Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens)

titan triggerfish

The titan triggerfish, also known as Balistoides viridescens, moustache triggerfish, or giant triggerfish, is one of the largest species of triggerfish. This marine fish has big eyes, similar to their name, and are light brown with dark stripes all along the body. Like other types of triggerfish, they have sharp teeth at the corners of their mouths, which they use to feed on crustaceans and small fish.

If you’re diving in the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific, or even if you’re lucky enough to find one at an aquarium in your area, you might be able to spot the titan triggerfish. This fish can grow up to 75 centimeters (30 inches) long, making it one of the largest species of triggerfish in the world.

The Titan triggerfish is a large species of triggerfish found in the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean, and one of the largest members of its family. They are native to reef systems from Indonesia to Australia, as well as areas around Japan and Hawaii, with juveniles occasionally seen in California waters in the United States. They are not often encountered by divers outside their natural range but are commonly kept in aquariums by hobbyists.

Origin and description

The titan triggerfish is a type of triggerfish that is found in the Indo-Pacific, where they typically live close to coral reefs. The titan triggerfish is usually brown with white spots, but may also be yellow or orange with dark bands on its body and tail. As their name suggests, these fish have very large mouths and teeth that are designed for crushing prey like sea urchins, clams, and oysters.

Species profile

titan triggerfish

The titan triggerfish is a large, burrowing fish that inhabits coral reefs and lagoons in the Indo-Pacific region. It is a solitary species that spends much of its time buried in the sand or perched on rocks. The titan triggerfish is an ovoviviparous creature, with females giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

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There are both male and female adults within this species, with one dominant female often producing more offspring than any other individual. Titan triggerfish are important prey for larger predators such as sharks and tuna; they also form part of the diet of humans living near their habitat range.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the Titan triggerfish is Balistoides viridescens


The titan triggerfish is a saltwater fish that lives in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. This triggerfish can be found in places like the Great Barrier Reef, Seychelles Islands, and India. They are most commonly found near coral reefs at depths of around 30 feet.

Titan triggerfish size and weight

The titan triggerfish, also known as the Balistoides viridescens, is a large species of triggerfish that can grow up to 30 inches (75 cm) in length, and weigh up to 13.6 kg (30 lb).

Titan triggerfish tank size

The titan triggerfish is a large, predatory reef fish that is best housed in a tank of at least 250 gallons (946 liters) with plenty of live rock for it to browse on. It requires an environment that mimics its natural habitat including a sandy substrate and plenty of hiding spots.

Tank mates

With titan triggerfish, breeders often keep squirrelfish, moray eels, lionfish, snappers, groupers, large hawkfishes, certain species of wrasses (often hogfishes, tuskfishes, banana wrasses), surgeonfishes, Arothron pufferfishes, large angelfishes, and porcupinefishes. The triggerfish family, however, includes more aggressive members that can attack these fish.

Titan triggerfish breeding

titan triggerfish

Triggerfish are a very popular saltwater aquarium fish and can be easily bred in captivity. They are an egg-laying species, so if you want to breed them, they need to be kept in a separate tank where they can lay eggs without being eaten by the adults.

The triggerfish perform mating dances with their selected mate after searching for a mate. In order to protect their nesting sites, both of them will exert a great deal of effort.

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Triggerfish lay externally fertilized eggs, which are sexually distinctive. Several preparations are made for the nest before the eggs are laid. Through the use of their caudal and dorsal fins, they make a depression in the sand where they plan to nest.

Whether or not they are nesting, males often attack unprovoked, and females may attack unprovoked if they are guarding their nests. Despite being much more powerful than themselves, they will defend the nest deftly.

It takes about four days for Titan triggerfish to spawn every month. The male will guard the nest and blow water over the eggs, ensuring a reliable supply of fresh water and oxygen. Once the larvae hatch they will swim away, presumably into the protection afforded by the coral reef.

Early on in the life cycle, zooplankton will be the source of nourishment. This is time as the juvenile has matured enough to take on other delicacies of the coral reef.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The titan triggerfish is a peaceful fish that will only become aggressive when it feels threatened, when it is reproducing, or when guarding its nests.

Titan triggerfish care information

titan triggerfish

A Titan Triggerfish is an excellent choice for a saltwater aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and will spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, often buried in sand or coral rubble, only occasionally surfacing to feed on the leftovers from other inhabitants.

If you’re interested in keeping more than one titan triggerfish they can be combined as long as they’re introduced slowly so they can learn each other’s territories, although it’s best not to keep more than two together.

What they eat

The titan triggerfish is an omnivore, and it eats a variety of foods like crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. They also eat small fish in the wild. In captivity, they will eat dry krill, shrimp pellets, squid, clams, and other invertebrates. They are not picky about what they eat and will do well on any diet.

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Tank requirements

The Titan Triggerfish is a very territorial fish and will need a large tank to accommodate its needs. With that being said, it would be best to have an aquarium of at least six feet long, three feet wide, and four feet tall. Another thing worth mentioning is that they do not do well in tanks with more than two other triggerfish.

If you want to house more than one in your tank, you will need to introduce them simultaneously or else they will fight each other for dominance. You also need to make sure the room temperature stays between 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

They also require live rock or coral as well as a sand bottom as their natural habitat has these features as well. One last thing worth noting is that they are omnivores so feed them some meaty food every day such as shrimp, krill, squid, and clams.


The Titan Triggerfish can live up to 10 years in an aquarium.

Parasites and diseases

Triggerfish are susceptible to a number of parasites and diseases, including a parasite that causes mortality in the fish. The triggerfish is also susceptible to bacterial infections, such as erythroderma and columnaris, which cause ulcers on the skin. These ulcers can lead to secondary infections if they are not treated with antibiotics promptly.

Other triggers for bacterial infections include handling the fish too much while netting or landing it, and environmental stressors like pollution or crowding. While the infection may be treatable if caught early enough, these types of bacteria grow rapidly so an infected triggerfish should be isolated from other fish as soon as possible.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

Predators of the titan triggerfish are mostly large fish, such as grouper and barracuda. These fish species prey on the titan triggerfish because their bright colors make them easy to spot in murky waters. They also eat smaller fish that they can fit into their mouths.

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Trigger fish attack

It is known that triggerfish can attack divers at any time of the year, but they are most aggressive during the breeding season (April to May). Like other animals, they attack intruders, such as other fish and divers, when they invade their territory. You will be chased repeatedly by triggerfish if you accidentally come too close to their nest.

The bottom of the cone is where Triggerfish make their territory, so it is important to know that they make their territories in cone-shaped areas. You should swim horizontally and downward if you encounter a Titan Triggerfish. Ascending is a common escape method for divers. Probably they’ll keep getting chased by the fish if they do this again and again.

Do they make good pets?

Triggerfish are difficult to keep in captivity. They need a large tank with live rock and sand to create a natural habitat. In addition, they require high-quality saltwater, strict water quality parameters, and frequent feedings. This species should not be kept by novice aquarists.