Originally Posted by Endless Ocean in My House
I had in my tank one tomato clown, and three damsels. I had a horseshoe crab as well, but he's always burrowed for days at a time and I'm not too worried about him.
They all got along great.
The past couple days, I have been a little busy and perhaps wasn't giving them as much care as I should--I was taking SG
tests and giving them flakes but maybe not enough.
Today, I noticed that the two smaller damsels were nowhere to be found. The largest damsel, for the first time, is coming up to the front and closer to the surface to get his food, while he would usually wait to grab a flake...
I rooted through the gravel, and I'm not seeing anything. No bodies, dead or alive.
So did the clown and the big damsel eat the others?
I think that's what happened, but I don't really know what to think!
Please don't rebuke me for not giving my fish proper care--obviously I've been taught a lesson!
There may never be a difinitive answer but there are things to look for. As mentioned, look in any filter boxes or behind any larger decorations. If they were being bullied, they could be in hiding. (I used to have fish hide underneath some of my coral decorations and I could only see them from underneath the tank.)
Since Saltwater is so corrosive, I've seen fish deteriorate overnight into nothing but a blob of gook that could have been taken up by your filter.
The most obvious to me sounds like if they died, the horseshoe crab ate them during the night. Horseshoes do come out in the dark and are great scavengers. I'm putting my money on this one
If your other fish killed and ate them, there would be carcasses because the fish wouldn't eat the heads and would leave a skeleton for you to find.
As I said, other than them hiding or in the filter, you will never know for sure what happened.
One suggestion, try not to disturb large areas of your gravel bed looking for bodies. It interferes with the bacteria beds that are existing on the gravel and you'll do more damage to your system than the 2 corpses will.
Hope this helps...