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FAQs about Giant Clams, family Tridacnidae 2

Related Articles: Got Tridacna? A beginner's guide to keeping Tridacnid clams by Laurie Smith, Example Chapter from NMA Reef Invertebrates book, on Giant Clams, Tridacnids, A Brief Guide to the Selection and Placement of Tridacnid Clams by Barry Neigut, Tridacnid Health: Pinched Mantle Syndrome in Giant Clams by Dr. David Basti, Deborah Bouchard & Barry Neigut, Bivalves, Mollusks, Lighting Marine Invertebrates

Related FAQs: Tridacnids 1, Tridacnids 3, Tridacnids 4, Tridacnid Clam Business, Tridacnid Identification, Tridacnid Behavior, Tridacnid Selection, Tridacnid Compatibility, Tridacnid Systems, Tridacnid Lighting, Tridacnid Placement, Tridacnid Feeding, Tridacnid Disease, Tridacnid Reproduction, Bivalves, Bivalves 2, Lighting Marine Invertebrates,

Tridacna sp., N. Sulawesi.

Anemones Thank you for the prompt reply!  Based on your reply, I've already removed the colt and cauliflower corals from my tank.  I will turn this into an anemone and clam tank.   <all are better for it... very good> As far as clams go, I've done a lot of research and have pretty much come to the conclusion I should be able to keep any of the Tridacna sp. without any problems.   <with the limitation that T. crocea and T. maxima species have to be kept in the top 10" of water under your VHOs. Have you read the Tridacnid sample chapter of our new book? Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BookMatters/WWM/NMA-RI/NMA-RI_Tridacnids-demo.pdf > If you'd give me your quick opinion based on my tank specs it would help in planning and making sure the creatures in my care survive and thrive (that being very important to me, even more so than the cost involved to an extent). There are no other corals in the tank.  Livestock is your basic clean up crew... hermits, snails, sand sifting starfish.   <keep an eye on those hermits with the clams> Adding an emerald crab and some other various clean up type snails tomorrow <avoid crabs of all kinds... they are opportunistic predators. Adult Mithraculus (emeralds) can kill fishes and clams> (if Liveaquaria ships my order Grr!).  Also one common cleaner - Lysmata sp.  Approximately 25lbs live rock.  1.5" deep fine aragonite sand bed.   <I'd like deeper or more shallow sand... never in between 1-3": not deep enough for good anoxic activity but too deep for efficient aerobic activity> One Premnas biaculeatus, also one dragonet (forgot Latin taxonomy for it) which I am giving to a fellow reefer with a 150gal tank so it can thrive (uninformed purchase - never ever will I do that again).  Unknown form of green, stalked, branching macro (possibly a Chaetomorpha sp.?).  Adding Gracilaria tomorrow.  Some pest majanos in the tank as well, but none are larger than 1/4" and for now they are more pretty than they are pesty.   <agreed> Bakpak2 skimmer, AquaFuge 3.25 gal refugium, with 1.5lbs live rock and 1.5" deep aragonite sand bed.  Tank measures 30"Lx12"Hx12"W.  55w PC x2 - 1 10k and 1 03 actinic.  Lights are about 1.5" from surface of water with 1/16 acrylic in between. <awesome placement of lights... never more than 3" off water for fluorescents> What other inverts besides clams could I safely keep with my anemones in this tank? <the list of appropriate and safe animals is staggering. Too long to mention here indeed. Simply avoid stinging animals (other anemones and corals> Also, should I dump the bleached sickly anemone?   <I'm going to smack you <G>. Let me quote you from the paragraph above: "making sure the creatures in my care survive and thrive (that being very important to me, even more so than the cost involved"... a direct quote. In fact... forget the smack- where do you live? I'm going to burn some frequent flyer miles and fly out to kick you in the jimmy. Heehee... Ahh, my answer in other words is... no. Don't give up on the anemone. It is no more of a risk than your healthy anemone waiting until you go to work and then diving into an overflow or pump intake.> I'm afraid if it dies it will take my healthy one with it and all my livestock. <the same risk you take getting married... deal with it <G>> I cannot thank you and the crew enough for all the help provided to the hobbyist! <and thank you for being good humored fodder for my sense of humor or at least attempts at it :)  > BTW, as far as the consulting goes, I would pay to use your site, and I would pay well.  I am sure anything paid in dues for your expertise would pay for itself in the long run.  Luckily I've made very few mistakes (at least I learned how to research while I was attending university) with my nanotank so far, and have corrected several possible disasters, mostly due to advice from your site and published works.  Once again, a heartfelt thank you for what you provide to the aquarist community! <thanks kindly for saying so... but we barely have the motivation to write books <G>, I'm sure we are too laid back to collect money for a pay site. I would rather sit back, answer e-mail and scratch myself for free. Best regards, Anthony>

Clams, Anemones and Crabs Anthony I can keep the crocea and maxima species in the top 10" of my tank.  I might have to rearrange some of my rockwork, but that's alright.  I'm going to check out the sample chapter in just a moment.  I'm sure it will be excellent reading. I thought emeralds were ok with clams.  Hmm.  Might move it to the 34gal as well then.   <there are no crabs that are wholly reef safe... all are scavengers. Some favor algae but none to exclusion. Mithraculus (Mithrax) emerald crabs literally grow large enough to eat after a few years. They can pull down 4" fish at that time. So if something is weak or sleepy enough... its fair game. I personally enjoy many crab species and fine them interesting. I would almost never put them in a reef tank though>> I'll leave it in until I acquire clams though, as it'll help with the algae (small bloom, probably due to the every other day feeding of zooplankton to the anemones...  switching to small cuts of silversides soaked in Selcon so that should help with the nutrient pollution as will the further stocking of my refugium). <exactly my friend... the problem isn't a lack of crabs, we just need better control of nutrients. You can continue to feed heavy too (I almost prefer it)... just be more aggressive with skimming, water flow and water changes (weekly carbon changes too)> They have been easy enough to catch for me. After re-measuring the depth of my sand bed it's around 1"-1 1/4" deep.  I had read from many sources that a sandbed deeper than 3" on a tank my size is next to worthless.   <I would disagree... and I have some experience here. I imported 48,000 pounds of sand for my greenhouse and coral farm. Used it in every way imaginable for the last decade. Pictures of it in my Book of Coral Propagation. I'm not saying I'm right.. just that I have a valid contention> I suppose I could pull out more sand without any issues though, <agreed> and remove the starfish to the other tank as well since this will be lacking the depth for it to be comfortable. Yes I noticed in some of my physics classes the effect of lighting through the atmosphere and the surface of water. <huge> I've actually been able to lower them down to about 1" off the surface.  That brings up a good question..  I have an overflow on my skimmer.  It helps with the surface gunk but there is still more there than I would like.  Any ideas? <I'm not sure what the question is specifically> Smack me all you want!  muahah I slap back!  I was thinking of the rest of my livestock in case the bleached anemone were to die.   <how about putting it in your waiting quarantine tank then and resisting the purchase of a new organism until the anemone recovers, dies or a second QT tank is purchased. A 20 gallon tank in a South or East facing window would be very fine for anemones> Better to let it go alone than to take my entire tank.  hehe  But I definitely see your point, and will keep it.  It will be a good test of my husbandry skills - to nurse it back to health.   <agreed <G>> Did not mean to seem hypocritical with the statement about flushing it. <no worries... I know that you really meant that you would find another aquarist in your area to carry the torch for it anyway. No destroying right?> That said, I just ran out of test kits and since I needed a better quality test setup I just ordered a full Salifert test kit.  Tests some 9 parameters of my water.  I should be able to keep a closer eye on water quality with that one.  Not to mention more accurate. Err I'm getting married soon!  Don't scare me! Hmm scratching is good! Any aquascaping suggestions for an anemone/clam tank?  Never really seen or heard of one.  Right now I have kind of an island like this -------------------------------------------------------------- | | |              oo oo oo o   o o o          o o oo  o oo    | |           ooooooooooooooo       oooooooooo     | |              ooooooooooooo     o o o oo ooooo    | | | -------------------------------------------------------------- that is the top view.   <you really have way to much time to spend on the computer<G>> Probably a side view would be more important considering clam placement.   <do a keyword search on Reefcentral.com for "Japanese reef aquariums"... some excellent and artistic examples> There aren't really any flat areas that a clam would likely be comfortable on.  I can put the Squamosas and derasas in the substrate ok, <agreed... but still with a flat rock buried underneath them in the sand to protect against predation> but any Croceas and maximas will be hard to place I believe. Hrmm.  Aquascaping isn't my forte...  yet.  Give me more practice!  I can be very artsy ya know.  hehe Wow I'm full of questions.   <I would certainly agree that you are full of it> I really hope I am not bothering you.   <heehee... no worries. We are here to answer and abuse you with pleasure> Just so you know your time is not in vain, as I am learning more and more every day, especially through such e-mail correspondence! RVM <very good to hear... do pass your wisdom along in kind. Best regards, Anthony>

Clam & Lighting Hi again and thanks for all the help. I don't think any of the LFS would even come close to the help that you have given me in the last few months. I put my 5" crocea in the QT last night and today instead of only opening a half inch at the most in the main display he/she/it is open half way. YEEHAA!!! I am making sure to check my pH, temperature, S.G. and alkalinity are all close to being the same when I do a 5 gallon water change from the main tank to the sump. I don't have the Fluval 404 on the QT yet and am waiting another few days to make sure it is more seeded before putting it on the QT indefinitely. I have the clam and the rock on the bottom of the 20 gallon QT under the 110 watts total of PC lighting. IYO, do you think I should raise the clam to within a few inches of the PC? <No, I would leave as is.> I feel it would be a good idea and should probably shield the PC from the clam blowing water on the lights as well. <I don't follow the shielding the PC's from the clam blowing water comment. If you move the clam closer to the lights, I would think the likelihood is increased that the clam could hose down your lights.> Will this much light be enough for it considering it was under 400 watt MH's and also receiving light from some 160 watt VHO's on the bottom in my 180 gallon acrylic? <It is heard for me to guess an approximate amount of needed light. You need to determine if 8 watts per gallon under 24" is similar to 5 watts per gallon in 12". The color and behavior of your clam is going to tell you. I would probably leave as is unless I saw a problem as I am very reluctant to move any photosynthetic creature once placed.> More help would be totally appreciated! Thanks, Jeff <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Clam Moving Anthony, <cheers, Mark> I purchased a 8" Derasa Clam from a private individual that is selling his tank. The clam was in his tank for over 2 years and looks very healthy. It appears that the clam is trying to move, since I keep find a hole in my sand bed at his base. Water quality and flow is good, my calcium is at 380 and climbing (new reactor). I originally placed him in the center and have moved him to one side and still the same. I am assuming that he's not happy with his location or does this indicate something else? <not an indication of anything bad at all. Any clam relocated may be inclined to shift, settle or even move (over a distance... crawling slowly with their muscular "foot"). Simply a matter of getting settled. In aquaria, however, this and any clam really need to have a flat rock under their shell to attach byssal threads to for security and protection from predation (worms, snails and crabs entering here. Still best to also keep big clams on the bottom for growth/safety. The compromise here is to bury a small flat rock(s) slightly under the sand for the clam.> Thanks, Mark <best regards, Anthony>

Tridacnid Hi, I have a 5" crocea that hasn't opened for a little over a week. I was going to be getting a rose leather, a green bubble and a Galaxea on Friday. My flame angel and my yellow tang, I just noticed, have been picking at the clam when it tries to open a half inch. I need to put the clam in the quarantine that I was going to use for the corals when they came in. I e-mailed the sender to delay shipment so I can use the QT for the clam. Is there any type of food that I need to feed the clam while in the QT? <Phytoplankton could be helpful, although I have heard that feedings are particularly important for juvenile clams. Your 5" Crocea is near full size and could probably live on very little food.> Or should I just let if feed off the light in the QT while it recuperates? <Depending on how long it is there will determine if additions are needed. Daily, small water changes from the main display could provide the clam dissolved organics to filter feed.> How long do I need to put it in the QT to bring it back to health before I put it back in the main tank? <You cannot put it back in the main tank until after the Flame Angel and Yellow Tang have been removed.> Thanks for all the help, Jeff <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Ice storm no power and clams Anthony... with the power off for more than 6 days on the 180 gall reef tank I used a 12v pump  to keep the water moving and Jqtul wood stove to keep tank them 75F and house 72F. The one thing I could not due is light for the crocea clam which has not done well. How long can a clam go in low light? <mere days for some crocea and maximas. Hungry creatures> Have started on a power supply run on natural gas with auto switch so some light and pumps can run even if your not home. Ups power supply do not work well if you are away to long as a good friend found out the hard way. A natural gas or propane works the best for generators, Gasoline will not do well over time. Gasoline can be change over with a kit, and there is no place to buy gas in a ice storm. RGibson <Ralph... since you have insured a stable house temperature, let me simply suggest that you move the clam in a small vessel of seawater to a Southern window. Do a water change in the morning and evening and the clam will be fine as long as the temp is stable. No big deal without current like corals here. Do let us know how things fare for you. I hope the very best my friend! Anthony>>

Clam Disease? Anthony, I recently lost 2 gold Maximums to what I have been told is Clam Disease. Several people tell that where I purchased them has had tanks that are infected. What is this mysterious clam disease and just how can I eliminate it from my system. Should clams be freshwater dipped? Thanks Mark <I would almost never recommend FW dipping clams. I am also quite doubtful that whoever suggested your clams had "clam disease" has a clue (however well intended they might be). The higher rates of mortality from select clam shipments recently have been limited more to batches rather than a locale/source or specific pathogen (despite folks in the industry looking for an excuse for their poor husbandry as retailers or wholesalers). We have seen this many times with other animals. There is likely no new disease... just poor handling by at least one of the bigger players in the chain of custody (importer, LA wholesaler, etc). If a LFS has a "clam problem" then they simply have water quality issues. To answer you question, bud... there is no definitive ID of a specific pathogen for this recent "condition". Preventing and eliminating it is simple: QT all livestock for 4 or more weeks first. Containment and control. Never add any fish, coral, other invertebrate or plant to your tank without a 4 week QT. It's Russian roulette if you skip QT. No meds here... simply good water quality! See the references to feeding ammonium or nitrate to clams in my coral prop book or better (!) Daniel Knop's Giant Clams book. Do this in QT to power feed the clams. Natural resistance is better than anything we can offer Tridacnids. Medicating invertebrates is still in the dark ages. With kind regards, Anthony>

Clams light problem Hi there, Your fan from Turkey :-) need your help again. <cheers, my friend from afar> I have 50 gallon setup which I have Hamilton Power Compact 3*55w 10K, 1* 55w true actinic, also NO  2* PowerGlo 30W and a 1* Marine Glo 30W/ Lights are 1" from the surface of the water, it doesn't have plexi or protection from the water.   <all excellent and installed properly> I have got  a clam 2 weeks ago, I believe it is Tridacna crocea Metallic blue. The clam was put in 2 inches below the water.    All seems fine, but I have noticed that the clam mantles started to have flaky burn type markings on them.  All over the mantles.  It looks like skin burns.  Since then I moved the clam down to the sand and I hope it will get better.10" below the water line <hmmm... its OK to put this clam lower, but not for too long (2-4 weeks only). The symptoms do not sound like a burn from bright lights. Excess light would cause bleaching (paling in color) from the zooxanthellae being expelled. The clam would also let go of its foot in such a circumstance and tumble to a lower/darker place. It sounds instead to me like a problem with a predator like a damselfish or dwarf angel picking occasionally at the mantle> I also have a bubble tip anemone in the same aquarium last six month  just 4" below the waterline, it always hide, it is glowing white color.  It feeds well and seemed happy with 3 ocellaris clown.  But it does not grow and the color do worry me. <yes... the white color is a problem for lack of symbiotic algae. If this occurred after you bought the anemone, we may have a light or water quality problem. If the anemone was white when you bough it however, it is unfortunately too common. Feed well (daily ) regardless, while we wait for this specimen to regain color> I douse regularly carbon, so my water is always clear. <very good> >Do you think it is the UV from the lamps ? <doubtful... little from these fluorescent bulbs>   What do you suggest for me to do?   <you can experiment with a thin glass or acrylic lens between the lights and water if you like... but is must be cleaned weekly at least> Murat Ozturan :-) :-) :-) <best regards, Anthony>

Clam Bob, Wanted to share something with you that I was thinking about while I was sleeping. <We've got to stop eating licorice and pepperoni pizzas before dowsing down> Had a Black Maxima that I placed in a tank and one of my fish attacked him several times and after the third attach the clam gave up and gapped the size of a quarter. Not knowing what to do, took the clam out and placed him in a quarantine tank with minimal light, no substrate and did some feeding. After 8 days the clam recovered fully. I will just about guarantee that if I had left him in the main tank being so stressed that the critters would have finished him off. So my observation is that if you have a clam in distress and place him in a stress free environment so that he can recover he will most likely do so but leaving him in a stressed situation no chance of recovery. Have done this several times with 98 % success. <Thanks for this... you gapper, gipper> Thought this observation was worth passing on. Not a writer but I think you get my point. :) <Yes... will fwd to the fellow-writing boys. Bob> Regards, Barry, www.clamsdirect.com

Re: Clam Section of NMA RI Bob, Barry, All... RE: Barry's point about clams gaping... perhaps (my suggestion/vote) we should add a passing remark about the importance of getting "any stressed animal into QT when the risk of leaving it in the display threatens its own chance of survival or the health of the system overall should it die there unattended". <ZO? .. or something to that effect> However, I do not wish to underscore the dire nature of the event/symptom. Most clams that gape do so because of extreme duress and the rigors of importation. Many others also do so from prolonged siege by parasitic organisms in the display unseen or ignored. Categorically these animals are beyond help and the risk of leaving them in the tank for fear of fouling the system and doing worse damage to the other livestock cannot be ignored. Fish nipping causing the symptom is uncommon in rate of incidence compared to the reality that most aquarists will face. This book will also (and largely) be read by aquarists that have been in the hobby for less than 3 years (who knows...perhaps a lot younger than that for the average). We cannot preach the "never say die "mantra for these folks when a 4-6 oz body of clam is likely to die and perhaps take some tankmates with it while it rots overnight/while the aquarist is at work, etc. As long as we recommend that gaping clams be pulled from the system, the wording is up to the gang. We just have to pitch advice that serves the greater good/numbers and alas... we cannot go into minutia with a 300 page limit to the volume. Very good point, Barry... much thanks for the input! :) Antoine <Thank you both. Bob>

Lighting for clams Dear Bob, <David D. taking questions this evening.> I have read many marine fish books, your book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is by far the best, am eagerly waiting for your crew's new book on reef inverts. <It is also the book that got me started in the hobby!> I am confused on the issue of lighting. I have a 55gal reef with 2 clams which I placed on the top part of the tank. Based on watts per gal, I am way below the requirement. <Watts per gallon is a poor rule. Think about it...If two tanks were 100 gallons and one tank was 20" deep and another 30" deep, would they need the same amount of lighting to keep clams or corals?>   My tanks is 36" wide and I use 4 fluorescents, 2 marine white and 2 actinics by Arcadia (a UK company). The lamps are only 18 watts each with 9,500Kelvin. Over the weekend, I changed one marine white to one Coralife white with 10,000 K, also 18 watts. The shop tells me that my lighting is sufficient, I am not sure although the tank is very bright. I read John Tullock's book, "Simplified Reef Keeping", which said that 4 fluores. with 2 white and 2 actinics is enough for a 55 gal reef  tank. I am not sure as your book did not go into very detail on VHOs. please advise. <If I understand you correctly, you have 4x18 watts=72 watts. At this low level color temperature is almost irrelevant. It just isn't enough light to keep a clam alive...Not even close! Maxima clams need lots of light. If you want a watts per gallon, assuming your tank is 18" deep or less, I think you need 5-7 watts per gallon with any kind of fluorescent light fixture. The clam would still need to be in the top portion of the tank. At first the clam will look really large and happy in your tank. Actually, he is swelling to catch as much of the light as possible. Within a few weeks maybe sooner, those beautiful colors will start to fade or he may eventually close up. Either of these events will be the beginning of the end. I would take these clams back and find a new fish store...> The other question is on the brand. I noticed that the Coralife lamps is clearer and whitish/more transparent while Arcadia's is more yellowish and brighter, can you tell me which is a better lamp as Coralife's price double that of Arcadia <I've never heard of Arcadia. But for standard fluorescents, Coralife are good. For VHO? URI.> Thank you. <Your welcome!> Regards, Daniel Kong <Daniel Knop has an excellent book about clams. Also search wetwebmedia.com for more information. Good luck!>

Lighting for clams Dear David, Thanks for the instant reply, what a pleasant surprise! <You're welcome my friend in fish!> If I do not want to use metal halides and use VHO instead, what sort of wattages is recommended, <With VHO I would shoot for 300 (maybe slightly) more watts> as I was told that the MH creates a lot of algae. <Nutrients, phosphate and silicate create the algae. Light just helps it proliferate.> My tank is 19" deep, can my corals survive? <With the 4x18 watts that you currently have? No.> They are star polyps, bubble coral, a leather and a sea mat, xenia and a colt coral. <None of them long-term...especially not the bubble.> I have them for 3 months already and they seemed to be happy, they open fully when the lights are out for 14 hours (11 hours with four lamps and 2 hours with 2 lamps, 2start 1 hour earlier and the other 2 ends 1 hour later). The clams I have is already 6 weeks in my tank and so far the colors are still intact. <Remember what I said about things "looking happy?" They're stretching out trying to catch all the light they can. If 75% of your food (photosynthesis) came from the sun, what would happen if you only got 72 watts when you normally lived outside in the ocean getting full sun all day...every day? You would eventually starve. So will they...I'm afraid. Watch the critters carefully.> Thanks again for your advice. <You're more than welcome. Don't just take my advice on this. Research carefully.> Regards, Daniel <Lighting is a complicated issue but IMO this situation is pretty clear cut. David>

Re: Giant Clam with Symbiotic Shrimp ** Daniel, Can you tell us anything about the nature of a symbiotic shrimp found in Tridacna clams? A fellow has written to us at WetWebMedia and we do not have a clear point of reference on this creature. The original message and our reply are copied below. Thanks kindly, my friend. I hope Indonesia was a great pleasure! By the way.. please be sure to mail that article on your propagation efforts with E. quadricolor anemone if you haven't already. My address is in my book. Best regards, Anthony** 

Re: Giant Clam with Symbiotic Shrimp Thanks again....about the tank size.....The current tank is a very temporary home.  <Ahhh... very good to hear> I hope it will not be more than 6 months until he will be in a much larger home. I'm planning/scheming for a much larger setup soon. <excellent... and you'll need it! I had T. squamosa spawning in my greenhouse in a 500 gallon system and that tank looked way too small for the pair!> About maintaining water quality/food, the calcium stays around 420 very faithfully, as well as the DKH at or slightly below 11. The SG stays right at 1.025 thanks to auto top-off, and my temp never seems to go further than 1 degree on either side of 80 degrees, in fact usually much less.  <all good> The clam and a neighboring feather duster get DT's every day,  <this is little help for the clam and almost no help for the Fanworm (they feed on colloidal matter, floc and nanoplankton... little or no phytoplankton for most despite marketing claims. Are you also aware of the need to whisk DTs and all like products in an electric blender ever time you feed it (to get particle size down)? Else you are wasting your time/money. Studies have been done on this... do keyword search our archives for more info, reference the work of Rob Toonen on the matter or e-mail again for an excerpt form an article from me> and the tank is lightly fed because there is only one fish, a small Banggai cardinal.  <too bad... ammonium and nitrogen from fish food/waste are perhaps the best food source of all! Clam farmers feed ammonium to their clams and some European aquarists make nitrate solutions for their clams and corals. As much as I can tell with hobbyist test kits (I have Salifert kits) my water quality is good thanks to a CPR BakPak 2r skimmer, and weekly 10% water changes. I hope this will give the clam a happy (temporary) home. Back to the shrimp living inside him, I can confirm that it is indeed a shrimp and not a crab. A few days ago the clam "coughed" and a fresh molt of the shrimp was expelled.  <fair enough... I have seen photos of these> It still did not seem to be more than a half inch long, and all that I was able to learn from the molt was that it indeed was a shrimp. I'll still searching for more info about this shrimp/clam relationship. My best hope was the Daniel Knop book, but no such luck. <no worries... we are sending this message to our friend Daniel for his input. I believe he may still be in Indonesia but will surely reply when he gets back> Again, thanks for the help! Jeff Rogers <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Clams, Mandarin & Anemone We have a 40 gallon tank with a 20 gallon aquarium for a sump, an oversize protein skimmer, a large loosely formed live rock structure (very stable) just lots of passageways for greater circulation, three small pumps in the 40 for on a wave timer for circulation, 2-96 watt power compacts, one 6700k and one blue actinic. The system is up and running for almost three months. Is this a satisfactory set up for a clam? <It does not seem like enough light for the smaller species, Croceas and maximas, and too small for a derasa or squamosa.> We would like to have a vivid blue color like the derasa maxima, but would like to keep the size down. What would you suggest? <You maybe able to keep one up high, in the top third of the tank, but I would not recommend it. The best clam tanks are shallow and designed so you can look down on the clam. That is how they are best viewed for color. I am betting your 40 is a 3 foot long tank, about 12 inches wide, and kind of tall. This is really not the best kind of set up.> Or is this not the appropriate set up? <See notes above> By the way we have a pair of maroon clowns in a bubble tip anemone, a cleaner shrimp, a mandarin dragonette, two very small yellow cucumbers, a few mushrooms, open brain, frogspawn, Pocillopora (sp?), small hermits, and small snails. <Be sure to feed that bubble tip anemone and I would definitely get a refugium going now for the dragonette. This tank is too small and too immature to provide enough food for the Mandarin to survive. The refugium will help, as will keeping other fish competitors to a minimum.> Thank you, Mike & Melody <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Let's cook em 'up before they die! Tridacna woes Hello guys!  <Well, Hello Dolly! Er... Morgan> I hope all's well with you and you're having a lovely weekend.  <just got back from LA...lectured to a great club (MASLAC.com)... made some new friends... ate Uni (sea urchin roe), shrimp head soup and raw shrimp Nigiri sushi. The only thing that was missing was pi**-warm beer and country music> I didn't think I would be writing back so soon but we've got serious problems over here.  <lets have at it!> Here's the story: We have a well established 58 g tank that's been doing great for a long time. We have 2 five inch Croceas and I had a two inch maxima. Well, about a month ago a friend of ours got rid of his tank and asked us to hold his 3 inch maxima for him for awhile.  <Ughhh... the new clams weren't quarantined before entering your tank I suspect> While it was in the tank it never fully opened up, but it had no visible parasites when we checked it.  <but what of bacteria, microscopic worms/'todes and other parasites... Ughhh> Within two weeks it died. We have never had any parasite problems in our entire clam keeping history. Now my maxima, which was fully opened and doing beautifully 2 days ago, I found dead this morning.  <yep... been there... done that... bought the stinky tee-shirt that smells like the Jersey shore> It was a beautiful maxima too, sniff sniff. The Croceas have only been opening halfway for about a week now and its getting worse. There are no rice snails or other visible parasites on them.  <yet> We also have 3 derasa of varying sizes which are doing fine.  <for now> One of the Croceas was seen shooting out cloudy white stuff which was not sperm because we have seen them spawn before. If you can think of anything that we haven't thought of I'd really appreciate it. Thanks so much! <I do believe that you need to pull all clams back to QT and let the display run fallow for 4 weeks. While in QT the clams need to be fed well (juice/puree of ocean meats... perhaps small amounts of DTs phyto). Consider freshwater dips briefly for any signs of demise. 30-60 second dips for starters. The company of a small wrasse species too would help> Do you think I could keep a fairy and a Coris wrasse together <depends on the Coris... perhaps a small yellow species. But the C. gaimard and formosa get too big for reefs and they harm corals and clams by flipping them over daily in search of food> Morgan  <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Crocea clam tipping Hello, once again I am at square one with my pH in my 180 gal. reef tank. My Alk remains constant at 7-8. Since dosing nightly with Kalk my calcium came up to 440ppm. :-)  <And those two parameters are quite natural... you are at the high end of Ca and the lower end of ALK. Any corruption of this balance (like trying to keep Ca high while raising ALK unnaturally... they are mutually exclusive somewhat) could be problematic... enjoy! You have reached nirvana (the state...not the band). My advice would actually be to let the Ca fall closer to 400 and raise the ALK a bit> I thought my pH was in the 8.2-8.5 daily with the new Hanna pH handheld digital pH/thermometer that they sent me that was supposedly "calibrated". The replacement came back to me and with that one I was getting readings of 7.8 consistently.  <nature of the instrument...handhelds have never been known for high degrees of accuracy> I finally calibrated both of them myself this past weekend.  <excellent!> Each one was calibrated exactly the same way and also within 3 minutes of each other. It was actually quite easy to do. The readings on the two separate meters are now within .14 ppm of each other and the pH readings are now in the 7.65- 7.79 range.  <seems doubtful with such high Ca and a good ALK> Too low for my inhabitants I feel.  <agreed if true... try a good colorimetric test kit to confirm> I am still dosing and keeping an eye on the calcium so it doesn't snow in an 80 degree tank.  <exactly! 440 is OK... but starting to make me nervous. One slip of a heavy Ca dose and it could get ugly> I now have a float switch hooked up to my RO/DI storage tank in the basement below the tank and only have to flip a switch to top off my water now. I am buffering the make up water with Seachem marine buffer and have the make up water pH at 9.4. Too high? OK?  <way too high... you only need to reconstitute close to average tap water (6-9 dKH)... the extra buffers in the sea salt will do the rest> My calcium reactor CO2 was running at 7-8 bubbles every 15 seconds,  <every system is different... but this sounds a little fast. May be the cause for the low pH if accurate> how it got there from 5 I don't know (that's what I hate about the regulators on the tanks) so I think the extremely low pH in the effluent ( 6.04) was helping to lower the pH in the tank.  <agreed> I have adjusted back down to 5 bubbles every 15 seconds to get a higher pH of around 6.4 in the first chamber and 6.5+/- in the second chamber. Yes, I am doing the window thing whenever possible. Do I need to raise the alkalinity in the top off water as well as the pH or leave the Alk in the top off water alone? Do I need to test the Alk in the top off water?  <as per above> My salinity is now at a constant 1.024 with the float switch so everything is running fine there. I also am having a red slime algae thing going too. I was debating whether or not to do a large water change to battle the pH and the red slime or continue battling the pH at the moment with a couple of small ones. Couldn't hurt either way could it?  <couldn't hurt... but simply increase water flow and skim more aggressively. Slime algae can be easily knocked out in 2 weeks in doing so> It seems as though the red slime is more prevalent with the lower pH. Is this normal?  <correct> Any help would be appreciated.  <higher RedOx as with ozone reduces nuisance algae too> Thanks, Jeff  <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Crocea clam tipping Hi, <<Hello... JasonC here.>> enclosed is a pic of the pH testers that I have. Is this a hand held type as you are describing? <<Yes.>> Is this the low grade type as in your reply or is this the better type that you suggest? <<That would be 'the better type'.>> If not, what type do you recommend that I purchase and where can I get them? <<You should be all set.>> How much do they typically cost? I paid $70 for this one and the other just like it. <<$70 is typical.>> Also, the same day I bought the "burping" clam I also bought a very very dark green Acropora that had two commensal crabs on it. They are white with a black stripe across their eyes. Sadly, after all attempts to save the coral after having been stung by one of my frogspawn, the Acro has died and the crabs are still on the dead skeleton. Will they migrate to one of my other Acros or do you think I need to move them to another manually? <<I'd leave them to their own devices, unless you plan to throw the dead coral out.>> I'd hate to lose the crabs. They are the cutest looking crabs we have ever had the fortune of having. What do they eat and do I need to feed them anything? <<Hard to know... there are so many crabs like this. I'd just leave them be... many use the Acropora for shelter.>> Any suggestions? Thanks, Jeff <<Cheers, J -- >>

Lighting for Maxima Clam How many hours per day of high intensity lighting does a 2-3 inch maxima clam need if it is placed in a 20 inch deep tank with 2-175W metal halide bulbs suspended 12 inches above the surface of the water? <<Probably not much more than eight... any more would probably be too much.>>

Lighting for Maxima Clam How many hours per day of high intensity lighting does a 2-3 inch maxima clam need if it is placed in a 20 inch deep tank with 2-175W metal halide bulbs suspended 12 inches above the surface of the water ? <9-10 hours would be appropriate. Maintain good water clarity (prevent yellowing) by small weekly changes of carbon rather than once monthly. Daily skimming and regular water changes too of course. Best regards, Anthony>

Deresa Clam Problem Bob, I have about a 5 inch deresa clam and a 2 1/2 in maxima clam. I have had the deresa for over a year and it has been doing very well. I just recently added the maxima about 3 months ago. To give you some info on my system, I have a 125 gallon reef tank with a mixture of hard and soft corals. I have VHO lights. All of the necessary parameters for good water quality are where they should be. Both of my clams are on the floor of my tank. About two days ago I noticed my deresa clam was leaning to one side, which I didn't think much of because it sometimes would tip over because a fish would swim by and spook it. I went to straighten it up with a little stick I have like I have done hundreds of times before and noticed that the clam didn't close right away from the contact. As a matter of fact, it almost seemed like the two halves of the shells were not aligned anymore either. When I tried straightening the clam by lifting the one half of the shell it sort of moved independently of the other one. This seems to have gotten worse over the last few days. The mantle is not receded or anything and still has good color. The clam just isn't opening up fully like it used to and the what holds the two halves together seems to have lost the strength to hold itself together and close fully. The clam is showing no signs at all of being attacked by anything. I see no holes from worms. There were a couple of those supposedly reef safe snail with the small, flat, purple and brown shell that only come out at night hiding underneath the shell but I'm pretty sure these are not doing anything to the clam. <if you are referring to Stomatella "paper-shell" snails then I agree> I know it may be hard to determine the cause of the problem but do you have any idea what would cause this?  <I'm concerned if the clams were kept on the sand bottom without a rock buried underneath them. Attachment to a small rock is critical... it prevents snails, worms and crabs from preying from below through the vulnerable abductor port/muscle. Pyramidellid snails are very tiny (like grains of rice as adults!) and very damaging over time. Another concern I have is the lack of light at depth... I fear the clam has been starving from inadequate light. As bright as VHO lamps seem to be... they are very weak at depth: they are only good for the top 12" of water and degrade rapidly below that. So if the clams are at the bottom of an 18-24" deep tank... they are not getting enough light. Starvation may be an issue here> Is there anything I can do to reverse whatever is happening to the clam. If not, should I immediately remove it from my tank before it maybe spreads to my other clam which sits right next to it?  <unlikely to be contagious... look for Pyram snails and other predators (crabs, bristle worms) and move the clams to within the top 12" of the surface> I appreciate any help or advice you may offer on this problem. Thank you, Gianluca Carpinelli <best regards, Anthony>

Clam Lighting How many hours per day of high intensity lighting does a 2-3 inch maxima clam need if it is placed in a 20 inch deep tank with 2-175W metal halide bulbs suspended 12 inches above the surface of the water? <<Hi Jacqueline, Craig answering while the WWM crew is attending MACNA. Clams are light hungry and require the highest intensity lighting. Even with 175 watt MH's I would still place this clam close to the top of the tank. The very minimum would be six hours a day with the best of light but I would about double that to ten to twelve hours for your clam to grow and thrive. I personally use 12 hours. Small clams do well placed in a removable container so they can be target fed with phytoplankton. Feeding is actually more important for small clams than light at this stage, although they need the best of both to thrive. Cheers, Craig>>

Clams and snails Hi Bob, <on the Calfo train today... Anthony in your service. First stop... Mollusks> I am setting up a 125 gallon reef tank. I currently have nothing but 180 lbs of live rock.  <an excellent start... a good skimmer too, right? Very important to get that thing working daily in the early stages.> it is starting to grow algae and diatoms. I want to get a cleanup crew of snails and crabs, etc.  <OK... but do rely mostly on daily skimmate production, carbon and water changes to control most nutrients> however, I eventually want to have giant clams. I've been reading Knop's book on them and he recommends against having snails.  <well... not all snails. He simply refers to the omnivorous or predatory nature of some common species. However, common Astraea Turbo snails are quite fine> this seems pretty extreme to me. how do you keep up with algae and detritus with no snails.  <again... I can't emphasize it enough to friends... getting your skimmer to produce a full cup of dark skimmate every day can eradicate most nuisance algae even when severe. Invest in a good skimmer and make it work hard, my friend> thanks, john Kim <Best regards, Anthony>

Re: clams and snails hi Anthony, thank you for your prompt reply. I have an ETSS evolution 500 skimmer powered by an Iwaki 20 RLT pump. it has been set up and running but it does not produce a cup of dark skimmate a day. it is more like tea colored water,  <a fine skimmer... you just need to tweak it some more to get dark daily skimmate. Little less air or water in this case to prevent tea colored product> with terribly smelly gunk building up on the tube which I clean once a week.  <excellent... you may even need to clean that internal coating more than once weekly to get really sweet production> my tank has a life reef skimmer and a marine life cr-500 calcium reactor. the return pump is a Iwaki 55 RLT.  do you think that I have a good skimmer?  <the ETS yes> how can I get it to produce that much dark skimmate a day? <likely reduce the water flow just a bit to make the foam climb higher and drier. Also, see how it is fed: is it getting surface extracted water or water drawn from a dilute and fluctuating sump level? Skimmer boxes that catch raw overflowing water are best to feed skimmers> thanks, john <best regards, Anthony>

Water movement in clam tank Hello everyone at WWM, <Howdy> I am planning an 85 gal. flatback hex tank (48 x 18 x 24), and the critical species that will inhabit the tank are Tridacnid clams. Can you help clarify my confusion over the flow rate for the tank? <I'll try> Daniel Knop's book on giant clams states that "we have to do with much less performance when keeping clams. . . that is, five times the aquarium volume. . . seems reasonable to me." (pg. 147) That seems pretty low. <Mmm, it's okay... given "complete" movement of the water (little "dead areas")> I am trying to keep the specs of the tank as close to standard as possible to keep the costs down. The tank can be constructed with up to four 1" drains and four or six 3/4" returns connected to 3/4" centipede return fittings for directional control. With this setup, the flow rate should max out at 1200 GPH--yes? <Okay... bear in mind this is "real" flow rate versus an estimated value. In actual practice almost no pump installations yield near rated flow rates per interval> Now the $6,400 question(s): Is this flow rate appropriate for a clam tank? Too much? Too little? <About right. Most Tridacnid species, individuals will put up with, even enjoy greater water movement... as long as it's not directly blasting on them continuously> Any wisdom you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Your Web site has been a valuable resource for me in properly planning this tank. Thank you all! <Glad to hear this. Bob Fenner> Jeff

Colored squamosas Hi Robert: <Steven Pro this evening.> I got your contact info off wetwebfotos.com. Do you know where I could locate any colored squamosas? <Do check out the links page on www.WetWebMedia.com, this is the original information website. WWF is moving towards the selling of images.> I am looking for blue, green, or purple. <Do be aware that certain species only come in some colors. Squamosas are generally not the brilliant colors of Maxima's and Crocea's.> Thanks, Kris Duggan of BerlinMethod.com <Good luck in your search. -Steven Pro>

Crocea clam tipping Hi, I e-mailed you last week about the Crocea clam that I bought when I was down in Indy and while I was there the attendant suggested I "burp" the clam I already have to see if there was already any air in it or under it that would keep if from extending its mantle. You guys got a good laugh out of it as I knew you would.  <yes, my friend... I recall. Thank you :)!!!> I didn't think there was any validity to "burping" a clam.  <heck... I'm just grateful that the LFS attendant didn't have a proctological fixation> Actually the one that he picked up and "burped" right in front of us looked pretty pissed off when it was "burped" for instructional purposes.  <heehee... imagine how it would have reacted to the anal probe?!?> The crocea is now in my tank under my now (4) 160watt VHOs instead of the 6 that I had and also the 400 watt MH. It is on the bottom in the sand and I am told by you fellas that he/she is getting plenty of light and I agree. The problem is that the clam is tilting himself to the side. I have tried to prop him up against a small piece of live rock and it is still wanting to tilt.  <Ahhh... first mistake (possibly): all clams MUST be set upon a flat rock even if it is buried in the sand. Else you can count on a worm, snail or crab crawling up the byssal port and killing it within a year. A common mistake with clams> Should I keep trying to prop it up so it is oriented toward the light or should I just leave it be for the first couple of weeks until it is used to the lights and the conditions? Any help would as usual be appreciated.  <after placing the clam on a small flat rock on the sand bottom, put a temporary "campfire" of rubble/rock around the clam to keep it supported and upright. Within 2 weeks it will set new tissue down upon the flat rock and stay upright. You can remove the surrounding rubble then> Thanks, Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Crocea clam tipping Hi and thanks for the re. I noticed when placing the clam in the tank that it already has a piece of rock attached to its byssal threads on the underside and this is why I felt it would be OK to place the critter on the sandy bottom.  <agreed> I wanted to gradually acclimate it to the lighting by putting it on the bottom and because this is the only spot available in the tank at the moment.  <indeed best to acclimate most clams and coral on the bottom of bright/halide lit tanks first> Should I build a fire around it in the meantime and make sure it is oriented toward the light?  <yes, my friend> Thanks, Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Strange thing growing on clam shell Mr. Fenner and staff, <cheers, my friend> My Tridacna clam has something growing on its shell. I can see around 6 of them growing on various parts of the shell. I took a picture and have attached the file. Do you think I should pick them off with my fingers? <before you go molesting harmless reef invertebrates please re-send the picture. It did not come through> Is it okay for the clam to be out of the water while I do this? Please let me know ASAP if I should take it out. I want to do it before it hurts my poor clam. Thanks. Robert <clam shells are designed to attract (!) commensal and cryptic growth by design. It is extremely unlikely that the growth is harmful. Sponges, tunicates, etc are common... to be grazed at best (by the fishes... not you unless you are really hungry. Best regards, Anthony>

Tridacna clam and stinging neighbors? Hello ! <cheers!> I have tried to find the answer to this matter in the literature, but failed so far. Are Tridacna clams sensitive to stings from other corals or anemones ?  Ore are they immune to these stings ? <they are tolerant of many but not immune. In time, some Cnidarian stings seem to take a toll on the Tridacnid. It is good husbandry to not let any reef invertebrates touch each other and in many cases just being inches away is still a problem with noxious shed chemicals (nettles, nematocysts, etc)> Best regards - Magnus Petersson / Sweden <best regards, Anthony>

Crocea Clam Hello again and keep those great A's coming for all the Q's that are asked of you. <<I will do my best.>> Thanks!! <<And you are welcome.>> I have a few more questions for you. I bought a crocea clam today from a large saltwater fish store in Indy and was asking questions about why its mantle was so huge and opened up and reaching for the light like it was. Its mantle was protruding from its shell like no other I have ever seen before. It was extended at least 2-4 inches all the way around and was an absolutely stunning sight to see. It was kept under 250 watt MH and I was told they have had it there for about 4 months. I told the attendant that I already have a derasa in my tank on the bottom in my 180 under 400 watt 6500K Iwasakis and that its mantle only ever extends from its shell maybe a half inch or so at the most. The attendant suggested that I "burp" my clam by picking it up and turning it over and shaking it back and forth to try to dislodge any air that may be inside or under it to see if that would help to get the clam to extend further than it does. Have you ever heard of this and is this something that is recommended or practiced? <<No, I've never heard of this... and don't know why turning it upside down [wouldn't the bubbles then head farther into the organism] would help at all.>> I have never heard of this but will try if it will help get my clam to open up more than it does. <<I would quickly guess that you have too much light, or perhaps more than the derasa feels it needs. Anthony Calfo and I have spoken at length about these things - in the average tank, the bottom is in fact so close to the light that reflected light causes many organisms burn over time under the intense lighting - something in between - say the two 250w instead of two 400w halides seem to result in more tolerant behavior from the animals kept, clams included.>> I have had it for over a year and it has grown quite a bit in that time period, about 1-2 inches of shell. Any suggestions? <<Perhaps try raising the lights a couple of inches higher than they are now.>> Also, how long should I keep my 400 watt MHs on? I currently have them on for about one and a half hours in the middle of the day. <<You could go for up to eight hours, not much more.>> Should I increase the photo period of my MH over a 3-4 week period? <<If you intend to increase the photo period of these intense lights, then by all means, acclimate the tank slowly.>> I also have 6, 6 foot VHOs over the tank and under the MH which doesn't allow all of the light from the MHs to actually reach the tank. Any suggestions here? Lose a couple of the VHOs? <<That's what I was going to say. You've really got what I would consider to be a ridiculous amount of light. If you could see these creatures where they live, you'd realize that your lighting system is really more than is useful to them.>> Also, do I need to stir the media in my calcium reactor every once in a while? <<Yes, you should give the whole reactor a good shake about once a month.>> The alkalinity in my tank has been dropping the last week or so and has been dropping in the reactor as well. <<Don't know if this is the actual cause, but typically the media should be swapped out every three to six months - it certainly doesn't last forever.>> It was at 11-12( a little high) in the tank and 30-40 in the effluent from the reactor for the first 1-2 months that I had it in operation but has slowly been declining. <<Having the dkH of the effluent that high isn't really useful - you'll end up with more calcium precipitated on the end of the effluent valve then you will in the tank. Something like 15 to 16 will put more free calcium in the tank and still benefit your alkalinity.>> The alkalinity now is 7 (which isn't extremely low but I would like to keep it higher) in the tank and 20 in the effluent. <<Just keep in mind that the high numbers that reef keepers like to boast about don't really reflect those of the real world. Shooting for real world numbers will give better results.>> I have had my calc reactor running for about 2 and a half months now and have only filled it with media once. <<Again, you shouldn't need to do this very often unless you have the thing out of adjustment, too much CO2 for instance.>> I'm still new to the calcium reactor. Any clues? <<Go slow.>> Thanks, Jeff <<Cheers, J -- >>

Crocea Clam (Anthony's response) Hello again and keep those great A's coming for all the Q's that are asked of you.  <yep... just a bunch of A's here> Thanks!! I have a few more questions for you.  <OK> I bought a crocea clam today from a large saltwater fish store in Indy and was asking questions about why its mantle was so huge and opened up and reaching for the light like it was.  <sometimes good health... just as often old lamps/poor light (aged MH, weak fluorescents, etc) and the animal is just panning for light. Really... size doesn't matter. Corals fleshing out in a short matter of days or weeks is not growth either... it is an animal panning for light FYI> Its mantle was protruding from its shell like no other I have ever seen before. It was extended at least 2-4 inches all the way around and was an absolutely stunning sight to see. It was kept under 250 watt MH and I was told they have had it there for about 4 months.  <and the theory holds true if the bulb was over 2 years old likely> I told the attendant that I already have a derasa in my tank on the bottom in my 180 under 400 watt 6500K Iwasakis and that its mantle only ever extends from its shell maybe a half inch or so at the most.  <yeah... you have a lot of light. Arguably too much and if your bulbs are less than 2 years old the mantle is not extended because you have "enough light": the animal does not need to distribute its zooxanthellae to catch more of a weakly available light source... in fact. Yours is quite possibly terrified that its flesh will be burned off in that shallow water...heehee> The attendant suggested that I "burp" my clam by picking it up and turning it over and shaking it back and forth to try to dislodge any air that may be inside or under it to see if that would help to get the clam to extend further than it does.  <hahhahhahhahhahhahhah...hehehhehhhehhe.....hooohoohoohoohoooh....hahhahahahhahahhahh> Have you ever heard of this and is this something that is recommended or practiced?  <HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....hahhahahhahhahahha... Ahhh, no. Never heard of it and I am... somewhat... "dubious" of the suggestion> I have never heard of this but will try if it will help get my clam to open up more than it does.  <maybe the LFS attendant would like you to tickle its bum next... the cheeky little monkey> I have had it for over a year and it has grown quite a bit in that time period, about 1-2 inches of shell. Any suggestions?  <yep... stop worrying my friend and thank that clerk for me. The proof is in the pudding: you have a healthy growing clam... the burpless variety> Also, how long should I keep my 400 watt MHs on?  <90 seconds daily> I currently have them on for about one and a half hours in the middle of the day.  <actually... rather short. More like 4-6 hours likely needed. Truth be told... 400 watts are a waste of electricity over tanks less than 30" IMO unless you are hardcore SPS and clams (little or no LPS, soft coral, zoanthids, etc). I am hoping that your VHOs are at least 3" near the water and on for 10-14 hours daily> Should I increase the photo period of my MH over a 3-4 week period?  <gradually yes please. And keep them at least 12" off the surface (perhaps as high as 24"... a PAR meter is really needed hear. A fine investment)> I also have 6, 6 foot VHOs over the tank and under the MH which doesn't allow all of the light from the MHs to actually reach the tank. Any suggestions here? Lose a couple of the VHOs?  <I simply cannot say without knowing your invertebrates and assessing their needs. Read here please: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm> Also, do I need to stir the media in my calcium reactor every once in a while?  <yes...shake periodically and replace several times yearly. Some great FAQs and articles in our WetWebMedia archives on this topic. A fine piece by our Jason C at: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm> The alkalinity in my tank has been dropping the last week or so and has been dropping in the reactor as well. It was at 11-12( a little high) in the tank and 30-40 in the effluent from the reactor for the first 1-2 months that I had it in operation but has slowly been declining. The alkalinity now is 7 (which isn't extremely low but I would like to keep it higher) in the tank and 20 in the effluent.  <agreed...still acceptable but on the low end... do review the above piece> I have had my calc reactor running for about 2 and a half months now and have only filled it with media once. I'm still new to the calcium reactor. Any clues? Thanks, Jeff <kind regards, Anthony>

Tridacna maxima links Dear Bob, Could you please direct me to the above links/faq's? Thanks in advance. Balachandran Chandrasekaran <begin here and then explore the links at the top of this and successive pages): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tridacnidart.htm>

Coral question and clam identification? Water quality in 55 gallon tank. PH 8.4 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Calcium 340ppm Alkalinity 9.8 dKH Salinity 1.025 Temp 78 - 80 Lighting 1-Actinic 95w VHO 1- Aquasun 95w VHO 1-Actinic 30w Coralife 1- 10,000k 30w Coralife <Okey-dokey> This piece of coral is about 6 inches from the top of the tank and has looked like this for a few days now.  <lighting is somewhat weak for this Neptheid (AKA "Kenyan Tree Coral"), but unlikely to elicit this response> It was about 12 inches from the top a few weeks ago and looked good when I moved it but now it looks like this.  <perhaps a just acclimating> Is this normal or is it to close to the top of the tank?  <definitely not too close... in fact, this beautiful coral will turn turquoise under a bank of VHO blues (2-4 lights)> Also can you please identify this type of clam for me. It has a brownish look to it although it looks a little different in the picture. Thank You. <I would need a better picture to be sure but you may have a very interesting clam here! Tridacnids are rather easy to identify but yours looks like it could be a hybrid of two species known to hybridize. The mantle is conspicuously like a T. squamosa... but the shell does not have the characteristic worn scutes of a T. squamosa, and instead looks worn and ribbed like a T. derasa. Still the picture is not clear enough. A close up of the shell and mantle separately would help if clear. Best regards, Anthony> 

Clams Hi Bob, Want to pass something by you. You may or may not be aware that a lot of people are losing clams after buy clam/s that are coming from Pohnpei so I have been told.  <Have heard this from others> The people that have contacted me are saying that once they placed this clam in their tank with a day or so the clam dies and then a chain reaction starts, some have lost clams that they have had for several months or years. Some think it is a bacteria infection. My question is, if indeed this is correct will the bacteria infection remain the tank or even stay in the LR or substrate. Some people have reported good luck using Doxycycline as a treatment. <Have also heard this> Do you have any information or suggestion on this subject? <Will send to others here> All is going well on this end. Thanks for you help in the past and yes ClamsDirect is doing well thanks to some of your help. :) <Very good to hear/read of your success. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Best Regards, Barry

Clam help Hi to all, I received an order today from FFE with a clam and a LPS coral. I currently run a reef aquarium with clams and a mix of soft and hard corals. All is fine including the new LPS coral. Although the new clam isn't so fine, after eight hours of being in my tank I noticed my Sally Lightfoot and a hermit crab <neither are categorically "reef safe" for the record. Many random problems reported with these and most all omnivorous crabs in the long run> are picking and eating at the little clam. It now is turning white towards the rear and not looking so well. These guys have never bothered the clams that have been in my tank and like I said the new LPS coral is looking great. What is wrong?  Why are they doing this to the new clam? Are they being rude, or was there an underling problem I didn't know about and there just taking care of it? Please help. Thank you so much... <the clams sounds like it is stressed, weak or dying... perhaps shipped badly or simply was sent to you after recent (hours) import and has been traveling for many days, week or longer. Still... it is giving off the international signal for lunch. Keep it on the bottom (please tell me that you didn't start it high up... if so, read the acclimatization article on Wet Web Media at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm) and perhaps put a mesh net or other guard over it to screen it from the omnivores while it stabilizes. Best regards, Anthony>

Clam likes to be on its side? Nope! Hello Bob, Anthony, Steven, and the rest of the crew: <Whassssup, dude?>> I have a ~3" blue t. maxima purchased on July 4th. After acclimating him, I placed him onto an old Trochus shell so that he could attach his byssal muscle (?)  <very wise> and oriented him upright (Trochus shell buried) on my DSB, 19-20" under 2 175w MHs (+ 130w supplemental PCs).  <reasonable> He has remained fully open and responsive to movement since the 2nd day. I have found no parasites. However, he tends to roll over onto his side, pulling the Trochus shell out of the sand (I righted him once and he rolled back over within 24 hrs.). His byssal parts are protected by the Trochus shell but I am worried if he is getting enough light laying on his side. Is this ok? <nope... very harmful even after only a few days. Reposition as before but put a small "campfire" of live rock rubble around it temporarily until it settles in. These clams live buried in rock (!!!) naturally and wild ones are broken out of it. They need to feel secure. After a few weeks you can pull the rock rubble away> Also, I have found mixed advice on the depth. Some say that this is ok, others suggest moving him higher into the rockwork. So far I am leaning toward leaving him in the sand, but what do you think? <eventually a little higher, but for now leave it be to acclimate properly. A move will only stress it more> Finally, just for reference, here are the steady parameters in my 72g tank: temp: 80, SG: 1.025, pH: 8.3, Alk: 4.0 meq/l, Ca: 400, no nitrate/phosphate. Btw Anthony, I received my copy of your coral propagation book and have enjoyed it very much.  <thank you my friend!> I have been employing your digital pH/CaOH "slurry" method along with dKH buffer and my pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels have really stabilized nicely.  <excellent... it is indeed an amazingly simple way to dose Kalkwasser and enjoy its many benefits> I emailed a while back about a frogspawn that has grown anthocauli (?) on a previously dead branch and the growth is continuing at a substantial rate. Still trying to get good photos.  <outstanding... yes please send pics of the buds> Too small for a digital camera for now. Ed Marshall, Austin, TX

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