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Old 05-23-2008, 01:54 PM   #1
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Angry best bristle worm trap to save the clams

Yesterday my oldest maxima clam looked funny, its siphon was gaping open, mantle retracted and not reactive to tapping - it was dead. I took it out, dissected it and found 3x 2 inch bristle worms eating away inside. This clam was vibrantly health previously and doubled in size since I got her 12months ago; it was buried in the sand up to the mantle. I know bristle worms are great detrivours, but I have many other clams, which are now in QT. So at midnight I sneaked up to the tank and shined my red light army-surpus flashight in the rocks and I saw lots of them, some as long a 5+ inches. I need to get them out. My LFSs agree with me.

I already have a 6-line wrasse, be he is asleep at night. I do not want more crabs or shrimp.

What traps have worked for people before and for how long did they use them. My LFS lent me the coralife trap that comes with bait. They, showed me to make the trap with a plastic bottle, saran wrap and a "x" slashed in the opening. They told me about the panty hose trap... I am ready to blanket the tank with 100 traps if that is what it takes.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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Why are you so quick to blame the bristle worms? They are probably just feeding on an already dead carcass.

Most bristle worms are simple scavangers, but there are a few species, such as the bright red fire worm, that will eat polyps, clams etc.

You can try an Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) to control them if you must.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Lightbulb bristle worms, fireworms, when in doubt throw it out

I know there is controversy regarding bristle worms. But, Im telling you the clam was fine one day, then dead and having worms in it the next. I already have sand sifting stars, a sea cucumber and dozens of snails/crabs that clean up fine. The LFSs nearby that retail large volumes of clams say they work hard to get them out, even the "harmless ones." The worms, look unattractive and made me feel wierd sticking my hand in the tank at night - I would prefer them attached to a hook as bait.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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Your best bet is to experiment with various trap designs because any livestock you add to eradicate bristleworms can also feed upon your clams including that 6line Take into consideration that some species can also reproduce asuexually.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:21 PM   #5
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I'm inclined to think that the cause of death to your clam was something other then the worms. Bristleworms are opportunistic feeders and they probably went into the clam after it died. I had a fish die on me and with in a matter of an hour or so it was covered with bristleworms. I doubt that the worms harmed the fish it died and they were feasting on it.

Just a suggestion but you may want to test your water and make sure that something isn't out of whack. I'm not saying that it couldn't have been due to the worms but I doubt it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #6
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arrow crab worse than bristle worms?

CMORE, I hear arrow crabs hunt small fish & eat coral?
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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Yep, they are known to spear fish and inverts.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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Reefs.org: Where Reefkeeping Begins on the Internet - Phylum Annelida -- Polychaetes,the bristleworms, Rob Toonen Aquarium.Net May 1997
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #9
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Crabs are opportunistic feeders. If they can catch it they will eat it. That's why I don't have any crabs in my tank (ok, I do have one hermit crab left).
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rayray View Post
The worms, look unattractive and made me feel wierd sticking my hand in the tank at night - I would prefer them attached to a hook as bait.
Whether or not the bristleworm caused the clam's death... no one will ever know for sure. But if you go down the road to rid yourself of all bristleworms, just be aware you're starting a battle you'll never win. As long as you have rock and sand, you'll have bristleworms.
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