Fireworm situation killing my tank

Gil03

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Believe everyone when we tell you they're just bristleworms and are harmless other than scavenging for detritus, not to mention easily taken care of manually or by inverts such as coral banded shrimp etc. The worms are definitely not killing your inhabitants, you have other issues like your temp for starters and likely other issues completely unrelated if you're asserting that surely your worm issue is decimating your tank. The things you're seeing your bristleworms eating have already died due to the real problem and are just doing their job cleaning up a bit.
 
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Charlotte44

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Hold steady with 1.024. The temp should be no lower than 75 no higher than 82 i sugest picking a spot in the middle and staying consistant. If you raised the salinity from 1.019 -.024 rapidly that would cause another mess of issues.
To raise the salinity I took like 3 weeks, I have raised the temp to 75. I have a thermometer that is color coded to the specs you suggested. The take is due for a water change today, will watch the tank. It has been suggested to get a Coral Banded Shrimp for keeping the worm population at bay. I can get one tomorrow, thoughts?
 
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Charlotte44

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Believe everyone when we tell you they're just bristleworms and are harmless other than scavenging for detritus, not to mention easily taken care of manually or by inverts such as coral banded shrimp etc. The worms are definitely not killing your inhabitants, you have other issues like your temp for starters and likely other issues completely unrelated if you're asserting that surely your worm issue is decimating your tank. The things you're seeing your bristleworms eating have already died due to the real problem and are just doing their job cleaning up a bit.

Thanks for the info, my anemone is not dead or dying. It is actually thriving and has been for months. I have raised the temp of the tank to 75. My Clown has been doing great for 10 years.
 
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Charlotte44

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I apologize if I came across as dismissive, that wasn't my intent. As mentioned earlier, people react to stings and bites differently and sometimes, in your case, react in a severe way. I'm glad you're okay. I was merely pointing out that you have bristle worms and not fireworms. To add to the confusion, both are polychaete worms and are virtually the same, other than the fact that some fireworms (not all) have hollow bristles that contain toxins.
Temp and salinity can have a huge impact on the inhabitants of your tank. As mentioned above, 72 is too cold, unless you're keeping a specific species tank? Keeping inverts in salinity lower than 1.024 can be problematic long term. People have kept their tanks in lower salinity, but I'm not sure why anyone would do this? The point of a reef tank is to keep a part of the ocean in our homes, so why divert from the natural parameters of the ocean/reef? If you're keeping inverts (anemones, corals, shrimps, etc..) I wouldn't keep the salinity lower than 1.025 and temps lower than 77, other than short daily drops. I would also calibrate your refractometer to be sure.
Thanks for explaining your intent, I have had this tank for 10 year and was advised by the experts there to keep the salinity at 1.019 for the clowns. It was a fish only tank until recently. I have already raised the temp to 75 and will gradually increase it more to 77 or 78. So I didnt divert, being a beginner at that time I was following the advise of an expert.
 

MY TOUCH OF THE OCEAN

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To raise the salinity I took like 3 weeks, I have raised the temp to 75. I have a thermometer that is color coded to the specs you suggested. The take is due for a water change today, will watch the tank. It has been suggested to get a Coral Banded Shrimp for keeping the worm population at bay. I can get one tomorrow, thoughts?
I have heard of people having success with the banded shrimp but moreso towards bristle worms im not entirely sure if it will get a full grown fire worm. Some wrasses may go after them. But something thay big im sure the wrass would need to be an adult. I would do the misting thing and see if that works for you.
 
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MY TOUCH OF THE OCEAN

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To raise the salinity I took like 3 weeks, I have raised the temp to 75. I have a thermometer that is color coded to the specs you suggested. The take is due for a water change today, will watch the tank. It has been suggested to get a Coral Banded Shrimp for keeping the worm population at bay. I can get one tomorrow, thoughts?
I see everybody telling you its just bristle worms but i dont think they read down to where you say you know 1 is at least 2' long. If your certain of this then im sure you have a fireworm issue. No bristle worm gets to 2' long. Either they are not taking your issue serious or they are misinformed themselves.
 

Mr_Knightley

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I see everybody telling you its just bristle worms but i dont think they read down to where you say you know 1 is at least 2' long. If your certain of this then im sure you have a fireworm issue. No bristle worm gets to 2' long. Either they are not taking your issue serious or they are misinformed themselves.
She actually corrected herself and said it was 2", that was a miscommunication.
 

homer1475

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He also only has an 18G nano. If he had a 2 foot worm in an 18G nano, it would encircle the entire tank, and be pretty hard to miss let alone be able to catch it fairly easy.

Not to mention the picture he posted is a plain jane bristle worm. We take every post seriously, but when everyone tells you one thing, and you just keep ignoring it, or insisting its something else, Well.........

Pretty sure he meant 2 inches" not 2 foot'.
 

Tahoe61

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Arrow Crabs eat Bristle Worms like candy even the largest ones.
 
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minus9

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Thanks for explaining your intent, I have had this tank for 10 year and was advised by the experts there to keep the salinity at 1.019 for the clowns. It was a fish only tank until recently. I have already raised the temp to 75 and will gradually increase it more to 77 or 78. So I didnt divert, being a beginner at that time I was following the advise of an expert.
No worries. There's tons of advice out there on how to run a fish only tank, especially with regards to salinity. I've never been one to think of a fish only system being any different than the reef the fish come from and have always kept my parameters accordingly. I think the lower salinity for fish only was something that started a long time ago and kind of stuck around, mostly because people thought it was beneficial in combatting parasites, but there's actually no proof of it working. In order for lower salinity to be truly effective, you need to be in hypo-salinity (1.009), otherwise, it serves no purpose. I don't want to discuss hypo-salinity here and divert from your issues, but some myths need to go away, that being one of them.
If you want to get rid of the bristle worms, then make a simple trap with panty hose. Cut off the foot part, enough to put a piece of food (shrimp, krill, etc..) in it and tie it off. Put it in the tank near the rock (you may have to weigh it down with something) and wait a couple of hours after lights out. Use tongs or gloves and pull it out slowly when you see the worms are trying to eat the food. Their bristles get caught in the panty hose, so it's a really simple way of removing them.
My advice going forward, slowly adjust your salinity to 1.025/1.026 and temp around 77 as mentioned earlier. I would do weekly 10% water changes with a high quality salt mix using RO.
Good luck and keep us posted.
 

kireek

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To raise the salinity I took like 3 weeks, I have raised the temp to 75. I have a thermometer that is color coded to the specs you suggested. The take is due for a water change today, will watch the tank. It has been suggested to get a Coral Banded Shrimp for keeping the worm population at bay. I can get one tomorrow, thoughts?
I would suggest that you try a Arrow crab (again) instead.If you do decide to go for a Coral banded shrimp,look for one of the types that stay small.I believe they are sold as Golden Coral Banded shrimp.Occasionally the large full sized Coral bands will go after fish.
 

PhreeByrd

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I agree that the photo the OP posted of the worm is a common bristleworm, not a fireworm... which doesn't mean that both types are not inhabiting the tank -- but that seems unlikely.

I don't dispute that a common bristleworm might indeed cause a serious allergic reaction in some people. But if that reaction is life-threatening or can cause permanent injury, then maybe this hobby is not the best vocation; at least for anybody not hell-bent on living on the edge.

I also strongly agree with letting natural predators patrol the tank. They work 24/7, and there is simply no way an animal like this can be completely eradicated by trapping or manually capturing them.

LFS's use water salinities around 1.019sg because it saves them money. There is no other reason. Clownfish live naturally in full salinity seawater, and there is no good reason for them to be kept in lower salinity water. Likewise with the temperature. The OP has not been doing the clownfish any favors by keeping them cold and in borderline brackish water.
 

MixedFruitBasket

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That is not a bristle worm, I was stung by one and it caused immediate fire going up my arm and made my blood pressure so high it landed me in the hospital. I now have to take BP meds because it damaged the part in your brain that controls blood pressure. This worm is neuro and cardio toxic. No joke, horrible experience and I can assure you this IS a fire worm.


Agreed. Fire worm. I'm highly allergic myself. I even get too close to them in the tank and I get huge red hives all over my hand or arms and sometimes blisters. I don't even have to touch them. So they definitely produce something that they release into the water. Had no idea it could be as bad as y our experience.
 
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MixedFruitBasket

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I apologize if I came across as dismissive, that wasn't my intent. As mentioned earlier, people react to stings and bites differently and sometimes, in your case, react in a severe way. I'm glad you're okay. I was merely pointing out that you have bristle worms and not fireworms. To add to the confusion, both are polychaete worms and are virtually the same, other than the fact that some fireworms (not all) have hollow bristles that contain toxins.

When they are phenotypically so close, would it be reasonable to think the only real way to ID them would be to look at them on a microscopic level or observe the behavior? And if the worms look like bristle worms, yet are behaving like fire worms is it all that unreasonable to err on the side of caution and treat them as such?

I've had fire worms (or worms that look remarkably like this one as well and different) before, I can attest to the fact they hunt. They will go after easy stuff sure, but when they get too many, they will be more than happy to take on easy prey.
I've also had an evil yellow snail killing worm, but that's another story. ;)
 

tautog83

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Is it just me but with a tank that small and the 2 things in it I would just throw out the rock and start over .
 

Gil03

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Thanks for the info, my anemone is not dead or dying. It is actually thriving and has been for months. I have raised the temp of the tank to 75. My Clown has been doing great for 10 years.
Your anemone is bleached in the photo and is a sign that it is stressed. Outside of the obvious water testing it is these types of things that can alert you to problems when water chemistry is seemingly in order.
 
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