If you have a salt-water aquarium with coral or other live rocks, you may have introduced a hitchhiker. This is a normal occurrence, and most of the time it is nothing to worry about.
Spaghetti worms are included in the category of unintentional additions to your tank. They are tiny invertebrates that bury themselves in the sand and eat floating debris. They can help your aquarium by cleaning it and reducing waste.
Spaghetti worms will not harm your aquarium. You do not have to get rid of them. You can just let them do their job. If you find that you have too many, there are ways to reduce their numbers. Read on to find out everything you need to know about spaghetti worms.
How did spaghetti worms get in my tank?
If you have discovered spaghetti worms in your tank, you may be wondering how they got there. The answer is: they hitchhiked on coral, algae, live rocks, or something similar. This is a common issue with aquariums. If you are not an experienced aquarium hobbyist, you may not even know what they are.
What is a spaghetti worm?
A spaghetti worm is an invertebrate that most likely hitchhiked its way into your aquarium. These creatures look creepy and multiply fast, but they are not dangerous for your tank’s inhabitants.
Spaghetti worms are sand dwellers. They bury themselves in the sand and stick their tentacles out to feed on waste. Because these tiny creatures eat detritus, they actually clean your tank for you.
Can spaghetti worms help my aquarium?
Spaghetti worms can be beneficial to your aquarium. They clean your tank’s sand and eat floating particles.
Are spaghetti worms safe?
Spaghetti worms are nothing to worry about. These tiny creatures will not harm your coral or anything else in your aquarium. They can actually be beneficial to your tank, so you do not have to worry about getting rid of them.
How do I get rid of spaghetti worms?
Finding spaghetti worms in your tank is no big deal. You do not have to worry about them because they will not harm your tank or anything in it. These creatures live off the floating particles in your tank, leaving your tank cleaner than it was before by removing particles of waste and debris.
If you are worried about your corals because of spaghetti worms, know that they will not hurt your corals. Sometimes, corals close up when they sense that one is near, but they typically open right back up. This is normal and happens frequently in the ocean.
If you have Zoanthids or soft coral, spaghetti worms can make themselves at home on them. In this case, you may want to consider getting rid of the spaghetti worms in your tank. Even though they will not harm them, you probably don’t want them on your colorful, beautiful coral.
To get rid of spaghetti worms completely, you can take them out of your tank one by one. If manually dealing with each individual spaghetti worm is not something you are willing to do, you can introduce an Arrow Crab, a predator of the spaghetti worm, into your tank. Alternatively, you can add a different detritus eater to compete for food.
A sand-sifting starfish or a butterflyfish can also do the trick, since they eat substrate-dwelling organisms.
How do I reduce the number of spaghetti worms in my tank?
If you have too many spaghetti worms in your tank, it might be because you are putting too much food in your tank. Spaghetti worms will increase in number if there is enough waste and debris to feed a larger amount of them.
If your aquarium is overcrowded with spaghetti worms, decrease the amount of food available to slow down their reproduction.
Another reason you may have too many spaghetti worms in your aquarium is because you do not clean it often enough. Not cleaning your tank means there is more waste for spaghetti worms to feed on. If you clean out the floating debris yourself, spaghetti worms will have less food available and will slowly reduce in numbers.
If you reduce enough of the amount of available food, the spaghetti worms may die off completely. However, this may not be beneficial for your tank. The dead spaghetti worms can cause a problem in water quality. Therefore, it is best to leave spaghetti worms be and let them clean your tank.
To get rid of just a few spaghetti worms, you can manually remove them from your tank.
Are the creatures in my saltwater tank spaghetti worms?
If you have small worm-like creatures in your aquarium, they may be spaghetti worms. Spaghetti worms have long and skinny, cylindrical bodies with small bristles along the sides. Their bodies are about five to six inches long.
Its appendages are paired tentacles that are used for holding on, not for crawling. Spaghetti worms stick their white tentacles out from the sand to gather food. They eat floating particles of waste, debris, and parts of dead organisms.
Spaghetti worms secrete mucus similar to snails. It uses this mucus to cement sand and gravel to create a tube it can travel through.
Finding that some spaghetti worms have found their way into your aquarium can seem like a problem at first, but they are harmless creatures that can benefit your tank. Since they clean sand and reduce waste, they can leave your tank cleaner than it was before.
If the number of spaghetti worms in your tank is too much, you can reduce their population by removing a few, reducing how much you feed the other inhabitants of your tank, cleaning your tank more often, or introducing a spaghetti-crab predator to your tank.
It is fine to just leave the spaghetti worms as they are. There is no reason to get rid of them unless you do not like them on your soft coral. They are not pests. They are tiny, harmless creatures that live to clean their environment.