Clown Triggerfish SML

Clown Triggerfish SML

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Clown Triggerfish SML

Balistoides conspicillum

The Clown Triggerfish is one of the most in-demand species amongst aquarists. Its bright colours and boisterous personality make it ideal for more aggressive tanks.

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Clown Triggerfish


In the wild, the Clown Triggerfish uses its striking colours for camouflage purposes. It is a form of countershading which, if viewed from above, blends it into the coral. If viewed from below its white spots match the surface of the water. Its body is dark and covered with large white spots. Juveniles also have yellow patches on the mouth, at the base of the tail and below its locking spine. In adults, the patch over the mouth becomes more defined with black and white bands forming at the edge. The area below the spine turns dark and develops a gold honeycomb pattern. This is a large species that can reach 20 inches (50 centimetres) in length.

This species' breeding habits are not well documented. However, they are known to form distinct pairs. Spawning occurs on mixtures of rubble and coral found on seaward facing reefs.

The Clown Triggerfish inhabits the Indian and Western Pacific oceans. It is often found in locations such as Indonesia, Sumatra, and Australia. Its preferred habitat is outer reef slopes, near open water. Usually at depths of up to 75 metres.

Tank Recommendations for the Clown Triggerfish

The Clown Triggerfish requires a tank size of at least 300 gallons (1135 litres).

This species should not be kept in a reef environment. It can be a threat to, coral, smaller fish and crustaceans. Fish only tanks are the best option with plenty of rockwork. Rock arrangement should include caves, crevices, and swim-throughs.

Clown Triggerfish have a propensity for moving and rearranging rockwork, coral, and ornaments. Secure any items that you want to stay in one place.

Suitable Tank Buddies

The Clown Triggerfish is an aggressive Triggerfish species. Its tank buddies should be fish of a similar temperament.

The safest option may be to keep a solitary Clown Triggerfish in its own tank.

Usually Compatible

Species of large aggressive fish are the most suitable tank buddies.

Sometime Compatible

It is possible to keep a male and female together as pair. However, it will depend on the individual personalities and how they integrate.

Rarely Compatible

Avoid housing two males in the same tank. Smaller, timid fish are at risk as the Clown Triggerfish may kill them. Crustaceans and other bottom-dwelling reef inhabitants will be eaten.

Feeding Your Black Belly Triggerfish

The Clown Triggerfish is carnivorous. A suitable diet should include meaty foods such as clams, krill, squid, and small fish. Hard-shelled shrimp are also recommended to help to wear down its constantly growing teeth. Feed three times per day.

More Information
Scientific Name Balistoides conspicillum
Care Level Easy
Common Names Clown Triggerfish, Baliste Clown, Clown Trigger, Baliste Leopard, Crossbar Clownfish, Big-Spotted Triggerfish
Diet Carnivore
Fish Family Balistidae
Lifespan (years) 10
Max. Length (cm) 50
Min. Tank Volume (l) 1135
Origin and Western Pacific oceans; Indonesia, Sumatra, Australia.
Reef Safe No
Sociability Aggressive
Venomous No
Water Conditions 22.2-25.5°C (72-78° F), dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
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