Bristle Worm Hunt

The last time I posted about Bristle Worms on this site, I was convinced that I would be catching hundreds of them [slight exaggeration]. The last times I set the trap, I set it up on the live rocks. The bristle worm trap proved ineffective on the live rocks.

I was able to prop the trap in a way that allowed easy entrance into it. That did not matter. I did not catch any bristle worms.

Removing Live Rock

Just today I decided to go ahead with my plan of stripping all the live rock out of the tank for a major rock/substrate maintenance job. I have been battling red algae in my tank and feel this is the next step in getting that stuff under control.

I started to pull out the chunks of live rock, one by one. I then washed each one thoroughly in the sink. I scrubbed it with a scrub brush and clean out all the crevices. In the crevices I found a lot of BRISTLE WORMS!!

I started to pluck them out and put them onto the counter top after a while. After grossing out my girlfriend, I took a picture of the scavenged bristle worms [the enemy] and ran them down the dish disposal. Haha, take that you wormy little bastards.

I started to realize that I had quite a few more bristle worms in my tank than I imagined. The majority of them were burrowed in and under live rock. I pulled all the live rock from the tank and cleaned it all thoroughly. I then also vacuumed the substrate thoroughly.

In the Substrate

While vacuuming the substrate I also killed a lot of bristle worms. I could tell that they were getting mashed up in the rocks as I vacuumed pretty easily. They must be weak. There was a lot of pieces of bristle worm laying on the substrate after the vacuuming. I then noticed a bunch of my snails go to work. I am assuming my snails will clean up what is left.

Long Term, For Now…

For now I will just go with a few small pieces of live rock and continue to vacuum and clean substrate and rocks on a regular basis. I need to keep the red algae from setting back in.

I will also need to:

  • Block the afternoon sunlight from hitting the tank. Even though the tank is strategically placed in another room to prevent sunlight contact, there is still a nice little sliver of light that sneaks through and hits the side of the aquarium. I will have to block that somehow.
  • Replace my filter plumbing and create more water currents that I can control. I need to install clean plumbing to battle the algae. I also need to make sure I can create preferential water currents with upgraded water flow control.

I better now get to work.

About Luke

the owner and caretaker of a 75 gallon aquarium in his home studio. Good times.
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