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Worms that make sand tubes..what eats em?


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Ok so i have about a thousand of those worm things that make tubes out of the sand and have 2 long tenticles.


I know they arnt harmfull, but they are becoming an infestation in my 10g and I really hate them all over the rocks and sand.


is there anyway to kill them or is there anything that eats them??

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I have those too, just not as pronounced

they have those little near transparent tentacles that catch random crap in the air.

I dunno how to get rid of them, but I don't really care :)

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nope they arnt spaghetti worms...those have brownish red tenticles and lots of em(got one of those in my 58)


These have whitish clear tenticles and only two per worm


and like i said i know they arnt harmfull...but damn they are everywhere.


my sand bed looks like a horror movie...they dont seem to do much of anything except look crappy all over the place

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i think they may be polychaetes.

I think you are correct.


Since these worms feed on suspended particulate matter, an overabundance of them in your aquarium would indicate an excess of detritus floating around in your water column. Do a water change, clean your filter equipment and install a mechanical filter (like a poly-filter) or something to catch junk floating in the water.


ps i think they are kinda cool.

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Well you can always go an suk them up after scrapping them off who knows ^____^ some of them are very nice when bunches up into a corner with a power head keeping them there thats how a friend of mine controls there growth.

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They are Spaghetti Worms (family Terebellidae) . The brown/red worms are Beard Worms (family Cirratulidae). Both of these worms are polychaetes. They deposite feed rather than suspension feed, so you may control them a bit by cleaning up you rock and sandbed. Some angles and butterflies will pick at them but dont eat the whole worm.

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hey doc.


not to be rude, but i do not think they are spaghetti worms. spaghetti worms have a very different tentacle structure. also if you look at the picture, the tentacles seem to be designed for suspension feeding.


are you sure about your prognosis, am i on crack? inquiring minds want to know.

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Ill tell you this, the reason why they are called SPAGHETTI worms is because theres a bunch (like 10+) of the stringy things and they are really really long, not two short ones.


anyhow, the ones in my tank that live in the sand are very easy to siphon out....did you try that?

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yeah i used to have a load of spaghetti worms in one of my tanks and it actually resembled spaghetti. the tentacles of the worms in the above pic resemble those of other filter feeding poly's

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My water is sparkling clear, I do water changes every 2 weeks, change my filter floss every week and change my carbon and poly filter every month. My Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates are all 0


I do over feed a bit to make sure the shirmp and anenome's and such get some but thats really it.


Someone suggested a arrow crab, but im not to sure on that one.


and if nothing will stright up eat em, what are some good detritovors i could get to get them to stop spreading? ...i already have a few nass. snails.

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First off, they are called "spaghetti" worms not due to the number of tenticals, but due to the general shape and color. "spaghetti worms" are any worm in the family Ciratulidae. The family has nine known genera around the GBR alone, god knows how many world wide. The tenticles are mobile via parapodia on the ventral side and can retract into the worms tube and can number from two upwards of fifty. If you want an ID with a taxa this large and diverse, you simply cant say, "Thats not a (insert common name here)." Do some research using the family name or even the Order( Spionida), with a little work you will find a pick of what you have with a genus, a species and a common name which without a question will be "spaghetti worm".

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Phiche Master

YES!!!! Ender you re the sh!t!!!!

Wow that was funny. GJ man...Id say buy some blue legs theyll eat anything that has some meat on it. Especially if its on the ground.

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I have the same thing in my tank. With the majority of them in the substrate, but a few have worked their way in the rocks. They feed by dragging their tentacles across surfaces and getting bits of algea and detrius. I've had luck getting their population down (over a few months) by adding a few more red leg hermits (to try to keep less food off the sand & rock surface) and cutting back feeding some. Plus I'll pull the end of the tube off with tweezers sometimes if it in a place I don't want it. Doesn't get rid of the worm, but helps the look.

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i hate being confrontational but it's silly to say that something is indeed for sure absolutely a very subjective and industry generated 'name' like 'spaghetti worm' that is likely very casually and not at all consistently referred to in any sort of professional text or resource.


That said... use it in casual use all you want I just don't think it's worth arguing over. Then again... :)


And btw, I do beleive it is a chaetopterid worm.


and at least one member of this family may be very abundant in reef tanks. This abundant worm is placed in the genus Phyllochaetopterus. Phyllochaetopterus individuals build a tube out of "hardened" mucus in which they cement sand grains. These tubes can be up to an inch or so in length and are about the diameter of a thin piece of pencil lead. They will be oriented vertically in the sediments or occasionally found filling pre-existing holes in rocks.

As found from Dr. Shimek here.

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Originally posted by cartophilus

Isn't there some kind of sessile snail thingie that looks like a tubeworm of some kind?  I only ask because of the two tentacles per unit that you mentioned.


Hi cartophilus, I think you're referring to a vermetid snail. They are sometimes called shell worms and live in hard shells on the rock/snails/anywhere. They do have two tentacles visible but they feed by sending out a thin web of mucus which is used to trap particulates and then reel the whole thing in and eat it. Mucus and all.


Take care... here's a pic of one of my larger ones. Sorry for widening/messing up the screen. :)



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