Hi, I was watching my snails eating some cucumber yesterday when I noticed some weird brown feelers coming from their heads, being new to snail keeping I assumed they were part of the snail, but I searched it out on the internet anyway and discovered they are in fact leeches, I find leeches really quite scary (sorry if I offended any leech keepers) and I cant imagine they are doing the snails a lot of good, so I was wanting to remove them. Apparently you need to submerge the snails in one cup of water with one tsp of salt, as far as I knew salt is bad for snails, but it has suggested the same treatment on a few different sites. Could anyone tell me if it's a special type of salt that I use for snails and if in fact it is safe for the snails.
I've never heard of this before. Could you get us a picture of what is going on before doing the treatment? Salt can severely hurt and kill snails so you really have to be sure before exposing snails to salt.
I've been stalking them ever since you replied, but I haven't seen the feeler things come out again since, I will try to get a picture or video as soon as I see it again though. I was tempted to put another piece of cucumber in as that seemed to attract the snails so I would have more chance of seeing the leeches. I'm not really sure how much to feed them though, they ate a whole slice of cucumber in one night, I can't find anything online that tells how much they eat, there is a fair bit of algea in the tank, plus if give them two tiny algea wafers a day, I'm worried they are being underfed.
I emailed the lady who runs the blog page that suggested using salt as a treatment and she kindly replied. Basically the snail will close his trapdoor and start producing slime if the solution is too saline and it's stressing him. So you need to have it salty enough to make the leeches come out of the shell, but not salty enough to stress the snails. I'm still a bit too nervous to risk it though, as the leeches are species specific and the snails seem healthy enough I might just leave it. Apparently you can use aquarium salt or rock salt to do it though, the leeches will need to be pulled out by tweezers then put in a strong salt solution to kill them, I'm not sure my stomach would be strong enough to do that anyway.