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Old 10-23-2004, 10:58 PM   #1
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Bristleworms Worms Attacking Wrasse?

A friend of mine recently aquired a 20 gallon SW aquarium with live rock, sand, Chromis and a Maroon Clown. When he got it home...he also realized he had a Flatworm problem and ton of Bristlworms ranging from tiny to 4-5 inches long.

Upon recommendations from LFS, he purchased a Six Line Wrasse...which should take care of both problems.

The Problem is now that the bristleworms appear to be attacking the Wrasse when it tries sleep. He has witnessed several worms biting fins and tail, and that the Wrasse is showing signs of stress and possible Ick. The Clown and Chromis do not appear to be bothered as they do not sleep within the Live Rock as the Wrasse does.

Any ideas on how to thin out the bristleworms in the tank without harming other inverts. Any recommendations on what to do with the Wrasse? Should he be put in a QT?

Any recommendations would he helpful!

Thanks!
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90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 10-23-2004, 11:40 PM   #2
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I have a Six line Wrasse and I'd like to see a Bristle worm mess with him.

I never heard of Bristle worms attacking fish.

Pick up a worm trap and get'em out if they are really a problem.

Anyway if he's got Ich he's got bigger problems than the worms

BTW: a 20 gallon is too small for a Six line. They like a lot of room and tons of LR.
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Corals: Assorted Mushrooms | Green Button Polyps | Toadstool Leather | Pulsing Xenia | Clove Polyps | Star Polyps | FrogSpawn | Branching Hammer | Candy Cane | Zoos | Ricordea | Open Brain | Bubble |
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Old 10-23-2004, 11:50 PM   #3
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i would assume the wrasse was stressed forst which caused the worms to sense food. Anyway arrow crabs do a good job of eating bristle worms, but they are a little delicate and if the wrasse is showing signs of ick the water quality is probably poor. Bristle worms are usually beneficial y he wanna get rid of them?
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Old 10-24-2004, 03:45 PM   #4
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I've never heard of bristle worms attaching fish either unless the fish is on it's way out. You can make homemade bristle worm traps but proping the end of a pair of panyhose open and placing meat in the toe end. The bristtle worm wil get caugh in the netting.

IMO, they are beneficial to any tank and I've never had a problem with them.
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Old 10-24-2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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You sure they are bristle worms?
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150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

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1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

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Old 10-25-2004, 02:14 PM   #6
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Update:

Upon recommendation of LFS (and perhaps the sale of $100 worth of items to sell him), it was recommended that he dismantle the entire tank, replace all the substrate (as it was probably infested with brittleworms), replace the substrate with live sand, put some "live bacteria" in so the tank will not need to cycle.

Also...put the Live Rock in Cold Fresh water...which should make the bristleworms leave the rock...and if that is not enough....BOIL the LIVE ROCK....which will essentially make it DEAD ROCK, and kill the bristleworms...along with everything else

This sounded a little excessive to me....I went over to see what was going on...and by that time....at least 200 bristleworms (some 1/4 inch wide and 6 inches long) had been removed from the 20lbs of Live Rock (not including the "whole bunch" that was seen as they threw out the old substrate) that he has in the tank. It does sound like that may have been infested...has anyone ever had that may bristleworms in a tank in only 20lbs of live rock?

Anyway....I'm sure his tank and occupants will be in for a rocky road for the next few weeks...

Does anyone think this was the correct action to take? To me...It seemed a little too much...

Thanks
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90 Gallon Fresh Water Planted w/ CO2:
7 Brilliant Rasbora, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Dwarf Neon Rainbows, 1 Red Tailed Shark, 2 American Flag Fish, 4 Skunk Botia Loaches

40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

3 Gallon Eclipse:
1 Goldfish (won free at a fair...cost $50 in equipment)
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:31 PM   #7
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Probably excessive. I did have a predatory kind of bristleworm (from the Carribean/Gulf I believe...I got LRs.com LR) as I caught it munching on my star polyps and later my Xenias. I think only a few bristleworms are predatory, the rest are supposedly harmless.
A lot of the beneficial bacteria may have been killed in the process.
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:53 PM   #8
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my six line got his eye stung and it was swollen for several months. But I think th eworm got the best of the deal, dont have many bristles anymore!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:54 PM   #9
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my six line got his eye stung and it was swollen for several months. But I think th eworm got the best of the deal, dont have many bristles anymore!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 11:32 PM   #10
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I busted a bristleworm with his mug all up in a brain coral of mine. Since then I have no mercy on the pest. There are/is in fact a "fire" bristle of some sort that can be a real pain, but all bristle worms are opportunistic feeders. In my case, he poked his head into one of the existing holes in my open brain. (Where the tentacle sticks out) Most likely dining out what was inside. I setup a make shift trap and caught nothing. Couple in my tank are relatively long, so I went ahead and bought a 6 line. I haven't checked lately, but no further signs of wormage. Fine by me. Some folks are of the opinion they are beneficial. I am not of that opinion but I suppose there is something to the idea that they help keep the sand sifted, though, not in my tank. In your case (20G) with as much worm as you seem to imply, your infested. An infestation of anything is bad, even if its as cute as a crab. Too many makes for miserable pets. Anyway, if there were as many as you seem to suggest, you can place the LR in 1.041 or so sg salt water. Just about every invert in the rock should bail within a few minutes. This is less stressful on beneficial bacterial than using 'fresh' water. BTW I hope you didnt use tap 'fresh' water, RO or RO/DI water is as 'fresh' as it gets in sw terms. You can even go so far as to place all the rock in a temp holding bucket/tub/tank etc and turn over the sand. DO NOT use your hand as the worms can leave little fibreglass like deposits in you. Not terribly life threatening, more along the pain the arse kind of thing, like having played with insulation, can bother you for weeks. You can then 'hunt' the worms yourself. (Of course youll need to drain some water first and place the fishes in it.) They are quick little buggers...Essentially as your lfs recommended, turning over the sand. Replacing the substrate is kind of a big deal. Yes you can use Bio Spira or the like (Though I am not aware of anything else personally) to cycle the tank, but it will take about 48 hours or so, maybe less since its 20G, check the directions, however, you'll need to accommodate the lr/fishaz whilst you play in their sand box. You could, of course, simply clean the lr as suggested and spring for a new 20G, cycle it then move everything, but no promise that you will have rid yourself of all the worms, only to find yourself staring at one in another 6 months. Anyway, 20G (Step up on soap box) is not really a place for the wrasse. They are jumpers and like lots of room. 6 line may do fine, but honestly, thats a little cramped. (Step down)
Either way, best of luck to ya.
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