What Do Triggerfish Eat?

If you’re looking for a species to put into your vast aquarium, you can consider having triggerfish. They originally lived in an ocean where they could roam freely and protect themselves from the wild by hiding. Seeing their appearance will make you want to have one. However, their tank requirements may not let you.

To learn more about triggerfish food and their species, below are information that will enlighten you about a triggerfish.


From their size, shape, and color, this triggerfish is extraordinary among other species. In a typical setting, you cannot spot a fish with a thin-like oval structure. Their shape is an advantage when it comes to hiding and suppressing themselves in danger.

Also, their vibrant colors are uniquely arranged depending on triggerfish species. These colors are one of a kind where people add this to public aquariums as an attraction.

Even our kids will be attracted to their colors and patterns. Some species of triggerfish have a vibrant line into their body that glows even more in the dark. These lines are eye-catching; that’s why they’d stand out in a crowd of fishes in an aquarium.


A triggerfish has a standard size of 13 inches with a maximum of 17 inches. This is the triggerfish that you can usually spot in an aquarium. They usually lived in the ocean, where the room available is limitless so that some triggerfish can grow up to 30 inches.


Given the size of a triggerfish, it requires a vast aquarium since this species loves to swim around. There should be a minimum of 70 gallons of water to 100 gallons. Without proper tank requirements, it will be a hindrance to their growth. They won’t reach the maximum size of their species, unlike the ocean, where they can grow up to 30 inches or even more.

Aside from an enormous room, adding your tank with some decorations will benefit this triggerfish. It doesn’t require bombarding your tank with stones and plants. A minimal amount will do as long as these fishes can hide. Plus, a reef tank may not be appropriate with them, especially if you have invertebrates species lounging in your tank.

What do they eat?

A triggerfish has plenty of species that could run over up to 40 kinds worldwide. Even though there are various species of triggerfish, the food they eat is comparable with each other.

This triggerfish can be fed with fresh meats such as shrimps, squid, and other seafood. You can buy seafood from the wet market to be consumed by your triggerfish. However, you should lend them enough food and should focus on giving them fresh meat all the time. You can still feed them with meat pallets that you can buy in fish stores.

Sustaining your triggerfish with a proper amount of nutrients is essential. The shells you can find from shrimps can be lent to triggerfish. Aside from being sustenance, these shells will strengthen their teeth.

What do they consume in the ocean?

Triggerfish is a meat-eating species. When they are in the wild, there are countless species present and other substances, but they would target invertebrate species such as shrimps and crabs.

Also, this species is not advisable to be put into a reef tank for they tend to destroy the corals. However, they are not after the corals, but the animals rest in the area like lobsters, clams, sea turtles, etc.

If you’re planning to keep a triggerfish in your aquarium, keep in mind that they also consume fishes that are smaller than them. So if you have schooling fishes, they can be in danger with this triggerfish, for they will drink anything they can eat up.

Do they consume zooplankton?

A triggerfish wasn’t a picky eater, so they’ll consume any substances you will provide. Their natural habitat can be found in the ocean, where you can also spot zooplankton.

If you’re wondering if a triggerfish will eat this shrimp-like zooplankton? Yes, triggerfish tend to consume zooplankton that it can encounter mainly because zooplankton are slow swimmers. A triggerfish can catch them quickly without the need to run after them.

This triggerfish also consumes algae but not the ones that stick into stones. They’ll destroy the floating algae they can encounter in the ocean.

Are they omnivores?

The triggerfish is mostly-known as meat-eating species. They’ll like to munch and hunt on invertebrates animals they can encounter, may it be in an aquarium or ocean. The shells coming from the seafood even help to strengthen triggerfish teeth.

Also, triggerfish tend to consume floating algae that they can encounter. With over 40 varieties of triggerfish, the Hawaiian black triggerfish is the only known to be plant-eater and meat-eater at the same time. They consume plants from time to time and eat meat occasionally or depending on the sustenance available.

Their species: What they eat?

Among the numbered triggerfish species, here are the famous species you may frequently see in pet shops or aquariums.

  • Clown triggerfish

If we talk about the triggerfish with a unique and colorful body with patterns, this must be the clown triggerfish. It has beautiful patterns all over its body—the reason why they are chosen to be placed in aquariums.

This Clown triggerfish caught near the reefs where invertebrates species can be found. Like a typical triggerfish, they are meat-eater, and eating these invertebrates’ shells is an excellent way to enhance their teeth.

  • Niger triggerfish

A Niger triggerfish has this unusual body color that changes from blue to purple and even to green. In an aquarium setting, you can feed them with seafood from time to time and omnivores pallets as well that you can buy from pet shops.

  • Picasso triggerfish

Triggerfish are known to have a beautiful appearance, and this Picasso triggerfish even looks like its pattern attached in their body is painted. This triggerfish consumes any meat he can cross over with as well as small fishes. However, in a tank, you can feed them with seafood and pellets such as flakes.

  • Queen triggerfish

These beautifully colored Queen triggerfish are usually seen in public aquariums or museums as an added attraction. Despite its appearance, it can be a bit too hard, so fishkeepers are being extra cautious when handling this one. They also tend to use their fins as a shield when there is danger around.

These Queen triggerfish are omnivores, for they both feed on algae and invertebrates. They even have their technique in catching sea urchins.

  • Titan triggerfish

This Titan triggerfish is the biggest among the family. They have hard teeth, and their mouth is surrounded by dark lining as well as their fins. This species tends to rummage around the corals and sands in search of food. Due to this reason, some fishes are following him to eat the excess and falling corals. Unlike other triggerfish, this one consumes corals and invertebrates at the same time.