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small algae eating worms or something..............

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Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
This also happened last year about this time. Note: the weather here in the Northwest is still ten degrees below normal for this time of the year. Up until about a week and a half ago I was battling green algae and string algae in my water fall. I was having to shoot it with the garden hose and then hit it with a scrubbing brush. All of a sudden I noticed that it looked like someone or something had scrubbed my water fall of ALL of the algae that was growing a week before. upon looking real close I noticed these small (for the lack a better way to describe them), thin worm type water slugs about three eights of an inch long. They seem to have come form no where I can explain, and every where they are, there is no algae. Looking into the pond, I have a normal thin carpet of algae all around the walls and bottom of the pond. I can't see any of these worms in my pond, if they are there I would able to see them because they are black and would blend in with the black walls of the pond and dark green algae.

These worms obviously are not or haven't been a threat to my pond or fish. Does anyone have any idea what these critters are and where they come form? I think this is a good thing, and would like to know more about them and how to cultivate their presents in my pond and water fall.

Happy ponding,

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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
Kinda sounds like small leeches but I don't think they eat algae. Maybe they aren't eating it but scraping it off as they move all around that area? ex[dunno


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3 little leaches? on Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:27 pm

Oldmarine

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Minnow
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HI JW, I hope they aren't leaches. The only places I can find or see them is where the water is flowing in the water fall. The shubunkin's appear to be quite healthy. My assumption would be that the little worm looking things are harmless to the fish.

Happy ponding,

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Esther


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Are they attached at one end to the surface and the water kinda swishes over them leaving them swaying just like the water?


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5 Critters on Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:27 pm

Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
Hi Esther,

No, their whole underside seems to be attched, because their bodies don't wave in the current. They kinda remind me of those little flat worms that we used to disect in Biology class in high school, but he are no thicker than they wide and about 3/8ths of an inch long. The look to be dark brown or black.

I'm not as concerned about their presence in the water fall as I am curious about where they came from. Remember, this is the second year they showed up.

Happy ponding,

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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
Rich, they could be these Black Fly larvae and the adult flies bite you:

http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg222.html



Here are some blackfly larvae on a waterfall


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7 Not quite................ on Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:27 am

Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
Close, but no cigar. They look simuler, but aren't the same. The worms in the pics above are too fat and seem to be hanging on with thier mouths, not their whole body like a slug.

Happy ponding,

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Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
I did some searching on the intranet last night looking for larva or flies that may live in ponds or streams, but I just can't seem to come up with what I've got living in my water fall. I thought that maybe that JW was onto something, but that's not it either. I'm thinking whatever these little worms are, they don't seem to be to harmful. Thinking back to last year didn't stay around for very long, but I can't remember just how long. They could be some kind of larva for a bug or fly that hangs around water, just not sure. It is interesting how quickly these little worms have cleaned up the algae growing in the current of the water fall.

Happy ponding,

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Esther


Chatterbox
Chatterbox
Now wait... At one point you said they were attached all along the bottom of their body and then you said they were attached by their mouth.

No, their whole underside seems to be attched----- seem to be hanging on with thier mouths [i]

I'm confused. Anyway,I have seen something like that in the creek that runs around our duplex. That creek has a slippery clay base and little things like that are attached all over the place. But I don't know what they were. I also wondered if they were baby leaches. But I've spent a lot of time in that creek cleaning it and have never found one attached to me. So I'm no help.


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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
We went to a river over in Eastern Washington and I saw some plants in the water that I just had to have to take home for my pond. So I took my shoes and socks off and took my bucket in the water and started collecting plants. Oh boy I got a bunch too but when I came outta the water there were tons of little tiny leeches attached to my feet and ankles. Ew la la I always thought that I would run screaming if anything like that ever happened to me but no, I just calmly examined them for a bit and then wiped them off and went back in to get more plants and Hey I'm still alive and they didn't hurt a bit and I presume they had a nice lunch on me ex[giggle]


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Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
Jw , that's interesting. I didn't know we had anything like that in our northwest waters. Our water is usually to cold for something like that. I guess I'm wrong.

Happy ponding,

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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
Leeches!



Leeches are native residents in our local lakes.
Often called bloodsuckers, they are flattened worms, and are an important part
of the natural food web in lakes. Most species of leech feed on worms, snails
and insect larvae. Others species prefer vertebrate hosts such as fish, reptiles
and mammals. Leeches, in turn, are a food source for vertebrates such as
fish, ducks, and turtles. Leeches are typically found in shallow, protected
water, among aquatic plants or under stones, logs and other debris. In
Pacific Northwest lakes, when leeches attach themselves a human, it is
usually because the person happened to be wading or swimming in the
leeches’ natural home in the shallow area along the edge of the lake.
Most leeches feed by sucking blood from their hosts.
A leech can ingest several times its own weight in blood after which it will
drop off and seek a hiding place. It will not feed again for weeks or even
months. Leech saliva contains an anesthetic so their victims do not feel them
break the skin. It also contains an anti-coagulant, called hirudin, which passes
into the wound to facilitate the flow of blood.
Summertime means more leeches.


Leeches reproduce in the
spring. The young leeches
are out of their cocoons
several weeks later, just in
time for swimming season!
While generally nocturnal
creatures, leeches are
attracted to water disturbance
like that created by
swimming and wading.
Leeches prefer the shallow,
protected areas of lakes.
They also prefer areas with aquatic weeds, submerged branches, or other debris on which
to attach themselves or to hide. So swimming in deeper waters and in areas free of plants
and debris will reduce the likelihood of a leech finding you.
If you find a leech on your skin after swimming or wading, don’t pull it
off!
The mouthparts of the leech could be left in the skin and cause
infection. Using an irritant, such as salt or heat, will make the
leech let go. Be sure to clean, disinfect and bandage leech
bites to prevent infection as you would any other cut. A leech
bite may ooze for several hours when the leech is removed.
This is caused by compounds present in leech saliva that
prevent blood from clotting. There may also be irritation or
itching after a bite, similar to the allergic reaction some people
have to mosquito bites. If the wound doesn’t heal properly, contact your doctor. Leeches
in our region are not known to transmit human diseases, and are generally not a public
health concern.
Can you get rid of leeches in your swimming area?
There are no chemical control measures
that will effectively reduce leech
populations without causing harm to other
beneficial aquatic animals including fish.
Bait trapping can be successful in
controlling leeches. Using a metal can
with a plastic lid (a one pound coffee can)
drilled with small holes and baited with
raw meat may trap large numbers of
leeches from a heavily infested area. After
feeding, the leeches will have difficulty
leaving the can. Destroy the contents of the can daily will help reduce the size of the
leech population. Because leeches like to conceal themselves under sticks, stones and
other debris, keeping swimming areas free of such material is another way to help reduce
the human/leech encounter.


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respect the lives of your fellow creatures"



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Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
I have to admit, this has been interesting. The little water worms are now all gone now, and the aglae is starting to get darker from growth. My assumption now is that these little water worms were some kind of larva, and have turned into whatever they were going to turn into. Just like last year this time, they have come and gone.

Happy ponding,

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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
They'll be back next year just like Arnold in The Terminator They prolly are some kind of larvae and they will prolly be biting you for lunch this summer ex[giggle]


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Oldmarine

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Minnow
Minnow
Yep, the algae is coming back in the water fall. It was interesting to witness this unexplainable short life spam of whatever lived in the flow of water.

Happy ponding, ex[rain

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jw

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
Yep but just make sure you have your bug repellent handy for when they come for your blood ex[maul]


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