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Help needed in white worm infestation


Blue Ring
Dec 13, 2002
A few days ago I noticed that the side of the 20 gallon tank was covered with small hite worms. I have encountered no other problems in teh month I have had my baby bimaculoides. Are the worms a sings of things ot come, or just a nuisance? The octopus has increased in size recently, so are higher ammonia problems to blame (I only have a Lee's counter-current)?

Michael O'Shea
worms or copepods?

are you sure these are worms? often copepods look like little white worms crawling on the glass.

if thats what they are, then i wouldn't be concerned, they're just a sign that there's some extra nutrients in the water from your octo. in a normal reef, these would be eaten off the glass by a number of tropical fish, but in your tank, the octo would eat such fish.

to confirm their identity, i'd scape a few into a ziplock and show your local fish store guy since they'll be too small to photograph for us.

if i'm right, then some fresh carbon in the filter and a thorough cleaning of the protein skimmer should make them go away
Stevefish is on the ball.

Yeah, its just a sign that an octopus is a much messier animal than a fish if similar mass and its prefered diet leads to a lot of wastage that causes various worms and shrimps to reach larger numbers than a typical reef tank.

In a 'normal' tank the fish and inverts may eat small worms in the tank
Possible solution?

Further to Colins note:
Mucky feeders can be quite useful if you also keep pickey feeders like seahorses (keeps them busy eating all the little beasties that grow) but only if they are compatible!
I have tried ribbon eels with seahorses
cuttlefish with seahorses
I think mandarin fish may also be good, especially to eat worms, but whether any would work depends on the dietry preferences of your octopus - finding out could be expensive.
ideally, angels & butterfly fish would be the copepod eaters of choice, but they also make nice meals for your octopus.

the simplest solution would be to change the water more often for a while. i generally change the water on a dirty tank (a carnivore tank) like that 2 x a week. if you do smaller changes more often, you're actually better off than bigger ones less often. makes for happier little friends too.
How about a 6 line wrasse??? the last time I kept one in an octo tank, I had no problems, and they aren't too expensive!
The mandarins are poisonous so perhaps an octo wouldnt touch it??? or at least touch it twice???
A lot of the gobies and their relatives have amounts of toxin in them...I never really thought about mandarins though...went back through all of my paperwork, and sure enough...I have never lost a mandarin due to predation...even in a tank with a PolkaDot (panther) grouper, and they eat everything. Jeez, staring me right in the face and I never put 2 and 2 together...thanks Colin!
hehehehehe did you have to check up on me????? LOLOL

Yeah its a poisonous secretion that all dragonettes produce on the mucus of the skin....

Consider this thread hijacked! oops :)
I like little red herrings - and mandarins are quite attractive too!
I don't know if cephalopods would find mandarins inedible - after all most poisonous things are eaten by something!
Yeah, Colin... you know how I have to check facts and figures all of the time...:) I just feel a little silly because I never thought of using them in a ceph tank...even though I use them in reef tanks all the time! I had an octopus that didn't seem to be interested in fish at all, just crabs, etc...I guess it is a personality thing!
I was wondering if anyone has tried puting a mandarin in with their octopus? Would'nt be a bad idea it it worked out, it would add some color and movement to the tank.
It has been suggested before, however, no one has tried it as far as I am aware...

As they are poisonous they might not be bothered by the octopus but I'd be against risking it, mandarins have a hard enough time with the trade as it is. Also, who's to say that a first nip from an octo wouldn't kill the octo?

Who knows??? :)
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