Feather Duster/Tube Worm Getting a Haircut

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Adam1985

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Hi all,

I’ve noticed from time to time my tube worm/feather duster (calcareous variety, white/red fan) seems to get a “haircut.”

It’s happened several times, and the worm seems to grow them back quite quickly.

I assume something is doing this; there is a peppermint shrimp that hangs out directly above the feather duster, so perhaps it is this shrimp? On the other hand, I’ve actually been feeding much heavier lately so would be surprised if it’s due to hunger.

Anyone else have this happen? Or any idea what’s the issue here? I’m not extremely worried as the previous haircut was a neat total buzz job, high and tight. It recovered from that, but I guess it’s possible the worm would starve if this were to start happening on an ongoing basis.

Pics attached. Parameters available if needed.

Thanks!

Adam

75BA0340-4878-4D31-8D51-FE74F7177600.jpeg 706220FD-A03B-4C97-ADB8-206D9B05215F.jpeg
 
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Adam1985

Adam1985

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Hi all,

I’ve noticed from time to time my tube worm/feather duster (calcareous variety, white/red fan) seems to get a “haircut.”

It’s happened several times, and the worm seems to grow them back quite quickly.

I assume something is doing this; there is a peppermint shrimp that hangs out directly above the feather duster, so perhaps it is this shrimp? On the other hand, I’ve actually been feeding much heavier lately so would be surprised if it’s due to hunger.

Anyone else have this happen? Or any idea what’s the issue here? I’m not extremely worried as the previous haircut was a neat total buzz job, high and tight. It recovered from that, but I guess it’s possible the worm would starve if this were to start happening on an ongoing basis.

Pics attached. Parameters available if needed.

Thanks!

Adam

75BA0340-4878-4D31-8D51-FE74F7177600.jpeg 706220FD-A03B-4C97-ADB8-206D9B05215F.jpeg
By the way, the “feathers” of the crown were far longer before this started happening. It’s recovering from the previous high and tight, and hasn’t reached its previous length and fullness yet.

Anyway hopefully you can see the new, cleanly cut areas. The most recent haircut happened overnight.
 

Isopod80

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Something is likely picking at it. A fish maybe? I wouldnt rule out the peppermint either. I don't trust them. Dusters will shed their crown at times when stressed but it's usually the entire crown at once.
 
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Adam1985

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Something is likely picking at it. A fish maybe? I wouldnt rule out the peppermint either. I don't trust them. Dusters will shed their crown at times when stressed but it's usually the entire crown at once.
My thinking as well. Question is what.

Algae blenny possible?

Reason I ask is after my horrible nightmare with a leapord blenny (sold to me as a starry, but actually a coral eating leopard), I obtained a proper algae blenny. It went in last night.

The leopard blenny had jumped out and become cat food shortly before I was going to take apart the rock work to remove it. The feather dusters crown began to immediately grow back once that fish was gone.

Latest haircut occurred in conjunction with adding the algae blenny. It also jumped today and my cat was about to eat it, but I intervened in time.

Holding putting it back in due to this potential issue.
 

Isopod80

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I doubt the algae blenny is to blame. It was more likely the leopard blenny or possibly the peppermint. I'd watch the tank a bit each night. Use a red lens flashlight or red cellophane around the lens of a regular flashlight. You may catch the shrimp in action.
 
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Adam1985

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My thinking as well. Question is what.

Algae blenny possible?

Reason I ask is after my horrible nightmare with a leapord blenny (sold to me as a starry, but actually a coral eating leopard), I obtained a proper algae blenny. It went in last night.

The leopard blenny had jumped out and become cat food shortly before I was going to take apart the rock work to remove it. The feather dusters crown began to immediately grow back once that fish was gone.

Latest haircut occurred in conjunction with adding the algae blenny. It also jumped today and my cat was about to eat it, but I intervened in time.

Holding putting it back in due to this potential issue.
New blenny in question.
 

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Adam1985

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I doubt the algae blenny is to blame. It was more likely the leopard blenny or possibly the peppermint. I'd watch the tank a bit each night. Use a red lens flashlight or red cellophane around the lens of a regular flashlight. You may catch the shrimp in action.
Thanks will do. Ordered a red flashlight last night and will try to come up with something to rig up a red flashlight before it arrives.
 
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Adam1985

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How's it going? Does the worm have a full head of hair now? :)
Hey!

Thanks for asking, it’s got a full head of hair again; seemed to be a series of poor blenny choices, most likely the leopard blenny doing most of the damage. I also was having issues with a bicolor blenny openly nibbling on corals. Algae blenny seemed well behaved as far as I could observe, but the latest one jumped out. I was never able to see anything bothering it at night including shrimp; now trying to manage algae without blennies.

Here’s a picture taken the other day; still not as full as it used to be but much better.

I’ll try to get a better picture for you later tonight or this week.

Adam
 

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homer1475

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I've read they can shed and regrow their "crown" by the available food source. In another words, larger crown, more food available. Smaller crown, less food. Not sure how much of that is true, or not.

Seemed to be that way with my coco worm. When I had less fish and fed less, it lost it's crown and regrew a much smaller one. I added more fish, and started feeding live phyto, and it's crown grew huge.
 

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Hey!

Thanks for asking, it’s got a full head of hair again; seemed to be a series of poor blenny choices, most likely the leopard blenny doing most of the damage. I also was having issues with a bicolor blenny openly nibbling on corals. Algae blenny seemed well behaved as far as I could observe, but the latest one jumped out. I was never able to see anything bothering it at night including shrimp; now trying to manage algae without blennies.

Here’s a picture taken the other day; still not as full as it used to be but much better.

I’ll try to get a better picture for you later tonight or this week.

Adam
Excellent, I'm glad to hear it's recovered. I have avoided Blennies for exactly this reason, you just never really know what might take their fancy. :rolleyes:
 
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I've read they can shed and regrow their "crown" by the available food source. In another words, larger crown, more food available. Smaller crown, less food. Not sure how much of that is true, or not.

Seemed to be that way with my coco worm. When I had less fish and fed less, it lost it's crown and regrew a much smaller one. I added more fish, and started feeding live phyto, and it's crown grew huge.
Really good comments. I’m thinking about restarting phyto culturing. I can’t seem to get as good a result for filter feeders and pods with the commercial phyto substitutes, I mean they’re decent but not like real, live phyto. And it’s hard to feed the same amount of the available live preparations as you can with home grown, at least without going through a bottle a day.

If I can only get over my (perhaps) illogical fear of too many nitrates and phosphates going in with the unconsumed phyto fertilizer. Last night nitrates were at 15.8 ppm and phosphates around 0.2 ppm, and I’m not happy. Might be OCD or something. As I know plenty of amazing tanks run much higher than that.
 
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Hey!

Thanks for asking, it’s got a full head of hair again; seemed to be a series of poor blenny choices, most likely the leopard blenny doing most of the damage. I also was having issues with a bicolor blenny openly nibbling on corals. Algae blenny seemed well behaved as far as I could observe, but the latest one jumped out. I was never able to see anything bothering it at night including shrimp; now trying to manage algae without blennies.

Here’s a picture taken the other day; still not as full as it used to be but much better.

I’ll try to get a better picture for you later tonight or this week.

Adam

As promised plus a bottom up shot and sort of tank pano just because.
 

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Adam1985

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Thanks so much. That dendro has grown like crazy, it was very small when I got it. They’re available and cheap here. Happy to help you get a frag shipped to the UK if you really really want one and if you’re OK with a really small frag I could actually just cut you a piece of mine.

If it makes you feel better, I love tridachnid clams but they’re illegal to possess here in China (I’m an American living here for work)! So no clams for me.
 

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Tridacna clams are illegal in China? Wow, I did not know that. I am glad that they are maricultured these days. I expect you probably have better access to other corals that are not easily available elsewhere, yes?

I would love the take you up on that offer but I doubt that it would be allowed. UK customs would most likely confiscate the coral more's the pity. I visited the US for MACNA a few years ago and saw loads available for sale there, I really wanted to bring one home but knew I couldn't. I don't know why the UK won't allow them to be imported since they are aquacultured. :(
 
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