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FAQs about Bivalve Mollusk Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Tridacnids, Bivalves, Mollusks,

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

Other life presence may well add or subtract from food availability.

Flame Scallop Closing in a Disjointed Manner, sel., fdg. 12/19/08 Greetings, Wet Web Media Crew! <<Howdy Justin!>> Thank you for a site that is wonderfully packed with delicious information. <<Am in agreement'¦ A superb collaborative effort'¦>> After finding the site, I must say that I have been aptly humbled with the knowledge that you all have. Thank you! <<Ahhh, thank *you* for the kind words'¦>> My wife and I started a saltwater aquarium nearly a year ago, and have had a relatively successful husbandry story (with the exception of falling into the pitfall of trusting our local fish store(s)). <<Mmm'¦ Many do provide valuable advice and service, but sadly there are those few'¦>> Sadly, I did not find this site until after we had chosen to purchase a pair of large flame scallops. <<Ahh yes'¦ Certainly one of those organisms best left in the ocean. Exquisite animals with a huge appeal for sure. But unfortunately they also have a very, very, very (have I expressed *very?*�) dismal survival rate in captive settings>> Despite the LFS' repeated assertions that the scallops are easy to care for in a tank as established as mine, <<Pure bunk>> I would have not purchased them based on everything I have read here. <<Ah, I see>> We purchased them a couple of months ago. My tank is a 29 long, with a 5 gallon 'fuge. <<Aw mate and the LFS was/is aware of the size of this system? Were this tank three times the size, and the refugium six times the size, I still wouldn't give the scallops much of a chance of surviving more than a few months. It is indeed sad and disturbing that your LFS would promote such and animal as this for a system of this size>> Protein skimmer (of which the brand is escaping me at the moment, but it was one of the few that were listed as good in one of the articles at this site). 3" deep sand bed, 15-20 pounds of live rock in the main tank, and a 4" deep sand bed in the 'fuge. <<Very good>> Various power heads with foam inserts <<Unless you are cleaning these a couple times a week, I would remove the foam inserts. Aside from accumulating detritus, they may well be trapping food organisms the scallops would welcome>> on the intakes causing a chaotic water pattern in the tank. Various types of Caulerpa are growing happily in the 'fuge and some in the display tank. <<Mmmm'¦ Do consider these alga will *compete* just as any other reef organism. Best to stick to a single species'¦ Or better yet, switch to a more *user-friendly* macro-algae like Chaetomorpha>> The tank's levels are reporting normal. Ammonia, NO2, NO3 all trace. <<Trace? Ammonia and NO2 should be zero, zip, nada'¦>> pH 8.3, Specific gravity is 1.026, Temperature is 78F with a variance of 1-2 degrees. I buffer the KH, which reads at 10. Both of the bivalves have found a nice hiding spot and have attached themselves right next to each other, on a sizable piece of live rock. This is particularly good, because the water flow is mild there, and the various foods I feed them tend to stay there for a good half an hour before diluting in the tank. <<'¦? This seems too stagnant to me, better to increase flow a bit. Keep in mind that good water flow is the only means these organisms have of shedding wastes/metabolites and of acquiring oxygen and dissolved nutrients>> One of the scallops is open fairly constantly and responding to movement, light and other animals that may come near it. It *appears* to be eating and producing waste, though I cannot confirm if it is actual waste, or just the pseudo-waste, rejected food and mucus combination. <<Most often with these animals it is the latter. Providing *suitable* foods is very difficult>> I feed them a concoction of Cyclop-Eeze, zooplankton and phytoplankton...blended. <<And all too large and likely rejected. No doubt these organisms are starving'¦ Your system and refugium are much too small to offer any chance for the scallops>> And now, the problem. The second bivalve has stopped closing its shell properly; it appears to close slightly askew. <<The end is near>> The offset is roughly a millimeter in size. <<I think it likely this animal is already dead and the joint muscle is deteriorating rapidly>> We've seen evidence of what appeared to be a bristleworm (we ID' it from the various pictures here) crawling out of the back of the clam, <<Then it is dying for sure'¦ The worm is just *cleaning up*>> though it dug its way between a rock and the sand before we could get a good look at it. We have not seen it since. <<The worm is not the issue here>> This bivalve still presses its mantle out, but it does not seem able to open its shell well any longer. <<A simple matter of time now>> I take opportunities when I see its mantle out, to carefully and slowly suspend the food around them. <<A waste of time/foodstuffs my friend>> Having read what is available on this site regarding flame scallops, I am certain the most likely cause is starving to death, <<Yes>> which makes me very sad. <<But hopefully a learning experience too>> I am guessing that the one that is not doing well was at the LFS longer and had starved longer. <<Maybe'¦ But either way, the other won't be far behind>> However, I was given pause after reading that they tend to live 2 to 3 years naturally, and that a 3" diameter flame scallop is considered to be older (and female). Of course, I would be elated to think that the problems I am seeing are due to it being at the end of its life cycle and that our husbandry has kept them healthy and happy... but I know better, now. <<Ah'¦ Good'¦ We often tend to try to rationalize situations to our advantage. I'm happy to see that you realize the scallop has likely NOT lived a healthy and happy lifetime>> And now, my questions... I apologize for the lengthy read. <<No worries>> Is it possible that the bivalve that is not closing/opening properly is dying of old age? <<Always possible'¦ But what does your heart and mind tell you?>> Do bristle worms (the aggressive types) attack bivalves, and could it have damaged the muscle that allows the bivalve to open and close properly? (I have read the various pages here on worms, and did not feel like I had a good feeling if they do.) <<Again, always possible'¦ But I think this is more likely a case of a beneficial detritivore performing its job>> Thank you very much for your time and patience. <<A pleasure to share>> It is a blessing to have such a wonderful group of people that answer questions like this. <<Bob has indeed compiled a stellar group of volunteers. And thank you again for the kind words>> We are excited to love our animals and give them as long and comfortable a lifetime as is possible. <<Then I am confident from this point on you will research your livestock before purchasing>> Sincerely (from a snow covered Seattle, WA), Justin <<Best regards from sunny and 75F South Carolina (though I did live a few years in Bellevue at what seems a lifetime ago). Eric Russell>>

Re: Flame Scallop Closing in a Disjointed Manner � 12/20/08 Greetings and thank you for the reply, Mr. Russell! <<Quite welcome Justin'¦ And please, call me Eric>> The main lesson learned was to do far more research than trusting the LFS. <<Even with a good LFS/other's advice available, the onus is still on you to do the reading/research and use your own good judgment to make a decision>> Incidentally, they did know about my setup and were the main suppliers of all of my gear. <<I see'¦ Is disappointing'¦>> I chatted with them a bit about flame and electric scallops, and they had no clue that they almost always starve to death in captivity. <<Mmm'¦>> Needless to say, our purchases will be made only after reviewing this and other reputable sites with a lot of input from well learned people such as yourselves. <<Ah yes, your research needs to be among a variety of sources. Very good'¦>> I was a bit unclear on the water flow comment (where you mentioned the stagnation). <<My apologies for the lack of clarity. What I was getting at is that if you are administering foods such as Cyclops-Eeze and these small bit are not being swept away, then there is a lack of necessary water movement around the scallops>> What I meant to express was that I turn off the power heads during feeding to allow the food to have the opportunity to get as close to or inside, the scallop before dispersing it quickly amongst the rest of the tank. <<Ah! Okay'¦ I misunderstood>> I typically give it about 30 minutes, then turn the heads back on and allow current to do its work. <<Okay, excellent'¦ Though as stated in my previous reply the prepared foods are mostly too large for the scallops, though *blending* as you stated you do may help reduce particulate size somewhat. These filter-feeding organisms consume nanoplankton, which is best supplied by a very large and very mature system stocked with a dearth of food-competing organisms and supported by a very large and very mature plankton producing refugium. And even then their survival is iffy>> Foam inserts removed. I should have known that they would trap good things... (sigh!) <<Ah yes'¦ Consider the insets were performing the same function as your filter-feeding organisms. But to the *detriment* of the system'¦>> I will endeavor to find and switch to Chaetomorpha. Thank you ever so much for the suggestion! <<Quite welcome'¦ Some authors may argue that the Caulerpa is more efficient at scavenging. But the Chaetomorpha will do a fine job of this, and is more *user friendly* and, it seems these days, more politically correct>> Are the foods too big even after going through a blender? <<Most likely is, yes'¦ But I don't want to discourage you from trying to feed these animals. Though the best thing here would be to return them to the LFS (with an explanation why) for a store credit, if they would take them>> I thought I had read somewhere on the site that putting them through the blender broke them down to less than 40 nanometers? <<Maybe so'¦ But the dismal survival rate of these organisms, with most all perishing of starvation, would seem to suggest that this process is still less than adequate.. Agreed?>> I could just be dreaming it, though, in my desire to not condemn them to death by starvation. <<You're not dreaming (blending foods has been recommended in at least a few responses re these critters), but your scallops are most assuredly starving>> I now know, and have learned a valuable lesson... research, research, research! <<Yay!>> Regardless, I will fight my hardest to try to help these little ladies! <<I wish you luck'¦ But the reality is that this will be a losing battle>> I'm sad to learn a lesson at the expense of another organism's life. Sorry, thinking "out loud" (so to speak). <<No worries mate. And don't beat yourself up too badly. We've all made such mistakes'¦ What matters now is what we take away from it>> Perhaps I should take them back to the LFS, I feel horrible for killing them. <<Indeed'¦ Perhaps they will learn to not carry what they cannot sell/what people won't buy>> I do appreciate your input and your willingness to share. <<Is my pleasure>> It is very much appreciated and is truly a relief to get to chat with you. <<That's why I am/we are here my friend>> Many, many thanks! <<Always welcome>> Justin - hoping you're enjoying the 75 degrees :) <<Ah yes! Is only expected to reach 73F today, but I guess we'll make do [big grin]. EricR>>

Stony Brook phytoplankton study, and Clam nutr. f'  07/20/2008 Hello crew, Bob et al, Dennis Tagrin sent me this link to a study done on phytoplankton. I do think it's worth reading, adding to the FAQs/other info on phytoplankton feeding. http://somas.stonybrook.edu/~MADL/pubspdf/Emma-clamgrowth.pdf Best, Sara M. <Real good. Will post/share. BobF>

Thorny Oyster, feeding  5/29/08 Hey Anthony! <Unfortunately Antoine is more than busy with his 'zine, other projects. BobF here> I was just carousing your site and I ran across this article (copied below). I just wanted to let you know that I have successfully kept a thorny oyster in my aquarium for right at a year. It still opens to feed all day and appearing from the mantle, it seems to be healthy. I feed DT's Phytoplankton about 2-3 times a week. I also run my sump a little dirty. I just wanted to share with you my success story. Let's just hope I am not premature in my celebrating! Thanks and God Bless, Brolin Evans <Thank you for this input. Bob Fenner>

Oh No! Another Flame Scallop Question! Fdg., beh.   3/16/07 Hi Guys and Gals, <Marti> I have been reading (a lot) over the past year and a half, before finally starting my salt water tank in January.  Included in the reading list was The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (of course!) and Aquarium Corals by Borneman, among many others. I have also spent many (happy) hours researching specific topics on your wonderful web site. OK, enough with the praises, now on to my question.  After my aquarium had been running with live sand and live rock for about two months, I was given a Flame Scallop as a "present". I never would have bought one, or even patronized a LFS that sells them. But there he is, sitting in my tank. I have been feeding him a mixture of DT's live phytoplankton and Cyclop-eeze (per recommendations I found on this site) with a turkey baster, leaving the filter and powerhead off for 1/2 hour while doing so.  My question is, How do you know if they are eating? <Mmm... principally behavior/appearances... that the animals stays open, colored... and alive> Do they move their jaws (shell) up and down? <Sometimes... in reaction to shadows, animal movement near by> Do they suck in all their tentacles like little hungry hands? <Mmm, no> Please pardon me for sounding so stupid, but I really appreciate all the helpful advice you have given everyone, and I know you can answer a "simple" question like this. Best Regards, Marti <Adding a good sized refugium... in addition to your current feeding efforts... is about "it". Bob Fenner>

Feeding polyps, anemones, and clams Hello, I just purchased 70 pounds of beautiful live Fiji rock. I placed it in my uncycled aquarium to help it cycle. One rock is covered in green polyps with orange centers, a vast number of them have turned white but there is a few that have opened up. Will there be some die off then will they grow back? << Sounds like both.  If they are turning white, I'm assuming they are bleaching.  Although polyps don't lose all their color when they bleach.  Anyway, with proper conditions they will of course grow back and continue to spread. >> Also I have what looks like some sort of anemone. Its about 2 inches wide, white with neon green tips, do you have any idea what kind this could be? << No, lots of anemones out there.  I'll say some sort of flower anemone. >> I will have a digital camera within the week so I'll sends some pictures. I have a few oysters or clams on the rock to what do I feed them? << Lots of phytoplankton. >> They open and close and spit of stuff so I know there alive. thanks a lot <<  Blundell  >>

Flame scallop (Lima) clarification 11/6/04 Great site.... I read your FAQ's on the flame scallop (I understand *now* that they are a tough species to keep). I have a question or clarification. Having previously kept FW for years, including some attempts at breeding guppies, I have a large supply of brine shrimp eggs in the refrigerator. I didn't quite understand if you thought BBS needed to be blended or not... <no my friend. Blending is to reduce particle size in phytoplankton cultures and bottled food supplements. Baby brine shrimps are fine as whole foods> here's what I do now (prior to the addition of the scallop). <hmmm... you do know too that the flame scallop eats little or no baby brine shrimp? They principally eat nanoplankton - hence the reason most starve to death in aquaria in well under 2 years time (months really)> Every week or two at lights out, I remove the filter pad and put a very small amount (couple hundred probably) of eggs in my 10g micro reef. The next day, most of the eggs that haven't been eaten by the Domino Damsel or Percula hatch out. <decapsulated eggs? Hopefully> It takes a couple of days for the filter feeders and fish to track down the rest, but it seems to make everyone happy. I was wondering if, in addition to a phyto supplement, if you think the eggs/hatched baby brine shrimp would be eaten by the scallop. <I am sure they will not> On a similar note, in your opinion would the scallop be better in a high or mid-low flow area (powerhead on them maybe?). <higher flow is better> Thanks! Sincerely, Mark Ristine <kindly, Anthony>

All the Way to Alaska - Hitchhiker Good Evening from Alaska, <cheers, mate> I got me a great live rock the other day. I was attracted to it because it had an empty bi-valve shell open on (very pretty), had two attached closed shells on it and it was covered with coralline algae. So, about a week later, after my Frogspawn kept getting knocked over, I went to perch it back against the shell rock and noticed that the shells moved, and the reason my Frogspawn kept falling. Based on my own previous experience of harvesting oysters and clams in Hood Canal, WA, it seems to me these are oysters. The closest I can find on your site is this: Spondylus violacescens. Apparently the rock came from Fiji. <interesting> So, I feed with DT's about 3 times per week, and with frozen Invert Food about 2 times per week. Since I noticed the little critters, I have been target feeding them also when I feed the rest of my corals. <you were (or at least may have been) lucky to get no worse hitchhikers for lack of QT for this rock. Yikes! Please heed this strictly my friend... QT all new livestock, rock, fishes, corals, etc. (anything wet!) faithfully for 4+ weeks to prevent the risk of introducing disease, parasites, predators, etc> 46 gal, established tank. The largest fish in here is Briny, the Bi-color Blenny. Frogspawn is my most "elegant" coral, with mostly mushrooms, green star polyps and some clove polyps. Is my current feeding going to accommodate these critters, or should I target feed daily? <hard to say... I'd feel better with live cultures of rotifers and/or phyto. But DTs is a fine product. Consider a refugium too> Do I need to consider mashing up some seafood for it? <not likely... particle size will still be too large. Such filter-feeders favor nanoplankton> Thanks so much (again). Sher H. <kindly, Anthony> 

Electric scallops Have read all info on bivalves on your site.. am ashamed to admit I bought an Electric scallop and THEN decided to worry about the care and feeding. After reading about dirty water...bivalves like that, turn off your skimmer... it takes away the things that bivalves like .. I wondered if you could feed the bivalves skimmer scum?? Maybe this is a dumb question? Thanks!! <It is. Bob Fenner> 

Re: What can you do... (Daily Email image from WWM) Nice photo. Question, I just received some Acros from Fiji, and one head has two quarter sized oysters/clams imbedded in the head. Do I need to feed them? Are they photosynthetic? <Likely not photosynthetic... and wouldn't do much to feed them... other foods... flake, phytoplankton if you feed it, will get to them... as well as materials produced endogenously in your system. If enough, they will live. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob, Todd

What is it? Hello; How are you? <hungry and sleepy but still happy. Thanks for asking... I hope you are well too:) > I was wondering if you could help me identify something on my live rock.  <I can and will or I'll make up something very convincing> I have a 29 gallon tank, with 25 lbs of live rock. It is hard to describe in words but I will try. Last night, my emerald crab was eating stuff off the top of one of the live rocks. As I watched him move around, he touched the top most part of the rock with his claw. (it is kind of a pointed section on top of the rock.) When he touched this part, it sank down into the rest of the rock. When this happened, it scared him, and he ran down off the rock. After about a minute the pointed section rose back up to where it was before he touched it. Is this some type of bi-valve such as a clam or oyster.  <Where is the rock from? If Atlantic, reference the Turkey Wing (Arca zebra) ... quite common> It just looks like the rest of the rock to me, and I had no idea there was something living there. After searching my tank, I found a couple other places where the rock is moving. (I guess another reason to call it live rock!!!) <bingo... hand that man a stinky Kewpie doll> If they are bi-valves, will they survive by adding phyto plankton to the water? <yes... but bottled phyto must be whisked in a blender before every use to reduce particle size or it is hardly useful. Hmmm... don't read that on all the bottles do you :) Research shows...> Thanks for all your help (both now and my past questions), Kevin <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Arca zebra Thanks Anthony, on the speedy reply. <my great pleasure> What you wrote was right along my thinking.  <are you sure that you just aren't feeling gassy instead?> These guys really aren't going to like burst of water from a turkey baster. They close up when a shadow passes.  <exactly> Not that I blame them. <yep... the shadow or unnatural and "large" burst of water indicate a potential predator> I have a degree in biology (wanted to be a marine biologist...sometimes life just doesn't work out)  <I understand... and Mariah Carrey wanted to be a singer> so I figured that phytoplankton would be my best bet. <agreed> Right now I have a bloom of diatom algae so they are probably ok for now. <helpful> Naturally, I'd like to rid myself of the algal bloom and then will have to actually feed them. These guys are pretty cool and I'd hate to lose them, especially since that end will probably wipe out my tank. <indeed a significant mass to be rotting suddenly> I plan on adding a refugium to my setup anyway, so I'm glad that you think this will help.  <very much so with the right plants... do avoid Caulerpa for this purpose at least> But, in the meantime, I may buy some phyto and blenderize it. I'm looking forward to you being at That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA later this month. Perhaps we'll get any opportunity to chat there. <Looking forward to it!> Thanks again, Mike <with kind regards, Anthony>

Arca zebra- Turkey Wing Bivalve Hello to whomever is answering mail today, <cheers> I've read over the mollusk/bivalve section and various FAQs but I can't find anything on the maintenance of Arca zebra.  <like most aposymbiotic reef animals they are very challenging in captivity in most tanks due to their obligate filter feeding habits> I have four of them that hitched a ride with my live rock.  <yes... commonly imported on rock from the Atlantic> Should I feed them via a turkey baster arrangement or will they get along by filtering the water in the tank as is?  <neither. Target feeding is too large (particle size) and too frightful (they will pull in before accept the unnatural burst of water). They also will not survive without feeding although many live in reef tanks for even a year or more unassisted (most however do not). They feed on nanoplankton and perhaps mostly phytoplankton. Aquaria that grow a lot of microalgae (plagued tanks) can usually keep these animals well! (spores, epiphytic material floating around, etc). You can help this animal by having a seagrass refugium or other type of phyto reactor. Bottled phyto products are only suitable if you run them through an electric blender with every feeding to get particle size down (no fun)> BTW, I had no idea that they are mobile critters. One of mine decided it liked a spot about 6" away from where I originally put it. It did this overnight. Just what I need...an insomniac bivalve.<G> Thanks, Mike <do enjoy this fascinating creature. Best regards in your endeavors. Anthony>

Flaming Red Sea Scallop Hello wanted to ask a few questions, purchased a beautiful flaming red sea scallop to put in our existing established 75 gallon saltwater tank. <Did you look into the care and historically poor survival rate for this creature first?> Could you please go into detail for me about any special care and feeding? <Daily feedings of rotifers and baby brine shrimp maybe enough to get this creature to survive.> Also would like to know how they breed, was thinking of getting another... <Please don't. There is no record of breeding these in captivity that I am aware of because they all die prematurely from starvation.> Also any special care or feeding I should know for the small spiny urchin? <Do please see here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/urchins.htm regarding and follow on through the linked FAQ file.> Thank you, Tawny <You are welcome.> Hope you can answer me privately and not on the website :) <We reply to all the emails, plus post and archive them on the website to enlighten others.> Also my fish store does not sell coral sand for my smaller tank which houses the seahorses. My husband wanted me to ask, if he could gather sand from the lakeshore here in Canada, and wash it with boiling water, if it would be safe to use in the seahorse tank. <I would not do it.> It would be fresh water sand that he would be gathering. <It is the potential for metal contamination or residues that I would be most concerned about. At the very least, it is silica sand and a calcium based product would be best. I would peruse the links page of www.WetWebMedia.com for e-tailers selling sand or possibly go to the ESV and CaribSea pages looking for links to companies that sell their sand. -Steven Pro>

Re: flame scallop foods Hey folks, if I sent my old emails with this it would be huge, but, I'm the kid who writes in about running a 75 marine tank at Roanoke College. We've had great success for the past 18 months. I just found out our colt coral is splitting itself into about 4 pieces- a very healthy animal so far, I'm hoping this is a good sign.  the new care taker just bought a flame scallop...ugh, I know. we have good water chem- as in zero's across the board, so I'm not worried too much about that. I've searched and read and again, actually I've read all of the daily faq's for about 3-4 months now with the rest of my email) but what do these things eat?  I'm really hoping we can keep this guy alive. thanks, mike Barrett <Fine plankton (zoo mainly) of nano to about 10 micron size. The few folks I've seen keep them for any period of time (rather than the weeks to a couple of months it takes for simple starvation), have had good (relative) size refugiums with well-established DSBs. Bob Fenner>

Jewel box clam 10/16/03 Hello, I just recently got some live rock from Tampa bay saltwater, When I was observing the rock in a quarantine tank I noticed what looks like siphons coming out of a few rocks, they told me these were Jewel box clams? <very common... actually fairly hardy for being non-photosynthetic> I have not been able to find out much about these as far as care and requirements. <they are obligate filter-feeders. You will want/need to have a fishless refugium plumbed inline to the display and/or have a deep sand bed for producing plankton and nutrients to sustain them. Most bottled supplements will not adequately feed them. You might try DTs phytoplankton though> I have placed the rock in my refugium and all appears to be fine. Do you know anything about these or where I can find more info. As always thanks. <we do have a solid chapter on care for bivalves in our new book Reef Invertebrates (Calfo and Fenner). I would also suggest you explore the message boards for fellow enthusiasts of filter-feeders. Many such folks there. Best regards, Anthony>

- Feeding a Flame Scallop - Hello, hope you're doing well. <Hello, JasonC here...> Before I start, yes I read all of the FAQs about flame scallops kind of after the fact.... <Ok...> I collected a small flame scallop when I was snorkeling the other day and its now trying to find a suitable perch to feed from.  It is my understanding that they need zoo-plankton in order to survive for any period of time.  I read the FAQs and came away a bit confused and frustrated. <Ok...> So please enlighten me, do flame scallops need to be fed with blenderized plankton or can they also feed on baby brine shrimp? <Either/or... baby brine shrimp are smaller than zooplankton, hence the need for the blender. It's all about particle size.> These were both listed as food items and I thought they were a little contrary since one says that the plankton needs to be "whisked in a blender" or it will be too large for the scallop to feed on.  Another article says you can feed them baby brine shrimp (which you can see with your naked eye), so I'm confused.  ??? <Zooplankton is likewise visible, plankton is not.> I have been dosing my tank every other day with DT's concentrated, refrigerated plankton.  My open brains and other things love me for it.  My tank is very well established and full of filter feeding critters including some sponge-like tunicates.   Also how do scallops reproduce in the wild? <Sexually, by releasing sperm and eggs into the water.> Side question:  Do you think blue/red-legged hermit crabs would feed on delicate colonial tunicates (grow of Florida turtle grass, bright orange, yellow, etc)? <Hard to predict but a possibility if it runs out of other things to eat. There's not a crab on the planet that isn't opportunistic.> Thanks so much. Hope you can clear this up for me. Morgan <Cheers, J -- >

-Photosynthetic clams on Caribbean aquacultured rock!?- Hello, I have received some live rock from the great Gulf-view. Once again they have come through and wonderfully I might add. <So I've heard> I am just wondering about some turkey wing clams I got with them.  I heard clams need strong amounts of light, as well as very tiny food. <Well, Tridacnid clams (aka giant clams from the Pacific, NOT the Atlantic where this rock is from) require intense lighting because they are also photosynthetic. The mollusks you have are simply filter feeders that will eat tiny suspended foods like phytoplankton. I would suggest purchasing a few different brands of phyto if you plan on keeping this critter alive.> I was wondering if I could just use water changes of natural sea water to get the phytoplankton they need to eat rather than having to either throw em to the fishes before they die. <Pick up some DT's live phyto, ESV's spray dried phyto, and liquid life USA's Bio-plankton as some examples.> and what type of light would they need? thank you for your help. <Good luck! -Kevin>  Anthony

Flaming New Inhabitant <Hello, Ryan with you today> Hello! Numerous thanks for this website!! I have first searched with google but couldn't find my exact problem, I apologize if their is a post that already exists)<No worries> As it may happen all so often I bought a flame scallop from a pet store. I asked the man working there how to care for it and he said 'oh they eat just about anything, Dt's phytoplankton is good' <Sigh> Well thanks to your website and further research I now know that is not true. I am feeding it DTs through a pipette 2x a week. <If it's eating, that's half the battle> It is in a peaceful environment, healthy live rock, one clown who does not bother it and a little crab who also leaves it alone. <Keep your eye on that crab...> I test my water quality once a week and all of my nitrates/nitrites ammonia etc... are all great. <A little vague> My salinity is at .20 which seems to be  good for the fish and the scallop. <I prefer to keep mine a little closer to ocean levels> What else should I feed it? <With a refugium is ideal.  Other than that, the finer you can get the better.  Perhaps a product called Cyclop-eeze would be useful.  Bivalves consume very small particles.  The smaller the particles you feed, the more the animal will be able to consume.> Since he is a little jumpy how can I perform a water change and not stress the little guy out? <Turn out the lights first, move very slowly.  Lima scabra, sold as a flame scallop, has a dismal survival rate, so please research as much as possible: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvia.htm> I appreciate all the help and I have learned my lesson about trusting the advice of the pet store!! <Sadly, they're still in the business of making money.  Have a good day, Ryan> Sincerely, Justine p.s. I recently wrote in about a fire worm problem but just caught 3 last night with the plastic trap) <Great news!>

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