Most triggerfish are mischievous and sometimes confuse the clean up crew with dinner. Although all triggers can and may nip and corals and sessile inverts there is one that I have had no problem with in a community reef tank – The Blue Jaw Triggerfish. Considered one of the least aggressive of all triggerfish species, the Blue Jaw Trigger has actually been a model citizen in both of my reef tanks.
Xanthichthys Auromarginatus – Blue Jaw Triggerfish
Temperament – Semi – Aggresive
Reef Safe – Yes, with caution
Care Level – Easy
Salinity – 1.023 -1.025
PH – 8.1 – 8.4
Diet – Omnivore
Size – Can grow to over one foot – most specimens will be 9-12 inches in a home aquarium
Minimum Tank Size – 75 Gallons
Relatively easy to care for, the Blue Jaw Trigger needs mainly meaty foods such as Mysis Shrimp, pieces of clam, etc. An occasional herbivore seaweed sheet can also be given sporadically. Triggers do need some of their diet to contain a hard shell such as Krill in order to wear down their growing teeth. One very important note is that Triggers in general are gluttonous when it comes to food. They need to be fed 2-3 times a day in order to keep up their weight. If the abdomen isn’t plump and looks sunken in then your Trigger isn’t getting enough food.
While acclimating it may be hard to get your Blue Jaw to eat. I ran into this issue with my male Blue Jaw. He wouldn’t eat the first few days. After day two I fed the reef tank frozen Mysis and a proprietary blend of fish food called Reef Yum available at Aquatic Dreams. My female Blue Jaw Trigger had no diet acclimation issues and settled in nicely.
In general, the Blue Jaw Trigger has been a welcome addition to my reef tanks. The unique way they propel forwards and backwards through the water is fascinating. If you are thinking of getting one I suggest getting a juvenile, since they are easier to acclimate. The sex differences are also easily distinguishable. The males have bolder colors with the “Blue Jaw” more pronounced. As a personality labeled fish, they all have different traits somewhat unique to each specimen however If you do want to take a calculated risk with your reef tank and add a trigger then look no further than a Blue Jaw Triggerfish.
Male Blue Jaw Tank Mates: Sailfin Tang, Blue Hippo Tang, Flame Angelfish, Lawnmower Blenny, Hoeven’s Wrasse & a bonded pair of Lightening Maroon Clownfish.
Learn more about caring for Tangs