Live rock and bristleworms

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
I have some world class bristleworms inhabiting the live rock in a 95G reef tank. I am going to be upgrading to a 120G in the next few weeks. I would like to eliminate some of the worms before moving the LR to the new tank. Unfortunately, many of the LR pieces has zoanthid colonies firmly attached. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the bristleworms and other pests without harming the zoas and other coral?

I was thinking about an RO/DI dip, but will have research the impact this would have on the coral.

Suggestions based on actual experience?

LL
 

Sugar Magnolia

Mother of Dachshunds
Staff member
RC Mod
Why do you want to get rid of the bristle worms? They are beneficial - cleaning up waste and detritus.
 

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
I know

I know

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14136406#post14136406 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Sugar Magnolia
Why do you want to get rid of the bristle worms? They are beneficial - cleaning up waste and detritus.

I know they are beneficial...in reasonable numbers...but they are running amok in several pieces of LR.

There are several that are over 6" long...they are now inhabiting the sandbed...it's a population control issue.

LL
 
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buffalo123

New member
Get a piece of shrimp place in a container ,make sure the fish can't get to it but the worms can. Place in the tank after the lights are out. Give some time for them to come out looking for food then you can scoop them out in a net. Unfortunately their brisstle can get caugt in the net
 

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14136475#post14136475 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by buffalo123
Get a piece of shrimp place in a container ,make sure the fish can't get to it but the worms can. Place in the tank after the lights are out. Give some time for them to come out looking for food then you can scoop them out in a net. Unfortunately their brisstle can get caugt in the net

Mine are so big, they took the net away from me... :rolleyes:

Any suggestions on the original question about treating the live rock. (I have to remove it to place in the new tank anyway...)

LL
 

Kenmx10

New member
I have used the Prazi before but it didnt get rid of worms. I raised my Magnesium up 200ppm in 3 days and all the worms came out of and rock and died on the sandbed. Anyone hear of this before?
 

IslandCrow

Reef Monkey
Premium Member
Bristleworms multiply because they have a food source. Truthfully, I'd just put the rock in a bucket with saltwater (either from your tank or newly mixed), get a powerhead and blow all the detritus you can off the rock, paying special attention to the cracks and crevices. Deprive the worms of their food source, and they'll slowly start to die off. It would probably also be a good idea to follow up with Buffalo's shrimp idea.

I haven't heard of the magnesium thing before. My guess is that it's something else in the magnesium supplement that you used, and not the magnesium itself.
 

reefworm

New member
agreed - it's a nutrient issue. you may be feeding the tank too much. see about cutting back over a few weeks and see if you notice a difference in population levels. You might follow IslandCrow's approach first, followed by the tank "diet" to deal with it more rapidly. However, the worms are desirable, including the larger ones
 

Lightsluvr

Tangaroa to 500 gallons
Premium Member
Thanks...

Thanks...

You are speaking to the choir...however, the tank is a seahorse reef. Seahorses have no stomach, so must be fed frequently. If I withheld food for several days, I may as well take a hammer to the front glass...

Once again, in my original post, I asked if there was a way to treat the LR after it is removed from the tank during the upgrade.

I want to kill the bristleworms without damaging the zoas and other soft coral that are attached to the rock.

The rock will be in a tub or other container during treatment... how long would it take to starve bristleworm after the rock is removed? Wouldn't they become caniballistic?

LL
 

Skinnysloth

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14136475#post14136475 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by buffalo123
Get a piece of shrimp place in a container ,make sure the fish can't get to it but the worms can. Place in the tank after the lights are out. Give some time for them to come out looking for food then you can scoop them out in a net. Unfortunately their brisstle can get caugt in the net

Substitute container with pantyhose (put the shrimp in the pantyhose) and when the worms try to eat it, they'll get stuck to the pantyhose. Pull out the pantyhose with all the worms stuck to it. No net needed. :)
 

expat701

New member
Lightsluvr, as far as I know (been reefing for 10 years) there is no way of killing the undesirables inside the rock without killing the desirables on the rock.

The most common way to get worms/mantis etc out of LR is to place it in a container of freshwater or highly carbonated freshwater (soda water) for some length of time. Some say to simply dip it in (in and out quickly) but in my experience simple dipping does not often do the trick. I've had mantis/crabs/worms hang in there for up to a minute or so before coming out in full force.

I tend to leave the rock in the freshwater for a full (timed) minute to be sure. Lots of things come out of the rock but lots of things then die that are on the rock. Not everything dies off the rock but a lot of good stuff does die.

If you follow this course of action on all your rock, your zoas will be cactus.

My suggestion, if you are determined to do this, would be to seperate your rock - keep some rock in a seperate tank (without food for a long period of time to kill off the worms but preserve the corals) and give the rest a freshwater bath. Later when both kinds of rock is back in your tank the corals will hopefully spread across the rock that was treated with the freshwater.
 
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