Is there some kind of fish-war going on?


New member
Let me begin by offering a brief history.

I've been in the hobby for more than 10 years and this is my third set-up.

January 2014:
I added 2 Australian Black Clownfish, RBTA and Yellow Eye Kole Tang. Everyone lived together peacefully, while I stared at the tank every day mentally communicating with the clowns, "Into the anemone"¦ into the anemone"¦ into the anemone..." The clowns and the tang hung out together and it was a friendly little neighborhood.

April 2014:
Yay! The clownfish bonded with the anemone around April 27 :lolspin:. All was right the world, and anyone who came over to my house was treated to a fish-lover's long winded tale about clownfish and anemones. Now the tang began to look a little lonely because the clowns weren't swimming with him as much as before, and was often seen swimming and eating by himself.

May 2
I got a cleaner shrimp to add to the set-up so the tang would have someone to hang out with - I mean how cool is that when a fish stops in for a "wash and wax?"

May 10
I noticed the female clown would spend more time in the rocks behind the anemone by herself. I thought maybe she would lay eggs? Other than that, things seemed fine - all other inhabitants were perfectly fine. My brother-in-law, who used to keep marine fish was looking at my tank telling me he needed to get back into the hobby - a proud moment for any reefer.

May 11 (Mothers Day)
Got up in the morning to check the tank (as always). It was early. Clowns were in the RBTA, and tang was bobbing up and down behind the rocks. 2 hours later female clown was dead. Male was in the RBTA and tang was swimming near the back of the rocks where female would occasionally hang out - this sucked so bad :facepalm:. I speculated that she was either trying to lay eggs and something went wrong, or she and the tang got into it after laying eggs. In any event, it didn't make sense. I removed her and tested the water - all good.

May 13
Not being patient, I added another clown - slightly smaller than the original male. I watched as both clowns tried to be subservient to the other, until the original clown started to show more dominant behavior. Original stayed in the RBTA and new stayed on other side of tank, but slowly moved closer to original. When sleeping, original slept in RBTA and new slept near the top of the water line.

May 17
Upon feeding fish, new was very near RBTA. Original let him, but definitely let it be known who was in charge. At one point when original jutted at the new, the new jumped into RBTA - this was only for a few seconds and he left. At night they slept separately. Tang was sleeping in his usual spot behind rocks.

May 18
When I checked the tank first thing (before lights come on), I saw the two clownfish in the RBTA - they were awake, but hanging out. I honestly thought this was way too soon for them to bond :love1:, but hey"¦ why not? Upon closer examination, I see something that doesn't look quite right - it's the tang, in the sand just below the anemone. Looking beat up and the crabs are moving in. I'm not sure if he was spit out by the RBTA or not. Still too dark to tell.

My reaction: What the hell :angryfire:!?

Sorry to be lengthy here, but I would like to know if anyone has theories here.

My wife and I are big Breaking Bad fans, so the tank has a theme - original clownfish are named Walt and Skyler, Tang was named Mike, RBTA is named 308 Negra Arroyo (ok we are such the geeks).

My wife's theory - Heisenberg did it :bum:. She thinks the original male clownfish is the culprit.

Any ideas? I just don't get it.

All water params are good.


New member
Those are terrible names. Two of out the three characters died with horrible death. I think the two original clowns are pinkman and jane. And the tang was probably hank.


New member
Posting a pic of the tang is problematic. The crabs dragged it under a rock behind the RBTA. It essentially has no color and no eyes. U


New member
Those are terrible names. Two of out the three characters died with horrible death. I think the two original clowns are pinkman and jane. And the tang was probably hank.

There was a movie quote I recall, "Never put a name on something you may have to eat someday."

While I don't intend to actually eat the fish, symbolically I ate them because of cost.


New member
Sounds like you may have a disease issue, can you post pictures of the tang?

If I have a disease issue, how do I know what disease and how to treat? Neither the tang or the clown showed any obvious signs of something wrong. I watch them very closely every day for signs of something wrong, and in this case there was nothing noticeable.

Without knowing what it is, it's very hard to treat. I am not adding anything to the tank and will continue to watch the clowns for any signs of stress.


New member
Yeah I know. Before I pick up my next fish I am going to set up QT. For now, nothing new for a couple months until I see how things go from here.


New member
72 gallon. Last thing I added was the cleaner shrimp before all this chaos started. Other than that, I haven't added anything for months.