Black Trigger Fish
Category: Aquarium Fish Other
Facts about Black Triggerfish. "Scientific name for Black Triggerfish is Melichthys niger". The Black Triggerfish is sometimes mistaken for the similar looking Indian triggerfish. Melichthys is Greek for sweet fish, while niger means black. It is also called the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish, bursa triggerfish, Hawaiian triggerfish, black durgon, Humuhumu'ele'ele and several other names. While called the Black Trigger Fish, it is found throughout Polynesia from the Ryuku Ilsands to Malpelo Island. The triggerfish got its name from its unusual ability to lock the first dorsal fin in an upright position to lock it in place, so that a predator can’t drag it out and eat it. When not locked, the dorsal fin is located in a flat groove on the top of the body. The Hawaiian Black Triggerfish shares this trait with other trigger fish. They are members of the Balistidae family.
Features of the Black Triggerfish
Black Triggerfish has a blimp shape. Most individuals are a foot long, though some grow to be a foot and a half. They are mature at ten inches of length. The species prefers shallow waters and exposed reefs at depths of fifteen to a hundred and fifteen feet. They need a fish tank of at least 125 gallons (470 liters) .
It has a dark green and black body with a purple tint. Along the dorsal and anal fins are soft blue lines. The dark colors, except for the bright blue stripes, mean it is difficult to see when it is hiding in a crevasse.Black Triggerfish have dorsal spines, dorsal soft rays but no anal spines. The scales on the rear of their bodies have prominent keels that create ridge-like patterns.
Diet of the Black Triggerfish
The Black Triggerfish are omnivorous, (definition-they eat both other animals and plants). They eat algae and plankton. You can feed them vitamin enriched herbivore fish food. They eat shrimp, zooplankton, small fish and small squid. You can feed them meeting foods like krill, chopped worms, brine shrimp and diced claims. They need shelled shrimp to wear down their teeth, which constantly grow. Their teeth become visible if not worn down. Do not put them in a reef tank. The Black Triggerfish will eat sea urchins and shelled invertebrates. In the wild, they have been observed feeding on the feces and vomit of dolphins. Conversely, the fact that they eat almost anything makes them very easy to care for.
Aquarium of Black Triggerfish
A semi-tropical species, the Black Triggerfish need water between 72 F (22 c) and 78 F (25 c). They need the water pH to be between 8.1 and 8.4. The Black Triggerfish are saltwater fish and do best when the specific gravity is between 1.020 and 1.025. The water hardness should be between 8 and 12 dKH. Since the Black Triggerfish swim at 15 feet (4.57 meters) and deeper water, don’t put the fish tank containing them under bright lights. In the wild, they live in clear seaward reefs, usually those surrounding Pacific islands.
The tank should have many rocks and caves. Each Hawaiian Black Triggerfish will have its own shelter.
These bright colored Black Triggerfish are very active and spend a lot of time swimming. They are aggressive to other triggerfish. They are often aggressive to smaller fish, even those they cannot eat. They may also move around rocks and small items in the tank.
Purchasing a Black Triggerfish
When buying your Black Triggerfish see which one looks like the healthier fish in the tank. Be wary of tanks with dead fish in them, as this can be a sign of illness or improper care. Clamped fins are a sign of illness. In addition, healthy Black Triggerfish will have no white spots, make sure they swim with their fins held upright, and have a nice rich color or colors. Make sure they swim all over the tank and look healthy.
When adding the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish to the aquarium, it is important to introduce the fish to the tank environment slowly. As soon as you get home, float the entire, closed pet store bag (with the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish inside!) in the tank on top of the water for about a half hour. This will allow the water in the plastic bag and the fish to equalize out to the same temperature as in your tank, so your fish does not get shocked by the different temperature. Next, add a small amount of water from your tank to the bag, and wait about 15 minutes. Do this at least one more time. Us a net to catch your fish and then while the Hawaiian Black Triggerfish is in the net, dispose of all the water down a drain or outside. Then transfer the fish carefully into the your tank. This process not only reduces stress for you fish, it also prevents the dirty pet store water from contaminating your tank with disease.