View Full Version : Leeches?

15th December 2002, 17:04
Any idea what this might be?


I found two of them following each other up and down the aquarium glass while feeding brine to my newly-hatched P.waltl larvae.

They're 1/2 centimeter long. When startled, they curl up in a ball.

I'm wondering if they're some kind of leech, and whether they're dangerous to newts or not. Don't know how they were introduced, but likely with the shop-purchased plants that I put in with the larvae.

If they came with the plants, then they would also likely be in the same tank as my prized adult C.ensicauda and Paramesotriton -- a major worry for me if they're parasites!

Having said that, they're quite active and fascinating creatures. Might even decide to keep them on as pets if I find out what they are and what they eat!http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/biggrin.gif

Anybody knowledgeable about micro-critters know for sure or care to take a guess what they are?

15th December 2002, 17:14
That's planeria. What I've read about rasing them is they prefer stagnant shallow water. If they thrive in your tank that's not a good sign. They shouldn't be a problem, but I have read they will eat eggs, so I wouldn't put them into any tanks with new eggs. I used them in mine to clean up the egg masses that were left after the larva hatched, and wonder if the larva are now eating them.

Anywho, good luck!

15th December 2002, 19:09
yep planeria-the eye spots give them away. cut them into 1/2 then 1/2 the other way and youll end up with 4 for each one you cut (although in school mine only had 3/4 regenerate). rob is right though-they prefer yucky water.(they thrive in murky water in our tanks at school)

the leeches i have gotten in with my black worm purchases are sort of football shaped (these are not the big black ones used for fishing) well they sort of look like shell maccaroni from the top -lines and all. but how i can tell if a leech is in my tank is by its movements...its really weird-they look like little flapping toungs on the bottom of the tank-just waving up and down attached to the bottom by their suction cup at one end.(i would guess they are doing something that aids in oxygen exchange)-if they are on the move they dont move like a planeria or a slug-in a constant forward movement, they actually walk...well inch like an inchworm. so if you see something doing that then you will know its a leech.

15th December 2002, 20:37
Planaria beyond any doubt. Could be praying on your newt eggs as well. They were probably introduced with your live tubifex.


15th December 2002, 20:59
Glad to have this one figured out. Thanks all!

Upon further inspection, I found around 25 of these in my four P. waltl larvae tubs -- but so far none in the main tanks.

No prob about the eggs, Ralf, as they amazingly hatched in a mere 4-5 days.

Perhaps the planaria came with the tubifex, but don't recall having used tubifex with these larvae yet as they're still so small and still feeding on brine. May have though (???).

Haven't found any planaria in the C.e.p larvae tubs even though they've been eating tubifex, but maybe that's because they've also been eating planaria! http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/lol.gif

16th December 2002, 19:05
White Planaria generally are harmless - they feed in a similar manner to snails. I doubt they'd eat through to the eggs, though they might nibble on the jelly. Good food for newts!

2nd March 2003, 23:21
they really cant nibble on the jelly. they dont have jaws. they "eat" by using a protrusable (read, can push it outside of the body and pull it back in) pharynx, which kind of works as a straw, sucking up pieces of dead n decaying stuff. which would be good for a tank, cleans up the nasty stuff, maybe rotting food you missed. but, they do thrive on "bad" water, so if you plan on keeping them, you'dhave to pay close attention to how clean you keep the water.

2nd March 2003, 23:22
also, they come in a black version.

great little creatures though, fun to watch.

4th March 2003, 03:14
and if your newtlets are big enough, they'll just eat the planaria...