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"Leech" Problem.

This is a discussion on "Leech" Problem. within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Looks like a snail....

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Old 05-07-2011, 05:01 PM   #11
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Looks like a snail.
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #12
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It looks more like a type of flat worm (Genus Planaria, most likely) to me. I get the occasional leeches in my live blackworm shipments. When I pick the leeches out of the worm trays they ball up very tightly, and after a few minutes they spread out and start moving. My leeches are shaped very differently from the pictures you have posted. Do these "things" in your tank ball up when you touch them??
Google pictures of Planaria. If it's planaria they are not harmful and if you don't overfeed your tank (or hold off on feeding for a few days) they will disappear.

Last edited by aunt kymmie; 05-08-2011 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:42 PM   #13
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They're some sort of single-celled creature.

My advice? (If your tank can handle it), get some small fish that will eat them. I would expect a bristlenose pleco to devour them, or some other small fish.

Cut down on feeding, and vacuum the substrate frequently.
They'll starve. Or use an anti-parasite remedy if you want. They usually kill invertebrates like shrimp, snails, hydra, and planaria as a side affect.

On another subject, why do your plants die? (they're probably eating the plant matter.)
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:00 AM   #14
I have bought a 600L tank that I will be going to collect at the end of the month, I have a 125L (UK) upstairs beside the 90L with the problem, the fish from the 90L will be moved to the 125L when the new tank is set up. I have a 60L musk turtle tank downstairs too, the turtles will be moved to the 90L once it has been emptied.

Yes they do curl up into a ball when I knock them off the glass.

Would it be worth waiting until I begin moving the tanks around and leave the 90L dry for a while before setting it up for the turtles? I didn't want to move the fish in it in case they carried the problem to another tank. Also I can't move the fish in the 90L now as I have another bigger Zigzag Eel in the 125L who will be moved to the 600L and my Senegal Bichir is missing an eye so competing for food was proving difficult.

I have to go to work soon so will post about my plants and look into flat worm and planaria when I get back.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:19 PM   #15
Ok back from work and looked into the parasites, the most likely is planaria worm, had a quick look at a couple of different sites and both have said they are harmful to the system and to my fish, also read that I should do water changes to reduce the high ammonia levels that my tank supposedly has because of the parasites. So now I will also need to test for ammonia and will post the results after I have tested.

Plants: I used to have a large amount of healthy plants in all of my tanks.

90L- I still have an Amazon sword that does very well but no point in posting a pic as I cut it right back when I noticed the planaria problem, I always have to take stems off when i do my weekly water changes as the leaves end up hanging over the side of the tank.

125L- I had plenty in the tank, mainly egeria densa (or a similar elodea), i had up to 3 foot long sections of the plant that i cut up or pulled the new shoots off and replanted at one point I was throwing away about half a bucket full each month and the plants still took up half the tank, will see if I have any old pics. My tank became infested with 2 possibly 3 diseases from 1 fish that i bought; white spot was the main one plus a disease that was causing my fishes skin/scales to peel off and another that was causing gills/mouth and eyes to be inflamed (unless that was the result of one of the other diseases). With such a huge drop in the numbers of fish (about 60-70% in one week) and long duration of medicating the plants were all killed off, my water parameters were all over the place for quite a while too which didn't help. Now i cant seem to get anything to grow again in that tank.

60L turtle tank- the turtles eat them all (apart from duckweed which i have an infestation in another tank so it gets dumped in the tank and they take their time polishing that off).

Sorry about the long post.

Thanks aunt kymmie for pointing me in the right direction.

redchigh- had a small bulldog plec in the tank he died shortly before i noticed the parasites, might not be connected but don't want to take the risk. I will begin cleaning the substrate of any mess and extra food and see how that goes.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #16
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Actually I've had those planaria in most of my soil setups..

They are a signal of excess organics, but I'm almost positive they're harmless... When they show up, your fish may get sick.. but it's more than likely from the nitrites and ammonia than the pests themselves.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #17
I'll take you're word for it and hold out until the new tank arrives and deal with them then, do you think I will be ok to move the fish from the 90 to the 125 without bringing the planaria with them?
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:45 PM   #18
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I don't imagine they'd be on the fish... They live in the substrate mostly.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #19
Thats great to hear, i can finally stop worrying, cheers for all the help. Will let everyone know how things go after the fish are moved and the turtles are in their new home.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #20
seems kinda big for planeria..? Mine have never grown to more than a 5mm...
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