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Old 12-04-2005, 05:01 PM   #1
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Coral eating worm

I have a terrible coral eating worm that I need help getting rid of. I believe that it is probably a Eunicid but I'm not sure. It's white and about 5-6 inches long. I have been trying to catch him for months and haven't had any luck. He only appears at night, usually right after lights out. He's eaten my Xenia and my Goniopora and now he's after my Pagoda. I've tied to catch him physically (net, tongs etc,) and with a baited soda bottle and nothing has worked. He's just way too fast and wary. He resides in a rock at the bottom of the reef tank and I would need to tear out everything just to get at the rock which I really don't want to do. I'm now considering biological warefare against him-- can any one recommend a crab or shrimp that might be able to catch and eat him (sally lightfoot, emerald crab, coral banded shrimp, etc.)? I've never had any of these so I would appreciate any recommendations. I realize that any predator that would go after a worm of this size may not be reef safe to other inverts but I really don't see that I have much choice. This worm has GOT TO GO!
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:59 PM   #2
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I dont know except one time I had something in my tank I could not catch and I just decided to tear it apart and get it. Unless someone comes up with a better idea you just cant let him keep killing you corals.Good Luck
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Old 12-04-2005, 06:24 PM   #3
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I agree you may be forced to remove the rock you know he's in. Then you could QT that rock and trap him. You could try a worm trap like this one. http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewIt...roduct=ES09550
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Old 12-05-2005, 02:51 PM   #4
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http://www.oregonreef.com/sub_worm.htm
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:33 PM   #5
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Umm Here is a suggestion have a bucket and hose ready once you turn your lights off locate the worm and start a syphon, slowly lower the hose in and try to suck him out. That has worked for me I had a worm problem it took a couple of nights to finally get it out. If not like fluff said corner him into a rock and just remove it. HTH
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:37 PM   #6
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A clear turkey baster has always worked for me. They do not see it coming.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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You'll never get near a Eunicid worm with a turkey baster. They retract like lightning and rarely do they extend themselves fully from their holes.

You can confirm you've got a Eunicid worm with a quick peek at my posted tank shots.

I have one that does tend to eat Xenia, but it doesn't eat any SPS, mushrooms, toadstool leather or clam. In fact, mine seems to mostly vegitarian although they are clearly not very fussy.

Here's my best guess on catching one. Tame it with regular feedings. They can be coaxed out with something smelly and eventually they get used to it. If you can coax him out far enough you'll at least be able to grab it. He'll break in two before you can pull him out of the hole, but at least he'll be smaller and might not survive the ordeal. Mine also tend to be more active when the pumps are off...

BTW...I have a tank which is a touch more untamed than most.
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