Bristle Worms vs Feather Dusters

ChrisKil

New member
I have been reading a bunch of articles talking about how bad bristle worms are for your tank. How they damage corals, anemones, and even fish. The pictures used in some of these articles look just like the feather dusters sold at online retailers and proudly displayed in many marine tanks.

I have some hitchhikers that look like the photo on the right (B coming out of C). The photo on the right is from an article lamenting the scourge of bristle worms. The photo on the left from the gallery of a proud tank owner.

Are they different? Good? Bad?

feather-v-bristle.jpg
 

Randall_James

Premium Member
there are only a couple types of bristleworms that are in fact harmful (pretty rare actually) and the feather duster you are looking at is a simple filter feeder and harmless. You will not find that particular type for sale (unless they are hitchikers). Larger types like the Hawaiian are commonly sold are are pretty hardy in slightly larger tanks (IMO 30G+)

I would consider the bristleworm a good guy myself. They are a good part of the cleanup crew for the sandbed and rock.
 

WaterKeeper

Bogus Information Expert
Premium Member
I agree Randall, by far most bristle worms are good rather than bad for the tank and, if you do get some bad ones, they can be trapped using some wadded up pantyhose baited with some shrimp.
 

Randall_James

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10493507#post10493507 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by WaterKeeper
I agree Randall, by far most bristle worms are good rather than bad for the tank and, if you do get some bad ones, they can be trapped using some wadded up pantyhose baited with some shrimp.
figures....

you know how hard it is to find pantyhose in my size?
 

reefworm

New member
RJ is correct, with rare exceptions, bristleworms are good guys - a valued part of your cleanup crew. the bad rap they get for "attacking" polyps and clam mantles is generally due to the fact that they are the first to detect dead and/or dying tissue, which they dispose of. Since they're on the polyp/mantle, and THEN we see the dying tissue we assume they are the reason the animals are dying.

Here's a few links with good reading to get your research started:
http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen12.html

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-03/rs/index.php

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-03/rs/index.php

http://www2.hawaii.edu/~toonen/files/bristlewormFAQ.html

http://www.reefland.com/rho/0305/medprod3.php
 
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