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Old 07-11-2004, 03:47 PM   #1
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So do bristleworms harm clams?

I read somewhere that they will eat clams.
I also read somewhere else that this is a misconception. This person felt the clams were on their way out, and clams go quickly they said, often overnight. This left the aquarist to wake up and find bristleworms scurrying out of the new-empty clam shell, causing the aquarist to believe the worms had eaten the live clam, when it actuality they had eaten the remains.

I've read all over this site that as long as you don't have a certain kind (which I did, when the LR first came in...the bright orange/red one with a blick stripe down its "back) they're excellent sand-stirrers and detritus consumers. So, my question is... are bristleworms really harmful to clams? I'm considering buying some GARF grunge or some LR rubbles and I don't want to introduce bristleworms if they really are harmful to my clam. Thanks all!

125 gallon saltwater: 55gal sump, 4 Blue-Green Chromis, Purple Tang, True Perc, Firefish, Royal Gramma, 5 Ricordea, Bubble Coral, 15 Pulsing Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Deresa clam, Green-Tip Torch Coral (about 11 "heads"!), Orange Montipora Cap, Purple M. Digitata, Green Slimer Acro. Yongei, 3 Orange M. Digitata, Pink&Green Acro. Millepora
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:27 PM   #2
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IMO, bristle worms are great! I have several clams as well as some HUGE bristle worms and have never had a problem. I do belive that they get a bad reputation for the reasons you mentioned. When clams are ill they put out a smell as sort of a defense, but it actually attracts animals such as bristle worms and hermit crabs.

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Old 07-11-2004, 05:41 PM   #3
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i have seen them eat my zoo in my tank. he is now liveing in a new home (the sump) i will never have them in the main tank again. if they show there face they get a free trip to the sump.
A 46 gal bow front (Soft coral) reef tank with a 10 gal sump. And a 30 gal (SPS and Clam) reef tank hooked up to the sump of the 46 so they share water.
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Old 07-12-2004, 09:35 AM   #4
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Bristleworms get a bad wrap because they are one of the first to show up after a fish, coral, clam is dead/dieing. The common aquarium bristleworm is not a killer but more or less a cleanup machine. They will detect dead/dying flesh and go to it to consume. Often folks will say that they killed their clam because one day the clam "LOOKS" ok and the next day the shell is totally empty and there are a ton of worms around the shell.

There really isnt alot of flesh in the clam since most of its body is inflated with water. When the clam dies off a shall can easily be cleaned out in a night.
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clam, clams

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