Bristlewormsssssss

Fonzie91

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My auntie bought herself a 40 Gallon saltwater tank and i helped her set it up with about 30 lbs of live rock. The live rock isnt too colorful, its Fiji rock. Anyways as i set up the rocks as a wall, I got a hold of a rock and saw 2 red catepillar looking worms and i dropped the rock!!! Scared me...The guy from the pet shop had these rocks in a bag with NO water at all...the rocks were barely moist.. I had the courage to still make the wall and it looks beautiful...but as soon as i turned off the lights, i saw these red worms come out..and they are floating around on the sand bed..some are curled up as the letter "C" and roll...and some others are just floating around stretched out...are these red worms dangerous? They move like catepillars...and they're red colored....
 

Jpathak

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I have read a long conversation about this bristleworms it this forum. try to use search option. you will probably get enough info.
 

Aquarist

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Hello Fonzie,

A good suggestion to try the Search Fish Lore feature for Bristleworms. I'm sure you'll find a good bit of information there while you wait for other responses.

Not being a salt tank keeper myself, I have seen information that Bristleworms have a nasty sting if you touch them. Please be careful!

I have also seen information that they are harmful, in some peoples views and in other views, they have been mentioned to be beneficial to the aquarium.

Hold on for more responses. Expect to see various opinions on this.

Again, be careful!

Ken
 

kloseo

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It is debatable as to weather they are harmless or not, I personally dont like bristle worms, they are not attractive looking, reproduce readily and sting if you touch them, i would get a net and remove as many as you can while your tank is cycling
 

sirdarksol

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They do sting, and can be fatal to one who happens to be allergic to the poison. However, you should also always wear gloves when working in aquaria, particularly marine aquaria, both to protect yourself from stuff that can be lurking within and to protect the aquarium from stuff that might be on your hands.
They certainly could be considered unattractive: Possibly the best reason I've heard for eradicating them from a tank.
Some of them are predatory. These ones should also probably be removed (no, I don't know how to tell the difference).
They reproduce readily, much like pond snails in a freshwater aquarium. If the food going into the tank is kept under control, this won't be a horrible issue. They can't outgrow their food supply.

On the other hand, they are detrivores. They eat garbage that would otherwise rot in the substrate. There are other critters that can fill this role, too, but I've heard from several experienced aquarists (including Mike, the guy who runs Fishlore) that bristleworms are very efficient in the task.

In the end, it's a choice you're going to have to make. Like has been said, you're going to hear a lot of people saying "yay" and a lot of people saying "nay."
 

J-P

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are you sure they sting? or are we talking about fireworms which actually do sting?
 

sirdarksol

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J-P said:
are you sure they sting? or are we talking about fireworms which actually do sting?
Fireworms are a type of bristleworm, and are not the only ones that sting.
 
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Fonzie91

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Wow.. i never knew small saltwater worms were this harmful
I don't know what i did during the cycling... but all the worms basically died... It's been a little over 2 months since i cycled and not even 1 bristleworm.. I thank you guys for your info
 

lanlesnee

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I'll bet they are still a few in there. I personnally wouldn't worry about them. Pick them out if they are easy to get to, but other than that I wouldn't worrry about them.
 
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