Worm Explosion!

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So i have in the past 3 years attempted to help an elderly friend of mine make their saltwater tank fantasy come to life ( in the essence of even having one ) and i would say I have done a decent job with something I went into knowing nothing about.

Also, Before I go too much further; I understand some things are not right as far as aptasia anemones that are always a problem from the live rocks we initially got ( i have used aptaisia X but it doesn't help they keep coming back), and the fish that is in this tank is to big (species wise), but freind wanted it so friend got. Its not my personal tank, but I take care of it as best as possible for my friend to enjoy. This also means that there is a semi-lack of maintenance since I can only make it out once a week to do this for the friend. However I do a 30% water change every week, use only RO water and mix salt appropriately, Clean glass as best I can, but since I am not there evveryday the back glass and side glass is caked with stuff so to speak.

Tank is as follows:
55 gallon
Fluval filter for marine tanks( hang on back), dont remember name, but is supposedly good for up to 75 gallons and we have a hang on backpack protein skimmer rated for 75 gallons as well.
Salinity is 1.023 fluctuated very little ( i am pretty good about keeping it there or a bit higher sometimes)
Other fields I do not know at this point as I cant readily check ammonia, phosphate, nitrates and nitrites, etc. so will have to work with assumptions
only one fish inside is a Blue Tang ( yes too big for tank) Dori is approx 6 inch but seems to be okay, eats good when i go over and swims freely
2 peppermint shrimps
a few blue legged hermits
and a sh*t ton of worms (hence title)
Corals are some feathers and really all that you see in that pic is what has grown from the live rock for the most part, and I am not good with coral names. Friend says that one looks pretty, we get it, and I do research of course to make sure it will thrive before purchase.

So, problem as shown in picture is an absolute mess of bristle worms. I understand that they are great for the tank, but even myself agrees that its waaaaaaay too many. I need to figure out what i need to do for my friend to get rid of some of these worms or control them is the better term to use here and so that way my friend can enjoy the tank without seeing creepy crawlies everywhere.

Thanks for help!
would you suggest a feeding schedule then? Say like twice a week...I have freshwater and i feed my fresh water once a week, since i am unsure of the feeding habits of saltwater frishes, I dont want to deprive the blue tang
Since this is my friends tank I dont know what the feed schedule is, but i do know the food that i see is formula one pellets by ocean nutrition in the medium pellets. I thought i remembered at one time seeing the seaweed strips, but that has been a looooong time ago.


Well-Known Member
Gotcha. Pellets are ok but not as the only food. Frozen foods like mysis, sprilina brine, are better options. Still only a small amount daily is needed. The seaweed is a good thing for tangs tho.
alright I will be setting up a feed schedule and getting better foods. So i assume when the food supply drops so will the worms over time?


Well-Known Member
I should mention the pink color on them indicates a fire worm. Same critter just a bit worse to handle. Not many fish will eat them. Bristle worms a few types of fish will eat smaller ones
So our goal for worm control is feeding a different food and essentially keep as much as possible off the bottom.

Since the only fish in there is a Blue Tang, I got a veggie clip and am using a seaweed that has all the nutrients Dori is going to need and I pre-cut the strips I believe large enough for Dori to eat without going to waste and so all my friend has to do is just attach one of these a day.

Will have to see what happens
What other food would you suggest? Trying to stay away from sinking pellets. Would a flake food work or i guess a non-sinking pellet? oooor something else in mind?


Well-Known Member
I would try to remove them. you can bait them in a pvc pipe or Tupperware container with some food. then remove them and clean that out frequently.

They can be more than a simple clean up crew. the wrong type can feed off corals. google Oregon reef incident.

my .02