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View Full Version : Is this a Medusa Worm?


JQ11
02/12/2017, 07:13 PM
My husband and I are very new to salt water tanks. We just started our reef aquarium and we have purchased a few soft corals. One of them had a worm on it. We think it's a Medusa worm. We took the soft coral it's on out of the tank, put it in a different container with aquarium water in it, and we want to get rid of the worm, but we don't know how. We understand that if we touch it, it could release to toxins into the water and kill our fish. Since we took out the soft coral, if we remove it will the toxins kill the soft coral? If we put the soft coral back into the tank will the toxins still be on it and kill our fish that way? The soft coral was $30, but we don't want to kill anything in the tank and would rather loose it than everything. Any help is appreciated.

Ron Reefman
02/13/2017, 04:05 AM
Is the worm supposed to be visible in your picture? If so, I don't see it.

Medusa worms are quite large (1/2" to 1" thick and 4" to 12" long) with tentacles that reach out as much as 18" or more from the mouth. Odds are you may have a spaghetti worm which is small (maybe 1/4" to 3/4" long) and has skinny thread like tentacles that reach out an inch or two from the mouth. They normally live in the sand or under rock and extend their tentacles out onto the sand to catch extremely small bits of food, like bacteria.

Where are you getting your information from? Neither spaghetti worms nor medusa worms are toxic if killed. They are harmless filter feeders that are good for you tank. Spaghetti worms are pretty easy to keep alive (I wish I had some). A medusa worm in even a very large aquarium is difficult to keep alive.

Livinlocal619
02/13/2017, 05:38 AM
Is the worm supposed to be visible in your picture? If so, I don't see it.

Medusa worms are quite large (1/2" to 1" thick and 4" to 12" long) with tentacles that reach out as much as 18" or more from the mouth. Odds are you may have a spaghetti worm which is small (maybe 1/4" to 3/4" long) and has skinny thread like tentacles that reach out an inch or two from the mouth. They normally live in the sand or under rock and extend their tentacles out onto the sand to catch extremely small bits of food, like bacteria.

Where are you getting your information from? Neither spaghetti worms nor medusa worms are toxic if killed. They are harmless filter feeders that are good for you tank. Spaghetti worms are pretty easy to keep alive (I wish I had some). A medusa worm in even a very large aquarium is difficult to keep alive.


It's hard to see, but it's where the polyps are closed. I am honestly not sure what it is, but I will follow along. Maybe just pull it off with tweezers? Make sure to wear safety glasses

Sugar Magnolia
02/13/2017, 06:49 AM
Syllid worm.

JQ11
02/13/2017, 12:01 PM
We went ahead and took the worm off the soft coral this morning while it was out of the tank. I took it to our local store where we get all of our fish and soft coral. They didn't know what it was, but it does look like a Syllid worm. I'm giving my soft coral an iodine soak as I type this and I hope that helps and doesn't hurt. I hope to put it back into the tank soon. Thank you all for your help.

Sugar Magnolia
02/13/2017, 02:40 PM
Glad you took it out. For future reference that's not a soft coral, it's a goniopora, one of the most difficult to care for large polyp stony corals. Do some reading up on it so you can provide it the best possible care for its long term survival. Good luck!

JQ11
02/14/2017, 01:20 PM
Thank you for the correction. My husband is much better at remembering the names. He corrected me too! 😊 We just discovered that it is difficult to keep and yes we are trying to educate ourselves as much as possible. We hope we can have it live a very long time. We are trying to only get things that are "easy" since we are beginners. Thank you again for the information. It's nice to have this group to ask questions and get great answers. As an update, it is still looking good after removing the worm.