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FAQs about Mollusks as Food

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Store Bought White Clams; as food, sources of potential trouble     8/13/13
I buy live mussels and clams to feed my FOWLR tank along with frozen foods like shrimp, krill etc.. .
<A fine practice; if you can trust that these are "clean" of the "three P's"... of parasites, pests, pollutants>
 All fish are still young.  I have a snow flake eel, dog face puffer, about 1 yr old sailfin tang, and  Picasso, Niger, BlueLine triggers. The Niger is about 4" and the others are about 2 to 3 " When I was at the grocery store they had some really big live white clams. I bought two and put them in some tank water for about an hour and they were indeed alive, I put one in the tank and left one in the water outside the tank. I just wanted to know if this would hurt the water quality?
<If they live, likely no issue; on the other hand; if die/dead, can/will pollute your water to an extent>
 The fish did not try and open and eat the clam so I figured I would eventually break open the clam and let the fish eat it. I should have asked before I did this but since I usually feed them these (smaller ones) I didn't think it would hurt.  I try and feed my fish very nutritious food but am still trying to get the amount just right so as not to overfeed but not have them staying hungry.
On another note,  a few weeks ago I had the tank maint. guy bring about 8 snails,
<... not a fan; particularly with some of the fishes here... the puffer, Balistids>
 they all but 2 died in the tank within a week and I believe that raised my nitrates.
<Likely so>
As soon as I realized it I got them all out, some were no longer in their shell. There were two that seemed ok so I moved them in the area of the sump that was not being used but has some algae growing.  I bought a product called AZ-NO3 for nitrates, Do you know if this is a good product?
<It is a good product>
 You start with a couple drops and each day add a little more up to 10 ml by day 6. I am on day 6 now.   It seemed to be going down but is back up again this morning, I was wondering if the clam had anything to do with it.
The maint guy will be here today and of course they will do the normal water change and cleaning.   I was wondering if algae should be cleaned out of the sump?
<Not too much/fastidiously so>
I have heard from LFS that is a good thing to have algae there.
<Some; yes>
I have a good working oversized protein skimmer, a sump sock, a dual reactor GFO and one for carbon, a sponge, and an auto top off down in the sump area.  Is there anything else I should have to help with water quality?
<If you have time, interest, the very best measure of water quality is a phenomenon called ORP or RedOx Potential... look this up; consider the addition of ozone...>
All my best
Barbara Wilhite
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

White Clams... Feeding Tetraodontids
I recently got a 4 or 5 inch Dog Face Puffer. I hear about and see the tooth that needs hard things to wear down. I went to the supermarket and bought some white clams.
<Frozen I hope/trust; not live>

 I put them in a bucket of saltwater for a bit and put a couple in the the tank. The puffer does not seem to be interested in them.
Do I need to crack open the clams (they are not sealed and seem to sometimes stick out their foot)
<... You may well have to open a few... to train the fish>
  I had to buy a dozen so I gave some to my LFS and kept 6. I put the other 4 in my sump. I am unfamiliar with clams so I was wondering if it is ok to keep them or just crack them open to feed the puffer. It seems to defeat the purpose of the puffer using his tooth on the shell.
The puffer eats shrimp and crab meat mostly
<... see WWM re Thiaminase. This is a poor diet; will greatly shorten this fish's life>

that I buy from the grocery store. I soak in some selcon vitamins a couple times a week. I bought some live feeder shrimp also that I know the fish all liked but this puffer is not much on hunting, he just likes me to feed him with my feeder stick. He seems to eat two or 3 bites and then goes off to his favorite cave he shares with a small snowflake eel so I'm guessing he is getting his fill. I feed the fish a few times a day. I read your link on puffer fish but just not clear about the clams and if I should keep them in the tank if the puffer does not eat them.
Thanks for sharing your smarts about this not so easy hobby!
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trupuffdgfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

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