Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
Named after the famous Spanish painter, the Picasso Triggerfish has some truly remarkable colors and patterns on its body.
This triggerfish is one of the more easy going of the trigger fishes but it can still become dangerous in a tank full of smaller aquarium fish and invertebrates. You will want to provide a larger tank (75 gallon minimum) with plenty of hiding places to help reduce the aggressiveness that may well up inside this fish if it feels threatened. They can become very territorial if kept in a tank that is too small. Keep them in a larger tank with some larger tank mates and it should co-exist peacefully.
They can sometimes be the Bull in the China Shop. As they roam around, they may knock over live rock or other ornaments in the tank.
Feed your Picasso Trigger 2 or 3 times a day and provide a varied diet of frozen and live foods. They may go after fish flakes and pellets. Check out the NLS pellets which is a hobbyist favorite these days. It's important to give them small frequent feedings to prevent malnutrition and fading colors.
The Picasso triggers are susceptible to most saltwater fish disease and respond well to most of the standard medicines and treatments. Quarantine any new arrivals for a period of 2 - 3 weeks before introducing them into your main tank.
One last note, be careful when placing your hand in a tank with Triggerfish. They have a mouth full of teeth and may bite if they feel threatened.
Picasso Triggerfish Care
Scientific Name : Rhinecanthus aculeatus
Common Names : Humuhumu Triggerfish, Blackbar Triggerfish, Prickly, Kaputput, White Banded Triggerfish, White Barred Triggerfish
Care Level : Easy to moderate
Size : Up to 10 inches (25 cm)
Life span : 5 - 10 years
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, Tahiti, Kiribati
Temperament / Behavior : Can be peaceful if given a large tank and should get along with larger marine specimens. It may eat smaller fish. Provide plenty of hiding spaces (live rock). It is interesting to note that this species has been used in studies to determine if coral reef fish can see in color, which makes sense given the amazing markings and colors on many reef species. There has to be an evolutionary reason for these amazing colors whether it be for reproduction, camouflage, aggression, etc.
Breeding : One male will serve multiple females. The female will guard the eggs until they hatch. In the wild, once they hatch they are on their own. To our knowledge these have not been tank raised yet.
Aquarium Size : 75 gallon minimum, the more space it has the less aggressive it should be.
Tank Mates : Not suitable for a reef tank since they enjoy munching on crustaceans and other small invertebrates. Keep them with larger, more aggressive fish.
Diet / Foods : Primay diet in the wild is crustaceans and small shrimp. They can be trained to eat frozen foods. Give them a high quality and a varied diet. Frozen meaty foods and frozen foods including marine algae would be good supplements. Feed at least 2 times per day.
Tank Region : All over
Gender : Difficult to determine, but males may be larger than females of the same age.
Forum : Triggerfish Forum
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
More Triggerfish Profiles
Blue Throat Triggerfish
The Blue Throat Triggerfish is considered to be one of the least aggressive of the triggers and that is one of the reasons for their popularity in the aquarium trade.
The Clown Triggerfish can be very territorial and it's gets worse the older and bigger they get. They are pretty much not afraid of anything it seems once they reach around 5 or 6 inches in size. When they are smaller they may be a bit more reclusive and will appreciate having hiding spots and places to lock into at night with their dorsal fins.
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.