Who's had success in keeping Featherduster/ tube worms

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Skattejag, 19 Jul 2013.

  1. Skattejag

    Skattejag

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    Who's had success in keeping Feather-duster/ tube worms? I'm thinking about writing a more in-depth article/post as to their requirements (Specifically phytoplankton).

    Please mention which species or genus of tube worm you keep/kept from the examples below or post photos and species names of other tube worms. What did you feed them and how regularly. How long have you been keeping them/ did they last?

    Christmas tree worm (Spirobranchus giganteus):

    [​IMG]
    (From Wikimedia Error )


    Featherduster worm (eg. Sabellastarte sp.) (Family: Sabellidae)

    [​IMG]
    (From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feather-Duster_Worm)

    Coco worm (Protula bispiralis):

    [​IMG]
    (From Aquarium Invertebrates: Featherdusters In The Aquarium Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog)

    Filogranella sp.:

    [​IMG]
    (From Aquarium Invertebrates: Featherdusters In The Aquarium Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog)

    Pileolaria sp.: (They are small and look like white dots)
    This is a photo of the similar-looking Spirorbis sp.:

    [​IMG]
    (From Reef Diversity Bingo)

    See Aquarium Invertebrates: Featherdusters In The Aquarium Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog for more pics/ info.
     
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  3. pkc

    pkc

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    One of my two marine life passions that I have had quite a lot to do with for over 30 years,that being tube worms.
    Our auzy species Sabellastarte austrailiensis we see a lot of when the temps are conducive to their existence this far up,the bispira are plentiful here,the myoxicola are very common,the spirobranchus are very common as well.
    A part from breeding austrailiensis I used breed several variations of the Polychaeta serpulidae,the rock dwelling variety more then any others, they can be made to multiply Asexualy fast and in large numbers!
    Here are some pics of the more common tube worms here.
    http://southeastqueenslandm.aforumfree.com/t1070-tube-worms-xmas-tree-worms-polychaeta-found-near-brisbane-in-seq#3615
    This is a pic of when I used to be heavily into breeding the standard Polychaeta.
    [​IMG]
    I haven’t bothered for a few years now, not since one of our guys wanted the slightly rarer “very bright” orange tube worm that I have, I made two A sexually for him.
    Tube worms adapt their colour to where they start out in life and their off spring will be the same colour if from A sexual means, if by sexually, they keep some of the originals colour and the other colours from the contributing sperm or egg but adapt their own with in reason to suit the colours and light content around them.
    Tube worms react when they sense the others eggs or sperm and subsequently release as well to mix in the waters, so you get some weird colour results from that sort of thing.
    I have only had a lot of success with sexual breeding twice and it is far to labour intensive!
    You can not do the asexual ways easily when crustaceans or small mouthed fish like wrasse are present.
    Once they attain enough age, you can take two sections and not just one at a time like I would normally.
    The thing that gets me with the standard Polychaeta is like some species of anemones is that they have no specific life span; the original just keeps dividing and never dies, unless they are killed in some way.
    From my observations over many years on subjects, they may have the potential to live forever as some species of anemones and jellyfish are capable of.
    I have them all over my tank but mainly their area is the lower right hand side.
    [​IMG]
    A part from algae and all associated bio functions, they are my favourite marine creature.
    There is a lot more to them, if you want any more info just ask.
    Good luck with your writings on them.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2013
  4. Achilles

    Achilles

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    I have kept the christmas tree worms associated with porites for 5 years now, the porites died back and zoanthids colonised the skeleton but christmas trees are still doing fine.Ocassionally feed a variety of microplankton powdered foods.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2013
  5. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    @pkc : Thank you for your informative post. What do you feed your tube worms? I've read that they feed on "bacteria, fine detritus and other particulate organic matter, phytoplankton, and tiny microorganisms." So I was thinking that they would benefit from frequent live phytoplankton feedings.

    @Achilles : Thanx. Which products? Have they started reproducing?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. pkc

    pkc

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    Tube worms feed on anything at all,” you might say”.
    They pump blood through the entire feather structure and back again; they use this function for a great deal and vitamin conversion via lighting making contact with the blood, like our vitamin manufacturing from the suns colours penetrating our skin.
    I find they do far better with fish that will not predate on them and many corals, as they enjoy the fresh waste from the fish and the corals as part of their food supply.
    The types of plankton they eat are the smallest and are usually phyto varieties concentrated near the surface zone due to the immense abundance of the worms over anywhere else in the ocean then in the more shallow waters, obviously!
    Then they also feed on the life forms that lay their young or eggs into the oceans surface waters continually in warmer months, that’s partly why we see their numbers bloom from the end of spring to mid autumn.
    I use cunjivoe, limpets and muscles blended down to very small “like liquid” and some other marine meats that are not of any kind of large predatory types.
    Large predators like some fish, squid and ocys all have potential for metals stored with in that I find are not conducive to any forms of reef life living in a closed system that our hobby consists of, that is if there is not enough bio sinks put in place to account for these metals.
    I tried some many years ago just on cunji and prawn lobster guts-heads with just what’s inside the heads used and spirulina blended down to past-liquid and they thrived amazingly and multiplied.
    They do feed on bacteria in the water column with in reason, but they feed on bacteriophages and especially non-parasitic flagellate protists more so.
    Its just using a bio filter that will cope with that much food supplied that most reefers do not have in place to allow the worms to multiply with out resulting impurities that lower the water quality a great deal.
    The more you feed the aquarium the more bacteria and phags can exist, then velvet at its photosynthetic stage and the non parasitic protists that graze on bacteria and use them symbiotically, these can all exist feeding on each other and become extra food for the worms and corals!
    If you apply lots of food for xmas tree worms in particular, enough to multiply a great deal, the resulting affects to water quality will kill the sps they grow in and then it becomes hard for the off spring via Asexual production to burrow into the dead coral skeleton from then on.
    Mine thrives and the polyps are always extended due to the needed bio areas keeping the water spot on “all ways” with lots of protists and the foods I add at a rate of 10 to 30 feeds per day from who ever walks past my tanks at the time.
    My foods are in little squeeze bottles left next the aquariums with many times the oceans salt content of pure salt, so that the food does not go off while sitting out of the fridge for a couple of days.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2013
  7. keegz001

    keegz001

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    I have at least 25 that came with my live rock now they have spread everywhere not to a state of annoyance though because they're lots of different colors, my favorite being the purple and gold ones. I feed them absolutely nothing and really don't have to do anything for them to spread anywhere even my skimmer neck (those got vacated)
     
  8. Skattejag

    Skattejag Thread Starter

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    Hey @keegz001. Which species do you have (those small white-tubed ones or the small ones with the red crowns)?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. keegz001

    keegz001

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  10. Haaibek

    Haaibek

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    you finish with phytoplankton.
     
  11. eric.f

    eric.f

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    Had great tubeworms(local) & white feather dusters , didn't feed anything special -
    No longer have the as I got a Myerli butterfly - he cleaned them up chop chop!!
     
  12. pkc

    pkc

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    That species can really take over hey,I had them block up my external bio filter on a three foot high tank I made with part of the filtration that I built onto the back of it.
    I didn’t feed the aquarium anything other then the usual fish feeding, the dam things made the first bio section over flow after about two years, there were so many build up in there.
    They tried to make some numbers in the aquarium but my angelfish and chaetodons that I added over time wiped them out, the ones you could see any way.
    They were possibly under areas where the fish could not get them, either way they got off some eggs and sperm, enough to put hundreds in the wet section of my on tank bio filter.
    The ones that time weren’t colourful, just the very common motley white to creamy brown in colouration.
    Getting xmas tree worms multiplying and sustaining their sps healthy and having both spread were the hardest in some ways for a while, that’s what I have found, its not hard now though.
    Some Sabellastarte can be pests,i use the settling filters to stop that from happing again as well.
     
  13. Haaibek

    Haaibek

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  14. pkc

    pkc

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    I keep forgetting this one that is quite common here.
    I have them under my base rock and keep forget them.

    Worms retratced.
    [​IMG]

    close up
    [​IMG]

    opening
    [​IMG]

    mostly open
    [​IMG]
     
  15. pkc

    pkc

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    Interesting read, the varied xmas tree worms species is well known and why they do what they do, I personally prefer several that we find here that do not live in conjunction with corals at all.
    They are hard to collect safely,but worth it, because they have a much larger head.
    My desk top pic is a close up I took of inside of the head of one of those that I prefer, love the worms!
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2013
  16. Wesd

    Wesd

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    just out of interest here, and if you dont mind me asking, what is your method for collecting them safetly?
     
  17. 2balive

    2balive

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    Pls post some pics of the local ones.

    My favourite is cocos worms (Protula bispiralis)

    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+504+540&pcatid=540

    p-39680-worm.jpg

    I have found that all dusters (including the little white ones that appears naturally in the tanks) does much better when I feed phyto planton. Not sure if they eat it directly or if they feed on the little critters that are fed by the phyto planton.

    p-39680-worm.jpg
     
  18. 2balive

    2balive

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  19. eric.f

    eric.f

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    Local tubeworms

    You need to find one that is not deeply rooted (attached) or in a crevase & then remove from the base so as not to damage it! (use a blade only if you can get to the base / root )

    Locals are normally brown or orange , but some are red / pink & even white or speckled!
     
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