Terrible Advice Tuesdays: Bristle worms kills corals, are overall bad things and should be removed from your tank.
The rest of the story: Poor bristle worms. Most people seem to have it out for them for really no good reason!
Nearly all Bristle worms are valuable members of clean up crews as they are great scavengers. Of course there is always the story of a bristle worm eating a fish/coral/clam/you-fill-in-the-blank and nearly all the time the fish/coral/clam/you-fill-in-the-blank died, or was dying, and the worm came and cleaned it up. I’ve also run across stories of bristle worms growing to feet and length and while pictures can provide evidence, most bristle worms get to be 2-6″ (5-15 cm)
Yes, bristle worms can sting. Their bodies are covered in hair looking projectiles that dig into your skin and burn. Personally I’ve been able to avoid getting stung by simply watching where I’m putting my hands in my tank. Wearing gloves never hurt either.
I’m a fan of bristle worms and I’ll often bomb a tank with them to establish a population of these worms. If you don’t like them, or think you have too many, you can remove the worms with a pair of tweezers. Arrow crabs also do a good job of eating them.
Bottom line: leave the the bristle worms alone!Browse the Store! Questions?