|Latin name||Spirobranchus giganteus|
|Local name||Christmas tree worms|
|Family||Sabellidae - Spirobranchus|
|Origin||East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, The Red Sea, The Mexican Golf, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific|
|Minimum volume||50 l (13 gal)|
|Suitable for aquarium||Experience, preparation and extra care required|
|Reef safe||Always reef safe|
Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
Must be fed once a day in most aquariums to avoid starvation.
It may be necessary to target feed this species, otherwise it might have difficulties to obtain enough food.
These tubeworms builds tubes out of a tough, parchment-like exudate. The genus Glomerula secretes a tube of calcium carbonate instead.
Feather-duster worms have a crown of feeding tentacles projecting from their tubes.
These worms feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton and are not photosynthetic animals. In most aquariums they require target feeding with a mix of plankton.
Numerous species of fish and shrimp tend to bother these worms in an attempt to eat the crown which may eventually kill the worm.
Some predators to keep in mind are triggerfishes, wrasses, angelfishes and butterflyfishes.
If the worm looses the crown it may grow back in a month or two if conditions are optimal.
Ryan Gripp. 2008. Christmas Tree Worms (Spirobranchus giganteus) guide - Reef builders - (English)
Sabellidae - Wikipedia - (English)
Ronald L. Shimek. 2004. Marine Invertebrates (PocketExpert Guide) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
2009. Sabellastarte indica - Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine - (English)
"Minimum volume" indicates the size of the tank needed to house this species under optimal conditions.
This is based on a medium size animal, which you want to keep for several years.
It might be possible to keep smaller specimens for a limited period in a smaller tank. A larger tank might be needed for fully-grown specimens.
"Hardiness" indicates how resistant this species is to disease and how well i tolerates bad conditions in general.
Some species doesn't handle transportation very well, but that doesn't mean that the species isn't hardy under the right conditions.
In this case, a "normal" aquarium is a reef aquarium with mixed corals or a fish only aquarium with an approximately salinity of 1.026 (sg) and a temperature close to 26°C.
Species requiring more than a 4000-liter tank are considered not suitable for home aquarium.
Special aquariums may cover tanks with low salinity, sub-tropical temperature, deep sand bed, sea grass etc.
Always reef safe: No sources indicate that this species will harm corals or other invertebrates.
Often reef safe: Only a few aquarists has reported problems keeping this species with corals and other invertebrates.
Reef safe with caution: This species may be a threat to some types of invertebrates.
Reef safe with luck: Most specimens will harm corals and/or other invertebrates, but you might be lucky.
Not reef safe: This species is a threat to most corals and/or other invertebrates.