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FAQs about the Pen Shells (Lima, Limaria) called Flame Scallops

Related Articles: Tridacnids, Bivalves, Mollusks,

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

Hi Bob, this is Chad with the Lima scabra; nutr.    12/15/15
Hi Bob,
<Hey Chad!>
We (Reed Mariculture) have had Rough Fileclam now for a little over 4 months; ordered it from Live Aquaria. It currently resides in a cave in our 30 gallon reef tank. We have been dosing our Phyto-Feast to the tank every other day to keep it happy, as well as feeding all the other phytoplankton lovers! It hid itself in the cave and we just let it stay where it is.
<What they do>
We have to use a flashlight to see it. I will let you know in another 4 months how it is doing. Take care.
<Thanks much for sharing. You've saved MANY others grief, PLUS their Limas.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Chad M. Clayton
Live Feeds Supervisor
Reed Mariculture Inc.

Re: Good worm or bad? Success w/ Pen Shell
Thank you for your reply. I will go back and look again. Just FYI, I have had the fire scallop for several months now; I feed him phytoplankton ever few days, and he seems to do fine (other than he likes to attach himself to the inside of a rock ripple and sit rather than hopping around on the sand -lol).
<Ahh! Congratulations. BobF>

Flame Scallops 'Doomed to Starve In A Closed System? -- 02/10/11
Hello again crew hope all is well.
<<Greetings Zach>>
I just had a few things I wanted to clarify as far as the file clam is concerned.
<<I'll see what I can do to help>>
First in the wild these animals have been found to grow the most during times when there is a surge of phytoplankton in the water.
<<An abundance of foodstuffs present 'indeed>>
Second when the contents of their stomachs have been analyzed phytoplankton ranging in size from 4-45 microns has been found. Now most commercially available phytoplankton available to hobbyists range from 2-15 microns. Why then is it that most sources of useful information state that this animal cannot be kept in captivity even when fed phytoplankton?
<<Mmm, likely for several reasons such as'¦ The organism requires more than phytoplankton alone can supply, or maybe the phytoplankton is not supplied 'in abundance' by the hobbyist>>
Even commercially available zooplankton which clams devour greedily is in the 4-45 micron range. Why then is it that these animals starve to death so often in our aquariums?
<<There may well be environmental variables we don't or can't provide 'or more likely in my opinion, hobbyists don't provide 'enough' of the right foodstuffs for these animals to survive the long term as doing so in most reef setups proves too problematic re pollution of the system>>
Also in your experience can these animals be fed commercially available strains of phytoplankton to sustain them for significant amounts of time?
<<I don't think phytoplankton 'alone' will do the trick. A more 'varied' diet should be offered to include phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacterioplankton. Aside from the variety of foodstuffs, these must also be available in sufficient quantity 'all the time.' In a typical reef setting this will prove problematic as suggested. A more appropriate setting for these animals may well be an 'azooxanthellate' reef system that is 'designed to handle and to provide' the abundance of plankters needed here>>
Thank you for any insight.
<<I hope it proves of use>>
I ended up with one of these animals and don't want to hear it is going to starve to death and there is nothing I can do about it.
<<Sadly, this 'is' the case for the vast majority>>
Thank you again for all you do. Zach
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Feather Duster/Christmas Worm/Flame Scallop Feeding  2/18/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<Howdy Kristine>
First, thank you in advance for your help. Much obliged--I read you religiously. That said, I have read all applicable WWM posts that I could find and, to my knowledge, this question is not (wholly) duplicative/redundant. Also, I know I have all the really-wish-you-wouldn't critters in my tank so I might be starting out with one strike, but for what little it's worth, they were all well researched and none impulse buys.
In fact, the tank was set up with these inverts in mind specifically.
The tank in question is 50 gallons, not counting inline refugium, ammonia, nitrate and nitrites are at zero. Calcium, other minerals within acceptable ranges for fish and soft coral. Tank houses one mandarin goby, two seahorses, one clownfish, some mushroom anemones and xenia galore, with a few other soft corals, and a variety of macroalgae in (for sea-ponies) and out of refugium. Inverts include several feather dusters, one Christmas tree worm rock, and two flame scallops.
<Sounds/reads as very nice>
Set up/filtration is deep sand bed with lots of live rock and macroalgae and protein skimmer. Sand bed has many bristleworms living happily. It might be worth mentioning that there is a runaway mantis shrimp in there and has been for months, but to my knowledge no evil has come from him to date.
To feed the goby, I have separate breeding tanks for pods. One raises so-called Tigger Pods and the other the three varieties in Ocean Pods (which are smaller and harder to net, but seem to be doing well). The goby is fine
(the tank and fuge also have pods-a-plenty). The seahorses eat frozen Mysis shrimp. To feed the inverts I have been using DT's phyto and rotifers that I culture in the pod tank as well, plus once a week or so feedings of miscellaneous food for the shrimp and brittle star (system has about 10 shrimp on the theory that they might produce zooplankton in the form of babies for the inverts to consume... is this wacky or might the dusters/worms/scallop eat the planktonic baby peppermint/cleaner/sexy shrimp?).
<Neat, and yes>
My questions:
1) I keep reading that feather dusters consume, among other things, bacteria.
<Mmm, some species to some degree... mainly eat larger fare... Zooplankters, deposits/mulm... indirectly the bacteria in/on this>
Would it be possible to feed them bacteria from one of those bottled supplements of "live bacteria" meant to quick cycle an aquarium?
<Not really, no. However, I suspect your system is generating considerable "foods" here>
Or is it a particular form of bacteria they eat?
2) Is anything eating/benefitting from the live rotifer cultures in your opinion?
<Oh yes, likely all directly and in->
They are LAME to culture but terribly costly to buy, so I do it, but don't want to if it's a waste of time.
<Mmm, maybe look into better species or invest in some culture gear, or time/effort to fashion your own.>
3) My pod cultures include lots of amphipods. Do they coexist well with the copepods assuming enough food or will they eat/outcompete?
<Some co-exist well... both groups are wide/diverse... many Amphipods get too big for much aquarium food use>
I don't want to kick myself in the foot here.
4) What do you think of the Reef Nutrition product Oyster Feast for these guys?
<Worth trying... as well as Rod's Food, crushed Spectrum pellets in moderation...>
I am pretty sure the answer is a stern "No" but the LFS swears by it so I have to ask.
5) Is there something that is supposed to be in the fuge besides macroalgae and copepods?
<Mmm, not necessarily. All depends on what you're trying to accomplish>
The idea as I understand it is to product zooplankton and water purification.
<"This" is principally "it">
Other than pods, is there something I can put in there to hasten the production of zooplankton (besides pods, rotifers).
Thanks, Kristine Villager
<Thank you for your well-thought out message. I suspect your system is about optimized for what it is, can be here. I would not change much of anything in your maintenance protocol. Bob Fenner> 

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>>

Electric Scallop -- 06/19/08 Good Morning, <<Hello!...and afternoon now>> I have an electric scallop and it started to have some odd things growing on it. It is not unusual for these/all bivalves to become encrusted with benthic sessile organisms>> I am not aware of them growing grayish (maybe sponge?) kind of round shaped formations on them <<Actually, sponge growth on these creatures is very common>> and also I noticed the other day that there is a part of its tongue <<Mantle?>> that is white at the tip (on only that part of the tongue) and is shooting out a clear string onto a part of the live rock above it. I have tried looking this up in many areas and cannot find any information as to a scallops shooting out a string-like strand onto a rock. Please let me know if this is normal, as I have been kind of worried. <<Hmm, hard to say from this description. Perhaps what you are seeing is a byssal thread 'though this wouldn't be coming from the scallop's mantle>> I know it is nearly impossible to keep these creatures as it is and I want to make sure he is ok, if I can help it! <<Hopefully this animal is in a mature and large-ish (some 50g or more) system with a deep fine substrate and supported by a plankton generating refugium. Have you read here and among the associated links? (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivsysfaqs.htm)>> Thank you so much! Kate Balestrieri <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Flame Scallop - 6/4/07 <Hi there!> I have searched all over and cannot find an answer to my question, so hopefully this is not a redo question. <It is, but worth mentioning again.> I have a 75 Gallon Reef aquarium that has been set up for a few months. The first month or so I only had enough to get 50 pounds of live rock for the tank. I bought a couple of things just to test the tank. This is my first try at a reef aquarium and I do like a challenge. A few weeks before the other 100 pounds of my rock arrived, I purchased a flaming scallop on the urging of my daughter. <Uh oh. Although there are many beautiful and tempting choices available today, many have specific needs that cannot be supplied by most hobbyists. It makes researching "before" purchasing, of vital importance. This group, in particular, is a very poor choice because of its overwhelmingly dismal rate of survival. Most starve to death within a relatively short period of time.> At first it was fine, out and about the tank as beautiful as ever. Once I got the rest of my rock, I placed it with plenty of caves like I was instructed to do. The problem now is that my scallop goes and hides in the cave all the time and I cannot easily target feed it anymore. <All too common a problem.> So back to the question. Is there anything I can or should be doing, or am I good just target feeding in front of the cave it has taken up residence in? <Depends on how deep the cave is, how far back the scallop, and which way any possible currents are passing through/in front of it. If the cave is not very deep, or the scallop is fairly close to the entrance, then yes, carefully aim the food back towards the scallop. Most importantly though (and I can't stress this enough), if possible, please return this scallop to the store ASAP. If you find that you can't, Google 'flaming' or 'flame' scallop at WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm. There is much information available there regarding these beautiful, but nearly impossible to keep, animals. Here's one link to get you started: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivfdgfaqs.htm > Thank you for your time. Anthony <You're very welcome. -Lynn>

Flame Still Burning! (Flame Scallop Longevity) Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> Here is a picture of my flame scallop, 'Scooter'. Since purchasing him about four months. He has grown since then, he is about 3 inches from tentacle to tentacle and still has his flame color. He's found a place of refuge in my tank, even though no one bothers him (one small red clown, his refuge is on the other side of the tank, and one turbo snail, friend has the small crab now, about 30 pounds of live rock) I feed him DT's and Micro Vert every other day. He doesn't seem as bright as he was before. Not that big of a difference, but his tentacles are more orange than red now. He still opens up and acts the same. I do 30% water changes weekly on my tank (25gal) tests all come out great. Anything I can do? <Well, these are among the most difficult animals that you can keep in aquaria. They require large quantities of very fine plankton, which are pretty difficult to come by in aquaria. In the long run, they are best avoided... In your case, it's good that you've been continuously feeding this animal while maintaining good water quality. You really cannot be sure that the animal will make it for the long run (like years, not months) yet, but keep doing what you're doing.> Everything else is healthy and bright. Since purchasing him, I have talked to the LFS where I bought him from and expressed my concern for the Flame Scallops. They haven't sold them since. <Glad to hear that!> I thought that you would like this story, since you were the ones that educated me on this delicate species. This site is amazing, it really is a wonder for the public. Thanks! Justine <We're happy to be hear for you...Best of luck with this beautiful, but difficult animal. Regards, Scott F>

Lima sp.  Lima scabra I have looked at all of the links and info you have provided on Lima scabra. I was researching them for a possible tank candidate. Thanks to your info and a long exhausting internet search lima scabra will definitely not be added. I was wondering though, are lima sp. and lima scabra one in the same or a closely related species? <Mmm, well, Lima (or Limaria) spp. includes all species, Lima sp. any particular species of the genus Lima... Lima scabra is certainly the most commonly offered species of Lima in the pet trade> I keep seeing both of them being sold at the same place under these two names. One is labeled Electric Eye Scallop (lima sp.) and the other as Fire Scallop (lima scabra). The electric had fewer (or maybe just less dense) tentacles than the Fire. Unfortunately for the scallops and customers the description of the scallops said they were both easy to keep, and better yet they were part of their "Hugh Blow Out Sale". Hmmmm, I wonder why? <I share your skepticism/cynicism... likely "blown out" before they croak!> The Electric was the same size as the Fire but more expensive. Just curious. Thanks for your time,  Shauna <There seems to be a general trend that Pacific species are sold as Lima sp. and the Atlantic as Lima scabra... Bob Fenner>

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!>

Her Flame Scallop Is Happy As A Clam! Hi guys! <Hey there! Scott F. your guy tonight!> I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and didn't put on too much weight.  Remember you have to save some room for Christmas food too! ;] <Yikes! And I still haven't finished my shopping, either!> Well I haven't written in quite a long time (that's what happens when you become an educated reefer).  hehe   I wrote back in March about a Flame Scallop I collected while snorkeling.  It took a few days to settle in and did a very funny scallop jig around my tank in the process.  It finally found a secluded spot (kind of cavey) on the back of one of my rocks (a miracle that I can actually see it!).  I don't want to jinx it, but I am happy to say that it is December now and my scallop is still as happy as a clam. hehe <Glad to hear that it is doing well. We usually tend to discourage the keeping of these guys in most aquaria. As you are probably aware, Flame Scallops have an absolutely dismal survival record in captivity, starving to death over the course of a few months, so keep doing what you're doing!> It extends all of its tentacles (?) and its filters are nice and pillowy looking.  I feed a mixture of 3 tsps Dt's, 1 chunk blood worms, and a chunk of red frozen food via turkey baster to everyone once a week.   <Glad to hear that you are feeding...Usually, most hobbyists don't seem to have luck using bottled phytoplankton, as these animals feed on some of the most minute-sized plankton, which is usually hard to come buy in captive culture...Keep giving it your best!> My flower anemone is gorgeous and my open brains look like meat corals the morning after.  So I will report later on down the road and hope my success continues.  (Of course there are other factors: 58 and 75gal running on the same sump, running a refugium for a few months, Nerites and Ceriths love to make it on the glass adding to the zooplankton population, well established tanks with 3+" sandbed, etc, etc)  ;] <There you go! Having a healthy refugium is one of the best things we can do to assure success with delicate animals. You're right on the mark regarding the natural zooplankton production occurring in the 'fuge!> Okay one question,  Do you know of anything that would make an open brain (red rim green middle) that is 5+ years old rip open from the mouth, then fix itself?  This went on for several months then it finally got so bad (couldn't repair itself anymore) that it kicked it.  My four other open brains (I have a thing for them) never had this problem.  We figured that the brain in question might have had a microscopic algae problem that caused this.  Sad because it had a true RED rim figure eight shape. <Well, it's hard to say what this was. Could have been anything from a localized trauma to some sort of malady...Don't really have an answer for you on that one..> Drats!  I have another small question.  I have these little algae eating guys in my tank.  They're under half an inch and have a shell like a limpet crossed with an abalone.  My husband says they're limpets, but here's why I'm not so sure.  They have a head like a snail and if you touch one it zips away as fast as a sea slug.  These guys really move!  Thank goodness they eat diatoms or I might have problems!  If this doesn't help I'll try and get a pic to you sometime. <Yep- a pic would really help...I'd like to see what it is before making a guess!> Love you guys, take care! I hope everyone has a fine holiday and happy new year! Goodnight! <Thanks for the kind words, and happy Holidays to you, too! I hope you have continued success with your Flame Scallop! You're doing the best that can be done in captive husbandry- keep it up! Regards, Scott F>  

- 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 -- >

Blue Sponge & Flame Scallops-up - 2/16/03 Thanks for the prompt response. I have power compacts 50/50's (10K and blue actinic) Yes I had read about not exposing them to air. OK so since I don't have metal halides I should not get one. <Truthfully, the lack of halides doesn't totally exclude you fro keeping blue sponge. Under fluorescents, if you can get the sponge within the top 10" of water with mostly daylight lamps and not so much actinic blue (just like you will have to do for SPS corals)... this sponge can live well. Be sure to change your lamps every 6-10 months. Definitely an expense/bummer about PCs/VHOs. Halides though are a much better value (cost of light produced, PAR per watts, life of bulbs at 2-5 years each!, etc) and they would be better for growth in this sponge> I don't have the coral yet in my 90 gal reef getting one on Tuesday. But I plan to have mostly LPS and SPS and a few fish... <try to go with mostly LPS or mostly SPS... the two together are incongruous (low vs. high light and heavy vs. no-target feedings... not to mention heavy chemical warfare in the long run... post 1 year)> Right now I have a Regal Tang, Domino Damsel, Cleaner Shrimp, Flame Scallop,1 hermit crab and some snails...I plan to get a few more fish (On Tuesday getting 2 Perculas and a bubble coral) Let me know what you think. <I think you should find the jerk that sold you the flame scallop and kick him in the jimmy <G>. Poor bugger (the Fileclam- AKA "scallop") is doomed to die of starvation within a year if it even gets that far. Unless you have a live phytoplankton reactor... seriously. A very difficult animal and most starve to death slowly. Sorry to be a buzz kill, my friend. But you needed to know/asked <G>. Best of luck. Anthony>

Flame Scallop (Fileclam) care - 2/16/03 OK thanks for the info on the blue sponge... We will see... I don't want it to just die on me... So we will see... but thanks for the info. <No worries... and it may be a fair indicator of readiness for SPS (which we do not recommend you start with if they are your first corals... soft corals instead, and definitely not LPS for their single or few-polyp vulnerable structures)> OK...now you have me wondering about the scallop. I feed it phytoplankton 3 times a week...I also have 2 mussels and lots of feather dusters that came on my live rocks. Is this enough to keep him alive? <mussels are variable in captivity... many feather dusters will do well (although phyto is not needed... they feed more on dissolved organics and by mucus strategies) [Fanworms specifically do well in contrast to the large Hawaiian feather dusters can starve in a year or two]... As far as the scallops, I do believe the will be dead within 4-6 months of your purchase. The bottled phyto is a precarious product to use... great idea... marginal benefits in my opinion. A seagrass refugium would produce far more food and of far better quality and size for these creatures. All of these subjects have been covered in detail in the FAQs if you care to read more about them. Popular creatures/subjects (including bottled phyto issues). Do use the Google search tool for keyword searches at the bottom of the wetwebmedia.com homepage> He seems very happy right now. <No slight... but I'm guessing "happy" means you've had it for less than 2 months but it still opens up each day and looks good. Do understand... we get this question a lot (keeping flame scallops)> Thanks for any info you can give me. <Not much to say... we almost never recommend these creatures for captivity... even rare for species specific displays for their short captive lives. Read a bit here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvmarfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvia.htm Best regards, Anthony>

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>

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>

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>

Flame "Scallop" hello Mr. Fenner, I've been getting lots of information from your web site that has been very helpful. I have several questions for you... I have a flame scallop via my boyfriend, whom I told was hard to keep,  <Put a tether on him. Oh, you mean the Lima scabra> but he thought it was neat) <Mmm, what do you think, feel?> how do I keep it alive. I was told they only live for six months. <Most, a much shorter time> can I feed it and my other salt water fish blood worms? do I squirt the food into the scallops opening? does it need plankton? when I buy fish from the market should I be concerned about hormones and other stuff injected into them. I think that's it for now. thanks in advance Jennifer <No worries re hormones. Please use the Google search feature on the homepage of www.WetWebMedia.com (on the bottom of the page), looking for input on "Flame Scallop" or the scientific name of this Pen Shell above. Much to consider as humans, consumers re how we "cast our votes". Bob Fenner>

Flame Scallops that aren't Mr. Fenner, just wanted to say thanks for your prompt answer to my flame scallops question. this saltwater thing is much harder than I thought. but what really frustrates me is the fish stores. sales people are selling fish, left and right not informing people properly of the fishes needs, I think to myself, poor fish its doomed..... I've learned a couple important things from you, the number one thing being research, research, research.... thanks for your expertise...Jennifer <A privilege and honor my friend. Bob Fenner>

Flame Scallops that aren't II/Crew Mr. Fenner, just wanted to say thanks for your prompt answer to my flame scallops question. this saltwater thing is much harder than I thought.  <naw... you just lucked out on the steep end of a learning curve. It all gets better and easier in time> but what really frustrates me is the fish stores. sales people are selling fish, left and right not informing people properly of the fishes needs, I think to myself, poor fish its doomed.....  <lesson here: the informed consumer has no worries on this matter> I've learned a couple important things from you, the number one thing being research, research, research.... thanks for your expertise...Jennifer <always welcome... keep learning, sharing and growing. Best regards>

Re: thank you (Flame Scallop, challenging marine livestock, life) Anthony, Thank you and of course I agree with you....about the animals sent..... <thank you for understanding... as we (WWM crew) answer e-mails and share opinions in somewhat of a mentoring fashion, it seems necessary to step up on a soapbox a little bit at times for the greater good of the many other aquarists that browse these posted FAQs. Diligent and sincere folks such as yourself are the best place for challenging animals. But not all aquarists have the time or heart to dedicate to animals such as flame scallops and various anemones, for example. As such, they need to know that it is not OK to just accept them into their tank when a dealer pushes them and just hope for the best> it did send me into a learning frenzy but I know that it was not a good idea..... <I'm very grateful and delighted that you were inspired so urgently to want to learn about the needs of these animals> I am enjoying this tank so much....I joked with Bob F on a previous email and wondered when the reduced heart rate thing was going to happen and actually a few times I have sat with my new tank and husband and boy and really enjoyed just watching....relaxing....not feeling that I have to run and do an ammonia test.....it is a wonderful little metaphor for many things. <yes... truly a wonderful hobby for all the right reasons> Thanks for the help. I'm ordering some phytoplankton for the Flame......dig ya later.....Helene <very good, and do learn about the feeding technique of the phyto substitute from past FAQ/message board posts, etc. (keep refrigerated, buy and use fresh only <6 months old, and whisk in a blender or like device before feeding. Best regards, Anthony>

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

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!>>

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>

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>

The Shame of the Flame ( Scallop) and the Almighty Buck Most praiseworthy and omniscient crew,  <No need to go overboard> Having read through a ream of FAQ's this evening, I am prepared to submit myself for a drubbing with a dead mackerel. Today I purchased on impulse [I know, I know...] a flame scallop, approximately 2.5 inches across. He opened nicely after acclimation, and jetted himself around until he found someplace he liked. He currently cohabits my 75G tank with 45 pounds of live rock, a fuzzy dwarf lion, a pincushion urchin, a petite long-tentacle anemone, a chestnut cowry, and a couple of Condoleezza (Rice?) anemones. My water parameters are quite good, with respect to ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, pH, and buffering. I have no apparent copper contamination in my tap water, and no measurable phosphates. I am now, however, painfully aware that the odds of keeping this critter for very long are not very good at all. <Yup> My questions are these: First, now that I feel like the back end of a horse for having bought such a fragile and likely-to-croak creature, I am committed to doing anything within reason to maximize the chance for success. Can you please suggest an appropriate food that will come closest to that which the little guy requires? I am anticipating dropper feeding upstream, two or three times weekly. I've been feeding the anemones a food called Invert Gumbo, to which they have responded well...is such a thing even close to what the "scallop" [nee file clam] really needs? Any other ideas?  <You can try the gumbo. I suggest getting a syringe from the drug store and remove the needle and squirt the stuff in him. They will require daily feedings to survive for any length of time.> Second, in the process of jetting around finding his place, the scallop blundered right into the lap of one of the Condi's. Can the anemones do damage to the exposed tissue of a bivalve under such circumstances?  <Certainly> Third, and possibly rhetorically, why in the #%&* do the people at the LFS sell livestock that is so difficult to maintain and doomed to death by starvation, without communicating an understanding of the low probability of success? <$$$$$$$>  I am rather new to this hobby, but I am committed, sincere, well-intentioned, well-resourced and reasonably intelligent [impulse buying not withstanding]. I genuinely want to do this the right way, and in a conscientious and responsible fashion, and thus need to lean on the supposedly more knowledgeable experts. Where can one turn for guidance on those species that really aren't "right" for the private, amateur aquarist to acquire and maintain? Thanks for allowing me to vent. And I promise, no more impulse buys before doing my homework. <Yes, if more people didn't buy these things, the LFSs wouldn't order them.> Best regards, Rick <Good day to you. James (Salty Dog)> 

Flame scallop Husbandry Bob [or his minion]:  <James today> A few days ago I admitted to the error of buying a flame scallop before doing my homework, and to my understanding of how difficult the little guy was going to be to care for. Since then, just about everything I have been able to find, on WWM and elsewhere, is mostly lamenting the foolishness and/or cruelty of the fact that they almost always starve to death. <Yes!> Well, having bought one, I was prepared to take full responsibility for doing everything within reason to maximize its chances of survival. In the days following I have acquired four more, including a couple from a LFS where their care was dodgy at best. My rationale is this: I am fully aware of what is involved, and can at least commit that the new ones will get the same chance as the first one, rather than having them be purchased by people who won't make the effort. Further, everything I read indicates they do better in groups. Finally, if I am going to stick my arm in a tank of venomous fish every day to feed one [lions and scorpions and Foxface, oh my!!] , I might as well feed more than one. In for a penny, as they say. They reside in a 75 gallon tank, with 105 lbs. of live rock. Water parameters are very good, and I am using two power heads, one with a rotating deflector, to provide strong circulation. I have been feeding each by dropper, daily, directly injecting a product called Marine Snow.  <Rick, in my opinion, Marine Snow does little or nothing.>  During feeding, and for 30 minutes after, I suspend mechanical filtration and water movement. I also add another product, "Invert Gumbo"... <Another nitrate producer>  ... and have added an iodine supplement as well. Over the last week, each scallop has improved dramatically in color, relocated to a spot of its own liking, and displayed more vigorous movement of its tendrils.  Is there anything else at all that you can think of that will enhance their chances, either in the area of a feeding regimen or of a supplement or enhancement to the tank environment? Would the addition of some sort of vitamin supplement, or something like Selcon, make a positive difference? I'd appreciate any suggestions.  <Selcon would help some, but I would use DT's phytoplankton or Cyclop-Eeze phytoplankton for feeding. DT's is actually live phytoplankton. Keep your calcium at 375-400ppm along with a dKH of 8-12 as the scallops do require calcium. James (Salty Dog). Rick, keep a record of your experiment and if you have long term success, let us know.> 
Flame scallop Husbandry - Follow-up
James, Thanks for your quick response. <You're welcome>  A few more details, if you don't mind. I certainly trust your opinion on the Marine Snow, but why so? Is it the wrong type of micro-critter, or is the processing of the product what renders it ineffectual? Similarly, you note that the Gumbo stuff is another nitrate builder.. is this because it's just wasted organic matter in the system to decay uselessly? <Rick, all I will say is that in my opinion, these products are not good source of food for invertebrates. Believe me, using them will help algae more than it will help the inverts.> I checked with Marine Depot's website, and they carry the DT's stuff, which I should have by this weekend. They also offer oyster eggs for reef feeding. Any thoughts on whether they might be worth a try? <I have not heard anything bad about the product.> They also seem enthused about a spray-dried phyto product, touting its high level of HUFA's. Thoughts? I am open to just about all reasonable possibilities to make this work. <Rick, go to their website, very informative. I think this will answer all your DT's question. www.dtplankton.com > Having read your reference to my 'experiment', I've decided to make it just that. Off to the store to buy more testing capability, and I intend to journal my progress and record conditions at regular intervals. If I can keep these guys alive and healthy for a year, somebody somewhere owes me a cold one. <Well Rick, I certainly like cold ones. Be glad to share a few with you. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for all your help. Rick <You're welcome>
Flame scallop Husbandry - Seeing the Light? Part III
James, Thanks for the website reference.  <You're welcome>  It is very illuminating. For the first time, I feel like I have an overall understanding of the feeding process. The incidental beneficiaries of this new-found knowledge will be my feather dusters.  <Good luck in your experiment and keep me posted, sounds interesting. James (Salty Dog)> 

Starfish & (My Friend) Goo Problems, Flame scallop Flamers... Hello! I need advice again oh wise ones! <More like wise n heimers> First off here's the tank specs - 29gal 3-5" DSB, 30lbs(-ish) LR from a previous large reef setup Double 55w PC 50/50 lighting Emperor 400 doing the filtering - I don't change the filters and there's tons of pods and shrimps in there so they keep it fairly clean. <Good> 2 - 225gph powerheads set on either end Water all checked out as normal and stays that way for the most part. I do a 10% water change about 3-4 times a week...no extra additives, I figured I was changing enough water that the salt mix would cover this. <Yes... good practice> Creatures 3 little red starfish (think they're Fromia) 1 "African" anemone. I still have not been able to find out what this thing really is but it is doing well. I see the dyed ones in the store a lot... most of them looked half dead.. 2 - true Perc clowns 1 Firefish 1 neon goby 1 yellow watchman goby 1 neon Dottyback 2 skunk cleaner shrimp Numerous little hermits and snails Trumpet coral and a small rock of green sea mat Ok my first question...I used to have 2 flame scallops that were doing well. They had supplemental feedings every other day and their shells were nice and dark. I had let them stay near the back of the aquarium for awhile and they were fine like that for a good 6 months. One day in my cleaning I got the brilliant idea to move them out to where people could see them! Evidently it wasn't a good idea... the next morning one of the shells was empty and that was quickly followed by the emptying of the other shell. Now could the 3 cute little red stars be the ones to blame here? I can't think of anyone else in the tank that would really feed on these guys. <These Lima's just don't live period in captivity... in the wild they're either on the move (can jet about) or way back where other animals' can't get to them> Second question/problem...I cannot for the life of me get the Cyano and hair algae to go away. I have read up on both of them on your forums but it seems no matter what I do it keeps coming back. <Is persistent> I put a lot more turbulence in the tank with the addition of two 225gph powerheads and like I said I do 3-4 10% water changes a week. <All helpful> The Cyano (pretty sure it's Cyano.. nice red slime that burns when it's on your skin) seems to love the added flow and has covered the back part of the glass overnight. I am in the process of getting a decent skimmer... <Good idea> ...evidently my water changes aren't enough. I don't add any extra additives and I'm very careful about how much food goes into the tank. Do you think the skimmer will help? <Definitely> I don't think it could hurt though I'm running out of edges to hang gadgets off of! Thanks! ~Angela <Mmmmm, am thinking about a bigger tank for you? You don't need that couch! You don't need that TV!... Bob Fenner> 

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> 

Flame Scallop creating electricity? - 1/19/05 Hello from the "Blue Tarp State"! <Hello from the Sunshine State!> I am totally in  love with your website ... refer to it almost everyday.  :o)  <Great to hear, Lisa> After surviving four hurricanes, and almost a month without electricity, I am ecstatic to say that I lost NOTHING in my tank, thanks in part to you guys (and my handy generator!). <Awesome> I have a question about my 8-month old flame scallop ... he's very content and looks healthy. <Cool. This animal tends to be on the difficult side of pet fish keeping. Here is an excellent article written by a friend of mine: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/july2002/toonen.htm> I noticed the other day that part of his fleshy, red mantle "flashes" constantly. It's a very thin area, almost the width of a needle, and it changes from bright red to white in a matter of a nanosecond, and back again. <This seems to be fairly hard to explain as there is not much in writing that I could find, but I do know that in past discussions it has been stated that this is a flap of tissue (membrane) that is moved back and forth. It may actually reflect or refract a portion of light which may give it this glow or look like a quick electric arc. My feeling is that it is not electrical in any way.> Have any of you seen this reaction? <I have> If so, do you know why they do this? <Oh many possible reasons. Simple anatomical structure (just happens), food attraction ( planktonic animals are attracted to light), possible a deterrent to fish predators....these would be my guess but again, very likely just a result of respiration or a feeding.> It doesn't seem to be a problem, but I was curious as to what it means, if anything. <Not hurting the animal at all. I have seen this done in the wild by this species ~Paul> Thanks for everything! Lisa C. Florida

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>

Flame Scallop save 1/6/05 Thanks for the feedback.  In fact, I haven't bought any flame scallops. I wanted to research BEFORE buying.  I won't be buying one. :) Deb   <whew! Very good to hear my friend. This is one of those creatures better admired in the ocean and left there :) Anthony>

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>

Responsible Anemone/Scallop Keeping 8/12/04 Hi there! It's been awhile since I've had a question come up, so here I am. ;] <we've been waiting with bells on> I recently got a deep blue carpet anemone. I'm in love. ;] <this is an illegal relationship in most civilized countries> It is very sticky, the foot is in perfect condition, and it ate a chunk of food on the first day!  I have it in a tank with lots of light and very good flow. <all good> My main question is how can you tell the difference between S. haddoni and S. gigantea?   <listen for the accent in their speech betraying the locale of their origin/speciation.> Do S. haddoni come in blue as well?   <yep... RIT brand dyed fresh from some charming Indo exporters> I have two rock/flower anemones that are near the carpet (3 inches away) but not touching.  Will this be a problem?   <I expect the carpet will stress or kill these in time> Everybody seems happy at the moment. Do pink skunk clowns take to carpet anemones? <the answer to this question, as with the details of speciation between anemones (like the tentacle-free distinction around the mouth of S. haddoni) and so much more is waiting for you in our archives. We work hard to build this database... please do make the effort to use it and help yourself. There's a clownfish/anemone compatibility chart ta boot: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm be sure to follow the many other links atop these pages> I feed all of my anemones (3 flowers, RBTA, green BTA) a mixture of live plankton and Prime Reef/Frozen Brine shrimp by Formula foods.  They all seem very happy and are growing.   Is this an acceptable diet for the carpet anemone as well? <seem weak to me... the phyto is of dubious value for the carnivorous anemones (they feed on zooplankton principally)... and brine shrimp is a truly hollow food (barely useful even if gut loaded). Please do add better variety here with 4-6 other meats of marine origin. Shredded cocktail shrimp, Mysid shrimp, Pacifica plankton... minced krill... and fish eggs (grouper roe from the LFS or flying fish eggs from an Asian groceria... excellent food for such filter feeders)> Thanks for everything!  Morgan Mok ps: Just as an update for the naysayers and the "blind squirrel people", my red flame scallop is over 1 1/2 years old in my system. ;p <Morgan... you do understand that we are here to serve the greater good in the hobby? I hope you are too. Encouraging the majority of aquarists to keep inappropriate animals like flame scallops just because less than 1% survive over one year is... well... irresponsible. Unless you can clearly explain and document how yours lived to 18 months (still not much of an accomplishment when many simply take longer to slowly starve via a small daily deficit in nutrition as from brine shrimp feedings over time... and all have a natural lifespan on a scale of magnitude much longer!), let me ask... rather, beg (!) that you do not casually promote the keeping of flame scallops or the like as if its a lottery, and telling people the equiv. of "you might win too!". The truth is that most lose... and these are living creatures lives lost... not lottery tickets. Your fave naysayer, perhaps... Anthony :) >

Responsible Anemone/Scallop Keeping II 8/13/04 Hi Anthony, First, I tried to find info about carpet anemone differences in the FAQs/articles and couldn't find anything, therefore I sent a question.   <no worries... but it was all sitting on that first page. The archives are huge though, understood> I asked about the skunk clown cause I saw a couple different compatibility charts and wanted to be sure. <OK> Don't worry, I warn anyone interested in keeping flame scallops, Tubastrea, and tube anemones about the high maintenance quality of these corals.  I don't ever encourage the casual reefer to keep these or other corals.   <Ahhh... very good to hear> I just had to give you a raspberry and let you know how my scallop was doing.  You gave me such a hard time originally and called me a "blind squirrel". ;]   <perhaps still mate ;) Many filter feeders can hang on for over a year or even longer still starving slowly. Without evidence of growth or reproduction... victory on such species living decades is not assured yet <G>> I can't say exactly why I have had success with it.  I know people that grow their own rotifers and can't keep flame scallops.   <indeed... many filter feeders need very specific sized zoo- or phyto plankters> I use the previously mentioned (live phyto (the one I use has 7 diff types, that's what it says) <truly nifty... good to hear> prime reef, frozen brine shrimp by the same people, blood worms, and Spirulina chunk) marine soup to feed my corals, anemones, etc.  My DSB is 5-6 inches and 9+ years old.  Good lighting, flow, and a euro-reef skimmer.  Is this a recipe for success? <don't know... time will tell. But sounds very nice to me> I don't know, but my corals all grow well, my plate coral is huge (7 inches) and eats like a pig (it has turned from green to almost a solid purple), my flower anemone is 6-7inches wide when open, and my flame scallop has survived in my system for over a year and half.   I'll probably switch to Hikari foods and get a much larger tank in time, but everything else will stay the same.  My question is, how many years will I have to have my flame scallop before I am "successful"? hehe I collected it myself btw.   <a subjective valuation... but anything over 3 would be outstanding by hobby standards. Honestly, even over 2 is quite good IMO. Aside from he much longer natural lifespan of these invertebrates. You are on your way> I totally understand your need to chide people for getting corals with a high mortality rate.  So many people kill animals because their LFS says they're easy to keep, etc.  I don't own an elegance, can't keep pink tipped Heliofungia (sniff), no Dendro or chili coral,  etc. <you can keep the latter easily if you'd care to try it. Anyone diligent enough to feed rotifers or baby brine shrimp can. They are quite hardy if fed regularly> However I am glad I tried to keep a flame scallop and I have a patch of bright orange colonial tunicates that are doing great (turtle grass tunicates).  Life is about experimentation and I agree that these corals are lives not just lottery tickets, but reef keeping is a continually developing hobby that requires some careful experimentation to figure out animals' limits and abilities within our systems. <yes... agreed. Careful experimentation> I guess I have a blue haddoni??  The pics aren't the best and the anemone closed some when I moved the rock to take the pics.  It is usually open and rufflly.  Other pic is anemones and orange colonial tunicates (take my word for it). ha! One last question, do you run aquadesignz? Just curious.   <nope... not sure what that is?> Feel free to edit this e-mail if you're going to post it. ;] <we edit nothing my friend beyond personal info and inappropriate language. Free speech!> Very nice talking with you.  Have a nice weekend! Morgan <to you in kind... best regards :) Anthony>

Mystery Critter ID What's up Crew!<<  Just typing away. >> I found this critter clamped onto my Hammer Coral's skeleton.  It took mucho strength to pry it off.  It opens up split from the middle and sticks out a pinkish tongue-like flesh. << Haven't seen the pic yet, but already sounding like a bivalve mollusk. >> It's pretty alien looking IMO.  I'm attaching two photos top and side views.  Really appreciate if you can help me ID it and let me know if it is predatory towards any of my corals or inverts. << Well it appears to be some sort of Bivalve.  Looks cool.  Unfortunately with about 14,000 species of Bivalves, I don't think I can be much more descriptive.  I'll bet it isn't predatory and is a great addition to your tank.  This type of biodiversity is exactly what you want in a reef tank, so I say keep it.  Please continue to watch it, and if it on a coral let us know.  Otherwise keep it growing (it needs live rock, and that's about it) and please take pictures again.  Looks pretty cool, and I'm sorry I can't identify it. >> Thanks a bunch! Roy
<<  Adam Blundell  >>
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