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FAQs about Giant Clam Disease: Treatments

FAQs on Giant Clam Disease: Tridacnid Disease 1, Tridacnid Disease 2, Tridacnid Disease 3, Tridacnid Health 4, Tridacnid Health 5, Tridacnid Disease 6, Tridacnid Disease 7, Tridacnid Disease 8, & Pest Snails (Pyramidellids...),
FAQs on Giant Clam Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic,

Related Articles: Tridacnid Health: Pinched Mantle Syndrome in Giant Clams by Dr. David Basti, Deborah Bouchard & Barry Neigut, Got Tridacna? A beginner's guide to keeping Tridacnid clams by Laurie Smith, Example Chapter from NMA Reef Invertebrates book, on Giant Clams, Tridacnids, A Brief Guide to the Selection and Placement of Tridacnid Clams by Barry Neigut, Bivalves, Mollusks, Lighting Marine Invertebrates

Related FAQs: Tridacnid Identification, Tridacnid Behavior, Tridacnid Selection, Tridacnid Compatibility, Tridacnid Systems, Tridacnid Lighting, Tridacnid Placement, Tridacnid Feeding, Tridacnid Reproduction, Tridacnids 1, Tridacnids 2, Tridacnids 3, Tridacnids 4, Tridacnid Clam BusinessBivalves, Bivalves 2, Lighting Marine Invertebrates,


Quarantine for new clams       8/17/19
Hey guys,
<Hey Jeremiah>
Thanks a ton for this site, it has helped me massively over the months I've been involved with this hobby.
<Thanks for your words, we are glad to be helpful.>
I currently have a Maxima clam and am getting two more tomorrow. I successfully kept the current Maxima for about two years and it has doubled in size and done very well.
I am planning on quarantining the two I get tomorrow in a ten gallon tank with a sponge filter and heater. I plan on the duration of the QT to be 4 weeks as the two I am getting are quite expensive and the one which I currently possess is the prize of my tank. I plan on situating each of the clams I am getting in their own piece of live rock (currently dry) on the bare bottom of the tank. The pieces of rock I have picked out should be pretty good long term homes for these guys. I will use a spare led light which is currently in my refugium to provide them light. It worked great up top until the blue lights burned out and then didn't look as good, but the white and other colors are what I need for the photosynthetics anyway. One of the new clams is about six or seven inches and the other is about two. I plan on filling the ten gallon tank, drip wise, with water from my main tank as a drip acclimation method.
<Good technique>
So here is where I'm not sure about the next step. How much ammonia do clams produce and how often should I change the water?
<They produce enough to quickly pollute small water volumes, especially when recently imported.>
I know they consume Nitrates and that leads me to think that maybe they shouldn't have water changes in the QT the same way a fish would. Is this true?
<Not completely true, Tridacna clams do consume nitrates but not harmful ammonia and nitrites. And like any other living marine organism, they produce them...not as much as fish, but they do, so you still have to do water changes during quarantine.>
Assuming I do change the water, my plan was to drain off the water to an inch above the largest clam and then drip water from my main tank into the QT to make up the new water. I was planning on doing this once a week, but obviously if I don't have to change the water I would rather not. I haven't found an answer to this question in your archives anywhere.
<I suggest using a HOB filter filled with old filter material from your main tank such as a filter floss or small pieces of live rock, anything that has been for at least a month in your tank/sump, this way you will allow nitrification to take place in your quarantine tank and ease the clams’ acclimation process, besides you can get by with only once a week water changes, don’t forget to constantly monitor your water levels.>
Thanks a ton for your time!
<Your welcome. Wil.>
Re: Quarantine for new clams       8/17/19

Thanks a ton!
<You’re most welcome. Wil.>

Tridacna derasa quarantine: 7/13/2009
Hi Guys!
Please forgive me if the answer to my question lies in your immense FAQs, but I was unable to find it so I thought I would just ask.
<Sure thing.>
I have just purchased a *Tridacna derasa*. I'm very excited as you might imagine. But, I'm confused with the quarantine. The clam is approximately 3-1/2 inches. I know that it is always recommended to quarantine for 2 weeks at minimum.
But, I'm a little afraid that it might attach itself to the bare tank bottom and I won't be able to move it.
<A valid concern, but easily corrected by giving the clam something portable to attach to, such as a old shell or a small piece of rock. >
I'm also wondering if placement in the display tank would offer better water flow, nutrients, and lighting.
<It would>
Would you still recommend a 2 week quarantine?
<If it is your only clam and you are certain that it is not carrying any parasitic snails that will devour it, yes, you can go ahead and put it in your display. Do watch it closely, particularly after lights out for signs of snails. If you had existing clams, I would quarantine it for the two weeks.>
As always you guys are the best!
Thanks for responding.
<My pleasure.>

Clam dip?   7/7/06 No, I'm not asking for your favorite clam dip recipe. <Heeeee!>   Is there a dip you can use for Tridacnid clams, similar to dips for fish and corals, before putting them in the tank? Thanks <Mmm, this could become quite a discussion... Some friends in the trade do have/practice rather elaborate acclimation processes for newly imported Tridacnids... But I would not do this as a hobbyist. I do encourage you to isolate/quarantine new purchases however, to investigate the presence of pests (esp. Pyramidellids) and assure health before placement in a main/display system. Bob Fenner>

Clam question, quarantine  10/5/05 Hi guys (and gals), <Howdy> Thanks for all you do to make the captive marine hobby better.  Quick question.  I have read (repeatedly, I might add) your strong encouragement to QT all animals, and I have learned this lesson from experience, too.  But now, I am in a bit of a quandary.  I have a clam (crocea) coming tomorrow afternoon--my first one.  It's final destination is the upper rockwork of my 72G bowfront reef--(SG 1.023, 0 Ammonia and Nitrites, Nitrates under 5ppm, 20G refugium w/Caulerpa, Poseidon 2 skimmer, 4 110W VHO--2 50/50 and 2 A03.  I just discovered my alkalinity and calcium have dipped a little, but will do a partial WC and refill my bionic bottles today).  I have also cleared a space on the gravel for the clam to have a couple weeks acclimating.  Tank occupants are a purple tang, diadema Pseudochromis, green Chromis, mandarin, yellow watchman goby, a fire shrimp, and many LPS corals, mostly Euphyllids.  I also have a 20G QT tank set up (with two small reef-safe fish for another tank currently finishing their QT period) with just an undergravel filter and a whisper 1 back filter, and a 15W SO fluorescent light.  No skimmer. Now for the question: should I QT the clam in the 20G? <I would... to check its health, see if any undesirable hitchhikers have come along with it> The lighting seems woefully inadequate, and there's no skimmer, and I don't even check nitrate, calcium or alkalinity in that tank.  I just do a 100% WC after each QT period, dumping all water and replacing with water from my display tank. <Good technique> I want to do what is best for the clam, and for my system, and if that means QT for the clam, that's fine, but I was just wondering if the QT period in the 20G would actually do the clam more harm than good?  Things are pretty stable in the 72G reef.  What do you recommend?  If you do recommend QT, how long?  I generally QT fish about 4 weeks, but in the past I have not QT'ed inverts at all. Thanks in advance, Jim Jensen <A week or two is about all that is called for close observation, isolation of Tridacnids. Bob Fenner>

Fresh Water Dipping Giant Clams Anthony my man. Just a note to say hi and see what is up with my friend. Saw you reply on WWM regarding a FWD on a clams. '<I would almost never recommend FW dipping clams. I am also quite doubtful that whoever suggested your clams had "clam disease" has a clue (however well intended they might be). The higher rates of mortality from select clam shipments recently have been limited more to batches rather than a locale/source or specific pathogen (despite folks in the industry looking for an excuse for their poor husbandry as retailers or wholesalers' Like many people I had to see if this worked or not so about 7 months ago we had some clams that developed mantle being pinched and worsen over time, so I tired to fresh water dip and as you can see below the results after 30 hours.  There was one that we did not do the dip on and within a few he was gone. L Since then we have done this on several occasion with 90% success.  Some think this is a disease but I do not think that as it has never spread to other clams.  My thought are that it is a parasite that irritated the mantle and the FW dip kills it. Have examined the dip container to see what was in the bottom after the dip and always there have been so very small star fish and some other things that I could not identify. Just want to share my experience with you on this subject.  Have several other images that show the same results.  Yes, and we have lost a few doing this but if not treated then we would have lost more. J
Re: Fresh Water Dip Hey, Barry thanks for sharing this... will look forward to seeing more of it in time. Until the primary is identified (assuming it is even a single catalyst or pathogen), it s a tough decision between what is worse, the cure or the disease. It reminds me of the argument between Eric B and Julian S over using antibiotics on elegant corals. The cure/treatment may indeed be somewhat effective, but as a recommendation to the masses that do not understand or apply it correctly, it may not be serving the greater good. A surprising number of folks don't take the time (or know to do) an aeration to raise the dismal dissolved O2 levels in tap or treated water, then buffer it and match it to system water (pH/ALK). Typically its a minority of us that do it... as such, fishes and inverts that get dipped in inappropriately handled FW dip water do more harm than good. Indeed... the treatment isn't the problem, its the execution of it by the ignorant (as in "not-knowing"/uninformed) masses. Particularly those that glean the abbreviated version from a message board and then run with it :P A lot of RC and advanced aquarist folks take exception to the advice we give at WWM and when talking to other aquarists... but they forget the overwhelming skill level of the folks we are talking too, and those that will be reading our archives. Your customers and ours really don't overlap much mate <G>. You've got more advanced reefers by far IMO All good food for though for both of us. I will be more optimistic about this method and look forward to hearing about the root cause if/when we find it thanks mate, Anthony Agreed that some do not prepare the dip correctly and will certainly not be successful. We hesitate suggesting this method to aquarist but when we do, we certainly provide the recipe. :) Like you said, some have not a clue, have heard that some will do this as part of acclimation and then wonder why the specimen died. It was already stressed due to transporting and then does the FWD, don't think so!!! I have seen so many damaging things posted on some of these forums and want so much to chime in but I hesitate doing that. :) With that being said, we do however know that if something is not done, then the clam will die within a week. Cheers Barry www.clamsdirect.com

Clam Bob, Wanted to share something with you that I was thinking about while I was sleeping. <We've got to stop eating licorice and pepperoni pizzas before dossing down> Had a Black Maxima that I placed in a tank and one of my fish attacked him several times and after the third attach the clam gave up and gapped the size of a quarter. Not knowing what to do, took the clam out and placed him in a quarantine tank with minimal light, no substrate and did some feeding. After 8 days the clam recovered fully. I will just about guarantee that if I had left him in the main tank being so stressed that the critters would have finished him off. So my observation is that if you have a clam in distress and place him in a stress free environment so that he can recover he will most likely do so but leaving him in a stressed situation no chance of recovery. Have done this several times with 98 % success. <Thanks for this... you gapper, gipper> Thought this observation was worth passing on. Not a writer but I think you get my point. :) <Yes... will fwd to the fellow-writing boys. Bob> Regards, Barry, www.clamsdirect.com

Clams Hi Bob, Want to pass something by you. You may or may not be aware that a lot of people are losing clams after buy clam/s that are coming from Pohnpei so I have been told.  <Have heard this from others> The people that have contacted me are saying that once they placed this clam in their tank with a day or so the clam dies and then a chain reaction starts, some have lost clams that they have had for several months or years. Some think it is a bacteria infection. My question is, if indeed this is correct will the bacteria infection remain the tank or even stay in the LR or substrate. Some people have reported good luck using Doxycycline as a treatment. <Have also heard this> Do you have any information or suggestion on this subject? <Will send to others here> All is going well on this end. Thanks for you help in the past and yes ClamsDirect is doing well thanks to some of your help. :) <Very good to hear/read of your success. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Best Regards, Barry

Clam Disease? Anthony, I recently lost 2 gold Maximas to what I have been told is Clam Disease. Several people tell that where I purchased them has had tanks that are infected. What is this mysterious clam disease and just how can I eliminate it from my system. Should clams be freshwater dipped? Thanks Mark <I would almost never recommend FW dipping clams. I am also quite doubtful that whoever suggested your clams had "clam disease" has a clue (however well intended they might be). The higher rates of mortality from select clam shipments recently have been limited more to batches rather than a locale/source or specific pathogen (despite folks in the industry looking for an excuse for their poor husbandry as retailers or wholesalers). We have seen this many times with other animals. There is likely no new disease... just poor handling by at least one of the bigger players in the chain of custody (importer, LA wholesaler, etc). If a LFS has a "clam problem" then they simply have water quality issues. To answer you question, bud... there is no definitive ID of a specific pathogen for this recent "condition". Preventing and eliminating it is simple: QT all livestock for 4 or more weeks first. Containment and control. Never add any fish, coral, other invertebrate or plant to your tank without a 4 week QT. It's Russian roulette if you skip QT. No meds here... simply good water quality! See the references to feeding ammonium or nitrate to clams in my coral prop book or better (!) Daniel Knop's Giant Clams book. Do this in QT to power feed the clams. Natural resistance is better than anything we can offer Tridacnids. Medicating invertebrates is still in the dark ages. With kind regards, Anthony>

Quarantine Clams Good morning/evening Steven, <Good afternoon.> If I was only to keep one clam, would that reduce the need for quarantine? <Reduce but not eliminate. Always best to follow good husbandry practices.> Does this creature carry organisms which may also be dangerous for fish/corals? <Possible infectious agents in the shipping water.> Having read quite a bit about clams/care/diseases and predators on your site and others, how would I know if some predator snail/worms which are not commonly visible (remain hidden in attached rock) were present, short of seeing the clam die? <See if you cannot find Daniel Knop's excellent book "Giant Clams". He has written an extensive section on identifying and treating various "diseases" of clams. -Steven Pro>

What Needs Quarantined? Greetings, Do you need to quarantine a maxima clam? <Best to quarantine anything.> If so, why and for how long? <Generally two weeks minimum with one month being best. Clams sometimes carry parasitic snails that can attack and kill clams in the confines of aquariums.> How do you get around the need for metal halides in a quarantine situation? <You really can't. Again, it is a matter of investment. Clams are not cheap and if you have several, bring in a new one that is infected, and then lose all your clams, you will wish you had quarantined. It is actually a quite frequent story that you hear.> Do you need to quarantine soft/hard corals? <Yes, and live rock too.> Many thanks, Michael <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Maxima clam "freshwater dip" I recently purchased a maxima clam. It had two things attached to it. One had a shell like the clam it was attached to, it attached to the clam with fibers that ripped when I pulled it off. The other was sponge like. I didn't know if these were parasites but I didn't want to take any chances.  My question is, I know that parasites can kill clams, can I do your recommended freshwater dip for my clam to rid it of any parasites that I might not find? Thanks, Jared  >> Hmm, probably a good idea to do as you did with the likely innocuous "hitchhikers"... and no to the freshwater dips for Tridacnids... as a means of controlling parasites... but yes to the use of animals like Pseudocheilinus wrasses for eradicating many Clam enemies... like Pyramidellid snails. Bob Fenner

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