DIY Bristle Worm Trap - How To

cromag27 - ig = @octoaquatics. view my sig
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Sep 7, 2013
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DIY Bristle Worm Trap - How To

Chances are, if you are reading this article, you already know what a Bristle Worm is and why you may need to "trap" it. But in case you are not quite sure ....
Bristle worms are free-living segmented worms with an elongated body that has a pair of "appendages" as well as tufts of bristles (hence the name) on each segment of its body.


Above photo courtesy of bobbychullo

These critters can vary A LOT in terms of size and color. They can usually be found living on or in the aquarium substrate and live rock. They like to move around at night, so go looking after dark with a flashlight ....
They might also show themselves when the tank is being fed.
This guys can be a problem for reef keepers, and can cause headaches when they get particularly large. (And they can grow quickly!) They feed on all sorts of things ...

For those who have one of these hungry guys and who want to get them out of your tank, Cromag08 has come up with what he calls a "Super Easy DIY Bristle Worm Trap"

Here's what you need in terms of Materials:
- small plastic beverage bottle (rigid is better)
- box cutter/razor blade
- scissors
- straws

(remaining photos courtesy of Cromag08)

Step One:
Wash out the bottle really well and take off any packaging material.

Step Two:
Use the razor blade to cut three "X"s evenly spaced along one side of the bottle.

Step Three:
Use your scissors to cut out holes. You want the holes so that your straws will fit snug.




Step Four:

Now cut three holes in the opposite side. These new holes should not be exactly straight across from the first row of holes, but rather a little closer. the final photo will show why this is.

Step Five:
Cut the straws and insert them into the holes.


Note: You want all of the straws to touch the sand, that is why the second row of holes need to be offset a little and not straight across from the first row.

Step Six:
Put some meaty food inside, place the trap in your tank with the lid on and make sure the straws are near the sand. Leave it in your tank overnight.

Step Seven:
The next morning, check your trap and marvel at the glorious beauty of the bristle worm!
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Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
Lazys Coral House


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Sep 8, 2015
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I tried this once awhile back. Problem I was having was room for the trap. Seems 8-16oz bottles don't fit well in small nanos. I tried a 6oz bottle that I eventually was able to wedge into the tank but trapping anything was failure. I think it failed because the smaller the space, smaller the bottle and therefore smaller the tubes sticking out. I believe my cleaner shrimp was able to remove the bait from within the short tubes.

Amy Dawson

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Aug 11, 2016
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That's awesome. Thank you! I literally just found 5 in my tank today. I had absolutely no idea what they were but they all crawled out of a piece of rock. I'll post pics of my trap too. Thanks again

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