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Old 10-07-2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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Bristle Worms

I have a 12.5 gallon tank with 20lbs live rock and plenty of hitchhikers. Some are very lovely and interesting, while others give me nightmares...literally. I am on week 3 of cycling.

I know that bristle worms are good for your tank, so when I saw a few that were less than an inch crawling around, I didn't mind. Last night, I decided to look in my tank while the moon lights were on, and low and behold, a freaking HUGE bristle worm was slithering around! This sucker had to be about 5 inches (5 inches in 12.5 gallons seems like an Anaconda).

I will admit, I jumped into this without doing much research, but luckily I had some outside guidance and found this forum before I messed up, lol. I had NO idead how many creepy crawleys are involved in a SW aquarium. And quite frankly, I draw the line at 5 inch prickly worms. I am a girl, so I'm allowed to be a wimp, lol.

So please help me, what is the fastest, easiest and non-hand-in-water way to get rid of this worm?

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:03 PM   #2
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I personally think they are good janitors but a huge on like that in a small tank I`m thinking might need to come out. JMO

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #3
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yellow coris wrasse and coral banded shrimp will eat bristle worms but 5inches, u need a big wrasse/banded shrimps, so it probably won't happen in a 12gal tank.

if u really want it out, wear a thick glove, use a chopstick if u have one, or I used this Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Aquatic Gardener to get it out and put it in a small container.

and its actually not 5inches, it can probably pull itself up to 10inch+
I had one in my 46gal before, when I saw it, it was about 6inches, then at some point it turn to a corner and pull up to 12inch.....
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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They have traps for these types of things all over the internet. Just go to google and type in bristleworm or fireworm traps. You will get plenty of hits to choose from. Also.. it will be near impossible to get the bristlworm out manually because they are notorious for being flakey and falling into tiny little pieces when grabbed or moved. Then you will have dead pieces of bristlworms all over the place haha. Your best bet to do it manually.. would be to isolate it in an area on the sand.. and then scoop it up from the sand below it.. this way it wont feel threatened and wont break apart. Try using one of those green fish nets too.. just make sure the mesh netting is uber small so he can't slide through. Just make sure you don't touch it.. or it doesnt go after you.. ;D Just kidding.. it won't go after you.. unless your hand is decaying for some reason.. but anyways. Watch out because those bristles pack a nasty wallop. Like being stung by a hornet.

Good Luck! ;D
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Ehh, they are creepy but I have never had an issue with them.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #6
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Yeah I agree with roka since i've heard a good amount of people freaking out over them.. but rarely ever had problems with them. In small aquariums, maybe 60G's and under, i doubt there will ever be an issue with bristleworms. Assuming of course that you didn't happen to pick a piece of live rock that had a bristleworm that was a foot long hiding in there.. It's only when you start to get in to bigger tanks do bristleworms and fireworms begin to be a problem. Because then at that point.. they have room to roam and to grow a heck of a lot bigger. Like that one guy in ohio or something.. i forget.. But he had a 800 gallon tank, and continued to see coral heads and polyps disappearing over night. He watched over his tank for an entire 24 hours and found that a 4 foot bristleworm was destroying his coral. It was either 5 or 4 feet long.. forget which. Search on google and his gallery will pop up and you will be able to see just how enormous those worms get lol.

Sorry for the babeling, but anyways, most people just consider them to be a great part of their clean up crews because bristleworms eat detritus and other decaying matter.. so unless they are gigantic.. little harm if any at all will be done.
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the information everyone. I haven't seen him since last week, so I guess what I can't see won't bother me, lol. I'm just going to leave it be unless it becomes a problem.

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