Lagoon Triggerfish Care Guide: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

The Lagoon triggerfish, also known as the Blackbar triggerfish, is a fascinating and colorful addition to a saltwater aquarium. This fish species is native to the Indo-Pacific region and is known to show off its personality and intelligence in an aquatic environment. As a reef-safe fish, they can be a great choice for experienced aquarists who are passionate about maintaining a vibrant and diverse ecosystem.

Lagoon Triggerfish care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These saltwater fish require a tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. They need a varied diet of meaty foods, including shrimp, squid, and krill.

Caring for a Lagoon triggerfish requires a thorough understanding of its unique needs, including tank setup, water quality, and appropriate diet. These fish can grow relatively large, so it is important to provide ample space for them to swim about and explore their surroundings. Knowing how to maintain an ideal environment will enable this species to thrive.

Lagoon triggerfish

Key Takeaways

  • Lagoon triggerfish are a colorful and intelligent species suitable for experienced aquarists
  • Proper care involves attention to tank setup, water quality, and diet
  • A healthy environment is crucial for the well-being and growth of this species

Species Summary

The Lagoon triggerfish, also known as the Picasso triggerfish, originates from the Indo-Pacific region. In the wild, they are commonly found in lagoons and coral reefs. Their striking appearance, with a mix of blues, yellows, and whites, makes them a popular choice for marine aquarium enthusiasts.

These fish have a relatively long lifespan, often living up to 10 years with proper care. They typically grow to around 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) in length. Keep in mind, their growth rate can be influenced by tank conditions and diet.

Lagoon triggerfish exhibit unique behavior patterns and temperament. Known for their intelligence and curiosity, they can be quite assertive, especially when protecting their territory. I once observed one of my triggerfish rearrange tank decorations to establish its territory – quite the character!

When it comes to sexual dimorphism, there aren’t many distinct differences between males and females. However, during breeding season, males may exhibit slightly more vibrant colors. Maintaining a proper tank environment is essential, as it can minimize aggressive behavior and provide a healthy habitat for these fascinating fish.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

A suitable tank size for Lagoon triggerfish is imperative for their well-being. I recommend a minimum of 180 gallons for a single fish. This provides ample swimming space and reduces stress.


Moderate lighting is ideal for Lagoon triggerfish. They’re not too picky, but a consistent day and night cycle is essential to maintain their circadian rhythm.

Filtration & Aeration

Efficient filtration and aeration are vital for these messy fish. A strong filtration system and a protein skimmer will minimize waste build-up. Adequate water movement is also crucial for oxygen exchange.


Maintaining a stable water temperature of 75-82°F is important. I’ve found that using a reliable heater with a thermostat ensures a consistent environment for these fish.


Selecting the right substrate is key to mimicking the Lagoon triggerfish’s natural habitat. A mix of crushed coral and aragonite sand works well to maintain pH levels and buffer the water.


Offering hiding spaces with rocks and caves will help the fish feel secure. I once included a mix of natural and artificial structures, which created a dynamic environment for my Lagoon triggerfish.


Incorporating some live or artificial plants adds to the aesthetics and mimics their natural surroundings. Be prepared for some uprooting, as these fish are known to rearrange their environment occasionally.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

Lagoon triggerfish thrive in tropical environments. Maintaining a water temperature between 72°F and 82°F (22°C-28°C) is essential for their health. I remember learning this the hard way when I started keeping triggerfish, as my initial temperature was way too low, around 68°F, and my triggerfish became less active and ate less. Investing in a reliable heater and thermometer is a key to success.

Water pH

Triggerfish prefer slightly alkaline water with a pH range of 7.8 to 8.4. Ensuring the right pH levels is crucial for triggerfish, as it affects their metabolisms and overall health. When I set up my first aquarium, I monitored pH closely using a digital pH pen. Regular water changes also help in maintaining stable pH levels.

Water Hardness

Lagoon triggerfish are relatively tough when it comes to water hardness, but you still need to provide the right conditions. These fish can adapt to both moderately soft and hard water. Aim for a general hardness (GH) between 8 and 12 dKH. I use a GH/KH tester to check the hardness in my aquarium periodically.

Water Changes

Frequent water changes are vital for keeping your triggerfish healthy. I’ve found it helpful to perform 20% water changes every week, allowing the aquarium to stay clean and fresh for my triggerfish. Remember to treat the replacement water with a dechlorinator and ensure that it matches the temperature and parameters of the tank before adding it.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment in your Lagoon triggerfish tank is crucial for their well-being. Regular water changes are essential to remove waste and maintain ideal water conditions. I recommend changing 20% of the water weekly to achieve this goal.

Additionally, using a quality filter will help keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Consider investing in a canister or power filter suitable for your tank size. It’s essential to clean the filter media regularly, preferably once a month, to ensure optimal performance.

Scrutinize your tank for excessive algae build-up. Algae can be controlled by reducing lighting hours, using algae-eating fish, or introducing live plants that compete for nutrients. Consider incorporating a protein skimmer if you have a saltwater setup, as it helps prevent the growth of nuisance algae.

Testing your water parameters routinely is a must. Maintaining appropriate pH, salinity, and ammonia levels will make your Lagoon triggerfish feel at ease. Investing in a testing kit and consistently checking these levels will help you act accordingly if these factors start fluctuating.

When I first started keeping Lagoon triggerfish, I realized the importance of providing hiding spots. Providing adequate rocks and caves within their environment will make them feel secure and comfortable. Be sure to arrange the decorations in a way that creates room for these fish to swim freely.

To sum it up, properly maintaining your Lagoon triggerfish tank will ensure they thrive in their environment. Just stay consistent with upkeep and monitoring!

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

In my experience, it’s essential to choose compatible tank mates for your Lagoon triggerfish carefully. Peaceful and sturdy fish make good companions. Some compatible species include:

  • Tangs: Yellow tang, Purple tang, or Sailfin tang
  • Wrasses: Cleaner wrasse, Six-line wrasse, or Scott’s fairy wrasse
  • Angelfish: Regal angelfish, Emperor angelfish, or Blue-faced angelfish

I’ve had success keeping these species together, and they tend to coexist well in a community tank.

Incompatible Fish Species

On the other hand, some fish species are unsuitable for a Lagoon triggerfish tank. It would be best to avoid the following species:

  • Small, slow-moving fish: These can become snacks for the triggerfish, such as seahorses, pipefish, or mandarin fish.
  • Aggressive fish: Like Damsels, they can stress the triggerfish and create potential conflicts.
  • Invertebrates: Lagoon triggerfish might eventually consume invertebrates like snails, crabs, or shrimps.

Remember, each triggerfish is unique, and their tolerance levels towards different species can vary. Observe and monitor their interactions in the tank to ensure a harmonious environment.


What To Feed

Lagoon triggerfish are omnivores with a preference for various invertebrates and algae. I remember watching them feast on small crustaceans, mollusks, and even bits of coral. They also enjoy eating pieces of shrimp, squid, and shellfish in captivity. Offer a balanced diet with a combination of both animal and plant-based foods.


Lagoon triggerfish should be fed small portions multiple times a day rather than one large meal. Typically, 2-3 feedings a day are recommended to mimic their natural feeding pattern. But make sure not to overfeed them as it can lead to obesity and other health issues.


Here are some useful tips to ensure a balanced diet for your Lagoon triggerfish:

  • Rotate the food items and ingredients to provide variety and avoid boredom.
  • Use high-quality, nutrient-rich pellets or flakes to supplement their diet.
  • Occasionally add vitamin and mineral supplements to promote excellent health.
  • Watch for any signs of overfeeding, such as leftover food in the tank, and adjust portion sizes accordingly.

Common Diseases


In my experience, Lagoon triggerfish are prone to certain diseases like ich, marine velvet, and bacterial infections.


Ich usually presents as small white spots all over the fish’s body. Marine velvet shows symptoms such as gold dust on the fish’s body, rapid breathing, and hiding. For bacterial infections, look for ulcers, red patches, or any abnormal appearance on the fish’s body.


To treat ich, I recommend using copper-based medications and raising the water temperature to 82°F. For marine velvet, formalin baths and copper medications are effective. Treat bacterial infections with antibiotic medications specific to the infection type.


To prevent these common diseases, maintain optimal water conditions, and quarantine all new fish before introducing them into the main tank. Also, avoid overstocking and feeding a varied, nutritious diet.

Always be vigilant and familiarize yourself with these symptoms to catch any potential issues early and provide the best care for your Lagoon triggerfish.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

When it comes to Lagoon triggerfish, it’s essential to recognize the signs of a healthy fish. One of the first things I noticed when I started keeping triggerfish was bright and vibrant colors. A healthy Lagoon triggerfish should have an iridescent sheen and clear patterns, displaying a keen sense of vitality.

Active swimming patterns are another vital sign of a healthy fish. They should be continuously exploring their surroundings and interacting with their environment. An inactive fish, hiding for extended periods, might indicate some health issues.

It’s also important to monitor the fish’s feeding behavior. A healthy Lagoon triggerfish will eagerly consume its food and show enthusiasm for mealtime. Any change in appetite could be a cause for concern.

A healthy fish should have clear eyes that are free from cloudiness or swelling. They should be bright and alert, which is an excellent indicator of overall health.

Lastly, make sure to examine the fins and scales. Look for smooth and evenly spaced fins, free from fraying or damage. The scales should appear smooth and intact, without signs of fuzziness or white patches, which might indicate an infection or illness.

By keeping an eye on these key indicators, you can ensure your Lagoon triggerfish thrives in its environment and stays healthy.

Signs Your Fish is Sick

One morning, I noticed my usually energetic Lagoon triggerfish acting unusually sluggish. This made me realize the importance of observing our fish closely for any signs of illness.

A common sign might be loss of appetite. Keep an eye on their eating habits and be mindful of any significant changes.

Another indicator is abnormal swimming behavior. If they’re swimming sluggishly, erratically, or struggling to maintain balance, it’s a cause for concern.

Also, check for discoloration or spots on your fish’s body. Observe if the color is fading or if there are patches or spots of different hues.

Examine their fins and scales for any signs of damage, such as frayed fins or lifted scales, which can indicate an issue.

We can’t forget labored breathing, which can suggest the presence of parasites or gill infections. Watch for rapid or shallow breathing.

Lastly, be vigilant for lethargy and isolation. A usually lively and social Lagoon triggerfish might become withdrawn and less active when unwell.

Dealing with a sick Lagoon triggerfish can be challenging, but by closely monitoring their behavior and appearance, we can promptly address the issue and keep our fish happy and healthy.


Lagoon triggerfish 2

Breeding Setup

When I decided to breed Lagoon triggerfish, I started by setting up a separate breeding tank. The ideal breeding setup should include:

  • A tank of at least 100 gallons
  • Proper water conditions (temperature 74-81°F, pH 8.0-8.4 and salinity 1.021-1.026)
  • Flat rocks or pieces of PVC pipe for hiding and laying eggs

How To Breed

Breeding Lagoon triggerfish can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Here are some steps I followed:

  1. Acquire a male and a female: To ensure you have a compatible pair, choose a larger fish (likely the male) and a smaller fish (likely the female).
  2. Monitor their behavior: It’s crucial to observe their interactions for any signs of aggression and potential pairing behaviors, such as swimming closely together.
  3. Introduce a breeding trigger: This could be a change in water temperature or the addition of live food to encourage the release of eggs and sperm in the water.
  4. Wait for spawning: Once the pair bonds, they may engage in a courtship dance, after which the female will lay eggs on the chosen surface, and the male will fertilize them.


Caring for the eggs and fry is essential for successful breeding. Here’s what I did:

  1. Protect the eggs: In my experience, triggerfish can be aggressive towards their eggs. Consider using an egg crate or plastic mesh divider to keep the parents away from the eggs.
  2. Monitor water conditions: Maintain optimal water quality, especially during egg development and after hatching. Frequent water changes may be necessary.
  3. Feed the fry: When the fry hatch, provide a diet of rotifers, followed by baby brine shrimp as they grow. Ensure they have adequate nutrition for healthy development.

By following these steps and practicing patience, you can successfully breed Lagoon triggerfish and enjoy watching their growth and development.

Product recommendations for Lagoon Triggerfish:

  1. Hikari Marine S Pellets: This fish food is specially formulated for marine fish, including Lagoon Triggerfish, and provides a balanced diet for optimal health.
  2. Seachem Stability: This product helps to establish a healthy biological filter in your aquarium, which is important for maintaining good water quality for Lagoon Triggerfish.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Lagoon Triggerfish.
  4. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This circulation pump helps to create a natural water flow in your aquarium, which is important for the well-being of Lagoon Triggerfish.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Lagoon Triggerfish and other saltwater fish.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in fish, including Lagoon Triggerfish.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Lagoon Triggerfish.
  8. Coralife BioCube 16 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Lagoon Triggerfish in a medium-sized space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Marina Floating Thermometer: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Lagoon Triggerfish healthy.


In caring for Lagoon triggerfish, it’s crucial to provide a suitable environment. A large tank (at least 180 gallons) with plenty of hiding places and live rock will keep your fish happy and healthy. Remember to maintain water quality by performing regular water changes and monitoring pH, temperature, and salinity levels.

Feeding Lagoon triggerfish a well-balanced diet is also key. Offer them a mix of high-quality pellets, frozen foods, and live foods to ensure proper nutrition. I recall a time when I introduced a new live food to my Lagoon triggerfish’s diet and watched as their energy and colors seemed to improve almost immediately.

Moreover, it’s important to observe compatibility with other marine life, as Lagoon triggerfish can be aggressive. Choose tankmates wisely, opting for similarly-sized or larger fish with a robust temperament.

Lastly, keep in mind that having a reliable source of information for questions or concerns regarding Lagoon triggerfish care is essential. Stay connected with fellow hobbyists and experts in the field to expand your knowledge and ensure the wellbeing of your fish.

By following these guidelines, you can create a thriving environment for your Lagoon triggerfish and enjoy the rewarding experience of caring for these fascinating creatures.


What do Lagoon triggerfish eat?

Lagoon triggerfish mainly eat a varied diet of algae, sea urchins, crustaceans, and small invertebrates.

How much and how often should they be fed?

They should be fed small amounts multiple times a day. Overfeeding can lead to health issues. I remember noticing a significant improvement in my Lagoon triggerfish’s health when I adjusted their feeding schedule.

What type of tank do Lagoon triggerfish need?

Lagoon triggerfish require tanks of at least 100 gallons or more, as they’re active swimmers with territorial behavior.

What’s the ideal water temperature for Lagoon triggerfish?

They prefer water temperatures between 72°F and 78°F, with a pH level around 8.1 to 8.4.

Are Lagoon triggerfish aggressive towards other fish?

Lagoon triggerfish can be aggressive, particularly towards tank mates with similar shapes and sizes. It’s crucial to keep them with compatible species.

Do Lagoon triggerfish need hiding spots in their tank?

Yes, they appreciate hiding spots like caves or crevices, as they help alleviate stress and protect them from potential tank mate aggression.

Can I keep Lagoon triggerfish in a reef tank?

It’s not recommended, as Lagoon triggerfish may disrupt or damage coral and other invertebrates within a reef tank setup.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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