Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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seba 08-19-2008 06:53 PM

worm? pics
does anyone know what kind of worm this is, should I keep it or try to remove it, It is about an inch long, white hairs, orange and white colour.

aquakid 08-19-2008 07:19 PM

The worm you have in your tank is a fire worm and it usually hitchhiking on live rock. I had the same thing when i got my first piece of live rock but then i read up about it. i would highly reccomend you remove it because it is poisionous and can kill corals and fish it is also POISIONOUS TO HUMANS so wear gloves when removing it!!!!!! :(

seba 08-19-2008 09:56 PM

How do i go about removing it i have only seen it twice in the last 6 months, is there a trap i can set?

iamntbatman 08-19-2008 10:05 PM

I can't ID that worm for you, but I know that bristleworms are a bad thing and that many reef keepers want to get rid of them. If you can't catch it by hand, they make traps for them:

Not sure about this, but you might also try the water bottle trick: get an empty disposable water bottle, take the lid and label off. Cut the top off about 1/2 inch or so below where the bottle neck stops tapering and becomes a solid cylinder. Invert this top and stick it back in the rest of the bottle. Put some sort of bait in there and sink it into your aquarium and put it near where the worm lurks. I'm not 100% positive this will work, but I've used these bottle traps before to catch really annoying, hard-to-catch fish before.

Cody 08-19-2008 10:17 PM

That is a Bristleworm, not a fire worm.

Some say you should remove them. I myself have a couple digging around in my tank and do no harm whatsoever. Its when they reach the size of over 4-5" is when they go bad. They are pretty good for your sandbed if you keep them around.

SKAustin 08-19-2008 11:29 PM

Aquakid, please get your facts straight before posting.

That is, as Cody has indicated, a common bristleworm, a very common hitchhiker on live rock.
Many will tell you this is a pest. If you touch it, your fingers will
agree that it's a pest. It is, however, NOT A PEST. Until this thing
gets as big around as a pencil, it is fine. They are actually a
formidable asset in cleaning up the carcases of livestock that
might die off in a back corner or behind your rock, where you
cannot easily reach. They do not bother your corals or fishes
unless they're dead. Several species of Wrasses, Copperbanded
Butterflyfish and Arrow Crabs are all suppose to eat bristleworms.
The coral banded shrimp are also said to eat the bristleworms.
I have seen this on occasion, but not in any abundance. There are
also special traps that can be purchased from most LFS. They are
inexpensive, and relatively simple to use. But again, your tank will
benefit from these scavengers. Their over-abundance in your
system could be an indication of overfeeding. These worms are not poisonous, but they do hurt.

In the event you ever accidentally touch a bristleworm, your
fingers will look like this:

Carefully remove as many of the bristles as possible with a piece
of duct tape, then Soak your hands in vinegar or rubbing alcohol
for a few minutes and the remaining bristles will begin to desolve.
The lesson you will have learned the hard way is;

Always wear gloves when reaching in your tank. :D

xosux 08-22-2008 07:16 PM

Cody and SKAustin are correct and i have them in my main tank and in my refugium and they are great until they get so big that they start moving things around and getting into trouble which is about 4"-5" as stated.

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