Help! Snail Infestation Inside Canister Filter!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help! Snail Infestation Inside Canister Filter!!!

Ok I'm at a loss.

I have a bad pond snail infestation inside my fluval 305. I tried replacing all the filters and rinsing all the parts with super hot water and wiping it all down so as to get rid of the egg globs, but I just opened it up again today and a whole new infestation is there.

Replacing the filters every week is getting expensive. How do I get rid of this problem? I have 3 zodiac loaches who seemed to have cleared out the tank of the snails (they leave the shells outside their cave), but I guess I'm not cleaning the filter thoroughly enough.

Any suggestions would be great.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 02:11 PM
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You will never rid the filters of small snails unless you somehow rid the tank first. But the good news is that the snails will not harm the filter; and they are actually beneficial to the bacteria because they break down the solid matter faster so the bacteria can more quickly use it.

When I clean my canisters, I find hundreds of small snails, mainly Malaysian Livebearing in my case, as these fare better in my soft water than the pond snail which I have minimally in a couple tanks.

Replacing filter media will not have any effect, as the snails will lay eggs in the tank itself and the almost invisible young snails will crawl into the filter. Once they are of breeding size in there, they will lay eggs.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
But the good news is that the snails will not harm the filter; and they are actually beneficial to the bacteria because they break down the solid matter faster so the bacteria can more quickly use it.
I have heard that they will eventually damage filter equipment... is that not true?
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 05:56 PM
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I have heard that they will eventually damage filter equipment... is that not true?
Mostly not true.

They can get themselves into the impeller on some filters, but it's easy to tell if that happens as it makes a lot of noise. Probably not as common in a canister as in a HOB.

They get caught up in my HOB once or twice a month, but hasn't caused any damage. I have snails in all three of my tanks (two with HOBs, one with a canister).
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-23-2012, 08:48 PM
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I seem to recall losing a canister filter about 10 years ago. It was a poor design and was already on its last leg.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-25-2012, 07:10 AM
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Hello;
Speculation
In previous post implies snails will colonize the filter and assist good bacteria in the nitrogen cycle. Would this affect the bio-load and aquarium in a negative manner by increasing nitrate production and destabilizing bacteria colonies which might threaten the health of fish and plants.
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-25-2012, 08:40 AM
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Hello;
Speculation
In previous post implies snails will colonize the filter and assist good bacteria in the nitrogen cycle. Would this affect the bio-load and aquarium in a negative manner by increasing nitrate production and destabilizing bacteria colonies which might threaten the health of fish and plants.
pop
No the reverse is true, snails actually help. They break down left over food/waste in the tank quicker into a less complex form the bacteria can more easily use.

'Pest' snails which people generally have problems with will only overrun a tank if there is sufficient food for them. As with most creatures in nature, they self regulate their numbers to the amount of food. So if you have thousands of them everywhere, it's a clear sign you are feeding too much and not removing enough waste in water changes.

I have Malaysian Trumpet Snails (people call MTS for short) in all three of my tanks. They likely number in the hundreds, but I honstly don't see very many of them as they live under the substrate and for the most part only come out during the night. They keep the sand nicely stired up to prevent dead pockets from forming.

Pond and Ramshorn snails are more visible and usually the ones people have 'problems' with. I have pond in one of my tanks, but not that many (that I notice at least).
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-25-2012, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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I fully admit that I overfeed. It's a compulsion. I'm trying to cut down... lol.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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If you want a quick and easy way to remove some but not all.

Place a piece of lettuce leave inside the tank weighted down with either a rock or algae/vege clip. By morning the lettuce leaf should have snails on it, simply remove the lettuce leaf carefully along with the snails.

Agree on the other posts that snails are beneficial in a filter, I had some MTS years ago that made their home in my filter, they did a great job but never got too much that it affected the tank.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-25-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tazman View Post
If you want a quick and easy way to remove some but not all.

Place a piece of lettuce leave inside the tank weighted down with either a rock or algae/vege clip. By morning the lettuce leaf should have snails on it, simply remove the lettuce leaf carefully along with the snails.

Agree on the other posts that snails are beneficial in a filter, I had some MTS years ago that made their home in my filter, they did a great job but never got too much that it affected the tank.
I think the loaches pretty much got the tank covered.. there are no visible snails in the tank and the water quality is fine. It just grosses me out seeing so many in the filter, but I guess I can suck it up if they aren't going to ruin my filter.
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