Tube worms/feather duster worms.

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Tube worms/feather duster worms.

Post  Admin on 14th April 2011, 11:26 am

Tube worms

*. Temp---tropical-20 to 28—southern-16 to 24.

*. Conditions---High oxygen levels. Constant current. Plenty of planktonic sized foods. They prefer non-strong light areas. Cool hard water.

*. Negatives—They can start communities within external filter areas. Cause blockages. If they die, their rotting flesh xan affect PH a great deal.

*. Positives---Low waste output. Eats planktonic parasites. They add visible beauty.

*. Food---Filter feeder foods!
If some live plankton of a phytoplankton variety can be used, all the better!

*. Comments---They can drop their head if need be and grow another. Drop their tube and move. When you get a soft tube variety, cut off the section of tube bellow the worm it self. Allow protection until it repairs. The only way the worm that kills tubeworms can get into your tank is via live rock or an infected tube area. These predators will quickly wipe out your existing and new tubeworms. It will take 1 to 3 months upon release in your tank. Then you have to clear out your whole tank to get rid of them.

*. Breeding---All tubeworms breed sexually via release either eggs or sperm and when a release of either it is sensed by the opposite sex their payload is released to mix in the current. They breed A sexually very well and will also divide to establish a community quite quickly if abundant foods are available. The Moreton bay sand variety breeds via eggs and sperm only.
Tube worms are a very good addition to your aquarium as they are harmless, though they can be a little intimidated by strong light as your tank inhabitants shadows may cause them to retract constantly until they acclimatize. If they do, if not they will mainly only open at night and may move to more secure position. Here are a couple of pics if you want to look at some healthy tubeworms doing well in an aquarium.
These creatures are predated on by a lot of species; choose your tank inhabitants carefully with these. Wrasse, triggers, crabs-hermits, angels, etc are not good to have with tubeworms.

These photos are of what the aandtsociety either sees on collecting trips or has collected.

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The best way to attempt the breeding of suitable tubeworms is via A sexual division. This can be easily done with “soft tubed” tube worms unlike calcium tubed worms like Christmas tree worms.

Firstly when you get your tube worm you should cut the tube it is in at the base when the feather section is just starting to come out of the top of the tube, this can be made to happen by squeezing the tube gently to push the worm to the open end of the tube.

You need to feel for the worm in the tube and cut just below the worm. Prepare a container with stone or coral rubble no smaller than 3 millimetres in diameter and no greater than 8 millimetres in diameter. The container should have small holes put in the walls with a soldering iron as a drill will make a curated hole and may damage the worm’s body, when it starts to release a new section of it self,” A sexual multiplication” to enable a new creature to develop from this.

Once the tube worm is ready, place it in the water and turn it upside down to get the air bubble out of the tube and than hold the tube worm upright slightly above the base of the container and start to pile the smooth stones, shell grit or coral rubble around it.

Leave a third of the tube out of the rubble and that’s it, just feed them and keep the conditions great and they will soon start showing up, possibly not in the same container, but most likely will!
This can be made to happen quicker by squeezing the last quarter of the worm still in the tube so that this damages the worm at that position and then place the worm in the rubble, this section damaged will become a new tube worm.

To breed tube worms this way, there has to be a great deal of fine food in the water (as described above) for the current to circulate in order for this form of life to put on body weight so that it may, literally break off a section of it self to start another if you haven’t already assisted that function, than another will form and another,etc.

The worm in these pics is a nearly formed via Asexual means of a sabellidae .
It was cut from the original segmented tube worm, segmented meaning they breed A sexually very easily.

This is easily done by a hobbyist by locating the tube worm in the tube and cutting with scissors through the tube roughly 15 mill from the end of the worm.
This cut should not go completely through the worm, just three quarters of the way across the worm’s body.

Leave the tube worm alone for a day or two and this is what you will find in the end of the tube, a newly formed tube worm with the begging of the its feather duster head beginning to form.

Leave the worm some where safe from predators on coral rubble or over small stones and after a week or two begin of heavy feeding, meaning vert frequent tiny amounts of planktonic sized food types.

After two weeks it will be fine to live some where safely as it will now have  a reasonable tube of its own.

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Now with a tube.
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From varied club collecting trips I have cut off a small section from each varied colour tubeworm types.
I have done this many times over quite a few years, before passing them back to the guys to make more from those sections.
This is only when I have time, it is labour intensive with feeding to get them up and growing really fast.
This A sexual breeding has to be done in another container that has a very established bio filter as the foods I make for the raising of multiple tube worms quickly is a huge phosphate level builder in the system they are in, so it’s them and only them.

No corals can exist easily in the levels of phosphate from their needed feeding types of foods and amounts and most other life forms will want to eat the juveniles.
If there are some peppermint shrimp in the same tank as the tube worms, this will not do not allow productive A sexual multiplying for the tube worms!

If you do breed these life forms, once you slow the feeding, the feather duster aspect of them becomes extremely fine and broad to pick up more rare foods.
This will go and they will seem the same as the others in the tank in time due to my feeding of my display tanks at many times per day.
Plus the head-feather duster on these youngsters will shrink with so much food available.

They will take about a month or two to be big enough to put in my tank, but they are safe where they are till then.

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