Leeches

bogwood

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1 Jan 2009
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410
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Merseyside
In both my planted tanks small leeches are appearing. Probably a max of 3/4 visible on the glass at any one time.
The tanks contain only shrimps and ottos, so nothing to predate on them.
They appear as either a small blob, or half inch long when travelling across the glass.
Initially only came out when lights went off, but now are getting hard faced and appearing throughout the day.

Im not to concerned, is it right for me to to assume they are harmless.
Occasionally its possible to crush them on the glass if your quick, but usually they shrink on contact, and float away in the water current.
Does anbody else have them.??????
 

andyh

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1 Jan 2009
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Derby
Hello

They are not leeches, they are Paramecium. They feed on bacteria, algae and the decaying matter in your tank. If you had fish they would get eaten, as most of the time the wouldn't leave the safety of the gravel.

borrowed this image:
 

bogwood

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1 Jan 2009
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Merseyside
Thanks for your thoughts, interesting little critters, but not quiet the same as mine.
These are too oval/cigar shape, mine are thinner with a leech type sucker at one end, i will show you them when you next call.
 

andyh

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1 Jan 2009
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Derby
bogwood said:
Thanks for your thoughts, interesting little critters, but not quiet the same as mine.
These are too oval/cigar shape, mine are thinner with a leech type sucker at one end, i will show you them when you next call.
cool, get some fish in there b4 they take over! ;)
 

andyh

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Have you got any pictures then?

Has anybody else got any ideas what they could be?
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
Paramecium are mainly too small to see, so my bet would be Planaria (Flatworms), they glide over the glass, and should have some eye dots at the pointy end, a bit like this - :> (head end in the image).
Planaria%20SEX%201.jpg

If they are Leeches they will loop over the glass, rather than glide and swim like eels when detached.
cheers Darrel
 

AndyOx

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Joined
25 Oct 2007
Messages
87
Location
South Oxfordshire
Planarians will feed on any left over food etc so it's worth being doubly sure that all is clean on that front. Most fish species will eat them, especially tetra species. They are basically harmless but unsightly. The main threat they pose would be to fish spawn. I'm sure they are present in most if not all aquariums but are at very low density due to being eaten by fish present. Some modern antiparasite treatments will kill them off, but if you don't have a problem with parasites it's not worth the stress to your fish

Andy
 
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