Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Reef Discussion
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 05/14/2018, 10:28 AM   #1
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Millipede-Like Worms Living I Sun Coral!

Okay, what the heck are they!? They look just like millipedes, except they're pale and translucent with a pale black vain running down their back! They're over an inch long, and they're living in my sun coral's skeleton! When I feed the polyps silversides, the worms pop out of his skeleton (one of the coral's previous owners starved him, so his tissue is very receded), and they start attacking the polyps! One or more will latch onto the food, while the others grab the polyp, biting it! They're really strong, too! I think they might be physically crawling INSIDE of the polyps tissue, as well!

I'm going to finish feeding the polyps, and then I'm going to put them in some coral dip. I...what are they?


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/14/2018, 10:33 AM   #2
AlSimmons
Registered Member
 
AlSimmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: California
Posts: 2,139
Without a picture it's kind of hard to say, but the link below might help.

https://www.lionfishlair.com/hitchhikers-guide/


AlSimmons is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/14/2018, 10:47 AM   #3
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
The closest they look like are Dorvilleidae, except those are herbivores. These worms are actually trying to steal his food and are biting him. Sorry, I definitely can't take any photos (camera sucks). Dang, all I have is some expired Coral Rx!


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/14/2018, 10:59 AM   #4
mcgyvr
Registered Member
 
mcgyvr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 15,580
Probably harmless and very common bristleworms..
You are likely overreacting on whats actually going on there..
I'd doubt they are really hurting the coral in anyway..


__________________
Being blunt and having fun
mcgyvr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/14/2018, 12:16 PM   #5
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Okay, so they have rounded white heads.

I don't think I'm overreacting? They're living inside of the coral's skeleton, and when they smell food, they swarm to the polyps, yanking food out of their mouths (causing the polyps to waste energy by trying to pull the food away from the worms), and I actually saw the worms biting the polyp's tentacles and yanking on them. They definitely don't look like any bristleworms I've ever seen.

The expired dip didn't work, so I think I'll have to put the coral in a bowl of saltwater, dangle a piece of fish in front of the polyp, then grab onto the worms with tweezers as they try to grab the food -_-.


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/14/2018, 05:11 PM   #6
Anemone
Cloning Around

 
Anemone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Valencia, California
Posts: 24,379
The only worms you would really need to be worried about are Bobbit worms (Eunice sp.); and those you would definitely need to remove.

Kevin


__________________
Back in the pool, swimming with the sharks...

Current Tank Info: Red Sea 425XL w/Kessil AP700, Vertex 180i Skimmer, 2 x Vortech MP40s
Anemone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05/15/2018, 01:13 PM   #7
Crooked Reef
Registered Member
 
Crooked Reef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,466
A type of syllid worm?


__________________
“In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.” - Benjamin Franklin

Current Tank Info: 90 gallon reef. Biocube 29 lionfish tank. Mantis tank.
Crooked Reef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05/15/2018, 01:23 PM   #8
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Yeah, I think they might be some sort of juvenile syllid worms belonging to the "Eusyllinae" sub-family. I saw what appeared to be some sort of egg mass dangling off one of the sun coral's tentacles the other day, and I saw suspicious masses inside the sun coral's tissue (I think they might be burrowing in its tissue). Not cool. Is there some sort of treatment I can use to get the worms to vacate the sun coral?


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 07:46 AM   #9
EMeyer
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 130
I have seen bristleworms attack sun corals during feeding time. I suggest you trust your direct observations more than assertions made by random people on the internet This does happen.

"But they only attack when the animal is dying anyway" this will be the next argument from the bristleworm police. And that my friends is what we call a non-falsifiable hypothesis. If a worm attacks an animal they will claim it was dying anyway, but there is no way to disprove this. Its a baseless assertion that cannot be tested.

I wish I had a solution for you. Not everything that lives in saltwater aquariums is compatible. I've seen bristleworms attack sun corals multiple times, and since there is no really effective way to eradicate them my only solution has been to stop trying to keep sun corals


EMeyer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 09:48 AM   #10
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Thanks for the support . I don't think the worms are seriously harming the sun coral at the moment, but I fear that could easily change. I absolutely love sun coral, and having one has always been on my bucket list. Well, if I had a bucket list.

Anyways, I think I might have a solution. I've taken courses in animal behaviour, training, psychology, etc. So...the only reason the worms are living in sun coral's skeleton is because it's right next to an all you can eat buffet. So, before feeding my sun coral, I'm going to start feeding the worms. Everyday, I'm going to feed them a bit further away from the sun coral, before finally feeding them daily at the same spot. They'll associate this spot with food, and hopefully they'll relocate. Hopefully. Worst comes to worst, I'll just make sure their tummies are full before feeding the sun coral, that way they won't bother him during feeding time.


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 10:49 AM   #11
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Look up "lightning fast white/milky looking worm". See the picture on the ********* website? Those are the worms!


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 11:55 AM   #12
Tripod1404
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMeyer View Post
I have seen bristleworms attack sun corals during feeding time. I suggest you trust your direct observations more than assertions made by random people on the internet This does happen.

"But they only attack when the animal is dying anyway" this will be the next argument from the bristleworm police. And that my friends is what we call a non-falsifiable hypothesis. If a worm attacks an animal they will claim it was dying anyway, but there is no way to disprove this. Its a baseless assertion that cannot be tested.

I wish I had a solution for you. Not everything that lives in saltwater aquariums is compatible. I've seen bristleworms attack sun corals multiple times, and since there is no really effective way to eradicate them my only solution has been to stop trying to keep sun corals
Lol... move along people, the ultimate expert talked, case is closed .


Tripod1404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 03:41 PM   #13
AlSimmons
Registered Member
 
AlSimmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: California
Posts: 2,139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripod1404 View Post
Lol... move along people, the ultimate expert talked, case is closed .
Lol... It's always nice to have a fan...



Last edited by AlSimmons; 05/16/2018 at 03:48 PM.
AlSimmons is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 04:44 PM   #14
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Well, my supplies came in today, so I decided to try "treating" one of the polyps. I put the coral in a bowl of tank water, then I used a needle to "inject" Melafix into the gap in the largest polyp's skeleton where the worms live. The worms started crawling out, and I continued to squirt the Melafix into the gap. Next, I carefully scraped the worms out of its skeleton. I spent at least 15 minutes getting those monsters out. Afterwards, I put some coral putty in the gap and sealed up the gap so that worms couldn't get back in.

In all, I removed at least TWENTY worms from just the one polyp. I put it on my new frag rack to help prevent other pests from hurting the polyp while the putty cures. If the polyp's still healthy a couple of weeks from now, I'll work on another polyp.


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 05:12 PM   #15
wrott
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,731
I believe Bayer pesticide treatment would kill the worms. I've used it many times on acro frags/colonies. It kills anything w/ a nervous system.


__________________
OK, but where does the meat go!
------------------------------------------------

120g SPS, 125g mix, 56g FOWLR, 20g qt
wrott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 05:15 PM   #16
AlSimmons
Registered Member
 
AlSimmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: California
Posts: 2,139
Just out of curiosty how much did you pay for the coral? I don't want anything to die, but throwing it over your shoulder might be the best thing.

FWIW I had to catch an Emerald crab from my tank and the best time to do it was in the middle of the night. Instead of putting it in the sump only to catch it another day or a net waiting, I decided to throw it in the toilet. I'll probably have to answer for this one day, but all in all it was for the greater good.



Last edited by AlSimmons; 05/16/2018 at 05:22 PM.
AlSimmons is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 05:28 PM   #17
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
The coral was actually free. I paid $1000 for the 90g, sump, skimmer, powerheads, kalk, corals, liverock, and everything else the guy had.

The worms are in the rest of the live rock, too. Pain in the butt. I saw one of those demon millipedes climbing on one of my acros the other day too. I don't think they're a threat to SPS coral, just certain soft corals and LPS corals. I think as long as the coral is in good health, they won't be harmed. It's just that the sun coral had been so neglected that the worms were able to take over. It's actually growing a new polyp and is eating really well for me, so I think it's worthwhile to evict the worms and patch up it's exposed skeleton with the putty. Poor guy. The polyp I just treated has been stressed the past few days. I noticed the worms have really been picking on it the past week, so hopefully it starts acting normal again.

Oh, and please tell me you killed the emerald crab before flushing it.


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 07:30 PM   #18
mndfreeze
Invert Sexy Time!
 
mndfreeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 2,130
You should have taken some up close macro pictures of the offending worms and posted them. Most worms are harmless and these are probably the same and just feeding on the stuff you're putting in there. most bristleworms we come across in the hobby don't even have the correct mouth parts to be able to damage a living creature.


mndfreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05/16/2018, 08:03 PM   #19
teddscau
Registered Member
 
teddscau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 72
Those definitely aren't bristleworms. Not sure what they are exactly, but I've seen them crawl right inside of the polyps' mouths to steal food from inside their bodies. If you search "lightning fast white/milky looking worm" on google, the first link that comes up will have a photo of the worms.


teddscau is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:56 AM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2018 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.