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RE: Worms in roots (leeches)

Jay wrote:

> I was undertaking a replanting of my 90g tonight, and nestled in amongst
> roots of my existing plants were some reddish worms -- about 1 mm in
> diameter and as long as 5 or 6 cm.
> Any clue as to what these are and whether I should be worried about them?

They don't sound like tubiflex to me.  If you had said 2 to 3 mm in
diameter, I would say they were what I call a leech.  A leech will swim
freely and rapidly in a wave like motion.  They also have a sucker which
they will use to attach themselves to the side of any container.  If you
notice small (2-3 mm) round objects in your gravel, these a leech cocoons.
The cocoons resemble somewhat empty osmicote time released fertilizer

I've read the archives on leeches an haven't found any definitive opinion as
to what danger they may present to fish or other parts of an aquarium
ecosystem.  Leeches are bloodsuckers, right?  Do they attach to fish?  Can't
be good for them.  I've never seen a "leech" attached to a fish in my tank.

Are leeches dangerous to fish?  Or are they just gross?

Any way to rid them from your tank once they're in there and reproducing
(short of tearing it all done and sterilizing gravel and plants)?

Joe K