Asian Leech (aka) The Buffalo Leech or Giant "Hirudinaria Manillensis". Asian Buffalo leeches are raised as babies and will grow very fast to become an enormous, almost monster-size leech, as shown in the videos we have featured on YouTube. Asian leech babies require to be fed monthly (in the beginning) then every 2-3 months, and have been used in "Ayurveda", as part of their feeding. This leech variety has particular care requirements that make it quite different than its Hirudo counterparts, which are super easy to keep, compared to the Buffalo Leech. A temperature between 22-25 degrees Celsius (about 78 Fahrenheit) must be maintained at all times in their leech tank or leech aquarium, which means you must equip yourself with a fish tank heater with a built-in thermometer. Furthermore, it not advisable to make the fish tank water deeper than 20cm because as the Hirudinaria Manillensis are still babies, they might get crushed by water pressure and not be able to swim up for air. Leeches can drown, so they should have plenty of air inside their leech container. If they have been sucking blood and are fed and full you would keep their temperature at the lower range or else the blood inside them can congeal or boil and cause them to perish. 22 degrees would probably be ideal to maintain in the aquarium after each feeding. Taking care of fed buffalos is significantly more difficult than keeping hungry buffalo leeches and looking after them. Furthermore, you need to keep their leech tank either in a dark room or covered by dark fabric, to ensure constant darkness for them, as they despise light immensely and are unable to latch and feed in the light or in the cold. You will receive a full sheet of further instructions, along with your order of buffalo leeches. Many customers choose to buy leeches of this variety, to breed them and for re-sale. Other people choose them for their enormous size and ability to withdraw blood. Whatever the reason may be, your grown buffalo leech will surely be the topic of conversation at every dinner party, raise the eyebrows and draw the attention of everyone who happens to lay eyes on it. Seeing an exotic live leech of this grandeur in person is definitely a sight to behold!
UPON ARRIVAL: Immediately transfer your leeches out of the container with special gel and into a jar of cold water!
HOW TO GET THEM OUT: Pour out the gel with the leeches from the container. If the leeches are still inside, you may add a bit of cold water and swoosh everything around vigorously. If they are still stuck to the walls, you may try to use your fingers. Regular tweezers may harm the body of the leech, so they are not recommended for use - its best to purchase the recommended leech forceps used for easy removal and handling of the leech. In the absence of forceps, be sure to handle your leeches quickly, so they don’t start sucking blood from your fingers.
BEST CONTAINER TO USE: Keep your leeches in a large glass (or plastic) jar with a tight lid. The container needs to be filled about 1/3 full of ice-cold water. The lid needs to be closed and you may puncture needle-size holes in it. Alternatively, instead of a lid, you may cover your jar with cloth tied with an elastic band.
CARE: Change the leech-water at least once a week. Dump out old water by shaking it around vigorously first, with the lid on, until the leeches’ skins come off (they shed their skins about once a week). Skins appear as slimy whitish-clear particles, floating in the water. Carefully pour-out the old water with skins, taking care not to pour out any of the leeches, then, refill the jar again, close and shake. Repeat this process as many times as needed, until all the skins are completely gone and the water is perfectly clear. Fill the jar again with 1/3 cold water (its ok to use tap) and close the lid tightly.
Keep your jar with leeches in a cold, partly dark place, away from direct sunlight. During winter, they can be kept outdoors, partly-covering the jars with a towel, to protect from full sun-exposure. We do not advise you to feed your leeches during winter. Leech species can keep for 1 year without feeding. Keep your fed leeches apart from the hungry ones, as they will prey on each other. Be sure to purchase separate jars, to separate your fed and hungry leeches properly.