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Leech as Live Foods


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#1 butch

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  • Brainerd, Minnesota

Posted 31 May 2011 - 05:44 PM

Lately I started to feed the live leeches to my fishes but I has never noticed anyone feed the live leeches to their own fish.....why? What is your opinion about the leeches? I bought a can of 1/2 pounds of leeches from bait store. My fish usually gets earthworms, live fish and pellets.

#2 Erica Lyons

Erica Lyons
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  • Winston-Salem, NC

Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:04 PM

I have a species of white leech in my aquarium that is very easy to breed and that guards its young on its back.  It would be easy to raise in large number as a food species of leech to feed to your fish.  

In this photo, the clear species of leech on top of the big brown one is the white species I'm referring to.  http://gallery.nanfa.org/v/members/EricaWieser/031resize.jpg.html
The larger brown species, seen here http://gallery.nanfa...resize.jpg.html annoyed me by eating my blackworms.  The small white species never did any harm though, eating mostly old flake food and possibly baby snails, can't say for sure.  
Here's another photo with a white/clear leech in it:  http://gallery.nanfa.org/v/members/EricaWieser/scaled+photo+number+2.jpg.html  (It's in the substrate)

I went through and completely eradicated the brown species from my tanks (*insert evil cackle here*) while the white species is still present.  The brown species was an egg layer and grew to be up to six inches long (!!!) but the white species is a livebearer, or at least its young hatch on its back, and it only grows to less than an inch maximum size.  

The problem is that my fish (Elassoma gilberti and guppies) don't eat leeches.  They don't see them or don't care, one of the two.  When I had Etheostoma spectabile darters, they tried to eat the brown leeches but they hid under the ground.  Leeches burrow.

Edited by EricaWieser, 31 May 2011 - 06:10 PM.


#3 Newt

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  • Confluence of the Red and Cumberland rivers, Middle Tennessee

Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:37 PM

I would guess most aquarists never considered using leeches because a) they're not sold at the petstore and b) they think leeches are scary, or at least disgusting.  I don't see any problem with it as long as the leeches aren't parasitizing your fish.

Nathan Parker.


#4 Erica Lyons

Erica Lyons
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  • Winston-Salem, NC

Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:50 PM

 Newt, on 31 May 2011 - 06:37 PM, said:

I would guess most aquarists never considered using leeches because a) they're not sold at the petstore and b) they think leeches are scary, or at least disgusting.  I don't see any problem with it as long as the leeches aren't parasitizing your fish.
I agree, and it turns out that the vast majority of leeches are detrivores who eat the detritus that accumulates on the bottom of fish tanks.

Edited by EricaWieser, 31 May 2011 - 06:51 PM.


#5 Elijah

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  • A galaxy far far away!

Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:13 PM

I was feeding leeches to my sunfish last night. Those clumsy so and sos let two big ones get away. Hmm, its about time for an algae scaring in that tank. The ones they did eat they were very excited about.

#6 gzeiger

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  • Bremerton WA

Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:15 PM

I had tried it a couple times, but my fish didn't seem to eat them. I couldn't identify parasitic species either, so I quit adding them lest they become established.

#7 Irate Mormon

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  • Pelahatchie, MS

Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:23 AM

I keep a colony of leeches for "medicinal purposes".   I wouldn't waste them on my fish.
Irate


"The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

#8 diburning

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  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 27 October 2011 - 11:50 PM

Before feeding, take a small container, fill it with water, and add salt.  Add enough salt until the crystals won't dissolve anymore.  Drop the leeches in.  They will squirm like they're on fire, then calm down.  When they calm down, they'll be stunned.  Feed them to your fish then.  They won't be completely immobilized, they'll just be very slow from the osmotic shock.  If your fish miss them, they'll be stunned long enough for your fish to find them.  Leave them in the saltwater too long though, and they'll die.  If your fish don't finish them, they'll recover from the osmotic shock and live in the tank.




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