Bristle Worm? Help

Discussion in 'ID Help - Identify This' started by Nicola1980, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Nicola1980Valued MemberMember

    Hi again all. So finding more and more little beasts in the tank. I believe these little fellas are bristle worms IMG_1084.jpg ? Are they harmful and if so what is the best way to get rid of them? Thankyou
  2. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Yep, looks like bristle worms. They are detritivores, meaning they eat detritus, so they can actually be beneficial. :) There are several different species of bristle worms, and most of them are harmless, though there are a few, like the Bobbit worm, that are not. I wouldn't worry too much about the dangerous guys though, as they are rarely seen in the hobby. It's much more likely that you have harmless guys, but there is a concern if you're seeing multiples. This usually means that their population is thriving, and a thriving population of bristle worms means that the tank has enough detritus to support them... in other words, the tank is dirty.

    There are probably locations in and around your rock that are not getting enough flow, allowing detritus to build up. To combat this, you could use a turkey baster to blow out the nooks and crannies. I'd do this daily for a while as things get cleaned up, though doing this once or twice a week is good for regular maintenance. You might also want to either increase flow, or perhaps change the direction of flow from your pump, in order to decrease dead spots.
  3. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    As mentioned they are feeding off excess nutrients in your tank. If you start getting too many of them then you are probably overfeeding, are overstocked, etc. What size is your tank? Certain fish prey on them and can help keep the population in check for you.
  4. Nicola1980Valued MemberMember

    Thanks. I’m guessing they are from the rock we bought from the pet store with the coral on as that is the only place we see them. Appreciate your help

    They tank has two clownfish and 3 damsels and the coral. There is a cleaning crew in there aswell, turbo snails and a few shrimp. The tank is 125
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2018
  5. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    You're welcome. :) You are almost certainly correct about them coming in with live rock. :) As mentioned, they shouldn't harm anything, and shouldn't become an epic colony unless there is a lot of detritus building up somewhere. I can't really comment on larger fish since I keep a nano, but I'd imagine that a 125 should be big enough to house a predator and you certainly have a little room as far as bioload goes. Even though most bristle worms are harmless as well as CUC, I would still try to get rid of them. Mostly because they can sting when you're handling rocks, some species can grow quite large, and I just think they're yucky. :p Just my opinion... ;)
  6. Nicola1980Valued MemberMember

    I agree they are yucky . I think we will try and get rid of them if we can. Thanks again
  7. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Here is one of the potential predators that would do great in a 125 (Melanurus Wrasse):

    Just be aware that they will occasionally pick off snails and hermit crabs, but for the most part they focus on the rockwork

  8. Nicola1980Valued MemberMember

    He’s beautiful. I’ll have a look into them. Thanks so much

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