Bristle worm or Fire worm?

BitReef

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Found this huge bristle worm in my 29g reef the other day. It freaked me out. I’ve seen the little ones before, but this guy is at least 6” long and as big around as my pinky. I think it’s a bristle worm, but asking for confirmation. Also, any danger with such a big worm in a nano reef? I don’t really want it to get any larger. It’s already the biggest creature in there.
144ABD15-8E07-4F4C-9B5B-BCB50750A37E.jpeg
 
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NowGlazeIT

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I’m in between here because the pattern on the edges match the pattern of a fire worm but the red color is not there. Also the girth on the front matches that of a fire worm. If we could get some top down pictures with more light we could make a better guess.
 
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minus9

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Unless you put in fresh ocean rock, the likelihood of you actually having a true fireworm, is still pretty low. Also, fireworms will truly stand out with their appearance. Their bristles will be of high contrast to their bodies and most are tufted (grouped) together. Their body coloration is pretty vibrant with contrasting markings. Polychaete worms are one of the most abundant worms on the reef with 1000's of species living in a very small area and only a few will do damage to other living things. When you actually see a fireworm, it will definitely stand out.
 

Dolphins18

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That could be a fireworm, it has the bristles that remind of a fireworm, but they usually have some pretty intense colors. They almost show a bright red (and even blue color) under LED lights.
Heres a photo of one I had a while back, they are incredibly rare now a days.
1631036452599.png

Fireworms have bristles that look almost like tiny little fiberglass hairs, and there is TONS of them.
Note the bristles in the pic above vs these (a harmless bristle) these almost look singular, where the fire worm has much more fine "hairy" bristles.
(second photo is not mine)
1631036782794.png
 
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minus9

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That could be a fireworm, it has the bristles that remind of a fireworm, but they usually have some pretty intense colors. They almost show a bright red (and even blue color) under LED lights.
Heres a photo of one I had a while back, they are incredibly rare now a days.
1631036452599.png

Fireworms have bristles that look almost like tiny little fiberglass hairs, and there is TONS of them.
Note the bristles in the pic above vs these (a harmless bristle) these almost look singular, where the fire worm has much more fine "hairy" bristles.
(second photo is not mine)
1631036782794.png
Both of those pics are bristle worms (all are polychaete), remember, there are thousands of polychaete worms that are harmless and the ones pictured above fall into that category.
 

Dolphins18

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Both of those pics are bristle worms (all are polychaete), remember, there are thousands of polychaete worms that are harmless and the ones pictured above fall into that category.
The one in the top picture was incredibly painful for me, other bristleworms don't feel like much of anything, thats why I identified the top pic as a fireworm. Felt like a lionfish sting.
 

minus9

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The one in the top picture was incredibly painful for me, other bristleworms don't feel like much of anything, thats why I identified the top pic as a fireworm. Felt like a lionfish sting.
Still most likely a bristle worm. I’ve handled thousands of pounds of live rock and had my fair share of encounters with both and have had different reactions. Not all bristle worms are the same, some are just like fiberglass, others pack a little extra punch, but still a bristle worm. Also, like with bee stings, most people won’t have a reaction, but others are allergic or more sensitive to the bristles. I’m not trying to minimize your encounter, but the reality is fireworms are pretty rare these days and the likelihood of a hobbyist finding one in their tank is really uncommon.
 

Dolphins18

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Still most likely a bristle worm. I’ve handled thousands of pounds of live rock and had my fair share of encounters with both and have had different reactions. Not all bristle worms are the same, some are just like fiberglass, others pack a little extra punch, but still a bristle worm. Also, like with bee stings, most people won’t have a reaction, but others are allergic or more sensitive to the bristles. I’m not trying to minimize your encounter, but the reality is fireworms are pretty rare these days and the likelihood of a hobbyist finding one in their tank is really uncommon.
This was also several yrs ago with rock from the ocean. You are good, I've been around here a while and love bristle worms, have had some that have been with me for 20+ yrs. Fire or bristle, this one had to go. Most just feel like fiberglass to me and I don't even notice them anymore.
 

N.Sreefer

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This needs a better pic for an definitive I.D the colors look muted but that could be the picture. the bristles are grouped and the red/white colors look like it could possibly be a fireworm. I agree with what minus9 says though, I haven't seen a fireworm in 6 years. OP this is what a fireworm looks like *not my pic*
 

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minus9

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This needs a better pic for an definitive I.D the colors look muted but that could be the picture. the bristles are grouped and the red/white colors look like it could possibly be a fireworm. I agree with what minus9 says though, I haven't seen a fireworm in 6 years. OP this is what a fireworm looks like *not my pic*
Yup, those are fireworms indeed.
 

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