Bristleworms in Saltwater

30 Dec

I turned on the lights of my Saltwater tank around 3 am one morning. I think the fish were not happy and that should remind me to turn on the room lights for 5 minutes before I turn on the tank lights.  I don’t want to startle the fish into smashing against the glass or even leaping out of the tank in terror.

When I looked in the tank there was a big hairy worm, a Bristleworm, crawling up the glass. It was about 2 inches long. I watched him as he slowly turned around and headed DOWN the glass to the bottom of the tank.  Over the next few days I did spot a couple of other Bristleworms crawling on the plants. I read about them and felt reassured that they are harmless to my fish.

I had forgotten about them until I rinsed out the filter pads of my outside filters. There they were, Bristleworms. Maybe a dozen on each filter pad. Picture little tiny centipedes, maybe half an inch long.

I decided to neither try to kill them or save them. I just rinsed the filter out as normal. I’m sure the worm population of my tank will recover. For all I know, there may be hundreds in there.

We have a little screen in the drain of our kitchen sink. I picked up the screen and there they were, a dozen little Bristleworms. I disposed of them, and breathed a sigh of relief that my wife didn’t find them! So that is my advice…it’s OK to clean filters in the kitchen sink when your spouse is gone, but make sure to hide the evidence. Rinse down the sink and then flush out the drain screen. And hope she doesn’t read your blog.


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