Guilded Triggerfish ♂ (Xanthichthys auromarginatus)

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Guilded Triggerfish ♂
Xanthichthys auromarginatus
Guilded Triggerfish ♂ (Xanthichthys auromarginatus)
Name Guilded Triggerfish ♂
Name Lat. Xanthichthys auromarginatus
Synonym Balistes auromarginatus
Family Triggerfishes
Family lat. Balistidae
Order Puffers & Filefishes
Order lat. Tetraodontiformes
Origin Indo-Pacific
Habitat Seaward reefs
Diet Planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, pair, group
Reef Compatible With caution
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 20 cm
Temperature 24-27 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 600 l
US Units
Size 8"
Temperature 75-81 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 150 gal

Distribution and habitat

Xanthichthys auromarginatus are widely distributed from the east coast of Africa through Indonesia and Australia to Japan and Hawaii. They mostly live in loose groups on outer reefs with strong currents in more than 20 m water depth.


They require a well-structured reef aquarium (rock and stone structures) with caves, crevices and live stones that act like a biological filter, as well as sufficient swimming space, a strong current and coarse-grained sand surfaces. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand may be used.

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must be appropriate for the species' day-night rhythm

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


In nature they feed mainly on zooplankton. The feed conversion is unproblematic. The diet consists of a vitamin-enriched, frozen food mix for planktivores, supplemented with algae and hard-shelled food (small shrimp, krill, mysis, etc.) to wear down their regrowing teeth. High-quality flake and granulated food is also accepted without problems

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They are peaceful triggerfish that can be socialized well with other fish that are not too small. Keeping a group is only possible in a much larger, richly structured tank.

Sex dimorphism

Males have yellow fringed fins and a blue spot in the chin region, which females lack.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium


They can make distinctly audible noises. As coral reef dwellers, they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium. They can be kept without problems with corals and with frequent and varied feeding also with other invertebrates

Technical equipment such as heating rods and cables should be inaccessible to the triggerfish to prevent them from chewing on them

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. Newly introduced fish must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: petdata

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; PATZNER & MOOSLEITNER (1999): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 6, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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