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Featherdusters

The most popular pick among marine pets, Featherdusters are a type of Reef Compatible Fan Worms that belong to the Phylum Annelida and Class Polychaeta. Featherdusters are actually the crown of the worm, which dwells in a Tube. Fresh Marine offers several beautiful Featherdusters of attractive morphology and vibrant colors, to grace your aquarium. However, prior to delving into specific models, let us understand the following standards common to Featherdusters.

Compatibility. Featherworms are Peaceful in nature and are compatible with the other calm tank mates. Do not keep Featherworms with Angelfish and Butterfly Fish.
  • Habit & Habitat. Featherdusters are sessile beings that attach themselves to Rock, Coral Rubble, and Sand by their base. They are found in pairs in Tropical Indo-Pacific region in all parts of the world.
  • Morphology. Featherdusters are hardy creatures and have Cilia equipped feathery Crown, which is used as both, an organ to feed and breathe. The Crown, usually measuring around 4”-5” in length and 10” in diameter, consists of a series of feather-shaped rays called Radioles, which usually have two semi-circular arrangements to result in a Funnel shaped structure. The Featherdusters may shed their Crown once in a while. The Worm is segmented and lives in a soft Polysaccharide Tube or hard Calcareous Tube. If uncomfortable, Featherdusters may leave their existing Tube to form a new one in the next few hours.
  • Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Featherdusters grow well in an already established aquarium with very high water quality. The dusters require a temperature range of 72-78°F; a Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and a pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. Ensure that your tank has ample hiding places (Rocks, Reefs & Caves) for Featherdusters. Featherdusters require moderately strong water currents, full spectrum illumination, and aggressively filtered & Protein skimmed water in the aquarium. Copper and Nitrates may prove toxic for Featherdusters. Keep one Featherduster in a spacious aquarium. You may put other type of Annelids in the tank.
  • Aquarium Feeding. Featherdusters are Omnivorous and feed especially on Bacteria, Detritus, Phytoplankton, and Microorganisms.
  • Aquarium Breeding. Featherdusters breed both, sexually and asexually. In Sexual Breeding, Featherdusters release Gametes into the water, where fertilization occurs. The fertilized eggs develop into free-swimming larvae that eventually settle in an appropriate habitat. Asexual Reproduction mostly occurs in Worms with Soft Tubes, where the Posterior End of the Worms detaches to form a new young one and develops a new Crown, while the Parent Featherdusters grow a new Posterior End.
  • Care. Featherdusters are moderately difficult to maintain and require an expert’s handling.


  • Now, let us look at the Featherdusters available at Fresh Marine.

    Family – Serpulidae.
  • Coco Worm (Pink) (Sabellastarte magnifica). Also known as Hard Tubeworm Pink, Hard Tube Feather Duster, Protula Tubeworm, Hard Tubeworm, Feather Duster Worm, and Banded Fanworm, these Featherdusters grow up to around 5”. These Featherdusters are Red and Pink in color with Yellow colored stripes on their body. Coco Worm forms a 5”-8” long Calcareous Tube in Rock Crevices, Reefs, Sand, Gravel, and Reef Slopes. These Featherdusters have a feathery, bilobed, spiral Crown in Red, Pink, White, Orange, or Yellow colors. The Crown of old Coco Worm (Pink) is like a spiral.
  • Xmas Tree Worm Rock (Spirobranchus species). Also known as Bisma Rock, Multicolor Worms, Plume Rock, Christmas Tree Worm, and Jewel Stone, these Featherdusters grow up to a size of 1”. Occurring in Red, Blue, Purple, Orange, Yellow, Green, Black, Cream, and White colors, these Featherdusters penetrate their Tube into Coral Heads. These Featherdusters are difficult to maintain.


  • Family – Sabellidae.
  • Feather Duster – Hawaiian (Sabella species). Also known as Feather Duster - Giant Hawaiian, these Featherdusters may grow up to 7”, and occur in Brown, Tan, Purple, White, Cream, Black, Silver, and Pink. The feathers of Crown, with a diameter of 4”-6” are Tan or Orange in color with Brown stripes.
  • Yellow and White Feather Duster (Sabella species). Also known as Yellow and White Fanworm, these Featherdusters grow up to 7” and occur in Silver, Purple, Pink, Tan, White, Brown, Cream, and Black. The Crown of these Featherdusters resembles to that of a Japanese Hand Fan with the bands of Yellow and White colors. The Tube of these Featherdusters is Leathery. Yellow and White Featherdusters are difficult to maintain.


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