Fluffy the Super-Worm, Redux*

Another Tuesday means another Tank-Day post. Unfortunately, I’m in the weeds where work is concerned, which mean a gratuitous tank photo and a little story to go with it, and the promise of a more thorough post as soon as I can see over the weeds.

This is Fluffy.

Fluffy is a coco worm, and the long white tube is his home, which he built himself. The reason for his name should be obvious, though it wasn’t always, wherein lies a tale.

We brought Fluffy home on Christmas Even, 2010, along with another red coco worm we called “Ed” and a fire shrimp Tesla named “Big Red Spot” in honor of his astronomy class (we call it “Red” for short.)

This is Ed:

Now, the non-colorblind among you are probably questioning my pattern-recognition skills, because although you can say many things about Fluffy, you cannot accurately say that he is red.

On Christmas Eve he was.

We brought the two worms home to a nearly empty tank, and placed them side by side in the sand. The two were identical in color and size, and seemed to do fairly well for the first few days. After that they started to hide. A run to the reef store and a couple of water tests later, we learned that the tank’s salinity was too high. Adjustments were made but the damage was done. Three days later Fluffy “threw a cone” – meaning that he ejected one of his flowery feeding cones from stress. The second one followed a couple of weeks thereafter, and I started wondering whether I should have named him Fuzzy Wuzzy (was a bear…fuzzy wuzzy had no hair…).

Flash forward a couple more weeks and the cones began to regrow. They were tiny at first, but Fuzzy soon grew (back) into his name, with one surprising difference.

He’s yellow now.

I’m not sure whether the color will change as the cones mature, and they do still have pinkish coloration at the center, but for the moment the change seems permanent. It doesn’t bother me, and it seems not to bother him, so I guess we’ll just go with it for now.

I’m just glad we named the shrimp Red. It easily could have gone the other way, and then I’d really have some explaining to do.

*This post originally published in November 2011. I apologize for the in-the-weeds posting, but I’ll be back tomorrow, and through the holidays, with new tank content every Tuesday!