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FAQs about Bivalve Mollusk Compatibility

Related Articles: Tridacnids, Bivalves, Mollusks,

Related FAQs:  Bivalves 1, Bivalves 2, Bivalve Identification, Bivalve Behavior, Bivalve Selection, Bivalve Systems, Bivalve Feeding, Bivalve Disease, Bivalve Reproduction, Tridacnids, Tridacnid Clam BusinessTridacnid Identification, Tridacnid Selection, Tridacnid Compatibility, Tridacnid Systems, Tridacnid Lighting, Tridacnid Placement, Tridacnid Feeding, Tridacnid Disease, Tridacnid Reproduction, Flame Scallops,


Dead Clam (Decomp.) -- 11/16/11
<<Hiya Rob>>
I have a question concerning a "Cleaner Clam" I bought online that has surfaced this evening and is empty "Dead". Does this pose a problem for my other tank inhabitants?
<<At this stage it is a moot point'¦but no, I wouldn't think so (assuming this is not a 'very small' system). Your scavengers/bacteria have 'processed' the dead flesh/chemical release by now. EricR>>

clam id?   8/20/10
<Hi there>
First off, this is a great, informative website! I have learned so much perusing your pages.
<Ah, good... along w/ requisite stimulation, urging folks to (appropriate) action, this is our desire/plan>
Anyway, last night I was observing my aquarium, trying to see the little critters that come out at night, when , out of the corner of my eye, I saw the top half of a piece of live rock suddenly move. I thought I was seeing things, then this morning I made a concerted effort to observe this rock.
That's when I saw the rock move again, and I noticed it had 2 "holes", and one looked like it was expelling water. This leads me to believe that I have some sort of clam but I haven't a clue as to what kind.
<Mmm, looks to be a Spondylus species of some sort... but can't be sure>
In the picture attached, you can make out the "mouth", it is the red line that runs through the live rock. It doesn't have the wavy "mouth" other clams at the LFS have, could you possibly give me clues as to what I have?
Is it safe to assume it is safe to keep in my reef aquarium?
<Is very safe, fun to have, and evidence of your good care>
Thank you in advance,
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: clam id?, Comp.  8/23/10
Thank you for getting back to me! Another question regarding this new inhabitant...do I need to worry about the bioload because of the clam?
<Not likely, no. Is low metabolism, and not likely to either be eating, or egesting much>
I understand the clam is basically covered in live rock, but he is much larger than anything else I have in the aquarium.
<No worries. Will grow, metabolize to the extent of food availability here>
I currently have a juvenile yellow tang, 2 juvenile TR Ocellaris, a flame angel, a Tailspot blenny, 3 blue green Chromis, a yellow-tail blue damsel, a pink sea serpent, 2 peppermint shrimp, 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, 50 or so snails (mostly Astrea),
<Mmm, not a fan of having so many snails myself.. Do keep an eye on these health/activity wise... If they should perish for whatever reason/s, the resultant pollution might be of concern>
10 or so tiny blue legged hermits, a rock boring urchin (hitchhiker) and some Asterina and tiny brittle stars that I haven't been able to count yet. I also have 2 heads of frogspawn, a large toadstool, several morphs of Zoanthids, a small mushroom that just recently started growing another tiny mushroom, and about 25 Ricordeas.
My main tank is 90 gallons, with about 100 lbs of LR, and I have a 20 gallon sump with about 10 lbs of live rock (I would have it bare but I have a large hermit crab that lives down there). Parameters as follows:
PH: 8.4-8.2 (day/night)
NH3: 0.0
NO2: 0.0
NO3: 0.0
CA: 480
KH: 12.2
<I'd add Magnesium to your test protocol... read about it, understand its importance in such systems with biomineralizing life as yours>
I appreciate any feedback regarding my system, but I would really like to know about the impact this unforeseen hitchhiker presents.
<Really, none appreciable>
Do I need to do anything different in the way of feeding?
<Mmm, no... but I'd be careful re changing too much too soon... to avoid disrupting endogenous food production... Do you understand this?>
I don't want it to die and foul up my system.
Thank you in advance for your response.
<Welcome Gabriel. Bob Fenner>

polyps on a clam 5/12/09
I purchased a frag of about 10 zoo. polyps 4-6 weeks ago, affixed them fairly high on live rock, using glue. A friend of mine was over, and he noticed that what we thought was a small rock the zoos were attached to, is in fact what appears to be a small Tridacna clam-at best the size of a quarter. Its been there without me realizing it, for about a month.
<Interesting... likely another bivalve rather than a Tridacnid>
My question is whether you would advise that I try to remove the zoos and relocate them, in order to maximize the light that reaches the clam.
<Yes I would... if you intend to try saving the clam's life>
Thanks in advance,
Larry Marshall
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

What is this? A bivalve  -- 10/10/08 I just had a question about something that has appeared on my live rock. I noticed a little tiny clam like thing growing on my live rock I just wasn't exactly sure what it was. I thought it might be a scallop. If you could identify it better than I could that would be very helpful. <Is... a bivalve... akin to that shown here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.timespub.tc/fileadmin/user_upload/featured/Fall%25202004/Shell%252054.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.timespub.tc/index.php%3Fid%3D41&h=306&w=200&sz=10&hl=en&start=21&um=1&usg=__SU0UmajdRQ8AMYmVpmNXv-ve2uU=&tbnid=dfMqOgjeJlVwQM:&tbnh=117&tbnw=76&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dupright%2Bbivalves%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address%26rlz%3D1I7PCTA There are similar species in all tropical to cool water oceans> Also, I didn't know how big it would get or if it would be harmful to anything in my tank. <I doubt it will grow very large in this setting... relies on filter feeding/foods... and not deleterious> I have a Picasso trigger fish, an algae blenny, and a flame angelfish. In the picture that I am sending there are two tunicates the unknown clam like thing is behind the tunicates. I really appreciate the help. Thanks. <This life is indicative of good care on your part... as well as initial high quality of your live rock. I would take care to not change much of anything in your maintenance, operation routine. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

small white clams in refugium -- 10/10/08 Dear Crew, I was performing regular maintenance to my aquarium earlier this week when I noticed a few, very small white clam looking creatures on the sides of my refugium. I looked at them under magnification and they look like little clams. <Could be> Today I was back under there again and notice there are MANY more. There are not in my main tank that I have seen. Are they a problem? (plague) Thank you, Jo Anne <Mmm, no, not likely a problem... even beneficial... sort of like the Zebra mussel infestation in the Great Lakes... help clean your system... provide some food in the way of reproductive material... I would not remove unless they're blocking water flow, gear. Bob Fenner>

Flame scallop with chocolate chip starfish   5/8/06 I understand the feeding problems associated with flame scallops but wanted to try one in my tank. The only problem is that I have a 4 inch chocolate chip starfish in the tank already. I know they can eat some corals. My question is "have you heard of them eating flame scallops?" Thanks <Mmm, may eat bivalves... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ccstarcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Missing Bivalves  - 02/20/06 Hello WWM crew, <Mike> A couple of weeks ago I went to feed my Flame Scallop (deep in a cave) <Where Lima, Limulus species are often found in the wild...> and found an empty shell. I didn't really think too much of it. Last night I fed my 3" Maxima Clam which was perched on a low rock. I came home for lunch today and noticed something knocked it off the rock. Not too unusual as it hadn't attached yet and my 6" Lawnmower Blenny is real clumsy. After work I  went to put it back and found it empty! <Yikes!> Tank: 75 gallon, 20 gallon sump, 10 gallon refugium, 100+ lbs. live rock, live sand bed,  2 x 400W MH lighting, SPS, LPS, all healthy/growing. Tankmates: pr. Maroon Clowns, large BTA, med. Yellow Tang, med. Clown Fairy Wrasse, Scooter Blenny, Target Mandarin, Lawnmower Blenny, Watchman Goby, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp (new), various snails, slugs, Emerald Crabs (2), 30+ hermits (1 large red legged), and thousands of Pods. Any ideas? Thanks, Mike <Mmm, to be "all gone" is odd here, given the list of animals provided... the most likely culprit would be the CBS, Stenopid... but only if the Tridacnid were impaired, it were very hungry... the Pen Shell doesn't have much "to it"... could have just died, dissolved. Bob Fenner>

A Mussel hitchhiker  1/16/06 Hello!   I have searched your wonderful site but have failed in my efforts to gain the information I seek. I recently purchased a beautiful piece of cured Fiji live rock from my local fish store. Before I dipped it in some freshwater to dislodge any unwanted stowaways I noticed and removed a live sea cucumber (which I promptly returned to the store) and attempted to remove what I presumed to be a dead mussel shell. Mr. Mussel was not only alive but angered by my efforts and held his position firmly. I have placed the rock in my usual quarantine tank for further observation but am perplexed as to what to feed my new little friend. I apologize for not having a picture for identification, but if you would be so kind as to give a general hypothesis on the matter of feeding him it would be greatly appreciated.   -Kamber <Mmm, bivalves are generally toward the difficult end of a spectrum of captive husbandry... having to rely on the patchy supply of endogenous production (reproductive principally) of other organisms for sustenance... in a world that is usually being stripped of such foodstuffs by skimming, particulate filtration... But if small, in a relatively large volume, there is some hope... and if this animal should perish, not much likelihood of significant contamination. Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty Angel and Flame Scallop 1/6/05 Hello wonderful fishy folk! <cheers> Today's question is short and sweet -- I know that Coral Beauty Angelfish may be prone to nipping at clam mantles.  My question is, do Centropyge (and particularly the coral beauty) tend to nip at flame scallops?   <all have the potential indeed> I wasn't sure if all bivalves were a potential target, or just the very fleshy clams.  I know that larger angels will pick on flame scallops, but I didn't see anything concrete on the dwarfs. Thanks! Deb <please do read/research here in the WWM archives and beyond for the reasons why your flame scallop is a very poor choice for aquarium use and I beg you to not buy anymore unless you set up a species tank, have an aged refugium (over 1 year old) and culture live plankters in an attempt to keep this animal. Nearly all starve to death slowly over a period of months in typical home aquaria. Anthony>

Limpet Attacking a Flame Scallop? Last night I saw a Limpet attached to the bottom of my Flame Scallop and I didn't think anything of it until I looked at my Scallop this afternoon and when I tried to get the Limpet off of my Flame Scallop he felt like he was locked on my Scallop, and I had to actually pry him off. <Yes, it is very difficult to remove a Limpet from any surface. They have an incredible suction power.> My Scallop looks like he was dying. <Agreed> He is shrinking up on the inside and I don't know what is wrong with him. <Please perform a search of Flame Scallops on www.WetWebMedia.com for the reasons.> He is not responding to touch like he used to, his shell does not close right away when he is touched, and when you try to close him it feels like he is almost locked in the open position. I did some research on Limpet's this evening and I didn't like what I read on some of them. <Perhaps do some research on Flame Scallops. I am positive you will not like what you find about them.> Is it possible the Limpet was boring a hole in him and getting ready to eat him? <Nope, your scallop is and has been starving to death.> My scallop was fine for months until now. <No, you just did not notice its duress.> Please give me your suggestions on what could have happened to him <It is starving just like almost all do.> and what his chances of survival are. <Next to none.> Thank you for you great expertise! Connie <Please research your animals and their care prior to all purchases. -Steven Pro>

Limpet Attacking a Flame Scallop? Follow Up Wow, now I really feel bad after having received your answer that my Flame Scallop starved to death. I've only had my reef tank set up for 5 months and now I am so discouraged that I don't know if I want to pursue this hobby or not. <Hold on. This was not my intention. You merely need to be aware that not everything offered for sale is appropriate for captivity or for every aquarium. If you just research your intended purchases prior to buying them, you can avoid these types of complications. An educated consumer is the best hobbyist.> I will take your advice and search your web site for information from now on before I purchase anything. <Great!> Thank you so much. Have a good day. Connie <You too! -Steven Pro>

White crab inside scallop 2/14/04 Recently I've noticed that the orange on this inside of my electric flame scallop was deteriorating. <regardless, this is a very poor specimen for captivity... most slowly die within one year of purchase. Please do resist buying another> I thought that it was either normal or maybe the scallop was dying. Well today my scallop turned around so now I can see the complete inside. But I found a crab inside! Can you identify this crab and tell me some more about it? <not really without a picture or detailed scientific description. Else you are asking us to name a faceless creature <G>. Kinda tough> I think my scallop may be doomed, but this is a cool looking crab. <the crab may be commensal, obligate (if so he will die soon too) or simply a hitchhiker. Hard to say. Agreed though... fascinating> Thanks so much and I love your site! -John <best regards, Anthony>

Littleneck clam compatibility 1/20/04 Hi there, <Hi Ryan!  Adam here today.> I'm afraid I'm going to ask what could be a silly question. I was at my local fish market buying some fresh shrimp for my aquarium, when it occurred to me that a littleneck clam might find a home in one of my saltwater tanks.  I bought one that probably had been sitting on ice for a long time, and acclimated him to my quarantine tank, where he quickly started to burrow and  make a home. Question: Is there any danger in keeping this clam in my tank? Is there anything in particular that these clams might need? <Wow!  You have proven just how hardy these animals are!  Despite it's hardiness, your little neck is doomed to die.  The first problem is that little necks are temperate.  The second is that they require large amounts of micro (probably phyto) planktonic food.  The only real danger is the pollution that the rotting animal will cause.  You can avert that danger by removing the clam.  It will make great fish food!> Thanks so much, Ryan PS: I promised my wife that I wouldn't try to rescue the lobsters too.<I know you are kidding, but please don't!  Most food lobsters are from very cold water.  Best regards!  Adam>

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