Need to eradicate pest worms

Jstn

New member
Background:

About a year ago, i started loosing all my acans and never found the culprit, unit one night after lights out I saw a nasty long worm eating them which quickly retracted into its hole, it was a 1/4" wide and at least 8" long with two antenna and two eyes on its head.



I was able to locate a few of these and remove them, but ultimately reset my tank, cooked the live rock, new sand complete reboot with dipping my corals in bayer from my QT tank.

this is one that crawled out of a live rock after 4 days in fresh water



A comparison of a standard bristle to one of these which I assume after research to be Phyllodocidae worms or some variation.



http://www.chucksaddiction.com/hitchworms.html

Now a few months late I keep finding babies, 1-2" long and thin as a pencil lead. Every night I can remove 1-3 of these, and it seems after a few weeks they are still popping up and its getting annoying, I want to stop these things before they turn large and reek havoc again.



I need a predator to eat these worm, but there are a few qualifications, these worms are nocturnal exclusively, I NEVER spot them during the day unless I turn over a frag. I have a corris wrasse and mandarine, never made a difference. I am leaning towards a coral banded shrimp or arrowcrab and wanted to hear peoples experience with these for eating worm. I dont have many bristle and I am comfortable in loosing them, I just want these pest gone for good, any ideas or experience you guys could add?

TIA.
 

dppitone

In Memoriam
Part of it depends on how big your system is, but stocking with arrow crabs and giving it a few months will probably do it. But the more you feed the tank the longer it will take for the arrows to clean the worms out.
 

Jstn

New member
Thanks for the reply, my system is only a 40b with around 50 gals of water, I think on crab should be enough.
 

dppitone

In Memoriam
Just be mindful of what else you have in the tank b/c the arrow is a predator. They're really cool though.
 

Jstn

New member
I have a few wrasse and mandarins, I'm thinking a small arrow until the problem is solved. Are they hit or miss w worms, similar to emeralds w bubble algae ?
 

dppitone

In Memoriam
I haven't had one for a dozen years so I'm a bit rusty. Do I search on www.wetwebmedia.com and you'll learn everything you want to know about them, and you may find some other ideas. Make sure you update the thread as you step forward so folks can get tips from your experience.
 

Jstn

New member
They seem to be terrible animals in the reef tank, i wonder if one would eat my worms or my fish (first), maybe the CBS is a better candidate, perhaps others can chime in with their experience?
 

Jstn

New member
Not specifically, but they are small fish, and that is the general consensus. And yes due to the lack of information on this topic, I plan on updating this thread so future people can figure out how to handle this worm.
 

Jstn

New member
I pulled around 7 of these out last night, here are some pictures, maybe people can help ID, ?



And a video of them towards the end you can get a better shot.

 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
Most of what you are pulling out of your tank are run-of-the-mill bristleworms that will not predate your corals. Earlier description sounded a bit like a Bobbitt worm, which will do damage and should be removed. Keep in mind that most observations of worms 'eating my corals' are just scavengers attracted to dead or dying flesh.
 

sh0ck

New member
Depends on your system.
If you plan on BB, than predator can work.
If you go with DSB I would probably disinfect that rock completely and buy new LR to seed bacteria...
 
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