Snails In Koi Pond Filter: Is It Good Or Bad, And What You Can Do

If you have a Koi pond outdoors, you will most likely find some snails in the pond, even in the pond filter. Snails are known to some as unwanted pests, but are snails in a Koi pond and pond filter a good thing, or can they cause some trouble for you and your fish?

Having a small number of snails in your Koi pond filter is unlikely to cause problems with your filter or pond. The problems will start when the snail population begins to grow out of control as this can raise the Ammonia levels in your pond, causing harm to your Koi fish.

Are snails good for Koi ponds in general? How can you get rid of unwanted snails in your Koi pond and filter to help control the snail population? Let’s find out!

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Snails In Koi Pond Filter: Is It Good?

Snails are some of the most common creatures that will wander into your Koi ponds of their own accord. Sometimes the snails might end up in your ponds filter, but is this a problem, or can you leave them there?

Generally speaking, snails in a Koi pond filter will not cause any harm as they can help clean the water of algae and other unwanted organic materials. Problems might begin to occur when the snail population grows in your filter. This can lead to blockages in your filter and a spike in Ammonia in the water.  

Are Snails Good For Koi Ponds?

Owning a Koi pond can have its surprises throughout the years. This can make having a Koi pond great fun as you never truly know what to expect when you go and check on it throughout the day.

One of the surprises you might find in your Koi pond is snails. Wild snails appearing in your Koi pond will only happen if you have an outdoor Koi pond. However, you can introduce snails into your indoor Koi pond to reap the benefits of these creatures.

Let’s go over all the benefits snails can offer your Koi pond and the possible negatives you might need to deal with if you have snails in your Koi pond.

The Positives Of Having Snails In Koi Ponds

No matter how the snails enter your Koi pond, they will provide some practical benefits to both you and your Koi fish.

Even though a large majority of the algae and Blanketweed control in your Koi ponds will be done by the UV bulbs in the pond filters, snails can still help control a large amount of the waste in your pond. 

The snails will feed on the organic matter and sludge that collects in your Koi pond, which will help maintain the nutrient levels in your Koi pond. This means your Koi pond will be cleaner and tidier, which will help your Koi fish stay in good health.

If you have many snails appearing in your Koi pond, this could indicate that the water quality in the pond is poor. So, even though the snails can help clean the water, you should still test the ponds water to rule out any underlying cause that may affect the health of your Koi fish.

The Negatives Of Having Snails In Koi Ponds

So, snails can have some great benefits in your Koi pond, but they have a few negatives you need to be aware of to ensure they don’t cause more harm than good in your Koi pond.

Snails can help control the algae and other organic matter in your Koi pond, but snails will also begin eating some of the pond plants you want in your pond, like Lilies. This can be devastating for some Koi pond owners as often these plants are centerpieces in the pond.

Another negative to having snails in your Koi pond is that snails tend to reproduce very fast. This means that your Koi pond could become overrun with snails in a very short period. When overcrowding of snails happens in a pond, the snails are more likely to eat the living plants in the pond.

If the snail population grows out of control, this can also affect the nutrient levels in your Koi pond. A high snail population can cause spikes in the Nitrite and Ammonia levels in your Koi pond, which can affect the health of your Koi fish.

Wild snails that find their way into your Koi pond could also harbor potentially harmful parasites that could infect your Koi fish and cause them to die if not treated.

How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Snails From Koi Pond Filters

There are benefits to having snails in your Koi pond filter, but some alarming complications can occur from having snails in it.

If you want to have the benefits that the snails provide to your pond without developing complications, you need to keep the snail population under control.

Thankfully, there are several methods you can use to help rid your Koi pond and Koi pond filter unwanted snails to help control the snail population. Let’s go through a few of these methods so that you can ensure the health of your Koi pond.

Remove The Snails Manually

If you have a smaller pond or an indoor pond that you have to introduce snails into, and the snails become a problem, you can start removing the snails manually. Every time you come across some snails in your pond or pond filter within reach, you can remove them with your hands.

You can then take the snails to your local aquarium supplies store to be sold to other customers or dispatch the snails yourself if you have a strong heart and stomach.

Utilize Snail Traps

If you have a bigger pond or the snail population is growing out of control, you can set up some snail traps in your Koi pond filter and in the pond itself to help you control the snail population. Snail traps can be found in your local aquarium or garden store, and they are easy to use and set up.

When the trap is full, you can remove it from the pond, empty it and place it back in. you can repeat this process until the snail population is at the level you want it to be in your Koi pond.

Use Food Bait To Rid Your Pond Of Snails

If you don’t want to go out and buy a snail trap, you can make something similar using some table or kitchen scraps from your household. You can take some lettuce, the skin of a ripe banana, or even a slice of a cucumber and place this into your pond.

Leave a scrap of food in a location that you can easily reach overnight. In the morning, go and check on it; at this point, it should be covered in snails. Then you can remove the scrap of food and the snails from your pond.

Introduce Snail Eating Predators Too The Koi Pond

If you have a large pond and the snail population is really out of control, you can introduce some snail-eating predators to your Koi pond to help control the snail population. Some of these snail eaters include Zebrafish, Clown Loach, and Cichlids.


Having snails in your Koi pond filter and just your Koi pond, in general, can be a good thing if you can keep the snail population under control. If you cant keep the population under control, the snails can begin to cause more harm to your pond than good.

Thankfully, there are many options you can use to help control the snail population in your Koi pond that will not harm your Koi fish. So, if you want the snails’ benefits and have the time and energy to control their population, having a few in your pond can be beneficial.


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