Watch This Fish Sabotage Its Tank Mate

The tropical fish in this tank just can’t seem to get along.  As one fish industriously scoops and spits sand away from its cave, a second fish is busy scooping and spitting that sand right back into the cave’s opening.

This second fish is actively engaging in sabotage, a word that can be used as a noun or a verb.  The verb means to ‘to ruin, destroy, or disable deliberately and maliciously’ while the noun is the ‘ruination or destruction’ of something.  The word entered the English lexicon in the early 1910s and stems from the French word saboteur which means to ‘to make a noise with sabots, to perform or execute badly.’  

The two fish at odds with each other appear to be Gobies, a type of fish known for being sifters of sand and dwell at the bottom of oceans.  Gobies are burrowers and use their mouths to dig into the sea bottom to shift sand away from their burrows.  Appearing to help its friend digging the cave, a Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish attempts to place its body between the warring gobies.  Why the lighter colored Goby is upset with its darker colored counterpart to the point that it is trying to sabotage the creation of its burrow, who knows?



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