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View Full Version : Poll: you decide fate of bristle worm


bigmac
11-20-2009, 03:55 AM
Here's the story:
I've known for three years that my tank has a rather large bristle worm (or possibly fire worm) and haven't been able to have my camera in the right spot at the right time to confirm identification. It is becoming more bold in showing itself (roughly the circumference of my little finger) and is at least over 12 inches long (but probably longer).
To make a long story short I'm struggling with what to do about this as it could explain some missing livestock recently (Leopard Wrasse, sand sifting starfish and sleeper goby that the bodies have never been located). I know that Bristle worms are voracious detrius eaters (as i've witnessed it first hand). But if it's going to start cleaning out livestock (or worse my precious RBTA's as they have been listed as eating) then it needs to go.
Therefore I'm allowing all Canreef members the opportunity to participate in my poll and the majority decision is what i will abide by. Let's have some fun with this!

Poll Options (Moderators please re submit this poll on my behalf if I've not submitted it correctly; as this is my first poll submitted)
1. Trap it and move it to the sump.
2. Trap it and give it away to fellow Canreefer.
3. Trap it and kill it.
4. Let it be/leave it alone.

sphelps
11-20-2009, 03:59 AM
Normally bristle worms are harmless and a good thing to have in a tank despite their reputation. However if it's that large and has you worried you're better to remove it if possible which will ease your nerves and help you sleep.

I vote for killing the bastard :evil:

bigmac
11-20-2009, 04:02 AM
Thanks for your input!

sphelps
11-20-2009, 04:08 AM
Don't put it in your sump, one day you'll be cleaning something and you'll get a hand full of bristles, this is not a nice feeling :sad:

If you actually find someone to take it so be it but don't feel bad about flushing it, it's a worm, lets not forget that :lol:

marie
11-20-2009, 04:11 AM
I'm going to vote to keep it but if your worried about it then remove and kill it...you probably have lots more bristle worms in your tank to eat detritus anyway.

marie
11-20-2009, 04:15 AM
Don't put it in your sump, one day you'll be cleaning something and you'll get a hand full of bristles, this is not a nice feeling :sad:



I must have thick skin on my hands cause I've picked bristle worms up thinking they were something else without bothering me. I've even had worms get trapped under my fingernails when scrapping algae off rocks...

Funky_Fish14
11-20-2009, 04:51 AM
I must have thick skin on my hands cause I've picked bristle worms up thinking they were something else without bothering me. I've even had worms get trapped under my fingernails when scrapping algae off rocks...

Hmm, same thing here for me (well, not the fingernail part, haha), but I can pick bristleworms up without irritation, unless I get loaded... but then I just 'scratched' the 'afflicted area' and no bother? I now a couple other people who can pick up bristle worms too.


I'd say its possible its also a eunice worm. These guys grow fairly large and some can end up eating critters and corals. (though most are detrivores, when large sometimes they find other food sources, lol). These are actually very neat critters to own. I'd say whatever kind of worm it is, keep it! They are so cool, and you can certainly get it used to eating food infront of you if you keep a 'feeding trend' up! BTW A eunicid worm typically has 5 'tentacles' on its head, and is usually darker brown, rusty, or black colour. Sometimes they also appear gray. These are the most common colours.

Cheers,

Chris

Marlin65
11-20-2009, 04:52 AM
never had a realy big one so I voted for let it be.
If mine grow that big I might want to remove them though. Flush Flush

no_bs
11-20-2009, 05:28 AM
Kill it or let it kill, the decision is yours, but i'm gonna vote kill it.

Leah
11-20-2009, 12:58 PM
I would want it gone, so I would trap it and get rid of it. Although if I did manage to catch
it in a trap I think I would be to scared to even take the trap out. And there would be a whole lot of screaming going on have fun with that. :biggrin:

sphelps
11-20-2009, 02:54 PM
I must have thick skin on my hands cause I've picked bristle worms up thinking they were something else without bothering me. I've even had worms get trapped under my fingernails when scrapping algae off rocks...
They won't bother you if you're gentle and simply pick them up, but if you're picking up a rock or something else and don't realize it's there you may apply enough pressure to get a hand full of bristles. They're like little shards of fiberglass you can barely see and difficult to remove. I use to say the same as you until it happened to me but don't worry your time will come :wink:

prodogg02
11-20-2009, 04:38 PM
is this whats happenin to my bicolor blennies i hav had 2 in the last 6 months after 3 days thay are gone cant find anywhere i removed my rock to re aqua scape and i removed aleast a doxen or so over a foot long iam scared to sit on the tolet now hope they dont come back up

Funky_Fish14
11-20-2009, 05:30 PM
I dont see why everyone thinks the worm must be killed? Im sure many people would be interested in actually keeping a critter this big. I sure would.

'Kill it, its doing what nature intended!'...

sphelps
11-20-2009, 05:55 PM
I dont see why everyone thinks the worm must be killed? Im sure many people would be interested in actually keeping a critter this big. I sure would.

'Kill it, its doing what nature intended!'...

:crazy:

bigmac
11-21-2009, 03:57 AM
Thanks to all who have voted so far!
As I expected; there is a few differing opinions on this issue ( i knew there would be). I'll keep gathering votes for the next few days.

Funky_Fish14
11-21-2009, 04:14 AM
:crazy:

Im saying its only acting naturally... why do humans have to kill everything? :frown:

sphelps
11-21-2009, 06:53 PM
Im saying its only acting naturally... why do humans have to kill everything? :frown:

If you honestly feel so much compassion for everything including a worm you're in the wrong hobby, just saying.

edmfishguy
11-21-2009, 07:07 PM
this is funny, I was up at 4 this morning looking at a couple of bristle worm wondering what to do with them... I actully pulled two out of my tank that were trying to get into one of my snaills shells.... I've heard mixed opions about them.... some people say pull them out.. others say they are good... I picked up my 75 gal tank second hand. when I was setting it up there was over 60 that I pulled out because I was told they were bad... So is it a good Idea to keep a few in the tank..????


I'm a :n00b:

sphelps
11-23-2009, 09:34 PM
this is funny, I was up at 4 this morning looking at a couple of bristle worm wondering what to do with them... I actully pulled two out of my tank that were trying to get into one of my snaills shells.... I've heard mixed opions about them.... some people say pull them out.. others say they are good... I picked up my 75 gal tank second hand. when I was setting it up there was over 60 that I pulled out because I was told they were bad... So is it a good Idea to keep a few in the tank..????


I'm a :n00b:
In moderation and normal numbers bristle worms are harmless, they can become pests if the population becomes overwhelming or extremely large in size but most tanks have them and actually benefit from them. They feed on left over food and detritus but will eat a dead fish which is why they often get labeled as killers but really they are harmless scavengers like most other worms. It's a good idea to protect clams by covering their foot with a flat shell or DIY epoxy cradle if populations are noticeable.

Myka
11-23-2009, 10:33 PM
Normally I would say just leave it if it is indeed a plain ole bristleworm (they are good in reasonable numbers), but the size of this one would scare me. I would catch it and "be rid of it", whether that involves giving it away or w.h.y. I used to be a fan of "put it in the sump", but I have found that almost everything that goes into the sump eventually just makes it back to the display. Could just be the way my sump is designed though.

untamed
11-24-2009, 05:45 AM
I can't believe that this would be the same critter most of us call a "Bristle worm". If it is the thickness of a finger, I would bet that it is a Eunicid worm. As someone already mentioned, Eunicid's are very distinctive because they have 5 large tentacles surrounding their head. They also tend to look more like centipedes, while bristleworms look more like fuzzy caterpillers. (no relation either way) Eunicids are also really fast, which probably contributes to why you haven't been able to get a picture.

Also, the evidence you have on giving it a death sentence is completely circumstancial. Fish die and you don't find the bodies. If you do find a body, the creature that is currently eating it probably didn't kill it.

I've kept many Eunicid worms over the years and never seen one do anything except eat scraps and vegetation.

I voted for leave it be, until you have some real evidence that it has to go.

muck
11-24-2009, 05:50 AM
Did you squash it yet?

bigmac
11-25-2009, 12:16 AM
I finally have a picture! I'll post it within the next day or so.

I have had a fellow Canreefer contact me and wants to take it if I don't want it; therefore I'm pretty sure i'm opting for that option.

bigmac
11-26-2009, 04:17 AM
Here is the picture of the offending critter. Looks like Bristle worm to me (based on any pictures on the internet that I can find); however I'm no expert. Anyone else who has an opinion can chime in. Thanks!
http://i357.photobucket.com/albums/oo11/bigmac0671/DSC_0373.jpg

BlueAbyss
11-26-2009, 04:59 AM
IMO, the biggest bristleworm I've ever seen! Definitely a bristleworm. Glad you found someone to take it, that makes me happy :biggrin:

I have a lot of critters in my tank, I've found most of them to be innocuous. The only offending ones are a pair of Aiptasia (I've witnessed one attempting to eat a peanut worm) and a few hydroids (the digitate type went away on their own).

Funky_Fish14
11-26-2009, 06:02 AM
If you honestly feel so much compassion for everything including a worm you're in the wrong hobby, just saying.

Compassion for a worm? Try compassion for a purpose.

Lol. I have no problem with death of animals. I just dont see the poing in killing things because they are doing what they are meant to do. If you are going to use a live fish as a feeder for other fish, fine, its serving a purpose. I hunt. I dont go out and shoot deer just cause they are there. I do it to get outdoors, enjoy/learn about nature, and also 'collect' a foodsource for my family(We use almost everything but the head,(including bones) if we dont eat it, its dog food).

Cheers,

Chris

bigmac
11-27-2009, 10:46 PM
Once I trap it; I'll take some more photos and measure how long it is. I have a feeling its huge!

sphelps
11-27-2009, 11:51 PM
Compassion for a worm? Try compassion for a purpose.

Lol. I have no problem with death of animals. I just dont see the poing in killing things because they are doing what they are meant to do. If you are going to use a live fish as a feeder for other fish, fine, its serving a purpose. I hunt. I dont go out and shoot deer just cause they are there. I do it to get outdoors, enjoy/learn about nature, and also 'collect' a foodsource for my family(We use almost everything but the head,(including bones) if we dont eat it, its dog food).

Cheers,

Chris
So what do you do with pests like ants, moths or other insects or rodents that get in your home? They are only doing what is natural to them, how is this any different.

And you hunt for the sport not the food, the food is a by product and certainly not the purpose.

Funky_Fish14
11-28-2009, 12:48 AM
A) Our House is rodent proof. Anywhere that isnt(Ex: Storage sheds), Ermines, a local member of the weasel family, keep the populations undetectable.
B) I leave bugs (which are not 'pests') alone. They dont bother me, I dont bother them. I dont have an infestation. Some will get in, no big deal. If a wasp gets in to the house, I put it back outside to pollinate our flowers.

I dont see how you consider it for the sport. We hunt FOR THE MEAT. Thats why we use everything. I already stated it was fun to get outdoors, to cruise the fields and forests, learn about nature. If you consider walking through the woods, learning about the world around you a sport, then you are on a different page than most people. I dont do it for the 'fun' of shooting a gun. That is the only sport, and that is not why we do it.
(Who are you to judge the purpose that I determine? I said it was for the meat. For the education. That is our purpose. How can you say otherwise? PLUS - are you at all familiar with slaughter houses? If you know how to shoot correctly, the death of a deer is much more humane than that of most livestock destined for a slaughter house).

Cheers,

Chris