Niger Triggerfish: Tank Setup, Caring, Feeding And Breeding Guide

Another name of odonus Niger is Niger triggerfish (red tooth triggerfish). However, they have many other names like red fang trigger and red toothed filefish. These triggerfish live in coral reefs. However, its main habitat is tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. 

They are mostly found in coastal areas, specifically in coral reefs. This article will discuss complete details about Niger Triggerfish, which would help you buy the best fish for your tank.

Niger Triggerfish: An Introduction

Niger triggerfish are colorful, tropical fish found in the Atlantic Ocean. They have a distinctive, triangular shape and are known for their aggressive behavior, which can include biting and charging at divers.

In the wild, they feed on a variety of prey, including mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish. In captivity, they should be fed a varied diet of meaty foods and vegetable matter.

Niger Triggerfish Overview

Niger Triggerfish


It has an oval-shaped body with a big head. Its eyes are placed far from its mouth and behind its big head. They are almost 50cm (19-20inches) in length. Their pectoral fins are so small that they use anal fins to move around in the water and dodge the water. The Color of their fins is blue-green. 

It also has a caudal fin with a beautiful yellow bar between the lobes. A Niger Triggerfish usually has a blue color. But it has an amazing ability to change its color according to the surroundings and mood. 

How Long Does A Niger Triggerfish Live?

Nigger triggerfish belong to the kingdom “Animalia”. They usually live for about eight years. During their lifetime, they keep exploring the coral reefs. However, their lifespan in the cavity can extend up to 20 years. 

What Does A Niger Trigger Eat?

A nigger trigger belonging to a class of genus melichthys usually feed on algae and other plant materials. A normal triggerfish can make their meal out of slow-moving creatures and sea urchins. They don’t usually eat other fish. But sometimes, they can eat smaller fish very easily. Using their sharp red teeth makes it easy to snack up their prey. 

How Often Do You Feed Niger Triggers?

Triggerfish usually stay well when they are fed twice a day thrice. You can feed it with fish food as it is omnivorous. Chopped shrimps are a good option to have for Niger triggers. Slams, squid, and meaty food are their favorite diet. Foods rich in vitamins and supplements make a good meal for the triggerfish. 

You can also use commercial pettle food for your niger triggers. However, if you don’t feed your Niger triggerfish 2-3 times per day, it can lose weight. Therefore, it is recommended to provide your Niger trigger with good care. 

The most important thing you should always remember is that Niger triggerfish stay very active. Therefore, there is no need to provide high protein content food.

What Size Tank Does A Triggerfish Need?

The minimum tank size required for a Niger triggerfish is 100 gallons. This size is enough for an excited triggerfish to hover around. However, if you want to keep a well-developed Niger triggerfish, you would require plenty of space. Therefore, you would require a tank of 180 gallons. Therefore, people usually keep only one niger triggerfish as a lot of space is needed.

Niger Triggerfish Behavior And Tank Mates

Niger triggerfish behavior is quite tricky to understand. Niger triggerfish has a good reputation among the family of triggerfish. It is most peaceful among their family of triggerfish. When these Nigger triggers are excited, they emit a vocal sound that feels amazing to the ears. 

When these fish are transferred to an aquarium, they can act a little strange and sometimes refuse to eat. But as they get used to the new environment, they start acting nicely and begin to interact with the owner. 

You cannot keep a Niger triggerfish with vertebrates. However, some fish are suitable for keeping as the tank mates of Niger triggerfish. Some include moray eels, hawgfish, large angelfish, clown tang, and six-line wrasse. 

Fishkeeping Difficulty

These triggerfish are very difficult to keep with other fish inside a saltwater aquarium. 

Every fishkeeper’s most common difficulty while keeping a triggerfish is diseased. These fish are prone to diseases. There are many factors like tank shape, tank size, tank mates, decoration, water parameters, water purity level, and feeding fish. 

A fishkeeper needs to remember all these factors to keep its triggerfish healthy. Another difficulty in keeping Niger triggerfish is that they have extremely big sizes. Therefore, they need a good tank space of around 100-180 gallons. Along with the tank space, decoration and substrate are required. All that makes tank preparation a little difficult for raising Niger triggerfish. 

Tank Setup & Decoration

Nigger triggerfish goes up to 17 inches. As triggerfish are swimming lovers and actively move around in the tank, a spacious tank is needed for them. At least a 100-gallon tank is preferable for keeping one Niger triggerfish so that it can actively move around and swim inside the tank. 

These triggerfish also need plenty of hiding space inside the tank. Therefore, it is advised to add some aquatic plants and plenty of rocks in the tank. But it is suggested not to cover many areas where your fish can’t even swim freely. Also, there must be a good air and water filter for your triggerfish. 

As the tank is big, it is advised to use a strong water filter. The filter’s valves must be strong enough to handle sharp and strong bites of your Niger triggerfish. Most importantly, you should also take care of the top of the aquarium. It is because Niger triggerfish don’t jump out of the water, but YES, they like to spill the water out from the tank. 

Therefore, you must cover the top of the tank with a perforated lid. If the spilled water accidentally reaches an electric plug, it could be a problem. However, there are no special lighting requirements for these Niger triggerfish. At night, the aquarium must be at a daylight cycle when they rest. You can add some stones as they also like to play around with stones and rearrange them. 

Water Quality For Niger Triggerfish

You must maintain saltwater parameters for the triggerfish to keep these fish healthy. First, you must check the salinity level of water. Also, the water temperature must be around 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit. It is an ideal temperature at which a niger triggerfish is comfortable. Finally, when it comes to the PH level of water, it is advised to keep the pH level around 8-8.5.

Niger Triggerfish Common Disease 

There are some diseases that your Niger triggerfish can suffer from. This section will discuss some diseases with their symptoms and treatments.

#1 Bacterial Infection

Suppose you notice some white spots on the body of your niger triggerfish, especially on its belly and on the downside of its mouth. It seems like the belly and underlining of its mouth is getting peeled off. Your triggerfish also starts refusing to eat when suffering from bacterial infection.  

Reasons for bacterial infections can be many. Some of them include water quality, low oxygen level, salinity, and the wrong way of feeding. If you face any of the above symptoms, you are advised to change all the water present in the tank immediately. 

The use of melafix can help cure the bacterial infection as melafix is proven very good in fixing bacterial issues. Also, some changes in food can be done to avoid bacteria accumulation. LRS reef frenzy will help in removing the bacteria. You should start providing healthy and nutritious food to your infected fish like shrimp, flakes, and oysters. 

#2 Depression

If you notice, your triggerfish is sitting quietly and not acting as usual. As we discussed earlier, it is very active. But if you see the fish hiding the whole day, this can be a sign of depression. It can happen due to inadequate feeding. However, there can be many other reasons. 

It is advised to keep observing the behavior of your Niger triggerfish, whether it is doing well with the tank mates. Check that your Niger triggerfish is not being bullied by its tank mates. If you do not have enough time to keep a check on your fish, you can mount a camera to check its actions. 

Most importantly, you should check the tank’s environment along with its temperature and pH level of water. Also, check that the water and air filter are working properly. It is because the waste produced by your Niger triggerfish must be cleaned properly. If the waste gets accumulated in the tank, it can be the root cause of the inactiveness of niger triggerfish.

Niger Triggerfish Breeding

It is a bit challenging when it comes to breeding these beautiful creatures. When you see male and female Niger triggerfish side by side, it is very difficult to distinguish them as male and female. It’s because the male niger first has a nest ready for the female to lay eggs in the wild. Then the male beautifully changes its color to attract the female niger triggerfish. 

When the female is acceptive and is done with the breeding, the male takes care of eggs. The male guards the eggs against the egg-eating organisms. At the same time, the female Niger triggerfish hovers around the place. But this situation is a bit tricky. It is very difficult for fishkeepers to create this situation at home in an aquarium. 

However, some people replicate the situation with a lot of hard work, and everything goes well. Earlier the foods for larvae were not commonly available in the market. But now, larvae food is easily available for feeding. That is why the breeding of Niger triggerfish has become more common now. 

Caring For Niger Triggerfish

You should keep the Niger triggerfish in a good environment with a good quality filter installed in the tank. It is advised to check water quality at least twice a week. These fish create many messes that need to be cleaned immediately. You should add some stones and gravel to your Niger triggerfish tank. 

The Niger Triggerfish like to rearrange the rocks for hiding and have fun doing this. Therefore, rocks of different sizes could be kept in the tank. Niger triggerfish should be given a mixed diet of krill, Mysis shrimp, silversides, and other meaty foods when it comes to feeding. It’s important to feed your triggerfish three or two times a day. 

While keeping Niger Triggerfish in your tank, you should feed them with vitamin and supplement-rich food. One of the most important things to remember is that there should be many coral branches and rock work. It would allow the fish to hide and rest properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Niger Triggers Aggressive?

Usually, the Niger triggers are not very aggressive. But, their aggressive mood increases as they attain bigger size. Therefore, we would advise you to be very careful when it’s time to feed and stay away. In addition, female triggerfish are more aggressive when compared to male Niger triggers.

How Fast Does A Niger Trigger Grow?

The growth rate of Niger triggers is very slow compared with sharks, buffers, and others. The growth rate of Niger triggerfish is so slow that they don’t even grow about a half centimeter in 6 to 7 months. However, the Niger triggers can grow up to four inches in six years.  

Do Niger Triggerfish Have Teeth?

Two main fangs grow in their big mouths throughout their life. These teeth of Niger trigger usually acquire a red color. These fish use their beautiful red teeth to chew sponges and hard-shelled substances. Sometimes divers get bitten by triggerfish.  However, these fish are neither poisonous, nor their bite is harmful. It has been proven that these triggerfish think human divers are a food source. Therefore, they bite them.

Wrapping Up

At last, we would like to mention that niger triggerfish can cause a problem for beginners. Sometimes even an experienced fishkeeper can also face difficulties. Their hunger strikes can be a big problem for you. In addition, they change their color and personality, which depends upon various factors, such as their happiness level, lightning, and tank environment. 

But overall, they are delightful creatures. Every time You would have a different experience when you interact with them. We hope the above guide helped you learn the complete details about a Niger triggerfish.

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