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FAQs about Giant Clam Disease: Trauma

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, Pathogenic, Treatments

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,



Re: Tridacnid byssal gland trauma 11/16/08 Sara-Have another question for you, just FYI, the clam I have previously inquired about is doing very well, so apparently I was just overreacting. <Ah, cool> My next question however, is one I can't find an answer to anywhere. What are the general guidelines for stocking levels of Tridacnids? I would like to have several in my tank (30 gal w/ 15 gal refugium) but don't want to have them over compete for nitrates, etc. Is there a rule? I kind of wanted to add a crocea and derasa in addition to the maxima I currently have. Let me know! <Well, I honestly don't know of any real "rules" about it... but these animals are primarily photosynthetic. So they don't add to your "bioload" the same way fish do. Also, they grow at different rates (depending on the individual-- it's apparently a genetic thing). I imagine that how many you can keep in a tank depends on how fast they grow (since this will likely be the primary determining factor for how many nutrients they consume). If you can find some of the "slower growers" I think you could probably put as many in a tank as will comfortably fit. The problem is that you can't just look at a clam and know if it's a slow or fast grower. If I were you, I'd go to a LFS that's had some clams for awhile and ask them if they've noticed how fast or slow each of them has been growing. Explain that you're not necessarily looking for the fastest growing clam or else they'll like over-state the growth rates because they assume you want a fast growing one. In any case, I do think you could have 3 smaller (<6in fully extended) clams in the 30g tank. Even if they turn out to be super-fast growers, I'm sure you'd have no trouble placing (or even selling) it to someone else. The fast growers are more "in demand" as they say. Also note, if you're worried that your clams aren't getting enough nutrients, you can always just decrease the time you have the skimmer on. Also, please do pick up James Fatherree's book on ornamental clams... it's very good, and you seem to have the interest for it.> Thanks, Chad S <De nada... hope this helps, Sara M.>

Clam pinched   2/22/07 Ok, this is going to sound really odd but I was moving a rock and an Asterina starfish fell. It fell onto my T. Crocea clam. The problem is the clam is pinched and closed up in the area where it is. The rest of the clams mantle is out but its closed where the starfish is. What should I do? I cant get the starfish out now because I cant see it.       Thanks   Kevin <Mmm... am torn between suggesting leaving the two alone, and possibly moving/placing the Clam on its edge so the star is likely to fall out... I would do this latter if the clam does not re-open completely in a few days. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clam pinched cont.   2/22/07
ok today the clam is opening up a little more but it appears there is a hole there. So now it appears the clam has 3 holes. this is in the center so am guessing the starfish ate through him? If this is the case would the clam live and heal over.     thanks   Kevin <Likely so. BobF>

Clam damage question   03/07/06 I bought a brown tear drop derasa clam last night and this morning found its foot completely detached on the other end of the tank. <Very bad...> I have 3 other clams that I have had for a little over a year and never had this problem, any idea what caused it? <... something strong/disruptive... Was someone in the tank?> And will it survive without it? <Not very likely...>   Anything I can do to ensure its survival? Thanks Melissa <Mmm, am asking friends Barry Neigut and James Fatherree to respond to you here. They know much more re Tridacnids, their care. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clam question (James Fatherree's resp.)  03/9/06
Hi Melissa, What you found is likely a wad of discarded byssal threads. These are the structures a clam can produce to anchor itself down to a surface. A clam can cut them loose though, whenever it wants to move or gets relocated - and then grow new ones. So, I'm guessing that it was attached to something at the shop and was carefully cut loose, then got rid of the unneeded wad once it got home. If that's the case, it should begin to grow a new attachment soon, as long as it's in an acceptable spot with good lighting. Keep an eye on it, JF

Urgent help needed with injured Crocea clam Hi crew, Hopefully you can help me with this injury to my new T. crocea 2.5-3" clam. (totally blue, and beautiful!)  It was just shipped to me by mail order (about 24 hours transit time, unfortunately), and I'm really trying to do the best I can to help it! I know you guys have the wisdom to give me the best advice..  However, I don't think the transit was what has hurt it. I spent over 3 hours doing a very slow drip acclimation, and it was open during this time.. responding to my hand shadowing even over the ambient lighting. Well, after taking it out of the container I was using, it seems a very small piece of tissue fell out of the foot. I think it was what it was using to attach to the rock it was previously on.  <Not good> After putting it into my tank, my cleaner shrimp went nuts almost immediately. (Just one, out of two common cleaner shrimp). There were tons and tons of little bugs (isopods, copepods, black swimmers) in the shipping water. <...? Unusual> I tried to get most of them out, but must not have... so I thought maybe it was trying to clean the clam and smelled food on/in it. Well after about 10-15 minutes of this (and pushing away the shrimp, who would just come back like a kid to candy), I took the clam out cause it wasn't happy.. closing and opening up. After the end of the 15 minutes, the clam did open back up, but the mantle wasn't "hanging off the edge" of the shell. The shrimp was almost entirely inside the clam, picking/nibbling/cleaning? inside the hole in the clam. <Maybe... perhaps eating it> So, as I've read on WWM, Anthony said sometimes (rarely, though) they like to eat clams, but I didn't have any other place to put it back in. So I have it covered with a net now. The shrimp still showed a keen interest to getting through it through the net, trying to even pick at its foot on the bottom.. <Good to use the net, perhaps a plastic basket (like those used for displaying strawberries)> This has stopped a few hours later, and the clam doesn't look so good. It IS still alive, though. On the bottom of the clam the tissue/foot area got sucked in and now it's just a big hole. The clam re-opened somewhat, and you can look through the clam and see right through it. It reopened somewhat wide, but the mantle is still inside. It wasn't really responding to anything. I know it's severely stressed out by this, so I've stopped messing with it. It's quiet, and night now, and the shrimp are leaving it alone for now.  It's entirely closed up now, and has stayed that way for some time.. I do hope that it's not going to die. Do you think I have to get rid of both cleaners? Or just the one that messed with it? Or will they just ignore it once it's "not new"? <I would not get rid of either... if the clam is/was healthy it/they would likely leave it be> My tank parameters: 55gal, 100lbs live rock, 265w PC, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, 0.  Alkalinity 3.0meq/L, calcium 415ppm, phosphate 0.1ppm.  I apologize for the length of this email, and greatly appreciate the service you provide! I read your site daily! Thanks so much, and hopefully I can follow your suggestions to the tee to get this clam "happy" once again. Michael <I do hope you have contacted the shipper re the organisms that were received along with the clam (please do so and send along their response)... I suspect there is/was something seriously wrong with this specimen before it was shipped, and the "other" life was capitalizing on the clams impugned health, the shrimp just "cleaning up" opportunistically. Bob Fenner> 

Maxima Clam Injury 2/28/05 My maxima clam was injured and now while open you can see its insides from about one third of his mouth as if its "sheath " was sliced open. He seems fine and closes and opens with the lighting etc. Can they repair themselves or is it just a hard luck situation? and also what could have done this crabs, shrimp, or tang could be the only suspects? Tank you for any info !!! Eric  <I am not clear on what exactly is wrong. All Tridacnid clams have two openings in their mantle. The excurrent siphon looks like a tiny elephant trunk and is small. The incurrent siphon is a large opening (usually about 1/4 of the length of the mantle), and the gills and other structures are often visible through it. It is possible for tears to occur in the mantle, but this is unusual in my experience. Usually if an animal is attacking a clam, it does little damage or extreme damage. Consider visiting www.clamsdirect.com There is a lot of info there on clams and their care. Best Regards. AdamC.>   

Ripped T. maxima Foot - What to do? Hey all, I was just weeding out Caulerpa today, and I got a long strand. I was pulling it out, and it was attached to my baby maxima clam. When I pulled it out, the clam came with it. His foot has been ripped clean off. There is a hole where his foot was, and some "hair" (byssal threads) were coming out of it. I don't know where his foot went. I glued him to a rock, and positioned him where he usually is. Never, never glue a clam in place because if he doesn't like it where he is, he can move. Some clams will move if they do not like the water movement or lighting. He is fully extended, with no gaping. I really love this clam (as some of you have come to know very well by now), and would hate to see him go. The no gaping/fully extended part gives me some hope. What do you guys think? Any advice on the subject? Thanks in advance! Mike 

Here are some pics...The hole is very clean. No ripped tissue, just a hole surrounded by tissue with byssal threads coming out of it. I think I may have found the foot...it was rubbery, and looked like fat Halimeda, it was covered with algae in most places, so it had a very dirty look. It was long, though, and looks nothing like the foot he had when I got him. The clam was upside down for the photo shoot, that is not how he normally is.  <Depending if the clams develops a bacteria infection and if this is the case it could start to down hill within a week or so. Barry Neigut - ClamsDirect.com >

Gaping clam.. take a sniff Hey everyone!  I ask you guys so many questions I feel like I should send along a keg of beer!  Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to repay you for all the help you have given and likely will continue to give, but for now I hope that my passing on information to those less knowledgeable than myself and keeping my mind open to those more knowledgeable will suffice. <actually... lets get back to talking about that beer. Ahem... oh, sorry... Yes. Your question <G>> Two questions for you this time accompanied by a picture.  It is about the clam again, but this time I am hoping the picture will show what I was describing in more detail. <it does> T. squamosa.  About 5" long, 4" wide 4" tall.  Coloration is fine, but not accurate in the picture.  In reality it is a nice golden/rust color.  The central fading has regained about 50% of its Zooxanthellae since I got it 7 days ago (probably expelled some Zooxanthellae during shipping - shipping water had some minor discoloration).   <understood and common with imports... but not domestically shipped clams. What happened? Coast to coast on the airlines in even inclement weather takes only 6-9 hours. For bleaching to have occurred, the animal would had to have been subjected to an extreme of temperature or a delay. Was this the case? Please don't tell me this was clam shipped via overnight carrier instead... Ughhh! Very few organisms if any should be shipped that way (discussed at length in my book... I'll excerpt it for anybody interested)> Initially I was told by several people (based on written descriptions, which were/are lacking) not to worry about my clam, but something just doesn't look "natural" so to speak. <normally I would have agreed with them as it is most often the case... but your picture helps, and your clam is not feeling well (gaping inhalant siphon... the beginnings are clear to me)> The two questions are: 1.  Is the inhalant siphon gaping?   <yes... just starting. And I have laid eyes on thousands of clams... literally (as an importer for wholesale)> If you look closely you can see the edges of the siphon are rolled back a little bit.   <agreed> This has been progressing more every day I have had it.  Right now the inhalant siphon is the size of a half dollar and almost perfectly round.  Also, there are no tentacles left to speak of.  Barry had the clam for 6 weeks and the quality of his clams is reputed to be excellent (and I have no doubts about this), <and I also agree with this> but do you think maybe the shipping was just too much stress? <depends... if we are talking New York to California on Delta... 4.5-6 hour flight... 2-3 hour recovery... 7-9 hours total. No problem even if New York was cold. However... if you ship FedEx Premium, for example (and most people do not pay this extra-extra overnight fee... but take the "by 3PM" option)... the animal is in transit for a bare minimum of 14 hours (usually closer to 20 hours) and almost every bit of that is at ambient temperature... whatever that is (they pay for no climate control for planes, trucks or warehouses.. can't blame them... they are not in the livestock shipping biz). Again, 14 hours cold is a best case scenario... if the office closes at 8PM, and if the clam was packed outside their door at the last minute (Ha!)... and if the clam makes it into your tank by 10AM next morning. Overnight parcel services are not scaled for livestock and many marine creatures die this way. I just don't see why some merchants still use them> At night it is able to partially close its inhalant siphon. 2.  Is the siphonal mantle spread too wide?  It looks stretched a little bit, especially right at the top of the inhalant siphon. <agreed> I'm wondering if the adductor muscle is weakened at this point and it cannot maintain a more closed position (it can definitely slam its shell shut if it wants, but it doesn't do this unless I'm really messing with it). <what was the water temp when you got the clam and how long would you estimate shipping took?> I should add when I removed the clam from its shipping bag it wasn't completely closed then either. <no biggie at that point> Everything else about the clam seems fine.  Quick reactions to light changes, shadows etc.  When it wants to it can completely close its shell.  At night it pulls its mantle in and closes up a little bit.  I saw a few Pyramidellid snails, so I picked those off.   <no biggie... common and controllable> Today I pulled the clam out and saw a small orange mass on the bottom so I promptly took my nifty Oral-B toothbrush to the whole clam and made sure to get all the orange off, which I am assuming were snail eggs.   <correct, possibly> Also while it was out I smelled it (and I got squirted right up my nose for my efforts, but it was funny) and it smelled just like it should - fresh marine/fish smell.    <dude... you are weird <G>> Also my six-line finally made it into my tank and within 10 minutes was circling the clam and picking at the shell. <maybe it was looking to sniff the clams bunghole> Presumably and hopefully at the snails.  Also, I have stayed up fully two nights in a row watching for predation.  None.   <good to hear> I read a post on Reef Central ( http://www.reefcentral.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=81032&highlight=gaping) that seemed logical.  Basically he tied the clams shells shut.   <The thread is interesting... but I have some concerns with the reasoning and logic of it at length. Something to discuss at length over a beer <G>> I don't think I would want to tie them completely shut as he did, but do you think, IF there is even anything wrong with the clam in the first place, that this would be something worth trying? <weakly if so> Once again thank you kindly!  Yours is an invaluable service to the hobby and to the creatures entrusted to our care! RVM <with kind regards, Anthony>

Is my clam doomed I have recently acquired a 2" derasa clam. He was 10" under 200 watts of SmartLight. Last night he jumped down a step on my live rock, but he left behind some white tissue still attached to the rock above (byssal (sp) tissue?). <correct> Is there anything I can do or anything I should look for Thanks Jeremy PS other than this he appears to be in good health <no worries at all... clams commonly abort old byssal tissue. It is generate new at the new point of attachment. Freshly imported/disturbed clams will often do this. Probably just fine. Make sure it attaches soon for its own good (protection of byssal port from crabs, worms, etc. Anthony>

Baby maxima clams Hi Bob, I've been reading in the web searching for answers, and many times I end up reading you. I'm so happy I found this web site.... <And we're very happy it is being found... and useful> I had a baby maxima clam about 1". It died 4 days after arrived. It was doing well and I could find no parasites. The only thing I can think of is it had a very frayed foot and 2 days after arrival it lost it. I thought it was going to regrew it. Anyway, I constantly kept turning it up in the morning and afternoon, It was getting on its side every time, but I assure you it did not spent 1 hr. that way during the light hours at least. I have a 120 gal tank, with 120 lbs of LR, 60# of sugar sized aragonite, 5 small peaceful fish: 1 " in average gobies and one 2" Cirrhilabrus. I use Wet/Dry and big skimmer in a sump, and my main pump is 1200 GPH. Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates: 0, PH:8.2, Alk:5meql, temp: 81, and 300 ppm of calcium (I drip Kalkwasser at night 1 drop every 5-8 seconds). My lighting is 2 175W MH 5500K, and 2 Actinic FL ( I'm not if sure they are VHO). My tank is a 120 but is only 4 foot long: 2'W,2'H, 4'Long. So it is wide, not too deep, and the lights are more concentrated over the area. I want to keep Clams in the sand bottom. My questions are: What do you think happened to my clam, and Will I be able to keep clams in the sand bottom? Thanks a lot, Norberto. >> <Hmm hard to say with any degree of certainty what went wrong with this one specimen... but I suspect it was something(s) that occurred in advance of your receiving this animal that led to its demise... That is, cumulative insults from handling, poor water quality... led to its subsequent death. Reading through what you've listed as gear, water quality, I see nothing overtly wrong (Your lighting, calcium and alkalinity could be "higher", but they alone would not account for the loss), and would be inclined to try another specimen. Bob Fenner>
Re: Baby maxima clams
I thought the Alkalinity was on the high side: 5 meq/L?... and the PH on the low side 8.2... I've been battling out to push the PH up... with no success... I've tried buffers, and Baking powder. The Buffer (Kent Marine) just dropped my Calcium, and the backing soda helped too little. I got the PH in 8.2 and don't want to risk months of dosing Kalkwasser on another addition... Maybe my kits are bad. They are SeaChem... look pretty good to me, but they are the only thing I've tried so far... >> <Not necessarily on the first two measures... 3 meq/l is what many folks consider reasonable for captive systems... but... I would cut back on the baking soda (not powder I hope/trust, unless you're cooking:))... doubt if you're kits are bad, but not too much trouble to test the testers... look into the Salifert, Hach products. Bob Fenner>

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