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FAQs about Bivalve Mollusk Disease/Health, Predators, Pests

Related Articles: Tridacnids, Bivalves, Mollusks,

Related FAQs:  Bivalves 1, Bivalves 2, Bivalve Identification, Bivalve Behavior, Bivalve Compatibility, Bivalve Selection, Bivalve Systems, Bivalve Feeding, 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,

Another one down, and another one down, another one bites the dust.

Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19
<Morning. Mandy>
I have some man made live rock from Florida,....and it is as the gentleman told me when we spoke, all covered in filter feeders.
I am having a wonderful time looking very very close and seeing all the fan worms and other filter feeders on it. Some are so tiny!
Like this hydroid colony. Some are bigger....and the clams are huge!
It also came with 4 clams. I believe they are Turkey Wings....there are two huge ones, one middle size one and one tiny one.
<Yes, they are Ark clams>
I feed Coral Frenzy coral food 2 times a week,...with the power head on and the filter off for about 1/2 an hour.
I never see any of these clams open, I see a little white tube sticking out of one of the big ones all the time and they do shift their positions sometimes. But other than that, they don't seem to ever open up. Maybe Turkey Wings don't open?
<They do, when feeding or moving but remain most of the time closed>
I am worried that the one that fell off the rock might die and kill off my tank......how can I tell if he's dead or alive?
<When they die, they get loose/opened>
He's very heavy, if that helps, and he's very tightly close up. I can't even see where the foot fell off!
Here are pictures, let me know what you think, I don't want to take him out if he's not dead, but don't want him to die in the tank either.
< Take it out of the water for a moment and do a simple “smell test”, it should have a fresh ocean smell.>
Hope these help,....the other clams look just about the same. Are they supposed to OPEN up? They do react when I get close to them,....but I never see any sign of them opening up any appreciable amount. }
<As long as they react when you touch them, they are likely fine.>
Thank you very much again,
Mandy <Welcome. Wil.>

Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19
Thank you, Wil,!!
<You’re welcome!>
I just went over and reached up over the clam to check his smell, and he moved! He saw me coming!
<Ahh… great!>
They don't even have eyes, do they??????
<They don’t have eyes, but photoreceptor cells… that’s why it “saw you coming”>
So, I guess he's ok. I put him up in the middle of some rock where there is a nice soft flow of water.
Will he make a new foot?
<Did you actually saw the foot fall? >
<Cheers. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

I don't know, I saw the part that was attached to the rock,...I sent you a picture. It's still there.
<Mmm… that looks like something else, I'd try to remove it with tweezers...I think your bivalve is fine. please keep me/us posted. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

But the clam was attached to that! Wasn't he? How else did he hand onto the rock?
<I see;….as long as the clam looks fine I wouldn't worry, if it has lost part of the appendage,
it will heal on its own in a few days; just keep an eye on it and if possible remove the remains on the rock. Wil.>
Re: Turkey Wing Bivalve fell off the rock!     2/19/19

I looked bivalves up on Google and the Encyclopedia Britannica had a really good article on them,....it said that some like to live in the sand, others like the rocks and some of those that choose rocks make themselves a kind of shoe with glands on their foot....to hold on. I think what I see is what is left on the rock, It's a hollow shoe that's attached to the rock by some fibers. I tried to remove it, but it's really on there tight, and it really is just a sheath. The inside is empty. Like an empty shoe. How awesome is that!
Here, I copied the important part for you.
"A triangular form, ventral flattening, and secure attachment to firm substrates by byssal threads (byssus; proteinaceous threads secreted by a gland on the foot) have allowed certain bivalves to colonize hard surfaces on wave-swept shores. The byssus is a larval feature that is retained by adults of some bivalve groups, such as the true mussels (family Mytilidae) of marine and estuarine shores and the family Dreissenidae of fresh and estuarine waters. Such a shell form and habit evolved first within sediments
(endobyssate), where the byssus serves for anchorage and protection when formed into an enclosing nest. "
https://www.britannica.com/animal/bivalve here is the link to the article.
I think this article is saying that his foot secreted a fiber which they use to make a safe enclosed space for their "foot", so the foot is safe from predators and held firmly to the rock.
I guess he just decided to move and that was him letting go of the shoe he made for himself. I never realized how much the Encyclopedia helped with research. It's so "Old school", but the article was great.
I guess we both learned something new tonight!
Have a good night and thanks for trying to help.
<Thanks to you for sharing, Mandy! Wil.>

thorny oyster    5/5/12
Dear Mr. Fenner,
                AAAGH!! It happened. I got a Thorny oyster for Christmas and now I think its dead. I fed it well, too(three times a week)! So, I came back from Williamsburg, take a look in the tank, and I see the Thorny oyster, but it looks all shriveled up. I ask my mom and my sister if they saw this, and they said it was fine yesterday! PLEASE HELP ME! Is it dead or alive?! I'll attach a picture.
                                                  David Huang       
<Ah, yeah David. This thing's gone. BobF>       

Something eating my clam 9/10/09
Hello! Long time reader/follower first time emailer!
<Howdy Sonia!>
I have a 100 g reef tank. Been established for about a year. Occupants include Purple Tang, Comet Grouper, Blue Velvet Damsel (probably the only non-aggressive of it's species) and a mated pair of ocellaris, 2 coral banded shrimp, 4 brittle stars and one red lip stromb.
<Mmm, please confirm this is a Strombus gigas>
I purchased a flame scallop 7 month ago and was doing fine. Found it dead and cleaned out last week!.
<Very common>
To make things worse this morning I found my blue lightning clam looking unwell. On closer inspection I notices that it appears that something has been eating away at it's foot. I have tried numerous times to get this clam (expensive as it was) to anchor onto a rock but it always moves onto the sand. I have had this clam for over 8 months and with no problems until know. It looks like it's on it's way out!
What could be doing this?
<Of what you actually list, more likely the Stenopids>
I have a aqua tiger squamosa that I am now really worried about. Help!
<Keep the Boxers fed, under observation. Bob Fenner>

Re: Something eating my clam
Thanks for the reply.
<Welcome Sonia>
Pardon my ignorance but what are 'boxers' I assume you mean the coral banded shrimp, which we feed by hand every second day.
<Sorry re; yes, Stenopid shrimps are called "Boxers"...>
The stromb we have may or may not be a Strombus gigas, having Googled (or at least the shell is not the same, but the creature inside seems to be the same). It was sold to us as a Red lipped stromb......fascinating critter!
<Ahh! Am/was just trying to ascertain whether this snail is one of the predatory species. A few of them offered in the trade are.>
Happy to send a picture if you like!
<Please do. Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Flame scallop diseased? Scallop Mold; Starfish Predation....and 4x4 livestock   3/4/07 Thank you for writing me back Adam J. <Welcome, we try to respond to all questions within 24 hours.> I had inquired about grayish  white tufts growing on my flame scallop. <Right I vaguely remember that one.> They remind me of  mold. Someone told me that they are just normal growth on a scallop, but in  the three months that I have had him, I never saw them until recently. <In short mold/fungus is rare in marine aquaria and I'm not familiar with any type colonizing on flame-scallops.  I can't really read into more without a picture or seeing the animal in person.  What I believe to be happening is deterioration, that the animal is slowly starving and dying which is common with this species in marine aquaria.  Most captive systems can simply not support them and they starve within months. Fishless refugiums and dosing of phytoplankton can be helpful in prolonging this process but usually....they still perish. What is your set-up like? What are your water-parameters?> I  also now have a problem with an orange star that is in my tank. <Okay I will see if I can help.> Recently  it has become very battered and may even be on the brink of death.  It  appears as though someone has been nipping at him incessantly but I have yet to  catch the culprit. <Do you know what type of star it is, most are very sensitive (some more than others) to water quality.> In my tank I have a clownfish (not sure what kind), a  coral beauty, a Sohal <Acanthurus sohal tang? Hardy but gets very large, some wild specimens reach 20"+ and are very aggressive. Should typically not be housed with other surgeons.> , a pacific blue tang, a four wheel drive, <I'm going to assume you meant wrasse? I don't believe you keep an SUV in your aquarium....> two three stripe damsels, a scooter dragnet, and a mandarin.   <These latter are both in the dragonet family and have very specific dietary needs, I REALLY hope this is a large aquarium with copious amounts of microfauna and a fishless refugium.> None of these are supposed to  be a threat to starfish but I find it hard to believe that the star has done  this to itself. <Could be disease if not predation.> If you have any info for me I would be happy to receive  it. <It's hard to say without knowing more re: the system or species of the Seastar.>   Thank you. <Welcome, Adam J.>

Flame Scallop Sick, likely just starved...   2/26/07 I have had a flame scallop for about three months now and it seems to be doing fine, or it was until yesterday.  It recently changed locations after  I moved some live rock around and I noticed tufts of grayish mold-like growths  on its shell.  What are these and should I remove the scallop or attempt to treat it? <I honestly cannot identify the problem without more detail and preferably a picture.  I will suggest reading the FAQ's on flame scallops as most slowly deteriorate and starve in captivity. What's your set-up like? AJ.>

Flame Scallop Hello there, I've been keeping a flame scallop for past 3 months. Recently had remove some rocks where the scallop attached itself.  Tried to move it but it got 'stuck' to the rock.  Tried several times with slight tug each time.  Got it loose but the problem is after the 'move', it refused to open.  The tentacles are still out but the scallop does not open more than 3-4mm. Can't see the 'flame' at all.  Still continue to feed it with small pipette.  Please help.  Thanks >>Sounds like you are in trouble. Flame scallops are difficult to keep in general - most don't last more that 6 months even in the best tanks. Scallops attach themselves to rocks and removing them can hurt them. I suspect that yours in injured. It may not be, and may open wonderfully in a week or so. Either way, try to keep feeding it and see what happens. And, if it attaches to a rock again, leave it alone. Hope that helps. Rich?>>

Re: Flame Scallop Hi there, Thank you so much for the info.  Appreciate it very much.  I only knew that Flame Scallops are difficult to keep after visiting WWM but too late.  Already bought one.  Well, it had attached itself to a nearby rock again but still not opening itself yet.  Will do as advised and continue feeding it.  Thanks.  Pat >>Keep us updated! Rich>>

Re: Flame Scallop Hi Rich>> My scallop is still not opening but the tentacles came out longer. Is there anything I should do?:-( >>Nothing I can think of. Sorry!>> Love WWM.  Gain a lot of info.  Great job guys. >>Thanks. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful here!>>

Not A Flame Scallop Again! >Ok first I have had a flame scallop for a week or so and it now does not inflate its little tentacles and generally looks like its is withering. I was >told it was a filter feeder and didn't have to feed it. It is not bothered by any other of my tanks fish....and the water quality is great...what is >happening? also Is there a mail-order fish place like FFExpress closer to my home state of Michigan that you know of? thank you for the help, Adam C >> Yikes... well, sorry to state, but these pen shells, (Lima scabra only looks like a scallop) rarely live in captivity for any length of time... because as you state, they're filter feeders and there's simply not enough to keep them alive in the way of food in captive settings... Some folks have success occasionally spritzing them with blended food materials or moving them to more "cultured" settings where they can "beef up"... And don't know about the other mail-order places... but you should be able to find out where they're located through contacting them... finding their URL's by way of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium magazine ads... maybe also the various Search Engines on the Net... Bob Fenner

Mussel on Rock Hello and thank you for hours of study on the ol' internet....not to mention your book which is now totally unbound and carried around with a big rubber band around it....think we read it a lot? <Yikes, more than I!> Anyway to the point, I have received some live rock and am busily checking ammonia levels and chasing mantis shrimp....but those are pretty standard. What I am worried about is a large (to me) 4" mussel looking critter who is attached to my rock....He or she seemed to move quite a bit in the beginning but not so much now and I am a little scared that it has died. How can I tell? should I just assume its demise and take it out? <In your size, type tank... should be okay... and you will likely know as it will gape pretty good, may cause the water to go cloudy and smell a bit...> Any help would be appreciated...I am worrying my way through this process of changing from my fish only tank to my new 75 gallon, hopefully someday reef tank...It's very fun.....but I am waiting for the restful heart rate thing that is supposed to happen when you gaze calmly into your tank....Isn't that why it's a tax write-off if it's at your place of business? <You're cracking me up... yes to all> ...(right now I'm paying people to help me do water changes and catch shrimp...we got one too!!!) Thank you so much. I look forward to your reply. Helene <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

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