the "Lagoon" Triggerfishes of the genus Rhinecanthus would be better still. Bob Fenner, working on a piece by coincidence on Balistoides conspicillum... having just split up the genus' FAQs ayer>

Pinktail Trigger Questions, behavior mostly 6/31/05 Dear WWM Crew, Me again. You guys have been great at answering some questions that I have had in regards to the Clown Trigger species but now I come to you with my hat in my hand. <Wow, quite an archaic reference!> Yesterday, June 29th, 2005 I purchased a 4 1/2" Pinktail Trigger from my LFS. I was actually there when they got the shipment in and to avoid 2 sets of acclimations back to back, I purchased it immediately in the shipping bag and took him home to acclimate him. After acclimation, he was introduced to the tank <No quarantine... to check for health, allow the animal to rest, recover?> where he proceeded to swim down to the bottom and lay kind of sideways where he then exhibited heavy breathing. From what I have read this so far is normal right? <Yes> After an hour with the lights off, I went back, turned the lights on and he had found himself a nice rocky area to hide in. He spent the next 4 hours in that spot and then came out and began to swim around and check out his surroundings. At that time, I then introduced 2 small pieces of freeze dried krill which he gobbled up happily before retreating back to his cave. Today he began to venture out more, checking small areas at a time and then hurriedly swimming back to his cave. I fed him 2 more pieces of krill around noon which he greedily accepted, then around 4PM I offered a small amount of garlic soaked Mysid shrimp which he devoured, then this evening 4 more pieces of garlic soaked krill which again he devoured. This all looks good but he has yet to stay out in the open only checking small areas at a time then retreating back to his cave. The guy looks flawless aside from a couple of things. One of his eyes has a tiny what appears to be cloudy mark on it. What might this be? A scratch?? <Most likely, yes> Also his 2 front fins are a bright yellow along with his tail that is suppose to be pink. Is this normal or has he just not gotten his adult colors yet. Thanks in advance for your reply. I am a little concerned. Jeff K <No worries re the color... regional, temporal... Bob Fenner> 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! The Kole is also an outstanding choice for a 'small tank' tang. It should do fine.>

Pinktail Trigger I was thinking about putting a 2 in Pinktail Triggerfish in my 55 gallon aquarium along with a 2-3 inch Dogface Puffer. I was wondering how long could the Pinktail live in the aquarium before I upgrade. I also was wondering if a 180 gallon aquarium would be good for both of the species listed above. Thanks, Steven >>>Hey Steven, Although you will need that 180 gallon eventually (yes, it's an appropriately sized tank) your 55 gallon will work for maybe 2 years or so. Pink tails make great aquarium residents, and you can mix them with less belligerent species without any problems. Cheers Jim<<<

Question on Pink Tail Triggers My question 2 part and is about co-existence and bio-load. I would like to add a Pink Tail Trigger to my tank, I am looking at one that is about 3 inches. I want to introduce him into a 55 gal. tank; in that tank is plenty of Coral; live rock and Black Sea Fan which is creating a lot of cover. <Mmm, this isn't a good choice to place with corals... especially in such a small volume system> This tank currently has a Huma Huma Trigger that is around the same size; this Huma Huma's got a little attitude as well. Do you think that my Huma Huma will terrorize the Pink Tail Trigger? Is it better that a 50-50 chance? <More than this... maybe 80-20... trouble> I also have a Lunare Wrasse that is about 5 inches; he takes no back seat to the Huma Huma Trigger; I wonder if he will get along with the Pink Tail, what's your opinion. FYI...I hate loosing fish. <I would not add another, or even one trigger to a 55 gallon tank> I also have a medium sized Scopus Tang, medium sized Tomato Clown and 2 Damsels. I don't want to over populate the tank; <Too late> I know there is a way to determine that, could you tell me how to determine how many animals I can have in there before it becomes a problem; I do realize I will need to do a more frequent water change. <There is no one universal equation or model of how many of what types will likely go, prosper, but I assure you, you are currently past a reasonable limit. I would remove the present trigger, not add any more fish/es> Thanks and by the way, I am glad to have found this web site; it will be very helpful in the future. Tim / Hazleton, Pennsylvania. I hope to see this posted in the FAQ's..... <You will. Bob Fenner>

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

Pink tail trigger in reef tank? Thanks for the info last week regarding Emperor angel. I now have one on order..... to be received soon:-) Another query I have. I know (well I think) you are interested in folks doing things a little different, well at least from an informed point of view (as opposed to just plain guessing), so maybe you might be able to advise on the following. I have a pink tail trigger, about 5". I have read recently that they are suitable for a reef tank. What is your opinion on this? <this genus of riggers has been demonstrated to be relatively reef safe for it planktivorous feeding habits (unlike most triggers that are not reef safe). Still... the species grows quite large, needs a very long, large tank and is not guaranteed to behave like an angel> The tank is 72"x18"x20" (18" of water). <not big enough for this trigger in the 3 year picture> At the moment it is FO. The other fish are reef friendly species, and it is only lightly stocked. If water quality is adequate, and lighting upgraded a little, would it be a big gamble to introduce some hardy corals? <the corals would be safe form the trigger... fishes and shrimps are the concern if any. The Emperor angel will likely be a problem as an adult if not sooner with the corals> The corals in question would be leather corals (Sarcophyton sp., toadstools, finger etc), star polyps and mushrooms. <good hardy corals> Lighting would be 3 to 4 NO fluorescent tubes running the length of the tank. <probably not enough light at all. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm > Flow in my tank is reasonable, at approx 10 volumes an hour. Would you recommend trying this, or would it have a high risk associated with it? <only a moderate risk... you may take it if you get soft corals only... no hard corals for at least a year IMO> I assume he would, however, find shrimps, etc. a tasty treat! <they may be too tempting indeed!> Thanks for reading, Kind regards, Matt <in kind, Anthony>

Pink Tail (trigger) size. Dear Mr. Fenner: Just stumbled upon your site. Have a few quick questions. How large will my Pink Tail (Presently 7") get in his 240 gal. home ? <I take it you mean the triggerfish, Melichthys vidua: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/melichthys.htm To about a foot.> Also, this same 240 gal. tank houses several other fish including a Picasso (4"), three tangs (4-6"), five feisty Domino Damsels (2-3"), a beautiful Panther Grouper (8") and a magnificent 30" (yes we actually measured it) Zebra Moray Eel. Is my tank presently overloaded ?, and is 240 gal. ultimately too small for what I have ? <Presently about topped off... I wouldn't add more> All species have been in the tank for a 2-4 years and all is well to date. My four year old loves feeding the fish by hand. I hold her over the top of the tank and she dangles pieces of shrimp/clam/whatever just above the surface (she asks me to watch out for Mr. Eel). <I wouldn't be concerned about the Eel so much as the trigger... or even the Dominos!> The system contains a large volume of rock, a deep sand bed, a refugium, good skimmer, 2 power heads and 2 air stones. We love it especially since we got out of reef and discovered a vibrant fish only type system several years ago. Needless to say the triggers steal the show. Thanks for your time and for providing such an interesting web site. Yours truly, Carl Paolucci III <Thank you for your kind words, Bob Fenner>

Triggerfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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