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Old 07/24/2017, 09:43 AM   #1
Cstaricansrfer1
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Bristleworms

My tank has always had some bristleworms in the couple years it has been running, but they have started to really take over the live rock and sand now. They do an excellent job at keeping detritus at a minimum, and really help clean up excess food and waste, but are now starting to annoy my male seahorse.

On a couple occasions, I have had to pick bristleworms off of the seahorse. I've tried traps, but they don't seem to put a dent in the population. Recently, I have had to quarantine my seahorse due to what I believe is tail rot partially attributed to bristleworms munching on his tail. I have read that bristleworms can be contributors to issues like this.

Does anyone else have this problem? How did you get rid of the bristleworms? My seahorse is in QT right now so I am ready to try a more aggressive approach.


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Old 07/24/2017, 11:49 AM   #2
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What about a dip, (for your rock) of very high salinity to force the inhabitants to abandon ship. Then you can sift through the inhabitants to keep the ones you want and dispose of the problem ones like bristle worms.

My population stays pretty controlled by me feeding my seahorses in a bowl that is kept up high attached to the glass by a magfloat. I turn off the powerheads but not the return pump. Very little mysis floats out so when the ponies are finished I suck out any uneatten food. As a result bristle worms don't have enough food to reproduce and the ones I do have are tiny. If one does crawl out of the rock looking for food I immediately suck it out.


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Old 07/24/2017, 11:50 AM   #3
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Many fish and crustacean species eat bristle worms, including arrow crabs, wrasses, puffer fish, sand perches, dottybacks, trigger fish, coral banded shrimp, gobies, gruntfish, hawkfish and dragonets.


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Old 07/24/2017, 02:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlangel View Post
What about a dip, (for your rock) of very high salinity to force the inhabitants to abandon ship. Then you can sift through the inhabitants to keep the ones you want and dispose of the problem ones like bristle worms.

My population stays pretty controlled by me feeding my seahorses in a bowl that is kept up high attached to the glass by a magfloat. I turn off the powerheads but not the return pump. Very little mysis floats out so when the ponies are finished I suck out any uneatten food. As a result bristle worms don't have enough food to reproduce and the ones I do have are tiny. If one does crawl out of the rock looking for food I immediately suck it out.

Sounds like a good idea. Most of my rocks are covered with zoas and other softies, though. Have you tried hypersalinity on rocks with corals before?


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Old 07/24/2017, 02:21 PM   #5
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Many fish and crustacean species eat bristle worms, including arrow crabs, wrasses, puffer fish, sand perches, dottybacks, trigger fish, coral banded shrimp, gobies, gruntfish, hawkfish and dragonets.


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Yes, but unfortunately not many of those can be kept with seahorses and/or coral. I was thinking arrow crab while my seahorse is in QT, but he has thousands to eat so it may take a while.


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Old 07/24/2017, 02:27 PM   #6
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Yes, but unfortunately not many of those can be kept with seahorses and/or coral. I was thinking arrow crab while my seahorse is in QT, but he has thousands to eat so it may take a while.


I have 1 arrow crab and 4 dragonets (2 males and 2 females)


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Old 07/24/2017, 02:32 PM   #7
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Population of bristle worms is proportional to their food supply so if you keep the nutrients low enough they will decrease in numbers. Start with vacuuming out the detritus from the sand bed and then analyze your feeding and maintenance protocol and adjust to keep the nutrient supply lower.


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Old 07/31/2017, 07:55 PM   #8
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Population of bristle worms is proportional to their food supply so if you keep the nutrients low enough they will decrease in numbers. Start with vacuuming out the detritus from the sand bed and then analyze your feeding and maintenance protocol and adjust to keep the nutrient supply lower.

Thank you, I will adjust accordingly. The bristleworms really seem to help clean detritus so the tank looks very clean other than a few patches of hair algae, and nitrates stay under 10, but definitely have become a nuisance. I will also try to get better to keep the mysis in a bowl so the worms can't get to it.


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Old 07/31/2017, 08:00 PM   #9
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Just want to add that the seahorse is responding really well to treatment, and after a week has lost almost all discoloration/fungus on his tail. He can now swim regularly and is back to his normal appetite.

I used SeaChem MetroPlex along with Focus and Garlic Guard and it really seemed to turn him around quickly.


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Old 08/03/2017, 02:44 PM   #10
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Just want to add that the seahorse is responding really well to treatment, and after a week has lost almost all discoloration/fungus on his tail. He can now swim regularly and is back to his normal appetite.

I used SeaChem MetroPlex along with Focus and Garlic Guard and it really seemed to turn him around quickly.
I am happy that your pony is doing better.


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