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RE: Leaches

I've had leeches since I set my tank up 15 months ago.  I usually see 2-3 in
my filter when I clean it.  My leeches reproduce by means of spherical
cocoons ~ 3 mm in diameter (looks similar to the oscote time-released
fertilizer balls.) Searching the web I see that the cocoons may take
"months" to hatch.  I see some whenever I vacuum my small open area of
gravel.  I think the small white free swimming "worms" I see might be their
young (or maybe something else).  These are devoured by my rams whenever
they encounter one.  I've seen the rams attack larger leeches, but never
seen a successful kill.  Never seen one attach to a fish either.  Don't know
if I can assign some of my unexplained fish deathes to them.

My leeches certainly came in on plants from AAG.  Don't know what you may
encounter in India.  I'm thinking I. Jones and "The Temple of Doom" here.
(My Indian friends in graduate school assured me that the customs depicted
in said film were not common practice.)

Next filter change I will try some leach extermination experiments.  I'm
thinking 1) Washington, DC tap water (reeks of chlorine), 2) tap water with
2 tsp salt per gallon, 3) tap water with 2 tsp bleach, and 4) tap with 1 tsp
potassium permanganate (I think I got some laying around the lab).  I'll
post the results after 1 and 2 hours.

Helpful hint:  If your tank is in the dining room, no matter how interesting
you find a swimming leech, do not (repeat do not) call your wife over to see

Joe K

In warm and dry Takoma Park, MD  Iris reticulata, spring beauties, Daffs.
and perwinkles in bloom.  No winter and no rain this year.