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Bristle Worms?

CPayne

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
7
Location
DFW
#1
These guys are a continual debate in the reef tanks, but I wonder if they are harmful to an octo? I am in the process of setting up a tank that was previously a reef tank (got a heck of a bargain..FREE!!). The tank was in moderate disrepair, but with some scrubbing and a pretty serious series of water changes I think I have stabilized it out and am keeping the chemistry in check. The rock has a lot of bristle worms in it (enough that I see them pretty regularly during the DAY!). I am expecting some die off of them in the near future as I am not feeding the tank for a bit (no fishies, just some frogspawn and a finger leather that I intend on pulling once I am ready for the octo.) The worms are not bad in a reef tank (depending on who you speak to and the phase of the moon it seems:banghead:...) Should they help with the "messiness" of an octo and help clean up uneaten food/ shed skin?

So again the basis of this post... Are bristle worms a concern for an octo? Will they sting it? Will an octo eat them?

Any advice would be welcome.
 

SabrinaR

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Registered
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
1,462
#2
First I would like to :welcome: you to TONMO! The only place I have found were it is REALLY ok to be octopus obsessed! :grin:

Bristle worms are both good and bad in an octopus tank. They will eat left over foods, but then again so will a clean up crew of hermit. If you have that many I would start setting traps.

I dont know if you have ever touched a bristle worm (I wouldnt recommend it) but if you havent they dont sting. They shoot many barbs into your skin like a porcupine and it is really unpleasnt for a while. I have no idea how an octopus would react to them but I do know Nancy (one of the mods here) said that one of her octopuses actually killed the bristle worms around the time that she laid eggs. They are a real PITA to be honest. I have had the misfortune of picking up a rock in my tank that had a big fat one and it stuck me pretty good.
 

CPayne

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
7
Location
DFW
#3
Thanks for the welcome... I am obsessed. I saw an octo tank when I was about 4 or so (eons ago.... and that is what sealed my fate as a fish nut). Unfortunately it has taken this long to finally get back to my roots... I think I'll start setting a trap to at least thin them out, perhaps I'll dump them in the 'fuge...
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#4
I dislike the little buggers. That being said, I have not seen any damage from them. They are first to know an octo is dying though and I will move an expiring octo to a breeder net to let it die in peace but it is likely they don't feel the rotting flesh being removed early. I did notice them on my cucumber that mysteriously shrunk to 1/3 its size (not an octo tank) and ejected its intestines when it got behind the filter wall of the nano. The cuc still had intestines attached and the bristles (never have been able to validate how that is officially spelled) were all over it. This may not be a bad thing and may even be helpful for removing dead tissue in an animal that will survive some misfortune but I am not sure. I do know that I have not observed any damage caused by them.
 

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