Bristle worms in a sexy shrimp 4 gal?

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Bristle worms with sexy shrimp


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Castaway6

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I'm setting up a sexy shrimp and rock flower tank. A waterbox 4g. I've had it running a couple months with only a few rock flower nems. Recently bought gsp from a local reefer, and noticed a rather large (2+inches) bristle worm try to steal food from a nem during the last feeding. I presume he hitchhiked in with the gsp.

My question is will the sexy shrimp be safe with the worm/s in the tank? I usually avoid bristles and anything similar. I know word is they are great cuc but the way it basically shot out of the rock and grabbed the mysis has me a little worried about putting live shrimp in there. These things creep me out. When in doubt I usually take it out but wouldn't mind some cleanup help in this tank as I have no snails or hermits, just water changes.

Here's pics of the tank, 4 rfa inside, nothing else. Thanks for any feedback.

Also a poll for easy answers.

20191001_174322.jpg 20191001_174314.jpg
 

Ben549

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I actually had a bristle worm hurt one of my rock flower nems. The nem ended up dying as a result. I'm pretty sure the embedded bristle caused ongoing irritation to the foot and so the nem was always upset. (this is in a tank with 4 other rock flower nems) It's probably a pretty unlikely scenario but it's still a risk in my experience .
 

isaacalves

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In my experience you kind of need bristle worms if you have a substrate. They keep things moving and clean in places that you don't see or can reach. I have many bubbletips anemones with bristle worms, etc and never had an issue with them hurting the anemones. I don't know about flower/rock nems. The only negative I've seen with larger bristle worms is when you have fish like blennies, darts who like to make their homes in caves and might rub up against a bristle worm and on the rare occasion get some needles near the eye. But this has been rare for me.

Also, they are not an attractive site after the lights go out. I was compelled to get a coral banded and leopard wrasses to help keep the population under control. I did have an arrow crab but my coral banded shrimp is quite large and does not like any other shrimp -- Murder has been done.
 
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Castaway6

Castaway6

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Well I appreciate the quick responses. My concern was for the sexy shrimp, I hadn't even considered them bothering the nems. I washed my substrate so it's no problem stirring it up before a water change, I can live without these worms. I dont really like taking the risk. I guess this leads to my next question, should I get a coral banded and let him clean up the worms before introducing the sexies? I dont want to have to take any rock out.

FWIW, I feed maybe once a week, 1 mysis per nem. So the worms shouldn't have access to much food. Not sure if that will keep them under control or make em hungry?
 

smartwater101

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They feed on detritus and perhaps dead tissue but they will not be the cause of coral or fish death. They are usually just a symptom of overfeeding or excess die off. Not the problem itself.

The days of brisstleworms being considered evil is long gone. They won't harm your animals and, if anything, will be beneficial. Don't sweat it.
 

saltyhog

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They are not a problem and are no threat to your shrimp. Their mouth parts don't allow them to be a threat to them or anything else alive. As noted above they feed on dead tissue/detritus.

The angst with bristle worms reminds me of the irrational fear people have of spiders.
 
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Castaway6

Castaway6

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Thanks for clearing it up.

They definitely look creepy and that's what makes people like myself worry. Not to mention the look like they can do some damage!

Now, is it going to die because I direct feed the nems once a week? Will it feed on the misc algae breakouts or should I drop in a couple pellets now and then?


Note to self, keeping my hands out of there from now on
 
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