Anyone Raise a Juvenile CLOWN TRIGGER? (I need advice)

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WallyB

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I am seeking help from someone who has Raised a Juvenile Clown fish, and how things went, and what type of tank setups worked out.
Wondering about the Short Term (Juvenile Stage) and beyond into larger and more aggressive stage.

First and foremost, I will admit I may have made a mistake getting the Clown Trigger, so you don't have to tell me.

I am also aware that placing this clownfish with my Inverts (Hermit's and Tuxedo Urchins is a risk down the road)


I'm a sucker for beautiful and unique fish, and I take care my fish sometimes more than myself. I care and wish no fish any harm or stress.

Some of my past fish have outgrown my tanks, picked on corals, or gotten overly aggressive over the years.
They were caught and send back to the fish store to find a better home.

I have maintaned Tanks and Fish for over 30 years, and my 90 Gallon Tank is about 20+ years old.

A few weeks ago I came across a Juvenille Triggerfish, and in the spur of the moment brought him home, to put in my 10 Gallon QT for obsevation.
Now I'm stuck what I'll do when QT is over. Should he go back to the store (which will accept him), or do I have a chance to enjoy this first for a period of time.

2021-02-26_QT-Clown-Trigger.jpg


He is small and young as you can see. Very active and good eatter.
2021-02-26_QT-Clown-Trigger-2.jpg


I have a few options where he might go after QT. Certainly while he is still small the 10 Gallon will be fine,
so Option (0) is he stays in his 10 Gallon for a short stay.
I do have the option that the Store will take him back for a credit when I can't provide him the appropriate environment.

I'm hoping someone has had experience with a Juvenille trigger, and their transition into a Larger Tank, with other estabilshed fish.
What they did? What worked? What didn't Worked? How much time it took before things wen't good or bad?

Here are my options where he could go, either after QT, or some time later.

(OPTION #1) I have a 90 Gallon Tank (4 foot wide) as seen below.
2021-02-14_Kitchen-LPSTank-90Gal.jpg

The fish in the 90 Galon Tank above are the following.

- Two Medium Sized clowns that live and protect the Mushroom Patch at the top left.
- I have a Yellow Tang as seen in photo
- And I also have a Purple Tang that started small but has quickly caught up to the Yellow Clowns size (The Two clown are buddies, but do rub elblow the odd time)
- I also have one Medium Copperband Butterfly.
- They all get along well. However The Purple tang did aggress towards the Copperband when he was first introduced.

The problem with trying him in the 90 Gallon Tank is once he goes in (and there is a un-solvable conflict) there is NO WAY I can remove him.


(OPTION #2)

The Next Tank is a 30 Gallon Tank (3 foot wide) that used to be a Frag Tank, however I gave up on Frag Rack setup and it's loaded with Live Rock that was handed down to me just last week. It has a DIY built in Filter/ATS and get's auto water changes daily so keeps fairly clean without a skimmer.

2021-03-07_FragTankMOreLiveRock.jpg


In the 35 Gallon Tank above has the following fish.

- I have the pair of Picasso Clowns, that see in the photo.
- and I have a Juvenile Box fish that really get's along withthe Clown.

Boxfish-Juvenile.jpg


Removing the the CLOWN Trigger would be no problem if any conflicts results.
The worry I have is a chance the Clown Trigger will attack the delicate swimming Box Fish.
I do understand that a Box fish can release a deadly toxin and wipe out all fish in the tank (Possibly killing my two very Special Picasso clowns raised for over two years)

(OPTION #3) 110 Gallon SPS only Tank

Just like the 90 Gallon Tank, one a fish is added, it's pretty well improssible to remove.
2021-03-02_110G-SPS-TANK-CyanoFading.jpg


This tank has the following long term established fish, and they all get along with the odd scrap between the Blue Chromis and the Wrasse.

- One Yellow Medium Tang (Very Fat and healthy)
- One Wanatabei Angel (Medium/Fat and Healthy)
- One Blue Green Chromis
- One Black Capped Basslet
- One Carriberryi Anthias
- One Labouts Fairy Wrasse.


(OPTION #4) HIGHLY UNLIKELY CHOICE (TOO Small, and gentle Companion Fish)


I had a single Sunburst Fat Head Anthias and he never survived the long term since he couldn't keep up with getting food from the faster fish companions.

So I converted the Refuge which is a tall 15 Gallon Section of the 55 Galkon Sump of this 110G system, and in there are a Pair of Sunburst Fathead Anthias.
They enjoy peace and tranquility in their Refuge Rock Garden.

SunburstRefuge.jpg


The Sunbursts are extremely slow swimming fish, and very gentle so I don't even for the Short Term putting the Juvenile Clown Trigger in there is an option.


So any advice? Any Expereince with Raising an Junveille Clown Trigger?

To I have any options to enjoy this beautiful and unique fish?


Hoping someone with Experience can Chime in.
 
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lion king

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I have raised a few juvi's, I have kept a couple for my larger tanks and raised a few for other tanks. They don't grow super fast but need something at least in your 90-110 range for the short term grow out. Clown triggers are an easy rehome, so keeping a small one for a while is no harm. I used to keep a 125g specifically as a grow out tank, mainly triggers. You might get a 1.5 years in a 90/110. I doubt 2, that would be pushing it.

With that said I'm not sure your tanks will be appropriate, because you are likely going to have to tear them apart to get him out. Tearing up a reef is not a good idea. The frag tank might get you 6 months.
 
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WallyB

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I have raised a few juvi's, I have kept a couple for my larger tanks and raised a few for other tanks. They don't grow super fast but need something at least in your 90-110 range for the short term grow out. Clown triggers are an easy rehome, so keeping a small one for a while is no harm. I used to keep a 125g specifically as a grow out tank, mainly triggers. You might get a 1.5 years in a 90/110. I doubt 2, that would be pushing it.

With that said I'm not sure your tanks will be appropriate, because you are likely going to have to tear them apart to get him out. Tearing up a reef is not a good idea. The frag tank might get you 6 months.
Thanks for the reply.

So based on your experience how aggressive is the Juvi's Clown Trigger over the next 6 months if I take a chance and put him temporarily in my 35 Gallon Frag Tank.

I know every fish is different, but for example, I certainly can predict that a Blue Green Chromis, or a Six Line Wrasse will be a pain with other fish.
Same might apply to my Purple tang, but he does his dominance thing only at the early stage of introducing a new fish. After a week he let's the new fish be, (if it sumits to his authority)
 

lion king

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Sorry I didn't really examine the fish you have in the 35g, I wouldn't put the clown trigger in with the box fish. In a larger tank it may be a better risk, but in smaller tanks that's how the boxfish will nuke a tank. Juvi clown triggers are usually pretty easy going, they start getting bossy approaching 4", and at 5" is when they really start coming into their own. But I have had some even at 2" be really nasty, usually in small tanks, I've tried the 40B as a grow out before and it really didn't work that well. When you are growing out aggressive fish in smaller tanks it's best to keep them with other fish of similar disposition. Here's the last 2 I grew up.

1615252480876.png
I grew
 
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WallyB

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Sorry I didn't really examine the fish you have in the 35g, I wouldn't put the clown trigger in with the box fish. In a larger tank it may be a better risk, but in smaller tanks that's how the boxfish will nuke a tank. Juvi clown triggers are usually pretty easy going, they start getting bossy approaching 4", and at 5" is when they really start coming into their own. But I have had some even at 2" be really nasty, usually in small tanks, I've tried the 40B as a grow out before and it really didn't work that well. When you are growing out aggressive fish in smaller tanks it's best to keep them with other fish of similar disposition. Here's the last 2 I grew up.

1615252480876.png
I grew
Ok. Thanks for the tip.
I figured the Box Fish would be at risk.

If anything he could go into the 90 Gallon with the Purple Tang, but as you stated, the only way to get him out would be a tear down.
I did have a Lemon Peal Angel who became a bully in the 90 Gallon. He had a angry Appetite for food, so by luck after 3 days of no feeding, he crawled into my fish trap. Barely Fit. When the trap door dropped, it hit is tail and he was caught. I was amazed it worked.

That was luck, and catching him took a lot of patience with a fish line attached to the trap door, waiting for the one chance.
I don't think I'll be that lucky again.

One Option I have is I put the box fish into my 15 Gal Refuge with the peaceful Sunburst Anthias. He space requirements are small at this point.
Then the Clown Trigger could go into the 35 with the two clown for a for a grow up. Easy to take out the Trigger when he outgrow it. Maybe the Picasso clowns could handle him, certainly they wouldn't nuke things. If things got aggressive I would remove the tigger to save the clowns (Hopefully in time).

The only worry I have if the box fish releases his toxin in the Refuge Tank which is part of the Sump of the 110G System, it will wipe out all the Fish in my 110G, and that's years of getting quality stock.
 
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WallyB

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I have an Idea. I can move the Box Fish out of my Frag Tank, and then move the Clown Trigger in.

The Box Fish can go into my Refuge with the Peaceful Sunburts Anthias, and Still REDUCE the Risk of Nuking the Main Tank Fish. Both the Box Fish and Suburts Anthias are peaceful, slow swimmers and I can't see them no getting along.

The Refuge Comparment that contains the Two Sunburst Anthias can be Isolated ON and OFF as much as I wish. (from the Main Tank)

Refuge-Compartment-BoxFish.jpg


The Refuge is fed by a Maxji Jet Pump, and it Drains into my Return Pump Section of the Sump.
However I have a Hang On Bio Filter to give the Refuge extra filtration.

2021-03-09_BoxFish-RefugeIsolation.jpg


Basically I would have to add a heater to the Refuge, and let it run on it's own.

Every so Often if the Box Fish is alive and doing well, I could turn on the Water Feed and let it run for a period of time. Kind of like a Water Change, only if the Box Fish hasn't nuked the Refuge.

There still is a risk that the Clown Trigger may get aggressive with the Two Picasso clowns, however I can watch and if it becomes an issue, just remove the rocks and take the Trigger out.

And there is the risk the Box fish might nuke my two Fathead Sunburst Anthias.

What did I get myself into buying Beautiful, interesting, but NOT IDEAL FISH.

NEW TANK TIME!!! (Wife would kill me)
 
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eharms17

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I've had many clown triggers over the yrs, bought a baby about an inch long last Sept and it's almost 3.5in now, grew fast. Started in a biocube, then to a 50 AIO, now moving to a 90g. After I move I'll upgrade to at least a 180 which I believe is min tank size for it (tho I know a pet shop that grew one from a baby to almost 1.5ft in about 7yrs in a 120g and it looked happy). Mine acts aggressive to new fish added, but I put it in isolation for a night and the next day it doesn't bother new fish. I have gramma, wrasse, tangs, dwarf angels with it (and a pair of cleaner shrimp it doesn't even blink an eye at.....yet). Every fish is different, but generally as it grows it gets more aggressive. Faster moving fish like tangs and damsels should be fine. Anthias, clownfish, other slower movers are iffy. The smaller the tank often the more territorial fish get. I would say a 90 good for 2-3yrs then you'll need a bigger tank or could have problems.
 
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I've had many clown triggers over the yrs, bought a baby about an inch long last Sept and it's almost 3.5in now, grew fast. Started in a biocube, then to a 50 AIO, now moving to a 90g. After I move I'll upgrade to at least a 180 which I believe is min tank size for it (tho I know a pet shop that grew one from a baby to almost 1.5ft in about 7yrs in a 120g and it looked happy). Mine acts aggressive to new fish added, but I put it in isolation for a night and the next day it doesn't bother new fish. I have gramma, wrasse, tangs, dwarf angels with it (and a pair of cleaner shrimp it doesn't even blink an eye at.....yet). Every fish is different, but generally as it grows it gets more aggressive. Faster moving fish like tangs and damsels should be fine. Anthias, clownfish, other slower movers are iffy. The smaller the tank often the more territorial fish get. I would say a 90 good for 2-3yrs then you'll need a bigger tank or could have problems.
Thanks for your insight.

Still a tough decision. However good to know my 90Gal would give me about 2-3 years of enjoyment.
When he outgrows the tank, I can use that as an excuse to tear and rebuild the tank after 20 years of natural progression.

I guess I should get him in there soooner than later.
He is happy in the 10Gallon QT being so small.

Right now I'm training him to eat a variety of food, including Pellets which he cleans up really nicely. Even from the bottom of the tank.

He eats from my hand. I use tweezer and hang food. That will help with some bonding before he goes free into the Reef Tank.

I know sparks will fly with my Purple Tang which is really a friendly fish but not when a new comer enters HIS TANK.. It will be interesting to see the Clown Trigger fight back and become the Dominant Fish. (If that actually happens)
 
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WallyB

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IMO they need 500+ gallon tanks when grown up. Period.
Yes, I agree.

Many of the fish we keep have Requirements for much larger tanks than we keep them in.
The question is how quickly will they grow and how well they will get along peacefully with their Tank Mates.

Like my Tangs they will outgrow my 120 Gallon in due time. But 3 years+ and they still fit in well, and get along.

The Clown Trigger will just get there sooner.

Like my Lemon Peel Angel which out grew my 90 Gallon Tank to the point where he wasn't a pleasure any more. Neither for me or the Tank mates.
He was caught in a trap and traded into a Local Fish Store which quickly found him a better Larger more adequate home.

Even some small fish don't do well in a improper community. Good example is Blue Green Chromis Fish.
I had about a dozen. They schooled so nicely when small for a year and a bit.
Then came the territory fights, and dominance assertion. Alway one fish was not allowed to eat till it died.
One by one they killed off the weakest fish.
I only have one left.

My hope and why I posted is can I enjoy a Clown Trigger in my 90G or 110G for a few years?
 
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Sorry to hear about some of your experiences. I cannot say for sure whether a few years would be okay for them, but they do grow very quickly so I’m not sure if that would be a good idea. As they grow they also become a lot more aggressive.

What are your oldest fish by the way? I’m a bit surprised your Lemonpeel outgrew a 90 TBH. Thought they only get to 5.5” and that’s for the largest specimen caught.

Do you see your Tangs needing to be re-homed eventually?
 

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Chromis seem to not always keep their numbers even in bigger tanks. I have heard about success in large tanks but some say they have to be fed like Anthias at least 2-3x a day to stand a better chance at having no attrition. Some also question whether all of the “Blue-Green Chromis” for sale are actually of one species. There’s another similar kind called the Black-Axil but who knows? The “Blue-Green Chromis” could include more than the actual Blue-Green and the Black Axil.

Love your Watanabei angel by the way.
 
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Chromis seem to not always keep their numbers even in bigger tanks. I have heard about success in large tanks but some say they have to be fed like Anthias at least 2-3x a day to stand a better chance at having no attrition. Some also question whether all of the “Blue-Green Chromis” for sale are actually of one species. There’s another similar kind called the Black-Axil but who knows? The “Blue-Green Chromis” could include more than the actual Blue-Green and the Black Axil.

Love your Watanabei angel by the way.
Well the Lemon Peel had to go for two reasons. He became a bully, but the bigger reason is he started picking at my corals.
It was actually an amazing story how I caught him.
He barely fit into the Acrlic Trap box. But I tried. Took a few days.
He went in for food. I pulled the string, Trap door fell on his rear, and it scared him into the Trap.
Boy was he upset.

Yes the Wanatabei is nice. He is getting Fat.
I actually bought a pair (Male/Female). Lost one during QT.
Couldn't believe it. The Female jumped out of QT. It was covered except for the Filter Flow Area.
I would have expected a Wrasse, Blenny or even a Goby to jump, but not a Wanatabei.
 
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Chromis seem to not always keep their numbers even in bigger tanks. I have heard about success in large tanks but some say they have to be fed like Anthias at least 2-3x a day to stand a better chance at having no attrition. Some also question whether all of the “Blue-Green Chromis” for sale are actually of one species. There’s another similar kind called the Black-Axil but who knows? The “Blue-Green Chromis” could include more than the actual Blue-Green and the Black Axil.

Love your Watanabei angel by the way.
BTW. I found a Photo of the Wanatabei Pair.

2018-05-31_AngelPairTub.jpg


And here is the Angel. It WAS NOT a Lemon Peal Angel it was with was a Spot Breast Angel.

This was him when I got him. So pretty, so cute :)

2019-07-15_SpotBreastAngelYoung.jpg


And a while later (Maybe 2 years+) . Still Pretty.

2019-07-15_1-SpotBreastAngel2.jpg


When he became a Big MEAN BULLY!! I switched him from my SPS tank to my Mixed Reef tank...hoping for an improvment.
....but right away he took over and established his dominance.

2019-07-15_SpotBreastAngelNow.jpg


The TRAP Catch

2019-07-16_AngelFishCaught1.jpg


And the trip back to the store
2019-07-16_AngelFishCaught2.jpg


Maybe the Clownfish going into my 90 Gallon is a bad idea after all.

I'll just care for him in the 10Gallon QT. Easy to do weekly water changes from my DT to keep water clean.
When he get's to big. Fat, and healthier. He will go back to the same store for a Credit.

Or why not give it a try for a few years, and use the TRAP again? The Clown Trigger would probably go for the Trap (Food is a perfect lure for a Hungry Fish)
 
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lefkonj

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Get that puppy in the big tank ASAP. No reason to wait, he will be fine. Triggers grow in aggression as they get larger but you will be able to keep it longer if he is introduced while he is very small. Be prepared as he gets larger your CUC will become snack food. I got mine at that size and popped him right in with my 12" Tangs and rabbit fish. I would also try to get your hand in the tank often otherwise he will start to bite you when you do things in the tank. Won't do any damage just startling.
IMG_1735.JPG
 
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WallyB

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Get that puppy in the big tank ASAP. No reason to wait, he will be fine. Triggers grow in aggression as they get larger but you will be able to keep it longer if he is introduced while he is very small. Be prepared as he gets larger your CUC will become snack food. I got mine at that size and popped him right in with my 12" Tangs and rabbit fish. I would also try to get your hand in the tank often otherwise he will start to bite you when you do things in the tank. Won't do any damage just startling.
IMG_1735.JPG

I have been considering the move. Like you say. Sooner the better to get him aquainted to his tank mates while he is smaller and not Instantly the Dominant Fish.

Not much CUC in the reef tank so no worries there. Sure the cleaner shrimp will have to be careful.

My goal in the 10Gallon QT beside the 30 day quarentine was training him on Pellets. He now loves them along with mixed Frozen.

He has been eatting Nori from my Hand (with tweezers) as well.

So it will be certainly interesting to add him to my Reef Tank since he will face two very agressive Tangs. They yellow one is a side kick bully, but the Purple Tang quite the bully to any new fish.

I have a acclimation box so I'll try that first and see who gets angry as who, and to what degree. Before I release him to watch sparks fly!
 
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DECISION MADE ( Keeping Clown Trigger Fish, doing TANK SWAP with Box Fish )

I've been back on forth on what to do with the Clown Trigger.
Putting him into the 90 or 110G would never be long term no matter what.
In Both cases he would overload my filtration system.
And once he grow to big, difficult tank teardown to get him out.

The Box fish in my 35 Gallon was nice, but he seems to enjoy any setup while small, and he really need a low flow setup.

The box fish would go perfect with mypeaceful Pair of Fathead Anthias in the Refuge of my Sump.

That would free up the 35 Gallon Tank which is nothing but live rock and two Picasso Clowns.
That's where the Clown Trigger can go for a short term grow up.

The 35 Gal tank doesn't have a skimmer but it's filtration is unique. I run a Auto Water changer and it changes water daily (3%) or 90% every month. It has a Algae scrubber built into it so even better.

Today I moved the Box Fish into the Refuge and tomorrow I'll move the Trigger out of the 10 Gallon QT.

2021-04-15_ClownTrigger-BoxFish.jpg
 
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