Clown Triggerfish My Experience Hand-on

I am always drawn to the colourful marine fish such is Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum). Which is also known as the big white-spotted triggerfish. With its personality, iconic colours and patterns on the body, this fish is just amazing. This fish is aggressive and territorial with beauty in its side.

However, keeping the wrong tank mates with this fish can be a disaster.

Today I am talking about a price possession Clown Triggerfish its colours, shape, food, care and most importantly price.

The physical appearance of clown triggerfish

clown triggerfish

Clown trigger is triangular shaped, it can grow up to 20 inches in wild and in our aquarium, we usually allow trigger size to be 6 to 8 inches. It’s half below the body is covered with big white spots. Top body is covered with leopard-like pattern and colour surrounding the head on the top is black. With the yellow colour lips.

Like alternative plectognath fish species, the Clown trigger has improbably sharp teeth with the very robust jaw. There are eight sharp fangs within the front of the mouth with six sitting behind them. They even have molar-like grinding teeth within the throat.

Where do Clown Triggerfish come from?

The clown triggerfish is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean until the western Pacific Ocean and the western Atlantic Ocean from Florida the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

It is most commonly found along external reef slopes with clear water to a depth of 75 m. Juveniles usually stay below 20 m close to caves or overhangs.

What and How should we feed a Triggerfish?

Clown Triggerfish is a carnivorous species with a great appetite. So, they will eat anything and everything. We need to feed them a variety of foods such as krill, shrimp, scallops, small fish, cod, brine shrimp, Bloodworms and molluscs. Clams should be offered to clown triggers which will help them in controlling their growing teeth.

If you want the clown triggerfish not be aggressive against other tank mates feed them all round the clock. 3 to 4 times in a day would be a good choice. If you are feeding them with your hand be cautious because then are known to bite.

Are Clown Triggerfish aggressive?

Well, this depends on what you have been keeping in your tank. If you have clownfish then yes clown trigger is very aggressive. If you have Fox face and other triggers along with groupers and large angelfish then they are not that aggressive.

Clown triggerfish stands alone and defends its territory. With its dorsal fin erected, this is a signal for predators to keep away from them.

Clown triggerfish is a community fish when they are small but as soon as they reach a size of above 5 inches it all changes. Clown trigger can swim backwards and forward their pass time is to hover above the reef.

What are good tank mates for Triggerfish?

Firstly, avoid all the fish that is smaller than the Clown Triggerfish and that could fit in their mouth. Clown Triggerfish has the ability to tear larger fish to pieces. This is especially true if those larger fish are peaceful in nature.

Secondly, avoid any species of fish that are peaceful regardless of their size. Clown Triggerfish pair better with large and aggressive species that will be able to hold their ground. Suggestions for possible tankmates include Other Triggerfish, large Wrasse, large Groupers, Large Angelfish, Large Surgeonfish, Large Foxface and Rabbitfish. Clown Triggerfish not be kept with another Clown Triggerfish in a relatively small system.

Invertebrates, crustaceans, sea urchins, sea stars, and molluscs are not suitable tank mates for Clown Triggerfish who will eat them in no time. If you have corals you need to keep an eye of them, if your trigger thinks of is taking a bite of them.

Clown Triggerfish Care Guide

Clown Trigger fish

Due to it being a hardy fish, Clown Triggerfish is easy to care. However, you have to monitor them for their aggression. Follow a good feeding regime. You need a lot of hiding space for this fish. They also nib on rocks and rearranging their territory. Try to avoid corals in a small system. This fish hunts in daylight and sleep at night. Keep your water parameters upright.

If you find anything wrong or sick with the triggerfish move it to a quarantine tank for its treatment.  

Conclusion on Clown Trigger

When I first receive the Clown triggerfish in my shipment, it was packed differently inside a plastic bucket container as they have sharp teeth which can penetrate thru our simple packing.

It immediately started eating large pellet food, I was also able to do hand feeding for dried shrimps. In India, they are pretty expensive and start with 4000 to 5000 rupees.

It marked his territory as other tank mates don’t go that side. Clown trigger was not shy like the others and hide in the rock work, it openly swam in the aquarium. This fish has a very different personality.

Clown triggerfish is a great fish for you if you are planning to keep an expressive aggressive tank. For a starter in the hobby, I would not advise going for this fish in particular.

You can also read on the clown triggerfish on Wikipedia and FishBase.

Must Read: Set up a Marine Aquarium


Like always it's my day one in the hobby. Always been a hobbyist but never knew would dive so deep in the hobby. I too started with a freshwater aquarium. When I first started saltwater aquarium it just grew on me and I knew that had to do more in this hobby. I am a Post-Grad in Business Administration have worked with Coldstar Logistics, Amazon and Jindal's before jumping completely in the ocean. Other than aquarium hobby I have my interests in travel, digital games and consumer web technology.

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