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Old 04-21-2005, 11:22 AM   #1
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Big worm eating my Xenia

A very long worm is mowing down my Xenia. Help... my kids love that Xenia and are very upset. I've been monitoring the tank after lights out with a red lens covered flashlight and have caught him in the act. I've tried to catch him several times by sucking him into a turkey baster but have been unsuccessful. He's very fast and wary. I've even tried a long, plastic bristleworm trap but I think that he is too long for it. This worm appears to be at least five inches long. He looks like an earthworm, but much, much thinner. When he comes out to eat the Xenia, his tail end appears to stay anchored with-in his "home" rock enabling him to quickly pull back in when he senses danger. This has made it next to impossible for me to catch him... I can't tell you how many hours I've spent on him. I want him GONE!!! Any ideas? Are there any other traps out there that might work better? Any worm predators that I can buy that would be reef safe? I thought about an Arrow Crab , but I don't want to put any of my many other soft and SPS corals at risk. Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you,

IndyReefMan
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:52 PM   #2
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Try making a trap out of a soda bottle.

Some said that if you cut the head off of a bristle worm the head portion will regenerate but the body portion will die. I don't how true this is but you can give it a shot and cut the head off with some scissors and remove it.

If you know which rock the worm hides in you can remove the whole rock and flush it out that way.
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:55 PM   #3
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plug the hole he comes out of with something. Then watch the rock to see if he tries to come out of it somewhere else.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:14 PM   #4
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I had a worm like that (eunicide?) and I pulled the rock he was in and shot fresh cold water at him with a flavor injector! He came right out after that... all 12 inches of him! I scooped him out of the hole with a skewer. If you're not seeing all of him then there's probably quite a bit still left in that hole. I have images in my head now of the OregonReef worm! *shudder*!
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:19 PM   #5
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That a eunicid worm alright. The behaviour you describe sounds just like mine and they do have a taste for Xenia.

My solution has been to move the Xenia somewhere else....but I know that won't work for everyone.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:23 PM   #6
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Oh yes...the eunicids that I have show now interest in any of my acorapora, Sun coral, or the mushroom leather, or the clam, or the blastomussa.

I've seen them take macroalgae and also spaghetti worm tentacles.

Generally, they are pretty good detrivores...but they do seem to have a taste for Xenia.

See my gallery for pics...
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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Big worm eating my Xenias

Thank-you for the replies. I think that the soda bottle idea sounds interesting. I don't want to remove the rock that he is in because I have a lot of live rock and I would have to tear a ton out before I could get to it. If nothing else works, I'll do it. Could somebody please give me a little more info on that bottle idea? What should I use for bait? How should I make it?

Thanks again,

IndyReefMan
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:50 PM   #8
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I had to remove 1/4 of my tank worth of rock (probably 5 big pieces) and all of my coral frags in order to get mine out. They're very thin and I can't imagine he'd get stuck in that bottle. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:23 PM   #9
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**** I have one of those in my tank and I just added some ricordia,xenia and zoos I guess that means a stakeout
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Old 04-21-2005, 03:27 PM   #10
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I have two in my tank but, I think my corals are out of reach because he does not seem to be messing with them, just cleaning the rock when he comes out.
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