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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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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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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
 

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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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You actually have an awesome set up when you think about it. Especially with a canister filter. IMO you are way over cleaning your canister filter. I open mine literally once in a blue moon, i.e. when the output seems reduced and slow moving. Otherwise I leave it alone. I never change the media in it, and the occasional time that I do open it (6 months or so) I will rinse the batting/sponge component to remove the gunk, check that tubes are clear. BUT if you have snails in there, they will eat the gunk! Perfect set up to me!! Might just put a snail in mine if I don't have any in there. I am an over-feeder too, just removed 80 small pond snails and there are still many in my 75, they are likely already in my filter but since I never open it..., lol.
 

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I just want to add... when you do clean your canister, use only old tank water or de-chlorinated water and don't scrub it clean, just rinse the media, or replace the sponges etc. All that slime coat in there is your good bacteria, you want to keep that and chlorinated water will kill it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just want to add... when you do clean your canister, use only old tank water or de-chlorinated water and don't scrub it clean, just rinse the media, or replace the sponges etc. All that slime coat in there is your good bacteria, you want to keep that and chlorinated water will kill it.
I have well water with no chlorine, so I'm in good shape. I was only cleaning the canister like that because I heard that the snails could damage it. I'm totally good with not opening that thing for awhile- it's a pita. My water polishing pads get yucky fast, though.
 

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I have well water with no chlorine, so I'm in good shape. I was only cleaning the canister like that because I heard that the snails could damage it. I'm totally good with not opening that thing for awhile- it's a pita. My water polishing pads get yucky fast, though.
Keep them rinsed well. As the sludge builds on them, it restricts water flow and they will not be able to effectively remove particles, and water will likely manage to force its way around the edges (the way of least resistance).

I tend to leave mine too long, and when I get to them find they are so bad i can't clean them without almost pulling them apart, so I replace them.

Byron.
 

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I clean my canister's once each month, for I find it produces the best result's for me.
I also have flex type brush that I attach to piece of weed eater twine and pull this through the tubing once every couple month's.
Would be surprised at how dirty pads,sponges, tubes,affect performance.
After you have cleaned the filter a few times,,you get an idea how long they can go between cleaning's.
 

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One way to avoid snails getting into the canister may be to put a sponge prefilter on your canister intake. This would also avoid debris getting into your canister and prolong the cleaning intervals and the life of your filter media... I use one shown in the attachment. I would prefer a bit a coarser version than what I have. You may look in ebay or amazon..... Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One way to avoid snails getting into the canister may be to put a sponge prefilter on your canister intake. This would also avoid debris getting into your canister and prolong the cleaning intervals and the life of your filter media... I use one shown in the attachment. I would prefer a bit a coarser version than what I have. You may look in ebay or amazon..... Hope this helps...
Good tip... thanks!
 
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