Good thing or bad thing?

What is that and where did it come from.

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caymanada
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Good thing or bad thing?

Post by caymanada » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:47 pm

My tank is two weeks old and this thing crawled out of the rock last night. It never fully came out of the rock, but about 2 inches of it was showing. I think this is some type of bristle worm (?). Do all bristle worms have the ability to sting? I have read some mixed reviews, should I keep it? Should I try to get rid of it?
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bluwtr
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Re: Good thing or bad thing?

Post by bluwtr » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:37 pm

Yeah it's a bristle worm and they are fine. Great detritovours.
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caymanada
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Re: Good thing or bad thing?

Post by caymanada » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:47 pm

Update: I have 2 of them. They are each about 3 to 4 inches long. Does anyone know if they are the stinging type? Thanks.

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AgeDynasty
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Re: Good thing or bad thing?

Post by AgeDynasty » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:57 am

Be aware, they could be fireworms, which are bad. Sounds like fireworms being that there that big.
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Re: Good thing or bad thing?

Post by Amphiprion » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:42 am

Well, the one in the pic doesn't look like Hermodice carunculata, which is the true "fireworm." That species has a bright red, highly visible tuft on the head, known as the caruncle (hence the scientific name). While all amphinomid worms are actually otherwise known as fireworms, only the big predatory ones are called that in the hobby. Hobbyists call all the other amphinomids "bristleworms" in general (even though that term applies to all polychaetes, which includes things like featherdusters).

Anyway, I suspect your worm is Eurythoe or something very similar. These worms can get quite large--on the scale of Hermodice--but don't have the same predatory habits and most stay smaller. They are, ounce for ounce, one of the best carrion eaters and, as bluwtr mentioned, are great detritivores. While there are bad worms, most are good thing :). Besides, that is mostly what you pay for when you get live rock or harvested live sand.
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