Niger Triggerfish

Updated August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Niger Triggerfish has a few different common names like the Red Tooth Triggerfish and the Black Triggerfish. The Niger Trigger's colors can look quite different depending on the lights they are under. Sometimes they will look teal green under high output lighting and under subdued lighting they look almost black. In the ocean they form schools to feed on zooplankton and sponges and are found on the seaward side of coral reefs (re.fishbase).

Odonus niger Odonus niger

The Niger Triggerfish can get to be over 12 inches (30 cm) with some of the biggest being found in the ocean up to 18 inches (46 cm)! Given their potential adult size not many home aquariums are big enough to keep them in groups. Even keeping just one though you need at least a 180 gallon fish tank.

This triggerfish has a reputation amongst hobbyists as being one of the less aggressive triggerfish but they are still triggers and each fish can be different. One may be easy going and the next could be quite the terror. As juveniles they will need lots of hiding places (using live rock) to help make them feel secure. As they get bigger, they often get bolder and more aggressive.

Odonus niger Odonus niger

This triggerfish will go after and eat nearly all foods offered. Lots of saltwater origin meaty foods, along with a good pellet type food for omnivores, like NLS pellets would be good. They may even eat seaweed (nori or sea veggies) you put in the tank for other species too.

Odonus niger

Niger Triggerfish Care

Scientific Name : Odonus niger

Common Names : Red Tooth Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish

Fish Care Level : Easy to moderate

Size : Up to 18 inches (46 cm), usually found in the ocean around 12 inches (30 cm)

Life span : 10 years, likely longer

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 76°F - 82°F (24°C - 28°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.021 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, South Africa, Red Sea, Great Barrier Reef Australia, New Caledonia

Temperament / Behavior : In the ocean they can form large schools but given the size of most home aquariums this isn't going to be feasible to recreate. They may fight with other triggers but should do fine with similarly sized fish such as tangs. The bigger they get, the more aggressive they get.

Breeding : these triggerfish are nest builders and males will guard the eggs waiting for them to hatch. Now that appropriately sized foods have been found to feed the larvae it hopefully will become more common place to see captive raised triggers for sale in the near future.

Aquarium Size : 180 gallon minimum for one Niger Triggerfish, much larger for keeping multiples.

Tank Mates : The Niger Trigger is not as aggressive as some of the other triggers but it does get big and the bigger it gets the more aggressive it becomes. I wouldn't keep them in a reef tank, though some hobbyists do. Inverts such as crabs and shrimps may become food for this trigger. Female to female aggression is common with this species.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease Section. These triggers are hardy, but Quarantine and even consider doing a freshwater, pH adjusted dip before introducing them to your display.

Diet / Foods : Niger Triggerfish form large schools in the ocean to feed on zooplankton. In the home aquarium you can give them nearly anything and they will go after it. Being omnivores you should try to give them a varied diet of marine origin meaty foods like Krill, clams on the half shell, thawed mysis, brine, etc. Rod's marine omnivore foods are good and have a lot of different foods in it.

Tank Region : All over

Gender : Don't know of any external characteristics to be used to identify male from female.

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

Site References :

Forum : Triggerfish Forum

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Niger Triggerfish

References / Recommended Reading :

"Odonus niger". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2005.
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.

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