Feather Duster Worm, Broken End, What To Do?


New Member
Jan 22, 2009
Reaction score
Newcastle UK

My feather duster worm has been bent and broken during the night. The last inch is crooked over and has no rigidity, and has infact holes around the bent area.

The worm is unable to come out corrrectly to feed, should I, could I help it?

I was thinking of chasing the worm past the bend and possibly cutting the broken piece off.?

Or will the worm cut it off its self?


  • tn_IMG_5340.JPG
    51 KB · Views: 314
My favourite tank creature, good on you.

They are easy to breed.

Don’t cut the top area! That is too much tube exposed anyway.

It will do what is needed if no predators are a problem.

When we get tube worms we see them all shapes and sizes and that is not much of a bend.

It may have done it itself because of current.

I wouldn’t place a tube worm in small particles like that as there is a predator worm that hunts them and the sand my give an edge over your worm.

That type of tube worm we get heaps of here and they are never in sand.

When you get a tube worm, get a plastic popper bottle and use a soldering iron to put lots of holes in it than place your tube worm in it and fill around it with 5 to 15 mil coral rubble, leave it in your tank for a week or so and than turn the container upside down and out comes your tube worm with all the rubble it wants stuck to it and than just place it in your tank.
Here are a couple pics,one is a pile of tube worms we got on the last trip and the other is a breedinfg area that produces three new ones a month on average.
That was last year,i am sick the work to get them to breed,that area is a algae scrubber now.
I hope that helps1


Thanks pkc

The worm has about 6 inches of hard tube covered in large gravel under the sand, I think the problem might be that in the shop it was leaning against the corner of the tank and the light gray that is the last inch is very soft compared to the darker colour tube. Has it just had an easy time of it and not strengthened the tube? I dont know. So pleased someone replied in time to stop me interfering with it, I was thinking as it can not get out to feed properly it might just perish before it sorts its self out. The current is ideal for it there I think, just enough to have a nice flow of food but not so much it is forcing it over.

I have only seen bristle worms in the tank, so hopefully theres nothing in there that might eat it.

To me it really needs to cut off the soft soggy light gray part of the tube which will allow it to come out vertical, unless it can straighten the bend? I guess it must have encountered this sometime during the millions of years of evolution and does not need some daft monkey trying to nurse it back to good health. The local shop also said that they sometimes discard all the feathers and retreat for weeks before emerging again with new plumage! Every one has said, leave it, it will sort itself.

I guess I just have to watch this space.
They do drop their top as a result of health,heat or safety issues from time to time.
They are a great tank addition,especialy for the colour.
If it was between large chunks of what ever it will multiply if fed a lot.
see yah.

Could not help myself, the feathers were getting damaged as some of them were coming through the holes and it was not looking like it was going to sort the problem out quick enough for my liking, so I had to go to plan B.

I chased it right down the tube then looking carefully down the tube I snipped my way down till I got rid of the damaged section.

The worm can now get out as it should and seems fine bar some damaged feathers that it had been doing to it its self getting passed the damaged part. I guess it will disgard the damaged feathers and grow some new?

But all seems good, if its not in the next week I will post incase someone else encounters the same prob as my worm.

Most reactions