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What type of fish is in the middle of CaptiveReefs (top left corner of page...hint it is the main character in Finding Nemo) )

DIY bristleworm trap


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  1. #1
    lReef lKeeper - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    louisville ky
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    1,456
    First Name
    Bobby

    Default DIY bristleworm trap

    COMPONENTS:
    Flashlight
    Red
    balloon or red acetate (semi transparent)
    Length of 3/4" PVC pipe
    Two 3/4" PVC end caps (or more)
    Plastic lid from a food container (butter, cream
    cheese, whip cream, etc...)
    Bait
    Length of fishing line
    Aquarium sealant
    Quarter inch drill bit with drill
    Steps: The most important step is to discover where the bristleworms concentrate. In my experience, I've found them to be in the corners where the water flow is weaker. To discover where the best place to place your trap, you will need a red flashlight and the will to get up in the middle of the night.
    To make a red flashlight, cover the lens with red acetate (hobby/craft shop). Another way is to use a simple red balloon. Cut the narrow neck of the balloon off and stretch or roll it over the lens portion of the flashlight. The tighter you stretch the balloon, the thinner the material and stronger the beam of red light.

    Before going to bed, plunge the room containing your tank into total darkness. Close the curtains, hide the face of illuminated clocks, etc. After three or four hours, you can approach your tank with the red flashlight. Do not shine the beam straight into the tank. Instead shine it straight down and let the "side" of the light beam enter the tank. There will still be plenty of light to see if ... and where ... your bristleworms like to congregate.

    Now that you know where the bristleworms reside, you're ready to trap them.


    PREPARE THE TRAP AS FOLLOWS.
    Cut the PVC pipe to desired length (six or eight inches). One of the advantages of using a PVC trap is that you can cut several lengths of pipe. You may have a tight corner or small open space where you need a trap of two inches or so. The PVC trap will easily accommodate any length you wish.

    Drill a quarter inch hole in the middle of the two end caps.

    Cut two circles out of the plastic lid a tad smaller that the diameter of the end caps.

    Use the aquarium sealant to glue the circles to the outside of the end caps. If you have a problem getting the plastic circles to "stick" because they are too smooth, you can rough them up first with sand paper.

    Be sure the sealant does not fill the quarter inch hole drilled into the end cap.

    After the sealant has cured (approximately 24 hours), use a sharp knife or razor blade and cut an "X" in the plastic lid where it covers the quarter inch hole in the end cap.

    Using the blunt end of the knife or a screwdriver, "bend" the four tabs of the "X" down into the inside of the end cap.

    Insert the length of PVC pipe into the two end caps.

    Do not glue the end caps in place, as you will need to remove the caps to empty the worms you catch.

    Tie one end of a small length of fishing line around the middle of the PVC pipe, and tie a loop in the other end of the fishing line.

    Now your trap is complete.
    The idea of using a "plastic lid" with an "X" came from Mr. Albert Thiel. The concept is bristle worms can push their way through the four tabs of the "X" to get inside, since they are travelling in the same direction as the tabs are bent. When they try to crawl out, the tabs bend back out, thus "shutting" the opening.
    As a hint, prepare several pairs of end caps. The preparation as described above will catch medium to small worms. You can catch the bigger worms by first snipping the very tip (half a millimeter) of each tab before bending it down. By having several different pairs of end caps, you can catch different sizes of worms, depending on the"size"of your bristleworm problem.


    The trap is now ready to be used.
    There are several kinds of baits you can use.
    Different baits will have different results.


    I prefer using freeze dried "Jumbo Shrimp" commonly sold in pet stores. It is easy to break into small pieces (pea size), you don't have to visit your local fish market, nor have to freeze it to keep it from spoiling. Break off three or four "pea" size pieces of bait.

    Drop the bait into the PVC trap and recap it. Put the trap into your tank vertically and let it fill with water. You can then drop it in the desire spot, or use some type of hook and the loop of the fishing line to place it exactly where you want it.

    Then shut your lights off as you normally do. Be sure to close curtains and turn off ANY other lights. The next morning, use a hook to "lasso" the loop of the fishing line and lift the PVC out of your tank. You may wish to use a small bucket to place the trap into, since it will leak water once removed from the tank.

    Final step is to remove one of the end caps and see how successful you were the night before. There are several reasons I like the above trap over a few others I have tried. First, the PVC is denser than salt water, so it will naturally sink. You don't have to bury or weigh it down to keep it on the bottom of the tank. Second, it is easy to switch end caps to catch different size worms. The major reason, is that it is easy to place and remove from the tank using a "hook" and the loop of the fishing line. This keeps your arms out of the tank and reduces any stress on the inhabitants.

  2. #2
    Kenny_Graham - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    MINNESOTA
    Posts
    80

    Smile Bristileworms

    Thank you, I was wondering what to do to get rid of them.

  3. #3

    Default Bristleworms

    Hi, i was having some difficulty picturing what you were describing, and i wondered if you'd be able to place some photos of said trap on here so i can see more clearly.... .cheers:D

  4. #4
    graphixx - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,785
    First Name
    Greg

    Default

    how come you want to get rid of them???? they are some of the most beneficial scavengars in the tank. I am of course talking about eurythoe sp. and not the coral eating type hermodice carnculata. carnculata is pretty rare to come across in tanks. but the common bristleworm is a great scavengar. i have them over 6inches long in my tank.
    Just curious why you want to get rid of them.
    fulltankshot 1 - DIY bristleworm trap

  5. #5
    dakar - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Western Louisiana
    Posts
    4,335
    First Name
    Dave

    Default

    I agree with Greg.... they are very beneficial to any tank... well to a point anyhows... once they grow over the 1 foot mark they tend to give Angel the willies... hee hee But when they get that large and actually compete for food from other inhabitants they have to go.

    Banishing the larger worms to a refuge sounds like a good idea, however in practice I've discovered this is merely more akin to setting a time bomb with a unknown delay.... just waiting for them to find their way to a return pump. They really make a mess of your tank (and subsequently testing the strength of your impeller blades).
    Every electronic device is manufactured with smoke stored deep inside... only a true genius can find a way to set it free.

  6. #6
    graphixx - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,785
    First Name
    Greg

    Default

    the only bad thing about bristle worms are when your messing with your frags and keep touching them with your fingers cause they are hiding on the bottom of the frag. and then you wake up the next morning and your finger tips are PURPLE AND SWOLLEN.
    fulltankshot 1 - DIY bristleworm trap

  7. #7
    lReef lKeeper - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    louisville ky
    Posts
    1,456
    First Name
    Bobby

    Default

    just so we all know... i do not trap my bristle worms either. i just found the directions online somewhere for someone who PMed me about how to DIY to get rid of them. sorry but there are no pics cuz i don't remember where i found the instructions. i agree with Greg and Dave on the matter of them being excellent scavengers. you may try to do a google search and see what comes up.

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