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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was wiping some algae off the glass with a magnet cleaner when I saw something that at first figured was one of my neocaridina shrimp, until I realized it was moving somewhat like a snail--without a shell. I immediately moved it from the tank, and then looking around, found an even larger one. They had suctioned onto the glass very well, and are able to curl up into a ball. When they movee they stretch out with the thinner end of them seeming to look around and take lead. I've heard of all kinds of microorganisms and if they're harmless I generally don't bother getting rid of them. I've had copepods, nematodes, seed shrimp, but this-- I tried to ID it online and some sources are saying leeches but I'm not sure. Can anyone confirm?



For further information, I'm running a 20 gallon long nano setup, with endlers, pseudomugil, neocaridina shrimp, two nerite snails, and a small assassin snail. I don't think anything I have in this tank is big enough to eat these guys. The bigger one (pictured above) was suctioned to the glass but the end of him had attached to a small ramshorn snail. A shrimp touched it and the thing curled up, but I'm worried that these things, if they are leeches, are going to threaten my tank's inhabitants.

Edit: I do have a betta coming in soon, I read that some bettas will eat smaller leeches. I've only seen two leeches so far, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are more. I don't so much mind if the mini ramshorn or bladder snails are fed on, but I'm more worried about my shrimp fry. Despite the fish, there's lots of plants for shrimp fry to hide in and I have a good survival rate in my tank. I'm also worried about what might happen if these leeches run out of a food source, and if they get desperate before then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, a leech.
I'm going to assume snail leeches, since one was sucking a mini ramshorn dry. I read that some shrimp (saw a video with what looked like neocaridinas) will eat snail leeches? I suppose I don't mind if they go after the bladder snails and mini ramshorns, and when they get too big/noticeable I can pull them out. I have two full grown nerites; they're safe, right?
 

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Leeches can be difficult to identify without the use of a microscope, so I won't even attempt. Most leeches will feed on snails (as well as aquatic insects, worms and other small invertebrates). I can't guarantee your Nerites will be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'm pretty sure they are snail leeches, because the second one I ever caught was sucking out the insides of a mini ramshorn snail.

Every day I'm still pulling out these leeches out. I can only see them when they're bigger and on the glass. Today I even found a smaller clear one--who knows how many are in this tank right now.

I still have lots of bladder and mini ramshorn snails that I don't mind much--I had bought an assassin snail to thin out their numbers a little, but I didn't want to eradicate them. If the snail leeches do eat all my snails (RIP poor little guys), will these little leech bastards finally die out?

I'm fine with harmless microorganisms but these guys are unsightly.

Adding: I don't want to nuke my tank because I have a lot of shrimp that would be hard to catch, I'd have to rip up the entire aquascaping, etc, so I'm going to invest in a planaria trap.
 
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