|Latin name||Xanthichthys mento|
|Common name||Crosshatch Triggerfish|
|Family||Balistidae - Xanthichthys|
|Origin||Australia, Japan, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific|
|Max length||29 cm (11.4")|
As aquarium fish
Can be a threat to small fish
This spicies might be a threat to smaller fishes.
Can be a threat towards small crustaceans
This species can be a threat towards small crustaceans, e.g. small shrimp.
This species will at times bite people.
Look out for wiring, plastics etc
This species some times likes to biting rubber and plastics etc, which are found in an aquarium.
Be aware of this, therefore place other objects in the tank which it will then examine as a natural food source.
Rearranges rocks and sand
This species has a habit of rearranging rocks and sand.
Make sure rocks are placed securely on the substrate, so they cannot toppled over.
Food which sharpens teeth
These fish require food which helps to prevent overgrowing teeth. e.g. clams.
If their teeth grow too much, it might necessitate grinding them down, however this is a very stressful procedure.
Requires a varied diet
This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.
Requires plenty of space for swimming.
This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.
Lives in a pair
This species can live as a pair (male and female).
This species often has a fun and interesting personality.
Bred in captivity
This species can be bred in captivity, one can therefore consider asking your local fish store for a captive bred specimen.
This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.
This species can make a grunting sound when it feels threatened for example.
The males are yellow with a red tail, whilst the females are more greyish in colour.
Genus description (Xanthichthys)
This genus of triggerfish are quite peaceful compared to the other genera. They mainly feed on zooplankton in the nature, so they often ignore most invertebrates and fish in a reef aquarium.
But keep in mind that these fish might get tempted by smaller fish and invertebrates.
Family description (Balistidae)
Triggerfish (Balistidae) are distinguished by their strong jaws which are used for crushing rock, shells or corals in its hunt for food.
It is hard to give a general discription of Triggerfish, as they vary much in behaviour, not just between species, but also from specimen to specimen.
These fish are generally not reef safe and are a challenge to keep in a coral aquarium. Those that fit best, are the Melichthys, Odonus and Xanthichthys species as they live mostly of zooplankton. They will therefore often leave corals and for the most part crustaceans alone, if they are well fed. The more space available to these fish the smaller the problems tend to be.
These fish are generally very aggressive towards other fish, they should be given a lot of space to minimize their aggressivel behaviour. Generally speaking, it is difficult to find fish which live together with Triggerfish. It is obvious that small fish would fall victim to them, but also Lionfish, for example, would not survive the Triggerfish.
Triggerfish need a larger amount of food than many others, so it pays to be well prepared when acquiring them. At the same time it is important to provide a varied diet, consisting of krill, Mysis, shrimps, crabs, mussels, small fish, octopus, snails as well as algae based foods.
They have a great personality compared to other fish, some owners have taught their Triggerfish tricks using little titbits.
They have been known to swirl sand about, in order to find food. They are also known to spray water from the surface, therefore care must be taken when placing electrical equipment.
One must also realize that they can sometimes bite fingers or arms, so one must take all precautions neccessary.
References and further reading
David A. Crandall. 2005. Triggering a Response From Guests: The Genus Xanthichthys - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
David A. Crandall. 2002. Triggerfishes - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Jim McDavid. 2007. Aquarium Fish: Triggerfish - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. Bruisers and Cruisers, the Triggerfishes, Family Balistidae - Wet Web Media - (English)
Scott W. Michael. Reef Aquarium Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-know Species - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).
|pair couple, destructive, eats fish, eats shrimp, trigger|