2 years ago#1
alex
Guest

How do I get rid of the leeches in my turtles tank?

Answer
2 years ago#2
Zach
Master
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Leeches are parasites that can cause their victims to become weak, infected with secondary infections and even die. The leech's main objective is to feed on the blood of the victim. Leeches tend to be more active during the dark hours and will leave circular wounds on the skin. One leech in a fish tank can multiply into more, since leeches reproduce. If there is one leech, then it is best to assume there are more. The removal of the leeches from the tank is essential, as they can kill all living creatures in the tank.
1
Remove turtle(s) from the tank and inspect the turtle(s) for leeches.

2
Give the turtle(s) a bath with a 2.5 percent salt solution for at least 15 to 20 minutes, if there are leeches attached to the turtle(s). Most of the time this will cause leeches to die or become weak. If the leeches are still attached to the fish after the bath, they will have loosened their hold on the victim; use tweezers to remove them.

The bath water should be the same pH and temperature as the tank water. Do not use this method on salt-sensitive aquatic animals.

Remove the plants in the tank. Treat the plants with potassium permanganate for 1 hour in their own tank. Use approximately 5 mg per liter of the solution to treat the plants. The potassium permanganate will kill any leeches hiding within the plants(if you have any).

4
Treat the entire tank with Trichlorofon (also known as Metriphonate), an organophosphate insecticide. To get rid of the leeches, use approximately 0.25 mg per l of water in the tank. This product is usually not available in a pet store but can be purchased from your local vet.

5
Purchase freshwater puffers to eat the leeches.

6
Trap the leeches using a jar trap that has a piece of meat in it. Once captured in the trap, the leeches can be killed manually.

7
Remove any hosts from the tank for about a month or two. This will cause the leeches to die slowly, since they require blood for survival. This is often the last option, if every other solution fails.

Tips & Warnings:
Never try to remove an attached leech without giving the turtle(s) a bath in a solution. This will cause severe damage to the victim, since leeches often attach themselves very deep into the skin. Be careful with using salt solutions on aquatic animals, as they can become severely distressed. Never introduce new plants or any other aquatic species into the tank without properly inspecting them. Live food can be infected with leeches too, if captured in water infested with leeches. Leeches can be difficult to see if they are in the larval stage or extremely young.

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2 years ago#3
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

Some of this is good advice but I disagree with some it having dealt personally with leech infestations. Please see my 'notes' below.


ZachAttack wrote:

Leeches are parasites that can cause their victims to become weak, infected with secondary infections and even die. The leech's main objective is to feed on the blood of the victim. Leeches tend to be more active during the dark hours and will leave circular wounds on the skin. One leech in a fish tank can multiply into more, since leeches reproduce. If there is one leech, then it is best to assume there are more. The removal of the leeches from the tank is essential, as they can kill all living creatures in the tank.


Note: Leeches reproduce asexually- you only need a single leech to maintain a population. They lay eggs that are virtually impossible to removed.

1
Remove turtle(s) from the tank and inspect the turtle(s) for leeches.

2
Give the turtle(s) a bath with a 2.5 percent salt solution for at least 15 to 20 minutes, if there are leeches attached to the turtle(s). Most of the time this will cause leeches to die or become weak. If the leeches are still attached to the fish after the bath, they will have loosened their hold on the victim; use tweezers to remove them.

The bath water should be the same pH and temperature as the tank water. Do not use this method on salt-sensitive aquatic animals.

Remove the plants in the tank. Treat the plants with potassium permanganate for 1 hour in their own tank. Use approximately 5 mg per liter of the solution to treat the plants. The potassium permanganate will kill any leeches hiding within the plants(if you have any)


Note: PP will kill adults. It DOES NOT kill their eggs. Neither does pure ammonia or bleach or DTHP or drying or heat or cold. The eggs are very tiny football-shaped sacs enclosed in a tough outer shell and likely everywhere- only adults can be killed. Check your filter/filter media for eggs- they are visible to the naked eye.

4
Treat the entire tank with Trichlorofon (also known as Metriphonate), an organophosphate insecticide. To get rid of the leeches, use approximately 0.25 mg per l of water in the tank. This product is usually not available in a pet store but can be purchased from your local vet.


Note: DTHP (trichlorofon/dimilin/clout/lifebearer/dylox- all the same active ingredient) is VERY toxic. It also will only kill the adults- not the eggs. It is difficult to find and banned in many areas/countries.

5
Purchase freshwater puffers to eat the leeches.


Note: Buying fish to solve a 'problem' is never the answer!


6
Trap the leeches using a jar trap that has a piece of meat in it. Once captured in the trap, the leeches can be killed manually.

7
Remove any hosts from the tank for about a month or two. This will cause the leeches to die slowly, since they require blood for survival. This is often the last option, if every other solution fails.


Note: This actually does not work. Leeches can last close to year with only a single meal. Eggs can last months to years and will only hatch when conditions are right. They can withstand drying, heat and cold. And it only takes a single egg to restart a leech population.

Tips & Warnings:
Never try to remove an attached leech without giving the turtle(s) a bath in a solution. This will cause severe damage to the victim, since leeches often attach themselves very deep into the skin. Be careful with using salt solutions on aquatic animals, as they can become severely distressed. Never introduce new plants or any other aquatic species into the tank without properly inspecting them. Live food can be infected with leeches too, if captured in water infested with leeches. Leeches can be difficult to see if they are in the larval stage or extremely young.
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2 years ago#4
Zach
Master
Blogs: 13
Forum: 3,181
Votes: 130
, i was just trying to help. what should you do then to remove leeches?
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2 years ago#5
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

Yes, and you offered some good advice! Using salt bathes & tweezers is great advice as well as trying the leech traps. I can't tell you how much I hate these things and how difficult they are to get rid off. Using a DTHP product works but you need to treat for months to kill emerging adults. I finally resorted to throwing everything out but the fish and the tank.... An expensive lesson learned the hard way. I no longer buy plants or snails from Petco thanks to the infestation.

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2 years ago#6
Zach
Master
Blogs: 13
Forum: 3,181
Votes: 130

i dont buy anything from petsmart or petco.

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2 years ago#7
jlk
Wiz
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7,726
Votes: 326

I don't ever buy fish from them but my one petco always has a great selection of plants. I now stick to local sellers or from other aquatic forum members. Leeches are worse than cockroaches!!!

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1 year ago#8
monkeys123
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 6
Votes: 0

do u have any photos of them i think i may have them in my tank and i have shrimp, and i cant use salt at all or it will kill them, my shrimp numbers have decreased majorly and i really want them gone. will be getting a trap and some blood worms hopefully this helps, have u had any luck in removing them yet?
i have pulled out over 20 have stopped counting i see tiny little baby ones on the glass every now and then but i cant get them there like 2mm long sigh
here is a pic of what i have is what u have the same?

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