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Old 05-06-2003, 11:22 PM   #1
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feather duster is being attacked by hermits

I just purchased a feather duster today, and 10 mins after it was in my tank about 4 (red & blue legged) hermits swarmed on it and started to pick away. I've since taken the feather duster out and placed it in quarantine with the intention of returning it to the lfs tomorrow.

I assume that if I left it it the tank the hermits would continue to pick until the worm was dead. Everything I could find on feather dusters lead me to believe that the hermits wouldn't be a problem. Is this common? Would the hermits stop before doing any real damage? Or was I crazy to put the feather duster in the tank in the first place?

Any advice before I go back to the lfs in the morning would be greatly appreciated!!!


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Old 05-06-2003, 11:29 PM   #2
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That is one of the inherent problems with hermits. You never know what they are going to do. You may try again in the am, feed the hermits before you put the duster in, I've never had a problem with hermits going after dusters, but lot's of SW critters will produce excess slime when they are first introduced to the aquarium, and the slime just makes them smell tasty to the critters.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:39 AM   #3
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i'm still a novice so take this with a grain of salt... (no pun intended)

could it be because of this excess slime and perhaps just other tasty bits on the outside of the worm that the hermits were just "cleaning" the worm's casing? loganizzi, when you say they swarmed it, were they trying to dig at the opening of the worms tube (where it comes out) or were they just scavenging along the length of the tube?
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:16 PM   #4
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They are scavenging along the length, but I assume that if left to continue they will eventually break through. No one is bothering the opening of tube (yet). Should I give it some time and see if they start to ignore it. If I do give it time, how long should I wait and how will I know if the situation has gone critical?

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Old 05-07-2003, 02:08 PM   #5
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I have been reading lots of horror stories lately about hermits being very destructive & I'm really considering not including them in this next tank I'm planning.
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:19 PM   #6
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We had that problem also when we first got ours, what we did is put a piece of pvc piping around the feather duster, this way because the pvc was slippery they couldn't climb up it and it gave the feather a chance to adapt to the tank, occasionally we will see a hermit going up the trunk if that's what it's called but I usually just relocate them somewhere else.
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:07 PM   #7
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I have a feather duster and hermits and it is doing well. They climb all over it and keep it clean, but none have picked so much as to harm it. I am not saying they won't, JME...
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:22 PM   #8
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I decided to keep the feather duster for the day and see how it goes. I did notice that there was a fuzzy film on the stalk which seems to be what the hermits are picking at. I have not seen any "critical" damage yet, other than they keep knocking the thing over.

I'm going to keep it under observation...
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