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FAQs about Marine Worms, Vermiform Animals Identification 3

Related FAQs: Worm IDs 1, Worm IDs 2, Worm IDs 4, Worm IDs 5, Worm IDs 6, Worm IDs 7, Worm IDs 8, Worm IDs 9, Worm IDs 10, Worm ID 11, Worm ID 12, Worm ID 13, Worm ID 14, Worm ID 15, Worm ID 16, Worm ID 17, Worm ID 18, See Also: Flatworm ID 1 +, Nemertean, Proboscis, Ribbon Worm ID 1, Nematode, Roundworm ID 1, Nematomorpha, Horsehair Worm ID 1, Acanthocephalans, Thorny-headed Worm ID 1, Tubeworm/Featherduster ID 1 +, Bristle Worm ID 1 +, Hirudineans, Leech ID 1, Sipunculids, Peanut Worm ID 1, Echiuran Worm ID 1, & FAQs on: Worm Behavior, Worm Compatibility, Worm Selection, Worm Systems, Worm Feeding, Worm Disease, Worm Reproduction, & Invertebrate Identification, Worms 1, Worms 2Worms 3, Flatworms/Planaria, Fire/Bristleworms

Related Articles: Worms, Featherduster Worms

What are these worms? More punctuation issues  >hi,  first, thank you for a terrific site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >>You're welcome, and we're asking everyone who writes in to *please* use proper punctuation (capitalization of "I", capital letters beginning sentences, third grade stuff) as these go into our site's archives. Being all-volunteer crew, we rarely have time to retype queries.  >now my question:  >>Indeed.  >I have tiny whitish cream colored worm like creatures on my glass, my 125gal salt tank. they remind me of inch worms but a lot smaller and don't move like them. do you have any idea if these are harmful to my fish ???  >>I'm sure they aren't, and could be any one of thousands of possible creatures.  >I know you don't have a magic ball but I thought maybe you might have a slight idea and tell me something that will make me feel better..  thanks in advance for your help, Caryn  >>I'm sure they're not harmful, and are likely food for those fish that might like to eat them. Such is to be expected when keeping saltwater fishes, especially if making use of good (and sometimes even not so good) live rock. Marina

The worm that 8 Goniopora 4/4/04 Crew of Wonders, <wondering in Pittsburgh, Anthony Calfo in your service> In my 175 reef I have a Goniopora, healthy and BIG for about 5 1/2 months now. I acquired it before I was to bask in the collective knowledge of WWM. I now know better. <good to hear, as they say "Every day, a better way"> But over the last 2 days it has been closed with little extension; I figured it was the beginning of the inevitable. As I was preparing the pyre, I noticed what looked like an arm of a serpent star entwined throughout the stubs and "flowers" of the Goniopora. I noticed that MY serpent star was across the tank so I tried to grab it with a pair of tongs. It looked about 4 inches long as it meandered around the coral. As I touched it recoiled swiftly. After 3 tries I got the bugger and placed it in a container. It has contracted to about 1 1/2 inches and swimming with a "sine" movement. It also "slimed" the water when I messed with it, a whitish discharge that floated on the water. Attached is a small pic of the suspect, to the left you can see the goo it oozed.  Any insight would be appreciated, especially if it was the culprit of the Goniopora's ills. I searched the FAQs and no mention of the goo... Walter <I cannot make a specific ID for this worm or even confirm that it is predatory or simply scavenging an already (albeit suddenly, dying or necrotic Goniopora. I can say that is it is the former, it did not likely arrive on import with the coral, but rather appeared recently from the introduction of a coral, love rock, snails, sand, etc without a proper quarantine period. Hard to explain a decided predator any other way with 5+ months of good behavior. Kindly, Anthony>

Encrusting Calcium Worms Hello Crew,<Howdy!> I recently added a nice piece of Fiji rock to my tank, has sprouted some sea squirts coco worms and some clam or oyster, perhaps a scallop as it is still small and clear hard to tell.<Awesome!> What I am wondering about is I have noticed from time to time what appears to be sand or small round particles being ejected from the rock. I now have what appears to be small white curls growing on the back and sides and now on the front of my aquarium, They are really tiny and only with the use of a magnifying glass was I able to tell they curled.  any ideas of what this may be as I do not even know what to look for in a search.<I call them encrusting calcium worms because I can't remember the real name for them.  They are harmless and are a common sighting in most aquariums.> also if you know what they are? should I be concerned?<See above! No need for concern.  Cody> Thanks, Drew

Worms II Hello Cody,<Howdy!> Thank you for your reply , I found what I was looking for , they are more then likely Spirorbidae from the family of Serpulidae and says they are a sign of a maturing tank, this is good then.<Yeppers!> One question I can not seem to find a solid answer on is the ideal temp, Specific Gravity, and PH, also what about calcium of I think KH??? I do not have corals yet, I do have some polyps and inverts, and some feather dusters etc... read below . My LFS says temp 75-76 with SG of 1.023 -1.025 with ph around 8.3 another LFS say same temp but SG that high will stress fish out and cause disease. another say higher temp but lower SG in the range of 1.021-1.022 and temp of 80.<I prefer temp at 78-80 and SG as 1.025-1.026 this is about what oceans are at if you take a average.> right now I have my temp at 76 with SG of 1.023 and PH 8.2 is this good bad in the middle? My fish seem healthy and active and eat well, also my inverts are very active.<Yes this is fine, but maybe on your next water change increase the SG a little but no more than .001 at a time.> Thanks

Hold The Sauce- It's Just A Spaghetti Worm!  Good Morning -  <Hello there! Scott F. with you today!>  Below are several pictures of hitchhiking organisms in my tank. My tank is rather small (45 gallons) and has been up and running for approx. 1 1/2 years. The 1st 3 pictures are of a worm of some type that I've had in my tank for most of the time I've had the tank. It used to only show up at night (dark) and would retract when exposed to light. It would appear to come out of the LR and I was/am not concerned about it since it does not appear to be causing any problems. Recently though, it has changed. It now comes out at all hours and it appears to have a central point that all of the appendages come from - almost appearing to be a calcareous tube. It has and continues to get larger and with more worm like appendages. I keep the tank fairly clean and clean out the skimmer often to keep excess nutrients to a minimum. I also have several stars and other scavengers to keep the detritus to a healthy level. Is this a Medusa worm and is there anything I need to know about it or be concerned about? It does not appear to be a segmented worm.  <To me, it appears to be a Terebellid Worm, more commonly known as a "Spaghetti Worm", typically of the genus Eupolymnia or Loimia. Interesting and harmless; I wouldn't worry about 'em...Enjoy the diversity>  The last picture is of what I thought was a sponge but I now am questioning that it is not some form of polyp - the picture may not be clear enough to make a distinction. Several of these have developed in my tank in various areas and are actively growing. They all appear spherical in nature, are different sizes and are actively growing. Any clue?  <I couldn't make a good call on that one. Would it be possible to send a more clear pic? Thanks!>  Thanks - Love your site. J.T. Craddock  <Thanks for the kind words, J.T.- enjoy the unique creatures that are popping up in your tank! Regards, Scott F.>

Worm ID 3/26/04 Hello Crew: My 45 SW system has been up and running trouble free for about 9 months now. About 90% of my insight and direction has been from this website, and Calfo and Fenner's amazing Reef Inverts book.  I thank you so much for everything. <your success is our impetus> Tonight I noticed a little worm hiding in a sweet cave in one of my larger rocks.  I can only see about 3 inches total of it in the opening of the cave feeling around.  It looks like it is black and white striped width wise, not length wise.   <tough to discern from the pic (distance/clarity of the image) but is does sound like it could be the browsing of a Sipunculid peanut worm (hobby-common species are often striped as such)> It's body almost seems telescopic in nature, and has a tiny circular ending (almost looks like a mouth of some sort).  I hope the pic I am including is visible enough to see.  Any info would be great on this little guy! Steve <best regards, Anthony>

Algae and Worm Identification 3/26/04 Hello Anthony! <cheers Thanassis> Could you pls help me identify the algae in the picture? I believed it to be Dictyota, since I saw a photo in your book "Reef invertebrates", where it looks like the Gracilaria. <the photo is not clear, my friend, but it does appear to be like Dictyota> Secondly, I noticed just yesterday the very thin and black striped worms getting a part of their tentacles out of a hole in the LR. Firstly I thought they were the feet of a brittle star, but them I realized they came out from two different holes in the LF. Can you identify it? <alas, no... nothing discernible here> Sorry about the bad quality of photos. Thanks, Thanassis <kind regards, Anthony>

Worm Worries (3/23/04) <For future reference, please capitalize the proper noun "I" and try to use punctuation in your inquiries. We post all queries and replies permanently on our site, so they need to be as readable as possible. Our volunteer staff will have much more time to answer queries if they don't have to spend time fixing grammar. Thanks.>   I just started a small saltwater tank and its been running for about 5-6 weeks. All of my fish are great but anyway I just bought a turbo snail and put it in my tank (after quarantine of course). My 5 gal q tank showed no signs of this worm intruder but my main tank has a 2 cm worm it looks like a very tiny and pale leech. It doesn't much like light and when i went at it with a tweezers it squirmed into my live rock. Do you think it is bristleworm larvae or some other thing. PLEASE get back to me on answer A.S.A.P, thanks for your time. Aaron <Not a larva, but a juvenile bristle worm. Truth be told, bristle worms usually do more good than harm. Read the bristle worm FAQs for all the info you need. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Harmless flatworm- eats copepods 3/23/04 Greetings Crew!  Hope everyone is doing great.    <with hope for you in kind my friend> Can anyone ID the critter in this photo?  It kinda "pulses" as it traverses the glass.....  Thanks!  Brad <the creature is a harmless flatworm that preys on micro zooplankton. Its presence is a very good indication that you have excellent and uncommonly strong populations of copepods likely. They wax and wane naturally in the aquarium in an inverse predator-prey relationship. Enjoy :) Anthony>

Strange worms in California about a foot long and really skinny! I found a bunch of worms that looked like squirming skinny strings.  they are less than a 16th of an inch in diameter and one was almost a foot long...they were slender and their diameter was constant from one end to the other...it didn't even seem like they had a head or anything. do you have any idea of what it is??  They were found in Poso Creek in California in the County of Kern...they were in the leaves along a sandy creek that just started to run....I can send a photo if you want me to... Thanks, Sam <Please do send a pic... Do these worms have any apparent bristles or other identifying structures? Is there a definite banded area near the "head" end? Sounds like some sort of Oligochaete to me (a setae-less annelid/segmented worm) which does not narrow this down much. Same group as the common "nightcrawler, earthworms, Tubifex... Bob Fenner>
Re: strange worms in California about a foot long and really skinny!
thanks so much for the quick response! After I had sent you the question i found out what it was later...it's common name is the "horsehair worm".....some have been found up to two feet long I guess... they have an incredibly interesting life cycle......sort of scary actually! Thanks for the help and take care Sam <Neat! The phylum Nematomorpha... not often seen. Thanks for sending this update. Bob Fenner>

Worms ID? Pictures included Dear Anthony and crew, <Hey there> Last night I noticed one of the worms in my tank moving around a Turbo snail that has not acted "normal" for the last week. We took the enclosed photo and then got a probe out and started poking around. The worm was definitely eating the snail. I am a little worried since I have several other critters in the tank that I don't want the worm to eat (T. crocea, Nudibranch, another snail, and a cleaner shrimp). I have seen the worms quickly find the shed casing from the shrimp and eat it but the worms never seem to try to get anything that was alive and well. If this is just normal activity for a non harmful worm then that is fine. If this is a worm that needs removal I am ready to try that too. I looked in your book but could not decide what to call this worm. He is very stretched out in this photo. He appears to have been about seven inches in length. He was as you can see very stretched. After removal of the snail shell he snapped back abruptly and disappeared into the rock. This was about an hour after the halides had turned off and 30 minutes after the VHOs shut down. Joel PS Enjoying both of your books. Thanks so much for the hard work put into them. <Joel... from your description and pic I would definitely remove this worm... too big and predaceous to be trusted. Watch your hands on the "podia" structures (the furry things on the sides) as these are likely very sharp, possibly venomous. Bob Fenner>

Unknown White String Thing.. still unknown 2/24/04 Hey Crew <howdy> Hope all is well.  I have a 35 gallon hex with a Fluval 404, Bak Pak skimmer and a 96 watt PC 50/50.  I have 2 Perculas, 1 Coral Beauty, 1 cleaner shrimp, A small open Brain, a scallop (I know you disapprove, but I take good care of him), 8 margarita snails, a couple hermits and a sand sifting star.  Ph 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10, Temp 80.  My question is regarding white hair like stings that have shown up in my tank over the last week.  I have read through every FAQ I can find but have not found anything that answers my question.  I have attached a few pictures for you.  Sorry for the quality, a hex tank makes it hard to get close up pictures, so I had to enlarge them.  They are primarily on the glass but I do have some on the LR.  They are stationary (or if not, none of them have moved) and appear to just lifelessly wave in the current.  I am not even sure if they are alive!!  At first I thought some sort of snail excrement or eggs, but there are to many and they are about 1mm thick and 1.5" long.  My only thought is that they are some sort of worm or ectoproct.  I have not seen a negative effect on the system, but that does not mean they are harmless.  I appreciate your help! Have a great day! Scott <alas... the pics are low res and a blur. Nothing we can see from here. It would not be surprising if it were a worm though. Do send a better pic if you can in time. Read more on polychaetes in the archives until then or beyond. Kindly, Anthony>

A Wacky Worm! Dear Crew: <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Hello again!  Just a quick ID here if it is not too much trouble.  I tried to  keep the .Jpg size as small as possible:-)  I just ordered 50lbs of NANO size Marshall Island rock.  I placed the rock in a couple small QT tanks so I can make sure of it before adding to my already settled main display tank without any problems. <Excellent procedure!> On day 2, this little thing made its' way to the front of the glass.  Any ideas what it could be? Thank you so much in advance for all of your help! Steve <Well, Steve- it looks to me to be a Sipunculid, commonly known as a "Peanut Worm" (Now, ask yourself- does that thing look like a peanut to you?). They are fairly common on South Pacific rock, and are essentially harmless detritivores or suspension feeders. It will eventually settle back into the rock or substrate if it is healthy. They do best in situations where supplemental "feeding" systems, such as refugia, are connected to the main tank, or where you have a thriving reef system. Enjoy this oddity! Regards, Scott F>

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