Holy Copepods, Bristle Man!
So, I was doing a red light inspection of my newly established 55-gallon FOWLR because I was looking for my pesky bristle worm which I'm trying to catch with a trap I made from a water bottle. I think I saw two bristle worms and some other tiny wormie, but they didn't seem to like coming out while I was looming over them. I would just rather address them now before I find out that I have bad wormies.
What was really interesting was that after a while of holding my red light over the corner of the tank, I eventually ended up with a swarm of little specks that were attracted to the red light. I never realized how many copepods I had, especially in a tank only a few months old! And to think that I was about to spend money for them at the LFS to add to the refugium. :roll:
This night viewing thing is just as fun as staring at my tank during the day, except my eyes can't handle it very long. :shock:
Bristle worms are not pests. Contrary to what some may say, they are actually quite beneficial to the system. They are scavengers, and consume detritus, left over food, and livestock carcases. unless your bristle worms are as big as a pencil, I would leave them there to do their cleaning.
yeah... the more I think about it, and the more I read, I think that I'll probably end up leaving them for the time being, I certainly could use the extra help keeping the tank clean. but I will be keeping an eye on everything at night, I hear that those worms grow and multiply very quickly.
I wouldnt say they are fast growers, but I dont bother them unless they get very large. When they get large, they're pretty easy to catch. A pair of Kent Marine's grabbers, a large chunk of meaty food banded to a small piece of rock, and some patience. Find out where it comes out, put the food nearby, and have the grabbers make a arch over it's exit. when it comes out far enough, pinch it with the grabbers and move it over to the sump. (a refugium is a great place for the big ones)
that actually addresses a question I was about to post another thread about... What livestock is normally recommended to place in a refugium. Mine is a very small hang-on refugium though, I'm not even sure it would be big enough for a large worm. My heater barely fits.
interesting... my bumble bee snail is hanging out around where the worm comes out of the rock... Is it possible that the snail is a natural predator of the bristle worm?
bumble bee snails are predators and will eat other snails too.
this might explain a few other problems as well... like my poor little starfish :-(
seriously though, these pods are everywhere! I'm gonna have to consider getting that red mandarin after all!
mandarins will deplete a pod population in no time. i believe in the wild they eat 400-500+ pods a day.
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