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Bristle/Fireworms Feeding FAQs 

Related FAQs: Worm Feeding, Flatworm Feeding, & Bristle/Fireworms 1, Bristle/Fireworms 2Bristle/Fireworms 3, Bristle/Fireworms 4, Worm IdentificationPolychaete Identification, Polychaete Behavior, Polychaete Compatibility, Polychaete System, Polychaete Selection, Polychaete Disease, Polychaete Reproduction

Related Articles: Worms, Polychaetes, Flatworms/Planaria

Bristle worm feeding  12/12/05 Hello crew, <Hello Leif> I was just browsing through your feather duster/bristle worms sections and I read a question from someone called Tori who asked if anyone had witnessed a bristleworm feeding. I read their description of events and just thought that I would add that I too have seen them doing this. I have a piece of live rock heavily covered with various types of macro algae and there is a bristle worm (about 3") that lives in this rock. At night when I sit there with my red filtered torch watching, you can see the worm regularly sliding around the undergrowth munching away on the algae. (It's favourite seems to be a red algae, sorry but I'm not sure what it's called) Their mouths open very wide and it is fascinating to watch. It slithers out of it's hole, takes a big bite and then slithers right back again. Just thought I'd contribute my experience with these critters, <Thank you for sharing your experience.  James (Salty Dog)> Best regards, Leif Hinks

Epitokes and rotifers You wrote: As a boy in the P.I. I was familiar with a practice of collecting certain "native" marine foods with baskets, Really? Well I grew up in Chicago and never saw a Nereis until I was nearly 30. Now I live in P.I. and have just started my first marine aquarium. In a 48 gal tank which cycled on July 3, I now have two anemones, three Sabellids, a clownfish and a damsel. I'd love to have more polychaetes but first I want to know how to feed them. <Mmm, I will assure you, most everyone who has used live rock, "real" live sand does feed polychaete worms... almost continuously... many species are quite small, reproduce prodigiously... "come out of the sand" (esp. by nightfall) and are consumed> If you were in P.I. and knowing what you know now how would you go about cultivating/collecting food for these critters. ( brine shrimp are very expensive when available- 1000+ pesos for dried food) Is it realistic to think of cultivating rotifers? <Please take a look at the works of Frank Hoff and products available (books, cultures...) from Florida Aqua-Farms... and articles by Bob Toonen on aquarium-related culture of food-organisms (maybe a search on the Net using their names... or a look through the archives of Aquarium Frontiers (on-line)> How can I exclusively get the marine species grown? I have a microscope and can probably ID who's who. <A lot of fun and... dare I say... instructional as well> Do you have other suggestions for feeding polychaetes? <There are so many species... and of different feeding strategies (filter of many sorts to outright predaceous) that generalizations are likely not helpful. What species? Smallish ones are likely better either mono-cultured in specific vessels for the purpose, but raising them ancillary to having a DSB and live rock in an as-large-as-you-can-fit refugium would likely get you what you're shooting for> Are there indigenous species of worms that I'd be well advised NOT  to put in my treasured new tank? <Mmm, yes... larger, predatory species.> BTW I love WWM  and most certainly appreciate the style and content of  your contributions. Thanks so much! <Thank you for your kind words and contributing here to the site. Bob Fenner> Charles Olson, D.C. Davao, Mindanao, Philippines

Bristle worms For Dinner Can marine fish eat bristle worms without harm? <Oh yes! For many fishes and non-fishes Sedentariate polychaetes of many sorts are meals du jour> I have a 180 gallon with fish and soft corals and also a 12 gallon nano reef.  The nano reef currently has no fish in it and the bristle worms are becoming quite abundant.  I bought a trap to catch the worms.  I have a 7 inch Formosa Wrasse and a 4 inch Imperator Angel in the 180 (among others).  The Wrasse and Imperator chomp the bristle worms if I throw them in (worms up to 1 1/2 inches).  Will the worms hurt the fish internally if they eat them? <Not at all> Another question regarding the Imperator.  My Imperator likes to lay around on his side.  He snuggles up to pieces of live rock and lays on his side about a 1/4 of an inch over the rock.  When I come up to the tank, and he sees me, he'll swim right over to me.  He is about 3 years old and is in excellent health, he is starting to get his adult color pattern.  Why does he lay around on his side and hover over the live rock? <Some specimens "just do this"... perhaps this laying down behavior has some "survival value"... that is, perhaps acting so confers advantages, like being less visible or palatable to potential predators. Bob Fenner> Thanks,

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