Queen Triggerfish

Family: Balistidae Picture of a Queen Triggerfish, Balistes vetulaBalistes vetulaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Looking for a small Queen Trigger 2-3' Steve (561) 541-3399  Steve Prefer

   The Queen Triggerfish is a little rarer on the West Coast since fish from the Atlantic are not shipped as often. The Queen Trigger is a beautiful fish that can become hand tamed in time. Watch your fingers though, the front teeth are very sharp and can deliver a painful bite!

   Fish in the Balistes genus have been known to be possible troublemakers.

   Ways to keep a peaceful tank is to give the fish lots of room and hiding places. Then be sure to house appropriate fish together that have similar needs and can hold their own. In this case larger protein eaters such as groupers, surgeonfishes, and basses, Some eels and puffers can be appropriate too.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Tetraodontiformes
  • Family: Balistidae
  • Genus: Balistes
  • Species: vetula
Queen Triggerfish adult, Balistes vetula

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Captive Queen Triggerfish

The background sound of this video sounds like this fish is in a public aquarium. It is possible it got too big and aggressive for it's owner and ended up here. As you can see, it has a large Honeycomb (Tessellatedq) Moray Eel (adult coloring in the jar next to it) which is an appropriate tank mate (near the end of the video. The Queen Triggerfish is a beautifully marked trigger, who may be calmer at night, yet becomes more belligerent as it ages. They grow to 2 feet long, requiring a 300 gallon tank that is fish only. Add them last to your aggressive community tank and feel various marine flesh including shelled shrimp and crustaceans to wear down their teeth. They will also spit water out of the tank to get your attention, so be sure any electrical plugs are protected.

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Queen Triggerfish is easy to keep. Triggers are among the hardiest of all marine fish.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. Best to feed small amounts several times a day. We generally feed squid, shrimp (the same kind people eat), mussels, and all kinds of chopped up fish.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Queen Triggerfish are found in the Eastern Atlantic: Ascension, Cape Verde, and Azores; ranges south to southern Angola. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil.

Foods:    All kinds of meaty foods including starfish and sea urchins.

Social Behaviors:    In the wild, Queen Triggerfish are found over rocky or coral areas. They may form schools, or are solitary over sand and grassy areas. Feeds mainly on benthic invertebrates. It preys on sea urchins by blowing water to overturn it and then attacks it where the spines are short. In the aquarium it can be kept with a variety of other fishes. It is not recommended to keep with fish that are much smaller.

Sex: Sexual differences:    The male is larger and more colorful than the female. The tips of the dorsal and caudal fins become more filamentous as the fish ages. It is more pronounced in males than in females.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Queen Triggerfish adults can grow to 60 cm (24 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Will swim in all areas of the aquarium.

Availability:    This fish is available from time to time and is moderately expensive.

Lastest Animal Stories on Queen Triggerfish

Steve Prefer - 2016-11-23
Looking for a small Queen Trigger 2-3' Steve (561) 541-3399

joe - 2006-05-01
This website is the best. I got so much info. Oh Yeah!!

JIMBO - 2008-08-29
I happen to have a Queen Trigger fish in my 220 gallon system. She is now every- bit of 22 inches and just an awesome fish. Does have a temper once in a while, especially if I don't feed her every day, which I usually do. Once in a while I like to skip a day of feeding kinda let things equal out... filters, skimmers, etc. catch a break, LOL. In with her is a 6 inch Huma Huma Trigger, and a 5 inch Undulated from the Red Sea. Also a Yellow-tail Snapper 13 inches. I love all the fish... peace, keep on enjoying your fish and your aquariums. JIMBO...

  • Steve - 2011-01-14
    Jimbo, sounds awesome, I have had triggers in the past, now I have angels and tangs, and some clowns. I had a Queen trigger back in the the seventies. It never got that large. You're doing something right, good luck. SJ.
  • holli - 2011-03-13
    Where did you get the yellow tail snapper from?
  • michael zerafa - 2011-11-24
    I had a Queen trigger fish in my 4ft tank, it was only about 10in long but i couldn't have anything else in the tank with it because it would kill it. It always went for the eyes first then the belly...
    I had to cover the wires to the pump and the heater with air tubing because it would bite the wires..
    I was also told that if you put your hand in the tank it will scare the fish away. When I tried that the fish without any hesitation attacked me. I've owned a lot of triggers after this one, but not one of them was anywhere near as aggressive as the Queen.. p.s I did use to feed it only live food..
Anonymous - 2004-11-29
I think your fish are so cool I will go to your web site every day.

Steve Prefer - 2016-11-23
Looking for a small Queen Trigger 2-3' Steve (561) 541-3399