Bristleworm Mass Spawning=Free Coral Food

by Justin Hester

It always amazes me how many new and unusual things we can witness in our reef tanks even after many years of what we would all agree is pretty close observation.  twice in the last 15 years, I have been lucky enough to have been walking by my main display tank when a mass spawning was occurring.  Once back in 2002, it was my pocillopora corals and I honestly thought they were all dying!  Then a few weeks ago, my son and I were watching the fish eat one evenining when tiny jets of something appeared to be shooting into the water from the highest points across the reef.  We looked a little closer and it turned out to be bristle worms crawling to the top of the rock work and then doing their thing!

Bristleworm Spawning

I did a little reading after we watched the water turn quite milky and it turns out that bristleworms actually spawn once a month.  It must happen when the lights are off most times as I havn’t seen this happen in the past and this time, we were about 20 minutes from when the lights go off.  As it started, I was able to reach for my iphone and capture the attached videos.

Spawning = Coral Food