Leech care, information, and personal leech adventures!

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Anonymous asked: My leeches are vomiting every time I change there water in there leech tank is this normal? And if I have 12 leeches how often do you think I should change the water in there tank? thanks.

A good idea for anyone keeping aquatic creatures is to only change part of  the water at a time so it doesn’t shock their system. For example, if the water gets a bit dirty, only change out half of it or so because it could shock their system if you just put them in brand new water. Shocking them could cause vomiting. Frequency of water changing depends on the size of your tank, but I would say more frequent partial water changes is better than total water change once in a while.

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Anonymous asked: How often should I feed my leeches? And my leeches have been getting really odd and not letting some of the other leeches eat the food. I'm getting worried because the leeches that are not eating are getting super small and thin. Thanks.

Be sure to separate unfed leeches from those who are fed, as the hungry leeches will sometimes cannibalize the fat ones. Just let the skinny ones eat first?

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Anonymous asked: Hi my leeches have been huddling in to the corners of my leech tank and they wont move. I get that they don't move all the time, but they are always siting in the corner halfway out of the water and halfway in the water, is this normal? Thanks.

If they are hanging out outside the water for prolonged periods of time, it could be that there is something in the water they don’t like. Be sure it’s clean, dechlorinated, and isn’t distilled. If the water’s good, I’m not sure what else it could be.

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Anonymous asked: if i wanted to raise a seperate tank of leeches, just in case friends got interested or something, what can i feed them aside from my own blood. Im worried about cross contamination even though my blood is clear.

Yes, do not share leeches! And some problems can arise from feeding leeches your own blood. For example: my leech bite wound didn’t stop bleeding for 2 days after a feeding. Though, this could have occurred because the leeches fed so close together. Anyway,

Leech feeding alternative: blood sausage.
(Some leeches might eat chicken livers or other things like that, but I haven’t had luck with feeding medical leeches that way.)

How to make “blood sausage.”
-Buy some blood from your butcher. (Mine was only $15 a gallon, and was special ordered. Make sure to order unseasoned!)
-Buy some sausage casing. (Cheap.)

1. Make sure to rinse out the sausage casing, as it is covered in salt.
2. Tie on end of sausage casing, and then fill with the blood like a water balloon. Tie off other end.
3. Warm it in the microwave for just a few seconds. I always kept my blood frozen, and then thawed every time they needed to be fed. So just make sure it’s a little warm before you plop it in the feeding container or the leeches won’t be interested.

Also, I recommend you feed your leeches in a separate clean bucket or something than you keep them in. It’s kind of messy and blood is really gross when it’s not cleaned to pristine conditions afterwards. :)

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Anonymous asked: HELP! My biology teacher is giving her leeches away tomorrow (she told us today) and I said I would give some of them a home. She said to use spring water and feed them chicken liver. She had kept them in a beaker in a dark place. I don't think I can procure a tank or do the blood sausage method you suggested with such short notice. So I was wondering what you suggest and if any of the information she said of was inaccurate.

I’m not sure what type of leeches they are, but if the chicken livers have worked in the past, I’d say stick with it! They don’t necessarily need a tank, but more leeches + less space means needing the change out the water more frequently. Don’t worry too much about being able to feed them right away, the leeches I’m familiar with only eat every few months or so. I’m glad the leeches are going to a conscientious home! :)

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Anonymous asked: Do people ever eat Leeches ???

A few years ago, I came across a video where two guys cooked up leeches. I can’t find the video any more, but I have my old post about it: http://leechqueen.tumblr.com/post/12962885056/leech-recipes
(You have to kill the leech in a certain manner or it will regurgitate all its blood.)

Now when I search Youtube there is a lot of live leech eating for shock shows, like Fear Factor. Considering the leeches’ nervous system is very similar to ours, it’s pretty inhumane to eat them live like that.