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Picasso Triggerfish

Scientific Name: Rhinecanthus aculeatus
Family: Balistidae

About the Picasso Triggerfish

Species Type: Saltwater Fish
Category: Triggerfish

Care Level: Moderate. Healthy specimens are frequently available for purchase, but stress in shipping does sometimes occur. Will accept dried foods after settling in, but frozen foods or algae grazing sheets may be required initially. After proper quarantine and acclimation to the display, this fish is generally resistant to disease. An overall good choice for the new saltwater hobbyist.
Origin: Indo-Pacific
Compatibility/Temperament: Triggerfish are not considered a "reef-safe" fish by any means. If successfully acclimated, they can be an aggressive fish. They should be given plenty of both swimming room and hiding spaces. They do not fare well in a reef environment. They will generally mix with other non-reef fish, but will snack on reef-creatures such as snails, shrimp, crabs and mollusks.


The Picasso Triggerfish, also known in the trade as the Humu Picasso Triggerfish, is a very interesting fish. This hardy and brilliantly marked fish is one of the most loved fish in the aquarium trade. It has a boisterous attitude as well. It has a tan-colored body with blue and black stripes running vertically and diagonally and a large yellow stripe running horizontally across the cheek.Blue and black stripes accent the head of this appropriately named triggerfish. Smaller Triggers have a lower mortality rate but with age they become hardy. Tame when introduced to a new aquarium but eventialy become belligerent. They redecorate aquariums to their liking and will beg for food when an aquarium owner is near. May grow faster if properly fed. Must be housed in a species tank of up to 180 gallons+ with fish the same size or bigger. Must have plenty of hiding places. Will attack invertebrates and even the owner with age.

Picasso Triggerfish Diet

A varied diet of meaty foods no less than 3 times a day. Squid, clams, fish, shrimp. Frozen foods are accepted. Must be fed a marine algae and vitamin-enriched foods.


Species can grow to be 10"

Minimum Tank Suggestion

180 gallons

Ideal water parameters for Picasso Triggerfish

Marine fish are highly sensitive animals with very specific care requirements. Most all saltwater species will require similar water conditions, designed to replicate that of natural seawater. Ammonia and nitrite levels should absolute zero, temperature at 76F to 80F, and salinity at 1.024 to 1.026. Although some fish are tolerant of lower levels of Nitrate, the goal in every aquariums should be to keep Nitrate as close to zero as possible, and certainly under 20ppm. Finally, maintaining a stable pH of 8.0 to 8.4 is desired. Achieving this is made easier by monitoring alkalinity, which should be kept at 8-12 DKH, and calcium, which is targeted at 400 to 460ppm.

Contributing Members

The following members have contributed to this profile: wake49
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