• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Leach?

Onoma1

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
470
Location
Rochdale
I noticed these in my tank a few months back and dosed no planaria. When rescaping I noticed a population of them still in the tank and in my filter. While not too bothered if they are harmless I am concerned that they may be leaches or harmful. Can anyone help ID them?
 

Attachments

  • 20200610_185046.jpg
    20200610_185046.jpg
    800.7 KB · Views: 92
  • 20200610_185045.jpg
    20200610_185045.jpg
    857.6 KB · Views: 67
  • 20200610_185042.jpg
    20200610_185042.jpg
    801.1 KB · Views: 58
  • 20200610_185038.jpg
    20200610_185038.jpg
    806.5 KB · Views: 52

Onoma1

Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
470
Location
Rochdale
Thanks for the quick responses. Sounds like they are fairly harmless (at least as far as the fish and shrimp are concerned). I noticed, however, that they can survive in the UK and are a non-native species .... so they will need to go.

Aquasabi indicated that "Copper-bearing agents are deadly for them". Can anyone recommend a treatment?
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
499
Location
Buckingham
It depends. The Hirudinida (leeches) are either parasitic or predatory. They must be feeding off something. It would be well worth taking a sample to somewhere with a microscope and getting them to count the eyes and check for jaws.
 

Onoma1

Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
470
Location
Rochdale
Hi Simon, thanks for the response and good advice.

However, I think whichever they are I want them out. If they're non native then I don't want any chance of introducing them into my local environment. If they are parasitic or predatory then I want to protect my shrimp and fish. My snails have died off and this may explain why. So I need a copper based treatment and don't know what to use.
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
499
Location
Buckingham
Bingo. It sounds like they feed off snails. I would not even try to raise copper levels. Leeches are probably evolved to cope with bio-accumulated loads of heavy metals such as copper in snails, and I suspect it would do far more harm than good. I need to have a long think and get back to you.
 

Simon Cole

Member
Joined
25 Dec 2018
Messages
499
Location
Buckingham
I'm reading a great page on leeches. There is this guy called Mark who studies them. He was asked this question:

"Have you ever removed a leech from the anus of a hippo? [Editor's note: This is a legitimate question—see Mark's bio.] Lisa Denzin, New York, New York"

And here is his response:

"Your hippo question was alluded to by me in the video podcast that accompanies the NOVA scienceNOW program. There is a leech, Placobdelloides jaegerskioeldi, that lives exclusively on hippo blood. As it happens, there is only one place on a hippo where the tissue is soft enough and thin enough and vascularized enough for these leeches to get a blood meal. I had traveled several times to South Africa hoping to get a specimen for our bacterial symbiont work, but reaching up a live hippo's back end is ill-advised, even if someone's distracting it from the front.

Dr. Susan Perkins and I were there in 2003, again hunting for the elusive hippo leech, when word of the "crazy scientists" got round to the Mpumalanga game wardens. One of them knew of a hippo that had to be culled because of its repeated habit of wandering into people's yards, and he found the leech for us. So the answer is yes, I have removed a leech from the anus of a hippo; someone else removed the anus from the hippo."


Your leeches @Onoma1 are actually pretty cool creatures (the whole page linked above is worth a read). I think Darrel has already eluded that it is quite difficult too remove them safely from your aquarium, and I agree. Most insecticides like ivermectin are harmful to the aquarium, despite what older papers suggested. I cannot think of a single chemical that would be suitable either. There is a chance that they could die out in about 9 moths time if they do not attack to your other livestock. The only option I might consider would be some sort of low voltage current after you have quarantined the other livestock; but you would then need to change the water to remove any bacteria that is thrown-up from the leeches guts.
 

dw1305

Expert
UKAPS Team
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
12,499
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
It sounds like they feed off snails.
You get snail feeding species and some that eat detritus worms, fish eggs etc. The <"common UK fish leeches"> have large rounded head suckers, I've seen <"Piscicola on Sticklebacks"> from ponds etc., but I've never seen that type of leech in the aquarium.
I would not even try to raise copper levels.
I wouldn't either, I think it is likely to do more harm than good in the long run.
You could try a snail trap, baited with meat. It may work, but depends on the species of leech.
I've found this works much better for Planaria than leeches, but that may depend on what species of leeches you have.

A <"flat stone or rounded pebble works"> as away of monitoring how many you have, <"and must reduce numbers a little bit">. Apologies for the quality of photo, but you can see my Leech/Planaria monitoring pebbles at the bottom of the image.

IMG_0126.JPG


cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Onoma1

Member
Thread starter
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
470
Location
Rochdale
Thank you for the advice. It was sensible and helpful. I think I will need to monitor them using a flat stone and live with them until I rescape. At that point I will try the battery approach. I can see that they are fascinating creatures, however, as they are non native, minute and can live in our climate then they have to go. Until then I will have to be particularly careful with bio security.
 

maboleth

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2014
Messages
74
Location
Serbia
How come no fish will it them?

Fish usually chew whatever they find and esp. like wiggling worms (eeew). If you have bottom feeders, I reckon they'd chew on it too?
 

maboleth

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2014
Messages
74
Location
Serbia
Last edited:
Top