Niger Triggerfish Care Sheet


Care Recommendations for Niger Triggerfish (Odonus niger)

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Color Form: Blue, Green, Purple
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Reef Compatible: No
  • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
  • Max. Size: 1′
  • Origin: Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
  • Family: Balistidae
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
  • Common Names: Red Tooth Triggerfish, Black Triggerfish


The Niger Triggerfish make for a fun and interesting addition to any fish tank.  Their deep purple or blue color and red fang-like teeth give them an indistinguishable look from any other Trigger.  Since they are in the Trigger family the personalities can be rather energetic and curious, but this is what makes them an enjoyable fish to have.

Physical Traits of Niger Triggerfish

niger triggerfish
credited: Ettore Balocchi

Like all triggers, the Niger Trigger is laterally compressed although it can become a bit more bulbous and even resemble the shape of a football.  Its deep hue of purple to blue with even shades of green can change daily depending on mood and water conditions.  The long caudal fin curves at the end to give it a crescent or pitchfork shape.  

In adulthood, they can reach up to a foot in size and grow protruding teeth with a red tint.  This gives the fish a rather ominous appearance and may very well be the case for any smaller fish or inverts that occupy the same tank as this carnivore.

Niger Triggers have one of the more unique swimming styles in the oceans.  Having small pectoral fins, it is forced to rely on the anal and dorsal fins to thrust itself through the water in a very maneuverable manner.  They can quickly zip through the water during feeding time.

There are no physical features that distinguish male from female.

Niger Triggerfish Temperament

The Niger Triggerfish can be a friendly fish and has a reputation for having a peaceful demeanor.  It has been known to take on pet-like qualities as well.  It can be trained to take food directly from an owner’s hand and will react excitedly, wagging for attention as a recognizable person approaches the tank.

They can be disruptive at times by rearranging rock work.  More often than not, it has a peaceful disposition and will get along with other tank mates, those that are too large to eat that is.  Always keep an eye out as the fish matures.  They are known to “go rogue” or have temperament changes in what may seem like random times.

It is always easier for the younger triggers to acclimate and keepers have a more successful rate when two are added at the same time, usually to a tank at least over 180 gallons. Older triggers will acclimate but it is a long process to adjust to the surroundings and the keeper.

Tank Conditions for Niger Triggerfish

Unlike many triggerfish, this fish typically does well in tanks with coral.  However, this may not be true with other marine life in your tank.  The trigger is endlessly curious and may nip at clams, crustaceans, and sponges. 

The Niger is a durable fish, however, and should do well as long as there is plenty of swimming room. Always ensure there is plenty of rockwork and coral branches giving the fish a chance to hide away and rest. 

Diet for Niger Triggerfish

These triggerfish should have a mixed diet of mysis shrimp, krill, silversides, and other meaty foods.  It needs to be feed often, at least two to three times a day.

Purchase  Triggerfish

Find more information on Triggerfish by viewing our other articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here