Picasso Triggerfish

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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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.

Picasso Triggerfish Picasso Trigger


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.

Picasso Triggerfish Picasso Trigger fish

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 Trigger Picasso Triggerfish - Rhinecanthus aculeatus

Picasso Triggerfish Care

Scientific Name : Rhinecanthus aculeatus

Common Names : Humuhumu Triggerfish, Lagoon 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.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease Section. Always Quarantine new arrivals!

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

Site References :

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