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Why Is My Feather Duster Worm Out Of Its Tube?

Although feather worms are largely useless when it comes to maintaining the water parameters of your tank, more and more people are starting to keep feather duster worms as more of a pet than a creature with a purpose like an algae eater or something like that. Feather duster worms are generally easy to care for and will usually stay in their tubes and simply feed on any plankton that goes their way.

That said, there are a few issues that can cause your feather duster worm to leave its tube and start to act irregularly. This can make your feather duster worm easy prey for any larger fish that you have in your tank as they will usually see the worm as an easy meal rather than a tank mate to leave alone.

We have seen a few people reaching out and asking about what they should do if their feather duster worm is out of its tube recently so we wanted to publish this article covering the topic. There are only really three issues that will cause the feather duster worm to leave its tube, once they are corrected, it will usually go back into its tube without issue.

Is It Normal For A Feather Duster Worm To Come Out Of Its Tube?

It is not normal for a feather duster worm to leave its tube and it will usually only do it in extreme circumstances. The tube of your feather duster worm is its only real protection against predators and if you have larger fish species in your aquarium then they will usually see your worm as food.

Provided you maintain the correct water parameters for your feather duster worm, it is very rare that the worm will leave its tube. Water parameters for a feather duster worm are easy to keep and the majority of beginners should be able to keep them constant without issue for a long period of time.

Depending on the exact problem, your feather duster worm may start to shed its feather crown prior to it leaving its tube. If this does happen then the issue is usually related to the diet of your feather duster worm rather than any of the other potential problems and this is without a doubt one of the most common problems that beginners have issues with.

Why Is My Feather Duster Worm Out Of Its Tube?

The three main reasons that your feather duster worm may be out of its tube is starvation, lack of water flow, or pestering from tank mates. Out of those three, the most common problem is issues with the diet of the worm that end up leading to starvation and forcing the worm out of its tube to look for food.

Although it is very rare, some problems with pH and other core water parameters such as the tanks water temperature are able to also cause your feather duster worm to crawl out of its tube. This tends to be so rare though that it’s not even worth worrying about for most people as it is generally obvious to work out if this is the cause.

We will now be taking a quick look at the three most common reasons that your feather duster worm may crawl out of its tube and how you are able to fix them. We will be going through them in descending order of the most popular problem to the least popular problem.

Starvation

The most common reason by far that a feather duster worm will leave its tube is due to starvation. This is very common for people new to keeping tanks with feather duster worms as it can be hard to ensure that there is enough plankton and small food particles in the tank to keep the feather duster worm happy. If your feather duster worm is having problems with its diet then it will usually shed its feather crown prior to leaving its tube helping you work out that the problem is diet-related.

Lack Of Water Flow

The second most common reason that a feather duster worm will leave its tube is because of the water flow in your tank either being too low or too high with both causing their own issue. If the water flow is too low then it is difficult to push the plankton and other food sources into the tube but if the water flow is too high it can force the feather duster worm out of its tube and force any potential food away resulting in issues with its diet.

Pestering From Tank Mates

Although rare, some feather duster worms can be pestered by other tank mates with a common one being bristle worms. They will crawl into your feather duster worms tube and nip it or bite it until it feels the need to leave its tube and try to find a safer home where it won’t be pestered by other animals in the tank and it can focus on just laying in its tube and feeding.

Conclusion

That brings our article going over why your feather duster worm may be out of its tube to an end. Although there are three common causes, the most common one by far is definitely issues with the diet of the worm so if you make sure that there is enough plankton and small food particles in the tank, you really shouldn’t be having problems with the diet of your feather duster worm.