Quantcast

Arrow Crab or Banded Coral Shrimp for Bristle Worms?

Help Support Reef Frontiers:

scat

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
25
I discovered this morning that I have bristle worms....er...my tank has bristle worms. I did a bit of web searching and saw that Arrow Crabs and Banded Coral Shrimp are used to control bristle worms. The tank plan is: live rock, polyps, macro algae, and anemones. Does anyone have any experience, opinions, and horror stories? Thanks, Steve
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Steve;

If this is your standard pinkish-grey bristle worm then I wouldn't worry about controlling the population. Most people, myself included, look on them as a good thing in our tanks. They clean up detritus and left over food. Their population will rise and fall depending on the availability of their food supply. I've only had them bother one coral, and that was a small piece of pipe organ I was trying to rescue. When it took a turn for the worse, the worms hollowed out the polyp tubes and took up residence.

I know that some people just can't stand the looks of them;the worms creep them out. Especially non-reefing spouses, or a co-worker in my case. I had a ton of Bworms in my old nano set up at work and I had a coworker who couldn't even stand to sit next to the tank. I put a six line wrasse in to control the population; the fish ate the little ones but left my big worms alone.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. A coral banded shrimp might work out ok but I wouldn't put an arrow crab into any of my tanks. They'll eat bristle worms all right, but they'll also eat all your little tube worms, feather dusters and when the crab is bigger, any small fish you may have.

IMO, bristle worms are our friends...just don't pet them ;)

Alice
 

MtnDewMan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
2,290
Location
Mukilteo, WA
Alice said it well, for most, the normal bristle worm is one of our friends. YOu will find it hard to keep the population under control by any means such as an arrow crab. They are good detritus eaters, will not harm living things ...

I would suggest that you consider leaving them be :)
 

scat

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
25
Pink&Gray Bristle Worms


Yep, they are pink and gray. If the consensus is that they aren't too much trouble, then they stay. I did see that shell-less snail-looking thing (on the right side of the photo) cruise right over one of the bristle worms without any further sign of distress. My apologies about the quality of the picture. Thanks, for the good, and experienced, advice. Steve
 

scat

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
25
Bristle worms are like...

....cockroaches. I'm sure they have a purpose, but they gross me out anyway.
 

Alice

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
I don't think cockroaches have any other purpose BUT to creep me out! (shudder)
 

jmaxwell

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Messages
74
Location
Mill Creek, WA
I am more interested in the "shelless snail looking thing" in the photo. Is that some sort of Nudibranc? I am w/ everyone else on the bristle worms...don't sweat it.
 

scat

Active member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
25
Shell-less snail-looking thing


It sure looked like a dark snail that had its shell ripped off, but I doubt that is possible without killing it.
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Did you try touching it to see if it had a shell or not? Looks like a snail, or maybe some kind of chiton?

I agree with everyone else, as long as your bristle worms aren't large enough to eat your pets I wouldn't worry about them. But to answer your question, an Arrow Crab will do a fine job removing them, so will a CBS, but the Arrow Crab will do better IMO.

When I had a Arrow Crab I would catch bristle worms and hand feed them to the crab (using chopsticks, not my fingers) the crab loved them and they are a ultra-cheap food source.
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.
Top