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Keeping leeches for awhile

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So when you have multiple people buying bait and you all go overboard, you wind up with plenty left over.

Minnows I dump (or put in the fountain smile ), crawlers keep well in the fridge, what about leeches?

We wound up buying a pound between us about a week ago. I wound up with the remaining half pound. They've been doing fine in the fidge with water changes but I don't know how long I can keep them healthy without food. Or what to feed them if I did.

Any proven system out there or can they just go a long time without food?

Thanks for any input.

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Your leeches will do better if you move them to a larger say one to three gallon container.Next you will need to treat, (condition)the tap water you add to your leeches or minnows.This neutralizes chlorine and heavy metals present in water supplies.Water conditioner can be purchased at any pet store.Usually one teaspoon for every 10 gallons of water.(depending on the brand you purchase.)I'm not sure what you feed to leeches,but I've had minnows and leeches

alive for months in the garage refrigerator.Just change the water, (treated first)every couple of days and they'll be lively for your next outing(s)Good luck and don't fall in!chris63

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The colder the better in the fridge. I change the water using creek water once a week. I was doing it every couple days but then I went on vacation and they were fine so I went to once a week. I have a small jug and a plastic container wih snap on lid. I put the water in the small jug on one day and letthe temps equalize. The next day I dump out the water from the plastic container where the leeches reside and dump the water from the plastic jug into the leech container. Next year I am gonna buy more pounds of leeches. This was the first year I bought them in bulk and it has really worked out well.

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If you have access to well water or lake water you don't need to mess around with chemicals. Put them in a large bucket. Change the water every day. And keep them at about 50 degrees. If they get warmed up, it's over.

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Like others said, change water ~once a week, keep COLD and you'll be set. Also be sure to use a large enough container and enough water, the leeches shouldn't be cramped. I work in a bait store and we have had some leeches since the week before opener that are still doing fine.

If you use regular hard water you should be fine to forgo treating with chemicals, I have no problems at least with my leeches or tap water.

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I have been kept my leeches since opneing weekend. I use lake water, changing the water every week, keeping the leeches in a cool dark place. I started with a 1/2lb. I have about 2dozen left after using, and some normal lose.

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Is there any way to plump them up a little? Give them raw hamburger or anything like that?

I have some leeches in the fridge now and have always just changed the water. I didn't know they could live that long on water changes alone.

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I have been fishing with the same pound of leeches since Memorial Day weekend. I keep them in my garage fridge in a medium sized styrofoam bucket. I use straight city tap water and the leeches are great. I change the water once a week.

I have been doing this for years and have never had any leeches go bad because I used tap water. Leeches are generally very hardy if you keep them cold. I haven't found a need to feed them. I did try the raw humburger bit many years ago. That turns into a stinky mess. I wouldn't recommend it. None of my leeches has ever appeared to die of starvation.

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Yep same here. Keep them in the garage fridge and change the water every third day or so. I have some that are prob. 6 weeks old.

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Thanks for the input guys. A couple months seems like a LONG time.

I don't normally have a bunch of leeches so I'm just getting used to them.

I do have well water so that's not a problem. I have changed it every other day and the water I get from my basement is pretty cold so it doesn't shock them too much. But they do start swimming pretty good in the fresh water.

I took them out of my leech locker and just filled my 12 pack sized cooler with them. It has a screw in ice pack for the lid so I can keep my bait cool in the boat.

Sounds like I won't have any worries. Hmmm, leeches, the perfect bait?

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If you have well water (and no significant other) I have seen people keep them for months in a mesh bag in the water tank for their toilet. Don"t laugh too much it works great until the significant other opens the lid. I did not think that would ever happen!

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