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Old 12-29-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
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Bristle or Fireworm

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This is the best picture I can get. It is mostly white with a red stripe down the middle of his body.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:34 PM   #2
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Oh and my Kenya Tree Coral, Sabre Anemone and Pistol shrimp died a few days after the first one was seen. I have one royal gramma Basslet that is eating some of them but I don't think he will be enough
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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It looks like a common bristle worm to me. It's definitely not a eunicid worm. That's the only worm that could take out a shrimp, and I don't think any worms would bother with an anemone.
Large or many bristle worms are a sure sign of overfeeding. Are you sure your parameters are good?
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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I just checked they are pH 8.1 Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0.25 and Nitrates 1
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Nitrites should be zero. This is most likely your culprit. How much and often are you feeding and how are you exporting nutrients?
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Nitrites should be zero. This is most likely your culprit. How much and often are you feeding and how are you exporting nutrients?

I have 5 fish an I feed about 1/3 of a block of frozen food that is consumed within 3 to 4 minutes
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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How often are you doing this? for food to be floating around for 4 minutes, I would say you are adding too much. What about export? Water changes? Skimmer?
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:47 PM   #8
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How often are you doing this? for food to be floating around for 4 minutes, I would say you are adding too much. What about export? Water changes? Skimmer?

I have no skimmer but I go a 20% water change every week
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:55 PM   #9
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If you are feeding daily, and the food is floating around for 4 minutes each day, I think this is what is giving you trouble.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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If you are feeding daily, and the food is floating around for 4 minutes each day, I think this is what is giving you trouble.
Thank you
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Though a couple of polychaete worms have "fireworm" in their name (such as the Caribbean bearded fireworm), the terms fireworm and bristleworm are generally interchangeable. As already stated, a eunicid worm could be a problem, but really only if it gets big. I had a Caribbean bearded worm in my tank for the last two years and only recently saw it because it had stayed small and hidden. I've since moved him to the sumo to be safe, though it's still unlikely he would have hurt anything.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
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Though a couple of polychaete worms have "fireworm" in their name (such as the Caribbean bearded fireworm), the terms fireworm and bristleworm are generally interchangeable. As already stated, a eunicid worm could be a problem, but really only if it gets big. I had a Caribbean bearded worm in my tank for the last two years and only recently saw it because it had stayed small and hidden. I've since moved him to the sumo to be safe, though it's still unlikely he would have hurt anything.

So any enuicid worm is really not a problem?
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:56 PM   #14
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A few species of worm can potentially cause problems. Hermodice carunculata can eat corals, especially gorgonians and thin branching sps corals. They may nibble at zoas as well. But all of this is dependent on the worm reaching a size that few reach in aquariums. Beyond that, they seem to live on detritus and dying animals. So even a predatory worm can help clean up the tank. The bobbit worm is another potential bad one. It is an ambush predator but it seems to be rare to find in aquariums.
Long story short, any bristleworm can e a problem if it gets big enough. But more than that, it's a symptom of a problem if it does so. Their size and population is controlled by available food. If you are over feeding or have a lot of die off, they have more to eat and get bigger/more populous. The converse of this is that even a predatory species is safe and even beneficial if available food keeps it small and rare in the tank.
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:53 PM   #15
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I disagree that any worm that get's big enough can cause a problem. Common bristleworms do not eat coral, or catch healthy fish. A eunicid worm is a lot different looking than this. It has an obvious head, eyes, and jaws.
Also, The information on the web about hermodice carunculata seems to have been copied and pasted word for word on every site on the first page I googled. I would like to see this in person, as I've had worms that looked very much like this in my systems and have seen no eaten corals, clams, or anemones. Just my observation.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:43 AM   #16
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Well, not many common species get that big, and those that do have a potential to be predatory in the absence of acceptable food. Don't get me wrong, I'd say probably 99.99% of the worms we see are not only harmless, but beneficial. But a six inch long, half inch wide worm may decide that soft corals are an easier and more efficient food source than detritus.
I try to use words like can and may rather than will and are simply because each animal is an individual. But again, if a worm is getting huge, there may be a problem. It may not be the worm itself, but it is still something to think about.
I do agree that a lot of the readily available information is simply parroted. It takes some digging to find first hand sources.
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