Guy Had No Idea This Enormous Bristle Worm Was Living In His Fish Tank

Guy Had No Idea This Enormous Bristle Worm Was Living in His Fish Tank

Video: How could anyone go two years without noticing something this huge? Well, humans have been around for 200,000 years. Bristle worms and their polychaete brothers have survived five mass extinctions. Many aquarists fill their tanks with live rock, that is, chunks of coral that still harbour biological and bacterial matter. Bristle worms often piggyback on these corals, infiltrating a tank and growing to tremendous size. Generally they remain hidden beneath rocks and coral, poking out at night to feed.

Some people choose not to get rid of them. On the one hand, they're scavengers who clean detritus and generally don't bother fish (although they can eat coral if they're desperate). On the other hand, their tiny spines make them painful to handle -- another aquarist described the feeling as analogous to fibreglass -- and therefore difficult to remove. In this case, the worm grew to almost 1.2m long and draining the entire tank was the only way to get rid of it.


    OMG a million times no...burn it all to the ground

    Last edited 02/03/16 8:12 am

    I've got a couple in my tank. One went undetected until the tank was about 6 months old. At the time of sighting, it was about 25cm's long and a nice green colour. Now, considering my tank is only 76x40x45cm's, or about the size of a medium-large esky, I've decided he's just really good at hiding. He only came out that one day and hasn't been seen since.

    There's so much going on in a reef tank. Every time I look closely I see something new. It's what makes it so interesting.

    Survived five mass extinctions. Say hello to your projenitor.

    Wow, that thing is terrifying. Definitely would not want to be the person that had to deal with that.

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