Fish leeches -- very serious problem

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by ricardo, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. ricardo

    ricardo

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    ello all, I have a 17000 lt pond, 4ft 3inches deep. very good filtration , 3 separate boxes ie brushes, bacteria medium, 3 graded sponges on more bacteria medium. UVC fitted. Fish are carp. Kio, V big Orf. Some of these fish are 7 -- 8 lbs in weight.
    I have a very serious fish leech problem. Leeches are lining the walls of the pond and clinging onto the fish extensively. In really bad cases i have tried dipping fish in a saline solution which removed the leeches but did not save the fish.. Experts have said the only answer is to remove the fish and dip as above and keep separate whilst I empty and dry out the pond to kill the leeches. Also saying there is no chemical treatment. I would find it very difficult to keep the fish alive and separate from the pond.
    Has anyone any brilliant ideas.
    Ricardo
     
    ricardo, Feb 16, 2012
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  2. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Here are some links on getting rid of them I have never had that issue so not sure what to tell you to do.

    http://www.squidoo.c...thout-chemicals

    http://www.uaex.edu/...cs/leeches.html

    here is how to make a leech trap

    Another method suggested by the Schoharie County Soil and Water (Conservation District News) is the 'Leech trap.'

    Start with a coffee can with a plastic lid
    Poke holes in the sides of the can with a nail. Holes should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch in size. The nail holes should leave a sharp burr on the inside of the can (approximately 50 holes).
    Put about 1/4 cup of raw meat in the can (ground beef, liver, chicken or turkey giblets are recommended).
    Put the lid on the can and submerge it completely in your pond. A rock placed on top of the can will prevent it from falling over and will help prevent snapping turtles from tampering with it.
    Check the trap a couple of times a week and remove the leeches. Keep the trap in the pond until the leech numbers decrease, or you no longer catch any leeches in the trap.
     
    addy1, Feb 16, 2012
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  3. ricardo

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    [​IMG] Ricardo
    Sure hope you can figure out a way to rid your pond of those lousy leeches!
     
    j.w, Feb 16, 2012
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  4. ricardo

    adavisus

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    adavisus, Feb 16, 2012
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  5. ricardo

    ricardo

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    THanks to addy1 , J.W and andy for your reply. I will try a trap or rather many traps ( assuming I can find enough cans etc to make enough traps. One thing I will not to worry about ( I hope) are snapping turtles ........ not here in the Uk!!!
    Thanx. Ricardo
     
    ricardo, Feb 17, 2012
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  6. ricardo

    ricardo

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    Adavisus, im going to try traps first. if doesnt work quick enough i'll have to try temporary pond.. Another prob tho is that my spare liner stored in the shed only recently became breakfast for rats that just decided they liked to live under my shed.!!
    Ricardo
     
    ricardo, Feb 17, 2012
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  7. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Put in a ton of traps, bet you can prune down their numbers. Keep us updated, in case any of us end up with the same problem.

    You are making me want to put in some traps to make sure I don't have any...............
     
    addy1, Feb 17, 2012
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  8. ricardo

    CountryEscape

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    Yikes, what a disaster to have to worry about. Good luck to you! I KNOW my farm pond has leeches, so I think I will definitely be putting in a trap when the water warms up. I've seen the leeches on the road, when the rains came 2 years ago and flooded the fields and water was running across the road out here. I picked them up, and had 5 of them 4"-8" long! Thought they were snakes, until I picked them up. YUCK! Gave them to my daughter to take to school and show her kids, as she is a science teacher. They were appalled as well. Keep us posted how the trap works, and if you catch lots of leeches.
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 18, 2012
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  9. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    utoh, so the plants we got from your farm pond may have had leeches? I am putting a trap in my pond
     
    addy1, Feb 18, 2012
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  10. ricardo

    CountryEscape

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    OMG, Addy, I didn't even think of that! I've never seen any leeches in my koi pond, but I know they were at least in the ditches around my place, so I have to assume they are also in my farm pond. I think I will never take anything from my farm pond and put it in my koi pond again! Yikes! I tried to find the picture of the leeches in the quart jar and cannot find them. I need to let JW know, too! Yeah, we better all put traps out just in case. Let me know if you put a trap out (when are you going to do yours? Wait until water warms up?) and if you catch any, and I'll do the same. Soooooo sorry!!!
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 18, 2012
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  11. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Or take the plants and stick them in bleach first, I didn't do that with yours, should have................they came in the mail I was leaving town, so just threw them into the pond. Once it warms I am going to stick out some traps and see if any of those little suckers show up. I have never seen any on the fish or in the pond, but sure am going to keep any eye out and do some preventive trapping just in case.
     
    addy1, Feb 18, 2012
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  12. ricardo

    CountryEscape

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    And JW is hopefully watching this post and will do the same. I feel really bad, I should have thought of that! Will also need to let Sheetmetalman know, as he got some from my pond as well! Have to send him a PM, as I've not seen him on the Forum for quite a while.
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 18, 2012
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  13. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Don't feel too bad, they can get in your pond via birds etc. I am going to soak any plant I give to anybody in bleach before it is bagged and sent. Even if I never see anything to be concerned with, just good practice. At least with lily tubers there is no where they can hide.
     
    addy1, Feb 18, 2012
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  14. ricardo

    Sheetmetalman

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    Thanks Country, I got your message and I will watch for them as it gets warmer outside--havnt done much with the pond since I winterised it except for maintaining my air bubbler and skimming out leaves that keep getting in and sinking (A complete pond leaf net will be ordered before next fall/winter season). I have had to pull large amounts of wet sunken leaves out several times this winter and since its cold and all the fish are in the very bottom too I always went thru the sopping wet mess to make sure I didnt have them trapped in the leaves. I think I would have found leaches in that wet mess and I never have-- so I think while its a good Idea for you and Addy and J.W. to be on guard until were 100 percent sure but I really doubt we have a problem with leaches. They are nasty little buggers-- in my teens and twentys I seined fish ponds and slews by the river for minnows and crawdads for bait and occassionally we would climb out and find them hanging on our ankles and lower legs-nasty! Thanks for keeping me informed-I hope everybody on here is well and I plan to be back on here visiting with everybody by spring. Tim
     
    Sheetmetalman, Feb 18, 2012
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  15. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I was in my pond a ton of times grooming the lilies, even swam a few times, never came out with any leeches attached to this tender little body. I also check every scoop of stuff pulled from the pond for tads etc, never saw a leech. So most likely totally fine.
     
    addy1, Feb 18, 2012
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  16. ricardo

    CountryEscape

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    Yes, I was in my pond a couple of times and the only thing that bit me were the fish. :) Just little nibblers. Hopefully we are all good to go, but never hurts to be extra cautious! Better safe than sorry.
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 18, 2012
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  17. ricardo

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    I don't think we are warm enough here in the summer to keep the leeches happy from your area CE. I have been in my pond also and never had any attached to me. I'll keep an eye out tho. When I was in Eastern Washington on the Pend Oreille river I waded in for some plants and came out w/ tiny leeches on my legs. But the water over there is warmer than our waters on this side of the mountain.
     
    j.w, Feb 19, 2012
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  18. ricardo

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Just found this to get rid of leeches if you have fish:

    Potassium permanganate is the old anti-fluke standby and is sold in pharmacies, some garden shops,, and lfs. I takes four days to treat your pond. A lot of koi supply houses carry it. the way you use it reguires that you accurately measure how much water you have and it is better to under dose than overdose or it can burn the gills of you fish. At treatment doses it will kill all your inverts but you will no longer have fish lice, flukes, or leeches. I did a quick check and you can get a 1 pound jar for $14.50 at www.fancykoiqutlet.com which will last a long time.
    To use you turn off your filter and add one level TEASPOON of granules per 1000 gallons of water to your pond, dissolve it in a bucket with some water first, then stir it around, your pond will turn blue or purple then over the next couple hours turn amber or brown, once it does add 1 pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the pond. Stir it around and wait 3-4 hours then turn the pumps back on.
    Repeat this everyday for four to five days, each day it will take longer for the blue to go away. Make sure you neutralize the potassium permanganate each day. after the last treatment do a 30-50% water change.



    I have also read clean any muck off the bottom of your pond, the leeches love to live in it.
     
    addy1, Feb 19, 2012
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  19. ricardo

    CountryEscape

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    Great additional information, Addy. Hopefully none of us will have to deal with the mess, but if we do, at least we can look back on for reference. Thanks for posting.
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 19, 2012
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