Two False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
Initially bought two clownfish together, but one became a loner when its companion jumped out of the tank. A very lively and peaceful fish. I hope it lives for many years. Added a new companion and the old-timer initially went after the newcomer, but they coexist peacefully now, except for the occasional nip by the oldtimer. Both fish have avid appetites. Since there's no anemone in the tank, they hang out in a green open brain (Trachyphillia geoffroyi) as a surrogate host. Both can be found deeply snuggled in the open brain at night.
One Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis dutoiti)
I kept a pair of Stenopus with my four Peppermint shrimps and I think the Stenopus ate the smaller Peppermints, but then I added a neon dottyback the same length as the Stenopus to the tank and a month later, the two Stenopus were gone. This all happened in a 20-gallon reef system. I have no doubts that it was the Pseudochromis that ate my Stenopus. I wonder if the Pseudochromis attacked the Stenopus right after a molt. The way the dottyback voraciously attacks food and goes after my hermit crabs and a six-line wrasse (now gone from the tank) has earned the dottyback the nickname the Terminator. The shape of the Pseudochromis also allows it to hunt after its prey in every nook and cranny of your tank. Pseudochromis are very beautiful fish, but they can also be very territorial and deadly to other inhabitants of your reef tank. When I purchased this fish at Seascapes, it was in a tank full of live rock. The owner of the store had to take out every piece of rock to capture the dottyback. He finally had to take the last piece of live rock out and the dottyback wriggled out of one of the rock's holes.
R.I.P., rest in peace. Cautionary notes on fish that existed in the tank, but have departed to that great big reef in the sky…
R.I.P. Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexateaenia)
A lively and inquisitive fish. The purple and red stripes and green tail of this pygmy wrasse give it a unique color combination. This fish dances in and out of the live rock like a miniature submarine. I was so depressed when I found its dried out carcass outside of the tank. I think the reason this fish and a clown jumped is because for a short time I had a four-inch fan pointed straight down into the 20G tank to increase the evaporation rate. Later, I added another six line wrasse after I had added a neon dottyback; a stupid mistake in a 20G tank. Maybe there wouldn't be a problem in a larger tank, but the neon dottyback immediately went after the the six line wrasse. The neon dottyback would peck at the wrasse and grab with its jaws, the wrasse's thin nose and mouth. I couldn't retrieve the wrasse without tearing up my 20G, so I just hoped things would settle down. Today, the wrasse is nowhere to be found. I learned an important lesson; be sure to check fish/species compatibility before you add any new inhabitants to your tank. I will probably have a six line wrasse in my 50G.
R.I.P. Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
Purchased a 3-inch specimen to help control the hair algae problem in the tank. Its bright yellow color livens up any tank. The big eyes and small mouth make this a very cute fish. I saw many yellow tangs while snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Was planning on transferring the fish to a 50G once it was set up. This fish did fine for about a month, but then it suddenly died. I'm not sure of the cause. It had a light case of black spot disease, but it appeared to be recovering. Accepted only Formula One frozen food at first, but it soon was accepting OSI Marine Flake Food. It also grazed on the hair algae in the tank as evidence by the fibrous fecal matter it would produce. Found it with its snout in the maws of a bristle star. There were already holes in the fish where its major internal organs previously existed.