View Full Version : What size tank for triggers & others?

08/27/2002, 06:50 PM
David, great article on triggers! They are my favorite fish for all of the complex reasons you described. Question: I am a responsible but confused aquarist. I read conflicting advice on "minimum tank sizes" for triggers and other large fish. While I realize that I cannot offer my fish 1000 gallons of space in my home, I DO want to let them live a full, healthy and content/happy (?) life. I would appreciate your honest opinion. For your typical trigger/angel/grouper/puffer/tang/lion that can reach 15-20" in the wild, what is a truly proper tank size for an adult? 125? 180? 240? 300? more? The books generally say 180 or less, but is that enough? I have a 180g, and I'm wondering if I will need to get a bigger tank in a few years, or trade in my fish now for smaller species... and if so, what is the maximum size adult fish I should be putting in a 180g? Thanks for the article and your advice.

09/06/2002, 10:34 PM

09/15/2002, 02:27 PM
sorry I'm taking so long to reply. I've been pretty busy with non-aquarium things lately, so I haven't been checking this out.

I'm glad you liked the article.

Of course, unfortunately, the real answer to your question will be along the lines "it depends". For triggers specifically, you'd have no problem with a niger, the clown, the Melichthys, or the Rhinecanthus triggers. Of course the undulated can be kept in that tank, but it will still most likely fight with your other fish. Xanthichthys triggers can be kept just fine in a tank that size, but I prefer to have them in larger tanks, since they are more active swimmers.

As for tangs, I'm comfortable with any of them except those in the [I]Naso genus being kept in a 180g. These things swim a ton without turning. After the last trip I took to Hawai'i, watching them out in the open, I don't think I'll ever think of keeping one.

Groupers and lionfish in that size range would to fine in a 180g.

The problem with determining minimum tank size is that it's a very subjective issue. You could ask 100 people on this board about the minimum size tank for any given fish and get 100 different answers.

Another issue that comes up is mixing fish. There are several different tangs that you could keep in a 180g, but if you put all of them in there, you'll have war.

I hope this answers some of your questions. Without having specific fish in mind, it's hard to give really good concrete ideas on whether they will work together in a tank.