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My Latest Tank

Discussion in 'Marine and Reef Chit Chat' started by Donya, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    I just started setting up a half gallon marine pico today. Anybody want to guess what sort of beast will be calling it home soon? [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]
     
  2. plectastic

    plectastic Member

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    Crab?! Looks cool
     
  3. sputnick

    sputnick Member

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    hmmmm... will it be a mantis shrimp?
     
  4. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    Not a crab or mantis, although it may have eaten a couple hermit crabs. [​IMG] And I'm quite sure it ate some number of snails. It's a good candidate for successfully scaring away anyone interested in setting up a marine tank for the first time..pics coming soon.
     
  5. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    Well, here it is. The true identity of the beastie will probably be disappointing to some readers and revolting to others. This is my new monster, which is both predatory and venomous...so still kind of cool, right?
     
    [​IMG]
     
    For reference, that specimen container it's in is about 5.5" (14cm) across, and the worm snakes back and forth across it twice and a bit more when retracted. It is as big around as my thumb in that state. When I saw it earlier today, it was stretched completely across a 3ft/1m tank having a snuffle about in some detritus. It was strong enough to shrug off the long metal forceps that I use to snare normal-sized worms, so catching it was a bit of a fun time. 
     
    Although I have seen and heard of some pretty big fireworms over time, this one takes the cake from my own experience and reading. All of the dreaded worm-as-long-as-your-arm stories I've heard and read in the hobby have been Eunicids, but this one seems to be an actual fireworm. It's quite pretty really...bubblegum pink and iridescent. I was sorely tempted to get a silly floral pattern tank for it but it was the wrong dimensions to fit any place I had to put it. However, it's flamboyant pinkness doesn't make it safe. It's a size that can easily take out shell-dwelling animals like hermits, snails, and Bivalves...and guess what has been turning up as empty shells for me lately in that tank! The way it whipped about when I was trying to catch it almost got me stung several times too since it was longer than the forceps I was using. I am pretty sure that it's not just a massively overgrown individual of a common species; it has some unusual features like obvious eyes. And it uses those eyes...I had to cover the specimen cup to stop it from being a total creeper and sticking its head over the side to look around the room. NOT something I want to see taking a stroll across the floor in a random part of the house. 
     
    So, there is a giant worm coiled up inside that pico now...and have to keep my fingers crossed that it was just a lone oddball and didn't establish a colony before showing itself to me today. 
     
  6. plectastic

    plectastic Member

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    Argh! It's out of some nightmare!
     
  7. Sarette

    Sarette Member

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    That has made me shudder [​IMG]
     
  8. fm1978

    fm1978 Member

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    That is definitely different...
     
    Just how venomous is it? Bee sting or "Oh-my-God-just-cut-off-my-hand" venomous?
     
  9. sputnick

    sputnick Member

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  10. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    LOL I knew such a lovely pink worm would be well received. [​IMG]
     
     


     
     
    I will have a bit of trouble with this scale since I've never actually been stung by a bee. As a small child, I developed a fail-safe strategy of running away screaming and waving my arms, thereby causing other people to stop, stare, and be stung first lol. 
     
    Anyway, fireworm stings I've had in the past have ranged from just itchy/irritating with small ones to a fairly intense chemical burning sensation with larger individuals. I've read it's supposed to vary by species, but size has been the biggest factor I've seen personally during my experiences being tagged by different types. I figure that's probably down to bigger spines being able to jab deeper. It's possible I may have been tagged by this particular worm once in the recent past, but I have no way of knowing for sure since I didn't see what got me. Right after having my hands in and out of the same tank a few months back, a horrible burning sensation set in on the side of my hand that had me running it under cold water for ages.
     
  11. Reeferbro

    Reeferbro Mostly New Member

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    I once had a problem with a large worm too. But i had a medusa worm which doesn't have poisonous spines but has large teeth that killed my snails and hermits, attacked my mandarin dragonet and bit my finger. :mad:
     
  12. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    That sounds like a Eunicid, like Barry the giant worm (news article on him here). They come in all sizes. So far I've been lucky and only had little ones, although they are feisty - even the little tiddlers will threaten and try to nip if a hand gets too close. Medusa worms are not actually worms but are related to sea cucumbers; they are detritivores with soft mouths and can only harm things if they die or get injured such that any toxins are released.
     
  13. sputnick

    sputnick Member

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    I was going to say, my LFS just got some medusa worms in last week and she said they were supposed to be reef safe.. They are ugly little buggers though and really slow too lol But i guess they do good things for your reef?
     
  14. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady
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    Sort of yes, much like any detritivore, but I would say in most cases that the bad outweighs the good. Medusa worms are very hard to keep alive in anything but a really mature system that is geared towards supporting that type of animal*. In most systems they would have negligible benefit and would likely starve. Some have been reported to nuke tanks upon death, much like many Holothurian sea cucumbers.
     
     
    *EDIT: just realized that may be misleading - I meant geared towards supporting filter and film feeders more broadly.
     
  15. sputnick

    sputnick Member

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    Hmm I might have to have a talk with the LFS warning them of tales of them nuking a system. They run 2 40 gallon breeders per system with a water trough as a sump with lots of live rock in it and a return pump. She only had 3 medusa worms and In one tank though so hopefully they will be alright.
     

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