Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > Marine Fish Forums > Fish Only & Aggressive Tanks
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Old 01/20/2018, 02:57 PM   #1
Registered Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 70
Is this longhorn cowfish poisoning my triggerfish?

The video says it all, so it would be a waste of time to type (or read) the whole story. In short ... It seems that my cowfish might be giving my trigger daily doses of toxins to kill him slowly. I've never seen a fish die so slowly while also seeming physically healthy.

gernby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/21/2018, 10:22 AM   #2
Registered Member
Sweeper13's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northlake
Posts: 173
Found this on Liveaquaria.

Similar to other boxfish, the Cowfish Longhorn's skin is poisonous and, when threatened, it will release a toxin lethal to other tank members, including other Longhorns.

How are the other fish? The trigger could be getting stressed out. I had a Niger trigger doing fine and then just go the other way when I put a porc puffer in the tank. I would move Blue cheese to another tank, if not you may lose all, if it is poison GL

Current Puffers:
Mappa,Stellatus,Stars & Stripes,2 Porcupine,Midnight Dogface,Spiny Box Puffer.
Sweeper13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/21/2018, 11:54 AM   #3
Saltwater Addict
Dmorty217's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Vandalia OHIO
Posts: 11,364
If the trigger is nipping at the cowfish then it's a possiblity. I notice one of the horns is missing too. For the record I had one die while in QT in a 40g with 4 other fish and all the others weren't effected

Fish are not disposable commodities, but a worthwhile investment that can be maintained and enjoyed for many years, providing one is willing to take the time to understand their requirements and needs

Current Tank Info: 625g, 220g sump, RD3 230w, Vectra L1 on a closed loop, 3 MP60s, MP40. Several QTs
Dmorty217 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/21/2018, 01:44 PM   #4
Premium Member
humaguy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Western Ct, NYC
Posts: 8,225
No, that is not happening.

What size is that tank?
You have a fairly large sized Rhinecanthus assasi, that, in your video, seems to be acting like a trigger does. Except, he seems quite frustrated and I would bet that is due to tank size.

There is plenty of solid info around out there.

Good luck,


humaguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/21/2018, 02:23 PM   #5
Registered Member
Pslreefer's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Port St Lucie, FL
Posts: 565
Looks like tank size and water quality issues to me

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Pslreefer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01/21/2018, 02:26 PM   #6
Registered Member
lagatbezan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,097
I'm not an expert but my guess would be that if the cowfish is releasing toxins, wouldn't it effect other fish in the tank as well and not just the one fish? are you running carbon in the tank? Hopefully that can take the toxins out of the system maybe?
was the new fish qt before adding it to the tank? if not its possible that maybe some parasite was brought in like flukes or ich.

300g with velocity t4 for return and a Reflo dart on a closed loop, T5 lights & SRO3000 skimmer.

Current Tank Info: 300g
lagatbezan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01/22/2018, 09:08 AM   #7
Registered Member
McPuff's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,654
The trigger's behavior seems pretty normal given the circumstances. That said, I would take the trigger out of the tank and either trade it in or sell it to another aquarist. It's too big for the tank and those guys like to swim. Assasi triggers are not super common so I doubt you'll have much trouble finding a new home for him.

McPuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02/12/2018, 12:00 PM   #8
Registered Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 70
Thanks for all of the replies! I apologize for not posting back for so long.

It took 9 days for him to die, and it was painful to watch. I agree with many posts above that it was probably due to tank size. It is a 90 gallon bow front, which I thought would be sufficient for a fish his size. He was probably the "heaviest" fish I've ever had, due to his thickness, but his height and length wasn't any bigger than several Tangs I had in a 105 gallon reef. Anyway, I should have done more research about Triggers before buying him. I've had reef tanks for about 20 years, but this is my first "fish only" tank (sitting next to a 180 gallon extreme bowfront reef).

The cowfish, liofish, and snowflake eel seem to be doing fine, but I did have a really bad outbreak of ich after the trigger. I wound up separating the 2 aquariums, which had been sharing a sump, so that I could run copper. The ich outbreak wound up taking out a couple of the fish in my reef also, and almost killed my oldest Tang (I've had it for 13 years). Thankfully, after separating the tanks, raising the water temp from ~72 deg F to ~80 deg F, and adding 3 cleaner shrimp, the reef fish all seem virtually ich-free.

gernby is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:13 AM.

TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2019 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.