Bristle Worms- Harmless? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 11-01-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Bristle Worms- Harmless?

Hey everyone recently I have been seeing some really large bristle worms on the live rock in my 125 gallon. Some of them are >4 inches. What should I do about them. Currently there are not my inverts or corals but eventually I want to move to a reef tank. Should I buy one of those traps to get rid of the critters or should I leave them where they are. Any information would be helpful.

My Tanks:
(1) 125 Gallon Saltwater FOWLR
(1) 55 Gallon Community
(2) 29 Gallons -Livebearers - Saltwater (Live rock)
(2) 10 Gallons -Dwarf Puffers
(1) 2 Gallon- Baby tank
(3) 1 Gallons- Baby Livebearers
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post #2 of 2 Old 11-01-2009, 10:51 PM
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If you get a long tweezers you can usually pluck the bigger ones out pretty easily. Just be careful not to touch them. Their spines are near invisible once they get into your skin, which makes them near impossible to remove. They hurt horribly and can cause infection in fingers and hands.
When I have plucked bristle worms I drop them into a cup and when done, just dump them into the garbage. I'm always careful to wrap them good in foil or paper toweling just in case someone sticks a hand in the garbage or the dog's nose finds its way in.
If they aren't hurting anything you can just leave them alone. I like to pull them once they get 4 - 5 inches because at that size they have the potential to harm reef animals. If you have alot of them or they appear to be getting that big in a short period of time, you might want to reevaluate how much for you are putting into the tank at a time, and how often. Unless the tank has been set up for a very very long time, bristle worms stay small and few if there is not an overload of food supply for them.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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