The Queen Triggerfish is a little rarer on the West Coast since fish from the Atlantic are not shipped as often. The Queen Trigger is a beautiful fish that can become hand tamed in time. Watch your fingers though, the front teeth are very sharp and can deliver a painful bite!

Fish in the Balistes genus have been known to be possible troublemakers.

Ways to keep a peaceful tank is to give the fish lots of room and hiding places. Then be sure to house appropriate fish together that have similar needs and can hold their own. In this case larger protein eaters such as groupers, surgeonfishes, and basses, Some eels and puffers can be appropriate too.

Queen Triggerfish adult, Balistes vetula

Report Broken Video

The background sound of this video sounds like this fish is in a public aquarium. It is possible it got too big and aggressive for it’s owner and ended up here. As you can see, it has a large Honeycomb (Tessellatedq) Moray Eel (adult coloring in the jar next to it) which is an appropriate tank mate (near the end of the video. The Queen Triggerfish is a beautifully marked trigger, who may be calmer at night, yet becomes more belligerent as it ages. They grow to 2 feet long, requiring a 300 gallon tank that is fish only. Add them last to your aggressive community tank and feel various marine flesh including shelled shrimp and crustaceans to wear down their teeth. They will also spit water out of the tank to get your attention, so be sure any electrical plugs are protected.

Scientific Classification


Maintenance difficulty

The Queen Triggerfish is easy to keep. Triggers are among the hardiest of all marine fish.


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.

Queen triggerfish
Image Credit: Usha Roy, Shutterstock

Habitat: Natural geographic location

Queen Triggerfish are found in the Eastern Atlantic: Ascension, Cape Verde, and Azores; ranges south to southern Angola. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil.


All kinds of meaty foods including starfish and sea urchins.

Social Behaviors

In the wild, Queen Triggerfish are found over rocky or coral areas. They may form schools, or are solitary over sand and grassy areas. Feeds mainly on benthic invertebrates. It preys on sea urchins by blowing water to overturn it and then attacks it where the spines are short. In the aquarium it can be kept with a variety of other fishes. It is not recommended to keep with fish that are much smaller.

Sexual differences

The male is larger and more colorful than the female. The tips of the dorsal and caudal fins become more filamentous as the fish ages. It is more pronounced in males than in females.

Light: Recommended light levels

No special requirements.

Queen triggerfish swimming over coral reef
Image Credit: bearacreative, Shutterstock


No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish

Queen Triggerfish adults can grow to 60 cm (24 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size

A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong

No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom

Will swim in all areas of the aquarium.


This fish is available from time to time and is moderately expensive.

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Featured Image Credit: Khairil Azhar Junos, Shutterstock