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Baroose_Le

Bristle worm eating live brittle star...

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Ya so I added some zoas to my tank last night which had some asterina, bristle worm and brittle star hitchhikers...see this post:

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=218960

 

I ended up adding the starfish and a couple of the bristle worms and this morning I watched one of the bristle worm chase down, kill and eat the small brittle star. I think I know now why some people dont like bristle worms...

Edited by Baroose_Le

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I think I know now why some people dont like bristle worms...
Plus if you accidentally touch one, the little slivers bite. Still...I like to have a few around. :mellow:

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Next you will complain because you have too may brittle stars. Bristle worms as per many many forms are great CUC. The brittle star way probably already dead anyway otherwise it would not have been out. If you do not want them take them out, that is what was advised, it's a personal choice. Bristle worms are not a typical preditor nor do they deserve the bad rap. :huh:

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He wasn't dead, I watched him trying to escape and the bristle worm picked off a couple of legs and finally chased him down and ate the rest whole. It was like a tiny little alien movie or something lol.

 

Its not the end of the world (except for the brittle star) I just wanted to point out that bristle worms have some draw backs

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hmm, maybe the brittle was dying.

 

It's so confusing reading through this thread because 'brittle' is one letter away from spelling 'bristle' haha.

 

Remember guys, there are over 1,000 species of Polychaete. (worm) Many of them fall under the identity of 'bristle worm.' However, some are efficient scavengers, and others are efficient predators. Some even eat coral. Google search: Barry the Worm. (You will thank me.)

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Bristle worms are a love/hate for me. I've kept bristle worms in my tank without culling for many months now, following the thinking that they're a great part of the cleanup crew, and if my tank couldn't support their numbers, they'd die off. What I'm finding is that bristle worms are reaching into the corals when I feed, and there's just too many of them now. I think they also irritate a handful of my corals. I removed about 20 from my 20 gallon tank last night, and plan to remove any large ones I see. For every visible bristle worm, there's probably 2 you can't see.  They're a great part of the cleanup crew, but i'm beginning to think they're important to keep in check. I believe you when you say one was eating a brittle star. They get pretty desperate and aggressive when they're hungry.

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1 hour ago, FLARGUE said:

Bristle worms are a love/hate for me. I've kept bristle worms in my tank without culling for many months now, following the thinking that they're a great part of the cleanup crew, and if my tank couldn't support their numbers, they'd die off. What I'm finding is that bristle worms are reaching into the corals when I feed, and there's just too many of them now. I think they also irritate a handful of my corals. I removed about 20 from my 20 gallon tank last night, and plan to remove any large ones I see. For every visible bristle worm, there's probably 2 you can't see.  They're a great part of the cleanup crew, but i'm beginning to think they're important to keep in check. I believe you when you say one was eating a brittle star. They get pretty desperate and aggressive when they're hungry.

what do you do to capture them?

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The typical dark red/pink alternating bristleworm that doesn't grow large is pretty harmless and I've never observed them bothering anything alive.

 

However, I've had other varities that grow much larger invade in LR and destroy live stock. Not all bristle worms are created equal.

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3 hours ago, Friendly said:

what do you do to capture them?

I go with the stealthy tweezer method, but you gotta be quick and precise!

 

The bristle worms I removed are the typical variety shown below (not my pic)

 Image result for bristle worm

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