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Bristleworm Yes. But Dangerous?


LegosWereRad

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LegosWereRad

Fireworm.jpg

 

So I'm setting my new 5.5 up and as soon as I put the liverock in, I see one I missed. Is this of the harmful variety?

 

Thanks!

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ocean_of_mirth

People say that bristle worms are harmless, but they're not. As soon as they get sufficiently big and sufficiently hungry, they will go "hunting" when they want to eat.

 

I had one bristle worm that was getting fairly large, and seemed the ordinary "harmless" variety. Just your regular, everyday bristle worm, and it was a helpful member of my cuc, but it was getting bigger (it was already fairly large when I got it in a free bag of chaeto. The guy who gave me the chaeto warned me that some people didn't like bristleworms, but I thought I was smarter than them and knew that regular bristleworms were harmless.

 

I thought it was cute and funny when it started taking food from my peppermint shrimp (the worm lived in a hole in the roof of the cave the peppermint would hang upside down in, so it was a simple matter for it to grab the pieces of scallop that I would feed the shrimp from the shrimp)

 

So it had been a few days since I had fed the tank/worm, which I could tell from the worm looking around for food, but I figured it was no big deal. The peppermint shrimp had figured out that is was the only relatively large critter in my 6 gallon, so it would frolic about and do somersaults in the tank.

 

A few days later the shrimp molted, and that morning at 5 am I saw the shrimp jammed up into the hole in the rock where the bristleworm lived -- that bristleworm had a very nice meal of soft shrimp, and the body never even hit the ground. The other bristleworms all joined in and they all completely consumed the shrimp by 5 pm that day.

 

I know that it wasn't that the peppermint was sick, because it was full of life and fun that day, and the body never even hit the ground. It was probably just sleeping and got surprised by the bristleworm.

 

I have seen enough other posts by other people who have found out the hard way that a large enough bristleworm will make his own meal if he can and if he gets hungry enough. It's just the law of the jungle. If you're big enough and bad enough, you can eat what you want.

 

So I wouldn't freak about the worm at this size, but be very careful about any larger ones that you see. I prefer to have snails and other critters as my cleanup crew that are limited as to their size and the kinds of food that they can catch and eat.

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supreme_spork
People say that bristle worms are harmless, but they're not. As soon as they get sufficiently big and sufficiently hungry, they will go "hunting" when they want to eat.

 

I had one bristle worm that was getting fairly large, and seemed the ordinary "harmless" variety. Just your regular, everyday bristle worm, and it was a helpful member of my cuc, but it was getting bigger (it was already fairly large when I got it in a free bag of chaeto. The guy who gave me the chaeto warned me that some people didn't like bristleworms, but I thought I was smarter than them and knew that regular bristleworms were harmless.

 

I thought it was cute and funny when it started taking food from my peppermint shrimp (the worm lived in a hole in the roof of the cave the peppermint would hang upside down in, so it was a simple matter for it to grab the pieces of scallop that I would feed the shrimp from the shrimp)

 

So it had been a few days since I had fed the tank/worm, which I could tell from the worm looking around for food, but I figured it was no big deal. The peppermint shrimp had figured out that is was the only relatively large critter in my 6 gallon, so it would frolic about and do somersaults in the tank.

 

A few days later the shrimp molted, and that morning at 5 am I saw the shrimp jammed up into the hole in the rock where the bristleworm lived -- that bristleworm had a very nice meal of soft shrimp, and the body never even hit the ground. The other bristleworms all joined in and they all completely consumed the shrimp by 5 pm that day.

 

I know that it wasn't that the peppermint was sick, because it was full of life and fun that day, and the body never even hit the ground. It was probably just sleeping and got surprised by the bristleworm.

 

I have seen enough other posts by other people who have found out the hard way that a large enough bristleworm will make his own meal if he can and if he gets hungry enough. It's just the law of the jungle. If you're big enough and bad enough, you can eat what you want.

 

So I wouldn't freak about the worm at this size, but be very careful about any larger ones that you see. I prefer to have snails and other critters as my cleanup crew that are limited as to their size and the kinds of food that they can catch and eat.

 

*sigh*

 

i have several giant bristleworms in my tank of the 8" plus variety and nothing has gone missing. the instances and types of rampaging bristleworms are pretty rare -- plenty of people have monster bristles that don't ever hurt anything.

 

i would be your pep was dead by the time it became a meal.

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circusordie16

molts are a risky time for inverts. could be a bad molt that caused your shrimp to die and then the bristleworm got it. it was 5am, how do you know it hadnt been dead for awhile before the bristleworm ate it? it was most likely doing its job- eating things before they decay and cause problems.

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BKtomodachi
*sigh*

 

i have several giant bristleworms in my tank of the 8" plus variety and nothing has gone missing. the instances and types of rampaging bristleworms are pretty rare -- plenty of people have monster bristles that don't ever hurt anything.

 

i would be your pep was dead by the time it became a meal.

 

Agreed, 100%.

 

Here are some facts:

-things we keep in our tanks have limited life-spans, and will die in captivity

-generally, a bristleworm is the first scavenger to find a freshly dead animal

-so, many people wake up or come home to find a b-worm devouring their fish/shrimp/whatever, and assume it killed it- but they'd be wrong.

Now, don't get me wrong- I used to take them out, when I had a nano. But that is purely because they scare the living bajeezus out of me.

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Hello Everyone,

I have my JBJ 28 gallon HQI and added a clean up crew a few nights ago. To my amazement my husband and I found a bristleworm about 12 inches! But it could be bigger b/c we never saw the tail. And to our horror we saw it attacking my hermit crabs.

 

It also grabbed one of the Astrea snails (which was alive) and started to drag it back to it’s hideout in the rock. My husband had to intervene to save the snail! This sucker is probably hungry because we had rock curing in a container for over a month!

 

These things are really creepy and it was really aggressive. My husband shined the flashlight on it and it didn’t care. It only ran away one he tried to grab it with his gloves. But those nasty things are fast. Please help! I want to get these awful things out! We’ve seen at least 2 so far!

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