Blue Triggerfish

Black Triggerfish ~ Redtooth Triggerfish

Family: Balistidae Picture of a Blue Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish or Redtooth TriggerfishOdonus niger
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I'm wondering if I can get one or two Niger triggers for my 55gal? I have a snowflake, an African red starfish and two tomato clowns. Does anyone think it's safe... (more)  Fishnerd2000

   Do you wonder where this fish got it's name "Redtooth Triggerfish? Well, this fish has red teeth!

   The Blue Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish, or Redtooth Triggerfish has an upturned mouth with a protruding chin and it's color is a blue to purplish-blue with it's head sometimes going yellowish.

   The first one of these that we saw came to the store wedged in a sea shell! The shell was the trigger's home and rather than try to remove it, the owner sold us the fish, shell and all. When we sold the fish to someone else, all we had to do was bag the shell so the triggerfish got to keep his own home through several moves.

   The Blue Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish, or Redtooth Triggerfish can often be a peaceful aquarium fish, especially if they have plenty of room and are well fed. We have read in one reef book that this triggerfish are okay to keep in reefs, we would still be careful about invertebrates though and keep a watchful eye out for any trouble.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Tetraodontiformes
  • Family: Balistidae
  • Genus: Odonus
  • Species: niger
Blue (Niger) Triggerfish, Odonus niger
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Large adult trigger

The Blue Triggerfish, also called the Niger Triggerfish can grow to just under 20," requiring a 180 gallon tank. They are very active and for the most part they are reef safe with the exception of a few snails here and there that hid in their shell anyhow. Avoid small decorative shrimp. Corals are not bothered and these triggerfish are not aggressive. Their upturned mouth shows they are a planktivore and are happy eating any meaty foods you offer them. Shy at first, they will hide in their rock hideout that you would have built for them, but they will become more brave as they get older. If keeping with a cleaner shrimp, add the shrimp first.

Blue or Niger Triggerfish, Odonus niger
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Young Blue Trigger rearranging small rocks

This video of a Blue Triggerfish shows their nature when it comes to the quirky habit they have of moving small rocks around. Glue any small frags or small corals to larger rocks. The Blue Trigger or Niger Trigger is sometimes referred to as the Black Trigger, which is not even in the same genus. The TRUE Black Trigger has thin white lines above and below the back edges of their body at the base of the anal and back dorsal fin and is not reef safe. The Blue or Niger Trigger is reef safe with the exception of small ornamental shrimp. This tank is probably a quarantine tank, since these fish need 180 gallons to house their adult size of just under 20."

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Blue Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish, or Redtooth Triggerfish is easy to keep. Triggers are among the hardiest of all marine fish.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. Best to feed small amounts several times a day. We generally feed squid, shrimp (the same kind people eat), mussels, and all kinds of chopped up fish or worms.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Blue Triggerfish are found in the Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Durban, South Africa and east to the Marquesas and Society islands, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef in Australia and New Caledonia. These fish Inhabit reef channels or along slopes that are subject to strong currents. Occur in current-swept seaward coral reefs. Usually form aggregations and feed on zooplankton as well as sponges. Juveniles associated with isolated patches of rubble or crevices with proper-sized shelter holes. They have been known to form large schools to feed on zooplankton.

Foods:   In the aquarium they should be fed all kinds of meaty marine foods, brine shrimp, cut up fish, shrimp, squid, etc.

Social Behaviors:    Sociable and peaceful, can be considered a community fish.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Blue Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish, or Redtooth Triggerfish adults can grow to 25 cm (10 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 60 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    No special requirements.

Availability:    This fish is generally readily available.

Lastest Animal Stories on Blue Triggerfish

Fishnerd2000 - 2014-03-24
I'm wondering if I can get one or two Niger triggers for my 55gal? I have a snowflake, an African red starfish and two tomato clowns. Does anyone think it's safe please answer fast I would like to know. Thanks.

Mud - 2016-07-24
The niger sex can be determined by the tail just like the naso tang one sex grows long streamers from the tail

Fishnerd2000 - 2014-03-25
Can I get one or two Niger Trigger fish in my 55gal tank? Will they bother my two clowns, snowflake eel, and my African red starfish?

Jason - 2012-07-03
I have a niger triggerfish and when I first got him was doing fine eating flake food at the top of the water swimming around to say he was a regular fish and I had a happy tomato clown in as well tomato clown hurt him self got popeye and died. I had removed him from tank, clown that is, and now my tigger is sad isn't hiS regular self maybe getting some new friends will help ? Any ideas ? Thanks for any responses

  • Jason - 2012-07-03
    I also had taken a water sample in to my locale Pet store and nitrate they said was high but not high enough to do harm and salt level was high so I fix those problems and to no avail. Never had so many problems with this can anyone help ?
  • Bill - 2012-07-03
    Some aquarists prefer to keep the salt level low, as low as 1.017 ppm. This doesn't usually harm the fish and it has the benefit of making it more difficult for more harmful things to flourish in your tank.
  • d.rose - 2013-11-12
    Damsels, damsels.