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Saltwater Aquarium/salt water worms


I have had a recurring issue with worms in my small salt water aquarium.  The last one I removed was about 2 inches long.  I have read about bristle worms, and although my worm has projections on both sides, it is not red and doesn't exactly look like the pictures I saw ( was on the reef site).  Are there other kinds of worms?  Are they mostly harmless?  I recently lost a dwarf angel that I had for a several years and a shark- nose blenny that I had for a few weeks (tomato clown is OK).  Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time.

Hello Linda,

the description of the worm you provided me was rather vague but i hope i can still help you out with your infestation problem! there are many worm species with projections coming from the sides, i suggest you google worm hitchhiker and you will find lots of pictures with attached species identification. just a quick google search brought me to a page that shows this worm could very well be another species of bristle worm, which is not the characteristic red worm, and they get quite large and can be quite dangerous. if this is the case i would highly suggest taking the live rock out of the tank and nuking it (in other words, killing all of the living creatures inhabiting the rock.) this can kill quite a few beneficial creatures and bacteria but that is no consequence when compared to the large bristle worms killing your fish, or worse biting your finger. i know from experience how awfully creepy that is to deal with haha.

there are literally tons of worms that fit this identification so i have pasted the link to the page i found. look through these images and hopefully you will find one that matches the worm in your tank. we can work things out from there.

hope i have helped at least a little bit linda! thank you.


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i have about 15 years of experience in the reefing hobby but have been keeping aquariums for about 20, i am up to date on all the latest equipment such as led lighting, dosers, the new tanks available such as the red sea max and i can help you with many creatures that most other people have never even kept before such as sehorses, cephs, and sharks and rays.


15 years in the reefing hobby and it has come to my attention this site needs some more informed experts.


masters degree in marine biology

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