Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Feather Dusters for the Home Aquarium

Natural Habitat:

Indo-Pacific, western Atlantic

Tank Temperature:




Specific Gravity:


Tank Requirements:

Provide moderate to strong water flow.


Filter-feeder; regular feedings of powder or liquid foods like OysterFeast, PhytoFeast, and Marine Snow; feed twice weekly.


Retracts, sheds, and regrows crown; excretes mucous layer to collect mud and sand in order to create a fibrous sheath for protection.


Community, Reef, and Invert Safe. Should not be kept with triggers, big angels, puffers, groupers, or large fish that are not considered reef safe.

Species Overview

Feather Dusters are segmented worms related the notorious bristleworms that plague some aquarists. Unlike bristleworms, Feather Dusters have a feather-like "crown" which they use to filter-feed (catch small food items like plankton from the water column). They form a flexible, protective tube around their soft body using mucus formed on their body and loose sediment in the substrate. Some species form a hard, calcified tube utilizing minerals in the water. Feather Dusters can be large - up to an inch in diameter in some species - or may be tiny, forming tiny, calcified dots on the glass of the aquarium. The "crown" can be several inches in diameter and may be found in many colors and patterns. Some species may have corkscrew-like spiral or a "double crown".

Feather Dusters prefer constant water flow to help with the exchange of wastes and the capture of food. They can be placed on the sand or within the crevice of a rock. If the feather duster does not like where it is placed then it will abandon its tube and look for another spot. When moving your feather duster, it is important not to expose it to air if possible; captured air bubbles in a feather duster's tube can spell disaster for the feather duster. Feather dusters occasionally shed their crown, but it will regrow in a matter of weeks. They quickly withdraw into their tube if threatened or frightened. Avoid keeping with nippy fish or inverts.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Feeding instrument
Fine Substrate
Marine Snow