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Bristle Worm Removal
Albert J. Thiel
Bristle worms can be, and usually, are a real problem for reef hobbyists.
Indeed, they create havoc in the aquarium, especially when they grow to larger
sizes. Bristle worms grow quickly! Real quickly! They feed on anything they
can find in the tank and grow to sizes that amaze most hobbyists. This process
does not take long either.
Whereas small bristle worms may look really harmless, larger specimens
that have grown to sizes of 24 inches or more in length are quite impressive
and can cause serious damage. Remember too that the size you see is not
necessarily the size of the worm. It may be retracted and look short and
thick, but it can stretch itself to a real long size and be very thin. In
either case it is a voracious eater.
Here are Bristleworm profile and photo resources to learn about the
identification, characteristics, control and more on these stinging marine
worms, some of which are beneficial to saltwater systems, while others such
as the Fireworm species are irritating pests that should be removed.
From your Guides, learn about what Bristleworms are, which types
are beneficial to your tank as substrate cleaners, how to prevent unwanted
infestations, and methods for removal.
Andre's Aquarium Club's
The mantis shrimp, or Squilla empusa, is not, in fact, a shrimp. It belongs
to the subphylum Crustacea and the class Malacostraca, which is the largest
class of crustaceans, containing more than 20,000 species. Malacostraca is
tremendously diverse and includes both marine and terrestrial species, including
isopods (sowbugs), krill, mantis shrimp, shrimp, crabs and crayfish.
One of the most common problems affecting captive reef systems is the
proliferation of anemones of the genus Aiptasia.
These anemones are very hearty and employ pedal laceration, a strategy
in which small daughter clones separate from the foot of the mother animal,
to reproduce extremely quickly. Attempts to remove or kill the anemones are
seldom successful, as each animal removed leaves a ring of daughter anemones
As such, removal of Aiptasia is best performed by one of their natural
predators. Inland Aquatics has used Peppermint Shrimp, Butterflyfish (Usually
the Raccoon or Copperband Butterflyfish) and Berghia verrucicornis, a Nudibranch,
to remove Aiptasia.
Bubble algae is BAD. After the initial excitement of finding cool looking
green pearls in your tank, you should remove the bubbles to keep it in check.
Bubble algae grows rapidly and can spread through the tank. It will tend
to crowd desirable specimens out. Fortunately, it is normally possible to
manually extract bubble algae and keep it under control unlike hair algae.
GOOD AND BAD
The beautiful marine worms are probably best represented by the prolific
little tubeworms which live within the strong protection of enclosing massive
stony corals, like some porites species. But other interesting and attractive
tube worms secrete a mucus to form their own encasing tube, preferring to
live with their tube-homes buried in soft mud or fine sand. Another group
construct a calcareous casing which forms part of a communal construction,
looking very much like a stony coral at first sight. Yet more of these nicely
coloured worms will form calcareous tubes bonded to coral skeleton or coral
rock. These species of worm are sedentary, and permanently situated where
they are found. They do not move around from one location to another. They
extend their feathery tentacle-like heads to gather food, and disappear with
extreme rapidity into the safety of their concealed or fortified tubes when
Other species are very mobile indeed. The bristle worms, which are so
easily introduced into the marine aquarium with living rock or
soft corals attached to coral rock, are fast movers when they want to be.
Others use their slower mobility to find a host animal they can attach to,
and live out their lives in association with their unwilling host. One
spectacular worm keeps its main body anchored within a rocky hole but extends
tentacles for an amazing distance across the sea bed in all directions to
gather in food. Flatworms can be decorative and mobile, while others may
be boringly plain, fairly sedentary, and terrible pests in the aquarium.
So there is a lot of variety of form and behaviour between the many sea animals
we know as worms .
A fireworm is a type of bristleworm. The common name fireworm is used
to describe a number of worms that fit the same general description of
appearance and action.
A good example is:
Class: Polychaeta: Polychaete worms
Species: Hermodice carunculata
2. A little more info on Fireworms
3. Bristle Worms (again)
4. Bristle worms and arrow crabs
5. Liverock organisms
6. More Liverock organisms
7. How do YOU trap bristle worms ?
is a quick and effective device to lure, trap and remove bristle worms
from any reef aquarium. Bristle worms grow and multiply rapidly and should
be quickly removed from the aquarium.
Trap' Em comes complete with bait.
Stay calm!!!!!!! small bristle worms aren't a problem, in fact they probably
do some good in removing excess food. Orchid (arabian) psuedos will eat bristle
worms. They're attractive as well. Big worms (over 4") can be removed with
a number of commercially available traps or by using a nylon stocking baited
with a piece of shrimp or squid. The worms bristles get caught in stocking
and cannot escape. Be careful, I've dared my friends to grab large bristle
worms and they can be extemely painful!!! If they are not causing a problem
and you dont see any really large ones dont worry, and try orchid
Our interest extends beyond these pages, to
promoting conservation and aquaculture research projects worldwide-from helping
understand environmental changes, to saving the endangered reefs, and endangered
species with captive bred freshwater and marine life.
aquarium fish die..
Fish health is a complex and sometimes baffling subject. The key to relatively
trouble free fish keeping is prevention rather than cure. This means providing
optimum conditions that encourage good health. It is equally important to
nip minor problems in the bud before they get out of hand. Aimed mainly at
beginners and intermediates, these key pages provide a 'core' understanding
of the basics of fish health.
The importance of water quality
Water testing for healthy fish
The importance of water testing. Look after the water and the fish will
look after themselves (most of the time).
Fish are like leaky parcels of water swimming around in a pond or tank.
No wonder water quality has such a dramatic affect on their well-being.
Fish disease is really no different to disease in any other animal. An
overview of aquatic disease, diagnostic methods and treatments.
The essential fish health work-up. When fish are sick, you have two basic
options. You can simply try and guess what's wrong (the most common method)
and usually get it wrong. The alternative is a l diagnosis.
Fish disease treatments
Find out a little more about common treatment methods before you put any
'medications' into your pond or tank.
Why do we use biological filters on tanks? This essential piece of equipment
is often poorly understood.
New tank/pond syndrome kills tens of thousands of fish every year.
Spaghetti and Hair Worms
The name "spaghetti worm" predates the reef aquarium hobby by several
decades. I first heard the term in my first marine ecology class at Woods
Hole in 1969, and I am sure it wasnt coined then and there. In all
cases, prior to recent usage in the reef hobby, this term refers to the worms
in the family Terebellidae. The terebellids live in tubes in sediments, rocks,
or debris, and do not normally leave the tubes. The only parts of the worm
visible on the substrate surface are typically the white to slightly pinkish
feeding tentacles elaborated from the head. The tentacles from larger worms
are about the same size and dimensions as angel hair pasta, and give these
animals their common name. The feeding tentacles extend some distance from
the burrow and collect small food particles in a stream of mucus which is
moved along by microscopic cilia found in a gutter on tentacles surface.
Arising from the head region are also two to four pairs of bushy, bright
red gills. These are not generally visible outside the tube, but when the
animal is feeding with the tentacles extended, the gills are located just
below the opening of the tube.
Featherduster worms are common throughout the world in shallow water.
In Hawaii, they are found on reef flats and in quiet bays and harbors, where
there are hard surfaces to which they attach their tubes, as well as high
concentrations of food particles in the water.
Received from the diver himself
Dale Barger, member
Live Rock ,
We have four classes
of Live Rock...
Gorgonians & Sponges,
Gulf Sand ,
to natural reefs...
Crabs & Snails, etc...great algae
|Gulfview Wholesale Marine specializes in
Aquaculture, Live Rock, Gulf Sand, Gargonian, Coral, Sponges, Snails, and
Crabs. Since 1988, Gulfview has been a live rock harvester and established
a solid reputation for the quality to which they are committed. We strive
for quality... not quantity.
Gulfview is one of the few
aquaculturalists permitted by the government to harvest rock specifically
grown for the marine aquarium in the Gulf of Mexico.
Members will receive a 10% discount off their purchase.
1. Specially formulated salt must be added to the marine aquarium water.
Any major brand will work as well as another. Measured with a hydrometer,
specific gravity should be between 1.020 and 1.025. This is about 1/2 cup
2. To keep the hardness and calcium at higher levels, crushed coral and/or
aragonite should be used in a marine aquarium. Also, the marine aquarium
decorations can be coral skeletons, shells, and other calcium containing
3. The number of fish that can be safely kept in a marine aquarium is
1/3 to 1/5 that of freshwater, or about 1 inch of fish for each 5 gallons
of aquarium water
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