Good Guys

First thing to note: These little critters are good guys! If you see them in your tank, leave them there.

So, you’ve got a worm with loads of thin tentacles poking out of your sand bed or rock work, chances are, it’s a Spaghetti Worm.

These worms are normally harmless detritus eaters, but they can annoy corals if they are constantly moving around near the base of them. This can cause your corals to close, but rest assured, they are not attacking your corals

Spaghetti Worm
Spaghetti Worm

Their main body is normally not visible, they hide deep within the sand bed with just their long tentacles poking out of the sand. They have a segmented body, closely resembling an earth worm.

They are most commonly found in cream, white, pink, brown and beige colours, some of them have striped feeding tentacles.

These guys do multiply quickly, but if you find them in your tank, just let them be. Let them do their job as a beneficial hitch-hiker!

How do you control the numbers?

If you have loads of these in your tank, you should probably address your feeding habits! They will live off of waste food and detritus, so if you have a boom in numbers, chances are you are feeding too much. Less food available to them means they will reproduce slower.

A great way of getting rid of them if you already have a boom is to take them out of your tank and pass them on to another reef keeper. They are beneficial for your tank (whatever they don’t eat, will get consumed by something else…. maybe algae!), so spread the love and give them a new home!

Do they have any predators?

Spaghetti Worms are pretty much bottom of the food chain in the grand scheme of things. Any predatory fish or crab, such as an Arrow Crab, will make a light snack of these detritus eaters.

For a reef tank, things like the more aggressive Wrasses or an Arrow crab, really would make light work of them.

Arrow Crab in Reef Tank
Arrow Crab in Reef Tank