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FAQs about Giant Clam Systems

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

An ideal, clam-specialized system by Clams Direct

Crocea Clam Issues/Tridacna Systems/Health 3/31/2011
Hey folks,
I have a question about my crocea clam who has been in my tank for over a year now. As you can see in the picture, there are spots (circled in red) on the mantle which appear bleached. It has not always had these spots, though I can't really pinpoint when they developed. In addition there on one side of the shell there is an organism (circled in yellow) which is a sort of transparent black color. You can see there are a number of siphons coming off this thing. Is this an actinian?
<No, appears to be a tunicate colony. An actinian is a sea anemone in the order of Actinaria.>
Its been there for at least 6 months. I tried cleaning it off with a toothbrush when I first noticed it, but I probably didn't get it all because it came right back. Neither issue seems to bother the clam very much in an obvious way. You can see from the second pic, there continues to be steady and constant growth. The photo was taken first thing in the morning after actinics came on, but before metal halide.
This particular reef tank is 65g with a 29g sump/fuge. It is about two years old. Houses a mix of sps and lps corals and very few fish (2 ocellaris, a Pseudochromis porphyreus and a yellow watchman goby) . There's a clean up crew and lately we've had a population explosion of snails and feather dusters. It sits about 8 inches under a single 250w hqi MH at 10K, supplemented by 4 39w T5s. Right now I've got Wave Point Coral Wave bulbs in there (very pink). <??> The clam itself is just over a foot beneath the light source. This is a pretty low nutrient tank so basic chemistry is consistently at 0 including nitrates and phosphate. Daytime pH is 8.5, night time 8.1, dKH is 8. I have not tested calcium recently because the only thing that gets dosed regularly is Kalk from top off water that runs through a Kalk stirrer. The tank is fed pretty heavily once a day and sometimes twice with a variety of foods including rod's food, oyster feast, some pellet and Nori.
The tank is basically thriving and the clam seems to be doing so too. I just want to make sure these two issues are not of long term concern but if so, what is your opinion on the action to take. Also, will those bleached spots ever fill back in?
<I believe you problem lies in the sterility of your system. Tridacna actually prefer and use nitrates in the water. Suggest you read here and articles/FAQs found at the foot of the article.
And here.
Thanks in advance!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>


Clams And Calcium -- 06/30/09
Hey crew,
<<Hey Al'¦Eric here>>
I have a bit of a problem coming my way very soon,
I ordered some clams online: three crocea that are three inches each, got to get em while I can, anyways I already have a two inch Maxima and a four inch Derasa.
<<Okay'¦don't see any problems yet>>
I have a 40 breeder tank and I am able to keep calcium at about 420ppm by dosing Kent nano A+B and doing water changes.
<<There are better two-part products to use, in my opinion'¦but, okay>>
Now I know this is very likely to change with the addition of the new clams and I have already made plans to sell a few but I am stuck with all five for at least a week or so.
<<Again, I don't see a problem here. Water changes alone (done frequently enough) could keep the clams supplied with the bio-minerals they require'¦and with proper testing and dosing of a two-part product you certainly shouldn't have any issues re>>
My question for you is what can I do to keep calcium and Alk stable and at proper levels besides adding a calcium reactor?
<<As already stated'¦ But before you get too worried, let's see what happens with the addition of the three new clams. I don't expect your water parameters to experience the sudden and radical change you seem to be expecting. But even so, some increased diligence on your part along with your current routine (possibly modified a bit re frequency/dosage if necessary) should suffice here>>
I've thought about dripping Kalk water but I'm not sure if there is something else I can do.
<<This is a possibility 'but it is very likely not necessary here>>
Do you know if Kent's Liquid Reactor would be a better alternative?
<<I would stick with a 'two-part' Alkaline/Calcium additive>>
Or is there some other 2 part calcium buffer you would recommend?
<<Indeed'¦ ESV Bionic or Two Little Fishies C-Balance>>
Thanks in advance for your insight!
<<Happy to assist'¦ By the way, have you seen this article? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I3/Tridacna/artGotTridacna.htm EricR>>

Questions about keeping clams Clams/Systems 3/3/09 <Hello Elaine?> I have a 29gal (1yr old), with about 30-35lbs of liverock, various zoos, a Torch coral, a RBTA, Hammer coral and a Bubble coral. I have a Octopus 100ss hob skimmer, 2 different filters. and a Current USA Nova SunDial T5 Aquarium Lighting Fixture, 4X39 Watt, 36 inch. (with I believe has individual reflectors.) can I keep any type of clams? <The Derasa, Squamosa, and Gigas are much less light needy compared to Crocea, and one of these could be kept with your present lighting system. I would change one of the actinics to a 10K lamp as I believe your fixture came with two 10K and two actinic lamps. May want to read here on care/requirements of clams. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I3/Tridacna/artGotTridacna.htm
James (Salty Dog)>

Clam Question, Crocea, sys. mostly  11/22/08 Greetings all....again!! <Hello there Rob.> I am back again with two questions, again! Thanks for all your help in the past. And thanks for your patient answers, to often the same question over and over again! <A pleasure to help where possible.> I just purchased a clam! It's my first. <Congratulations.> I did my research before diving in and settled on a Crocea. Beautiful little thing, its about 3 1/2", deep purple with electric blue "stars"! I read many opinions on there care level. Some say its the most demanding, others say this is not so. <Personally I find Croceas not to be terribly difficult. The problem is usually lighting.> I decided with care in transport and acclimation I would really be fine either way. I understand its basic needs. <Good.> And as long as they are met, even a so called difficult species is no longer difficult!....I hope. <Tis not.> I hear mixed reviews on its feeding needs also, so I decided to feed it. Even if it doesn't need it, what would it hurt? I have no nutrient levels in the tank and it can certainly support the addition of phyto. I am using "Dt's" right now and will be starting my own culture with a drip method next week. <Sounds good.> To my questions, 1: I have two 175 watt Hamilton 14k bulbs over the 65 gallon tank. The clam is on live rock about 7 inches from the bottom, about 18" from the lights. I know this is not the ideal Kelvin temp. and I would want to keep it closer to the light. I placed it near the bottom for acclimation purposes. But its color has improved in the week and a half its been in this spot. The mantel is not stretched abnormally, but is as it should be. It was aqua cultured and grown in a green house in MD. With it responding like this, is it necessary to move it closer to the light? <No, with two MH on a 36 long tank you have quite a bit of overlap, it sounds like this clam is getting plenty of light.> It is however in the path of my yellow tangs course around the tank. Every couple of minutes it goes shooting over the clam making it pull in its mantle. This may occur several times in a period of five minutes, and may not occur at times for 15 or so minutes. Would it be ideal to move the clam out of this path? I can't imagine in nature this doesn't frequently occur. <I would move it, ideally the tang to a longer tank with more swimming space.> 2: This could be a dumb one! It may be possible that something of such common knowledge is just not mentioned very often. And someone who does not ask the question and is a bit naive may not know! Well this could be me! <All of us at times re certain subjects!> I was told that I should only be using food grade containers instead of my plastic tubs because of chemical leaching. The tubs have never been used for anything else. Even if they do leach, I would imagine that it would be so minute that it would have very little impact. <True.> And the carbon and possibly skimming would take care of it......Or is it common knowledge and am I just behind the curve? <Nah, you can use regular plastic bins/containers. Most of these do use a release agent during manufacturing, so just give the thing a good wash before using.> Thank you for your time, and sharing your wealth of knowledge! <Welcome.> Cheers, Rob <Have fun, Scott V.>

Tridacna clam behaviour  10/7/08 Hi guys, <Hello again Jason!> I wonder if I could ask you a clam question? I have a beautiful blue Tridacna clam. I originally had him on a flat ledge, which he didn't like and worked his way off. I figured the best thing to do was to leave him on the sand bed. He seems very happy there. My concern however, is that he seems like he digs himself into the sand in a way that he is almost tipping over. His bottom is slightly exposed. I can see from the bottom of the aquarium that his foot is planted, and I have very carefully tried to straighten him out by moving the sand back around him to keep him up, but he returns to the same state every day or so... can you please tell me if I need to worry about this or just let him be? My lighting is 2x250 halides, and my calcium levels are around 420-460. <Let him be, he's happy, he has put himself where he wants to be. Remember, he is a live creature and will adjust himself to his liking. While it's not always the way that we like/want, we have to understand and accept that they will move around and position themselves in a way that makes them happy.> Thanks so much Jason

Tridacna clam behaviour, natural, reading   10/7/08 Hi guys, <Jason> I wonder if I could ask you a clam question? <Sure> I have a beautiful blue Tridacna clam. I originally had him on a flat ledge, which he didn't like and worked his way off. <Mmmm... are you aware of this species... where it lives?> I figured the best thing to do was to leave him on the sand bed. <Okay...> He seems very happy there. My concern however, is that he seems like he digs himself into the sand in a way that he is almost tipping over. <What "they" do> His bottom is slightly exposed. I can see from the bottom of the aquarium that his foot is planted, and I have very carefully tried to straighten him out <Mmm... I wouldn't do this... I would supply something "solid" for this animal to join its byssus to...> by moving the sand back around him to keep him up, but he returns to the same state every day or so... can you please tell me if I need to worry about this or just let him be? <This last> My lighting is 2x250 halides, and my calcium levels are around 420-460. Thanks so much Jason <FWIt's all W, I would be reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_1/cav1i3/Clam_care/Clam_care.htm and all the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

Giant clam question/s, sys., comp.   07/22/2008 Hi! <<Hello, Andrew today>> Hope you all aren't burning up like I am down here in sunny Phoenix, AZ! <<Not likely, currently experiencing day after day of rain and cloud here in England.. He he he>> Because it's so hot, I've been spending more and more time indoors and thinking, a dangerous combination, especially for my wallet. I have decided that I want to try keeping a giant clam. I plan on setting up a new aquarium for it. I understand that clams like well established tanks, but what exactly does this mean? If I take utilize sand and liverock from my existing tank, would that count? I'm definitely not averse to waiting 6-9 months for the tank get truly established, but I wasn't sure. <<My honest opinion is to wait until the tank matures before going down the route of adding a clam. This will help in the long run by providing a nice stable / matured environment>> I'm wondering about the compatibility of these fish with the clam. Of course each individual fish are different, but is there anything that jumps out at you? Tomato clown, pearly Jawfish, 4-stripe damsel, coral (pixie) Hawkfish, blue-legged hermit, skunk shrimp, and thinking of various snails. <<Compatibility wise, I see no compatibility issues between the above and a clam. However, I would say that the Hawkfish is not "overly" compatible with the shrimp. These would be classed as lunch by the Hawkfish, who do have a large mouth and specially designed conical teeth for eating>> Thank you for your time! <<Thanks for the questions, I hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Maxima Clam lighting and water flow 04/09/2008 Hello Crew, <<G'Morning, Andrew today>> Long time reader first time writer. I have been searching through the multitude of pages and information on the site, but have not found the specific information that I am looking for. I am currently running a 20H with a Rena XP2, Red Sea Wavemaster Pro running two MaxiJet 600's on the reef turbulent setting and a SeaClone 100 skimmer. I follow the Garf.org sites recommendations for supplements and have a good growth of coralline algae. <<Supplements? Which ones?>> In the tank I have assorted button and clove polyps, a bull's-eye mushroom, a devils hand leather , a cabbage leather, a feather duster, a branching torch coral, and an evergreen starburst polyp. I have two false Perculas, two black and white damsels and a yellow tang <<Yellow tang needs a bigger home, at least 75gallon>>. My clean up crew consists of 5 turbo Astrea snails, 5 scarlet hermits, 1 peppermint shrimp and a sand sifting star. I have 15 lbs of Fiji premium live rock from DrsFosterSmith.com arranged in a patch reef arrangement in the center of the tank with a minimum of two inches of clearance from the sides all the way around. The sand bed is 2" deep. I am running 2X65W PC's with 10,000k and Actinic and two blue moon led's. The photoperiod is 8a to 8p actinic, 9:30a to 6:30p white light, and led's all other. <<8 Hours of white light is more than adequate>> The tank has been running for seven months and the polyps have done amazing in spreading and all of the corals have new growth and open fully. I have ordered a maxima from ORA and would like to know where in the tank to place him and if my lighting is sufficient. <<In my opinion, your lighting is not sufficient to support a maxima clam as these are a more light intensive SP. Couple hundred watts of T5 or metal halides are more suited. Placement wise, place on the substrate to start with, while its getting used to a tank for a week, and then moved to a suitable location on the rockwork>> I have read that they do not like a lot of water flow and I want to ensure that it opens up and thrives. <<Clams, as a norm, do not like high flowing tanks, however, the maxima can tolerate this to a certain degree>> Thanks for listening (reading) my long winded dissertation. Dave <<Hope this helps Dave, Good luck in what you chose. A Nixon>>

Adding a clam - 8-10-08 Hello, <How goes it? Mike here> I am thinking of adding a clam into my 55 gallon FOWLR tank running for about 2 years now. The tank is 4ft long and 18" deep and has a 1.5 inch deep sand bed with live rock. The light fixture has 6 t-5's (4 white 10 000k and 2 actinics). 4 of the bulbs are Current USA 54W and the other two Corallife bulbs should be 54 W as well. Currently, the time for the light is set for the actinics to turn on first (four hours before the other ones). <I would just have them all come on at the same time - no real reason to try for a 'sunup' effect> All the lights are on for 9 hours, and there is 4 lunar lights on at night. <Go for 10-14> The ph is 8.4, calcium at 450ppm, nitrate=0, nitrite=0, ammonia 0 to very low, phosphate=0. The temperature of the water during winter months is 74- 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84-88 degrees F during the summer months with fan blowing (chiller not an option due to budget). <Anything over ~84 is too hot, especially for inverts for months on end. Invest in a chiller rather than a clam> We use a Fluval 404 and a protein skimmer along with 2 other powerheads (no sump). We use RO water and do a 15% bi weekly water change with Kent Marine salt. I am thinking of adding a clam and the only two species that I find at my LFS are T. maxima and T. crocea (mainly maxima.) After doing some research, I found out that clams can be kept under t-5 light if put high up on the rockwork. Do you think I will be able to keep a T. maxima or T. crocea in my tank under the t5's I currently have if they are placed high up on the rockwork? <Yep, as long as you get the high temp problem resolved - you could always "ghetto rig" a chiller: run a tube of water through a small refrigerator, which can be had for ~$50> If so, will frequent water changes be enough to replenish trace elements and occasionally dosing tropic Marin bio-calcium? If any, are there any other additives/ supplements that are required for these clams? Do I have to occasionally feed the clam phytoplankton or what other food is needed? <Answers to these questions can be found in our archives, but the short of it is clams need calcium levels to stay above 300ppm all of the time, and need to be fed phytoplankton> If I am able to keep it, after researching, I am still confused about light acclimation for the clams as they are under Metal Halides in the LFS and am wondering how to adjust them to the t-5's. <You're likely going from a higher intensity to a slightly lower intensity, so I wouldn't worry about it - place the clams in the rockwork and then leave them alone and don't move them unless they move themselves> Sorry for all of these questions as I am really hoping to be able to keep such a beautiful specimen in my aquarium but would like to know if the current conditions are acceptable for keeping a clam. Thank you for your time and advice! <Anytime. Please read further regarding Tridacna spp. in our archives - M. Maddox>

Crocea Clam question  2-8-08 First off I must say wetwebmedia.com is awesome with so much info that I do not have enough time in a day to view even a fraction of it. <Thanks, I love the site as well> I recently purchased a Crocea clam that is currently placed at the top of my rock work. My setup is a 75 gallon with the Aquactinics Tx5 light. <Not familiar with this light> When I first got the clam I had it in the sand attaching to a piece of rock to later move. The clam seemed to like it there and the only movement from the clam was to face the current. Well I was wondering if my lights would allow the clam to rest on the sand as that is where I prefer it. I know they like rock work but if my light is sufficient to support a Crocea on the bottom I would like to do that. Also is it normal for the clam to want and face the current and should I keep that in mind on my final placement? <Do not move your clam. I repeat, do not move your clam. Placing an animal in a new home is stressful enough, a good way to kill it would be to move it around now, especially if you were to put it into the sand. T. crocea needs to be placed on the rockwork, where it will attach itself via it's byssal organ. T. crocea is subject to parasites, as well as stress when placed (unnaturally) in the sand. If it's settled into the rockwork, and made itself happy (by moving itself into a favorable condition relative to your aquariums' water movement) then it has found a spot it likes> Thanks for your help, <Anytime> Vinny <M. Maddox>

Tridacna Crocea in a Nano  10/12/07 Hi guys, love the site. I'm planning a 29 gallon Oceanic BioCube for my new bedroom and I was thinking about adding a Tridacna Crocea clam. I know the light in the tank is not enough for this clam. But because the size and beauty of this clam I want one. I have found this site that customizes BioCube and could add 2 more 36 power compacts. This would give the system 144w and just under 5 watts per gallon. If I keep the crocea close enough to the top will it live happily? Thanks. <This lighting should work out... but I do have concerns re keeping your water quality up and stable here. Have you read much re the captive care of Tridacnids? Bob Fenner>

Anemone & Clams in 40G Tank.   9/12/07 Hello, <Hi Jeff, Mich here.> Firstly, I would like to say thank-you for all of the great advice. <On behalf of Bob and the crew you're welcome!> It must be frustrating having all of these questions that you have to answer. <I suppose, to some, at times... but generally I don't think we'd do it, if some sort of pleasure weren't derived from it.> I currently own a 12g Deluxe Nano Cube with LR, 1 percula clown and 3 hermit crabs. I am thinking about upgrading to a new tank: •40G Long (48"x12"x16") •Coralife 48" Aqualight Power Compact Strip Light- 4x64Watt (lighting) •Aquarium Pharmaceuticals RENA Cal Top Light 200W (heater) •Aquarium Systems Visi-Jet Protein Skimmer (Skimmer) <I'm not familiar with this skimmer, but suspect there may be better options, AquaC and Euro-reef do come highly recommended.> •Marineland Penguin 200B (Power Filter) •(2) Pentair Aquatics Lifegard Quiet One- 800 (Powerheads) I would like to accommodate the following fish/inverts/corals: •2 Percula Clowns •1 Rose Bubble Tip Anemone or Green Carpet Anemone <This is quite a small system to house such a potential for disaster. Given these choices the RBT is a much better option. The green carpet is absolutely inappropriate for all but the very largest of systems.> •1Royal Gramma •2Firefish •2Crocea Clams •6 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs •3 Cowry Snails <Many require large systems in order to provide sufficient food. Please research the species before making your purchase.> •Pumping Xenia •Mushrooms •Button Polyps <The livestock list seems reasonable with the exception of the anemone. I must admit my personal bias here as I have seen them more or less wipe out entire systems and I'm generally not a big fan of people keeping them unless they are really dedicated to these creatures. Anemones tend to go for walks at the most inopportune times. The anemone could cause a catastrophe in such a tiny system.> Will my system be properly equipped for these animals? <Seems to be.> The lighting is 6.5wpg. I think this should be okay for this anemone and clam. <I would keep the clams high and close to the light.> I just want to check with you guys so I can't make any horrible mistakes. <Oh, you can always make horrible mistakes... with or without consultation! Murphy inevitably makes his rounds.> I have the skimmer and the power filter. <OK.> I am hoping this will be sufficient. <Worth a try if you have it, if its not cutting it, then upgrade.> Thanks in advance for the help, Jeff <Welcome! Mich>

Keeping a Clam... Not in fourteen gallons  - 05/26/07 Hi,     I have been keeping a BioCube 14 gallon  tank for the past few months, and am running at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 0  nitrate, all without a skimmer. I wish to purchase a clam. <You don't have enough volume...> I modified my  lighting to hold 72 watts of compact fluorescent lighting. I am running a 10k,  and actinic, and a 50/50 right now. What are my options as far as clams? <Really none...>   Will I need to feed it anything? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marind5_5.htm scroll down to the tray on Molluscs, the section on Tridacnids...> Calcium is at 440-460 by the way. Thanks, Anthony
<Welcome, Bob Fenner>

Tridacnid care & placement   4/1/07 <Hi Glen, Mich here.> I have recently purchased two Tridacnid clams which I am very pleased with.  So pleased that I forgot their names and could use some help with the ID.  Both are young clams, slightly larger than 4" long.  In the attached picture I have tentatively identified T. derasa in the foreground and T. crocea in the background (thanks to the descriptions in The Reef Aquarium, Vol 1). I am fairly sure about the ID of T. derasa due to the white, plate-like, symmetric shell which lacks scutes, displays very little ribbing and has a narrow byssus gland.  The other, I believe, is T. crocea due to the overflowing blue mantle, wavy edges and scutes prominent only on the upper shell margin.  The rest of the shell has well-defined ribbing.  Additionally, the shell edges are asymmetrical, with the hinge side being shorter than the byssus gland side.  The byssus gland is also very large, rounded, and extends almost to the shell edge.  A few of the eyespots also appear to extend above the mantle surface as if they were little, short tubes.  I am less sure of this ID since it also comes very close to that of T. maxima and most pictures of clams are of beautiful mantles, not shell features.  Line drawings are of very little help to me. <These ID's are correct.>    Right now the clams are placed directly on a 6" DSB, the top 2" being comprised of CaribSea Reef Base substrate, which my sleeper goby loves to sift through in this little lagoon.  I am concerned that as he does his work, the Reef Base falls onto the open mantle of the clam and may aggravate the clam.  I have even seen the clam quickly close it's shell in order to eject a few particles which have fallen into its incurrent siphon.  I'm sure that these animals are designed to contend with this situation, but should this be a concern? <I would move these clams.> Since my light source is two 65W PC 10,000K daylights and two 65W dual actinics (260W total), I am planning to move them up onto the rockwork to get closer to the light.   <I think this is wise.> Currently they are 18" from the light source and 14" under the surface of the water, which is mediocre lighting.  Moving them up on the rockwork would put them 5" - 7" closer, which should be much better for their health, but worse for our viewing pleasure. <May want to consider moving them even higher.> My only concern with placing them on the rocks is how to move them when they grow bigger.  Do I rock them a bit and cut the byssus strands close to the rock?   <I would avoid doing this if at all possible.> Can I damage the clam if I do this? <Absolutely.  Hopefully the clams have not attached to the bottom of your tank.  What I would do is lift these clams up off the sandbed and place them either on a flat rock, a large reef plug or in a clamshell and allow the byssal apparatus to attach.  This will make the clam portable and allow you to move the clam if the need arises. Basically it provides options and I think options are good.   More here and links in blue at the bottom:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Clam_care/Clam_care.htm -Mich>

Tridacna clam sys., placement   12/12/06 Hi, firstly the WWM site is awesome! <Hello there James, Mich with you tonight.  Thank you for your most kind words!>   I've had my 50g tank setup for around 6 months now, with 75lb of live rock. The tank uses no mechanic filtration, purely live rock and a very good skimmer (Deltec MCE 600) to keep things clean! <OK > I have two Arcadia 54W T5 46" lights (Blue actinic and white), the blue bulb has a Kelvin rating of 2100K and the white is 9300K. <OK> I've been looking into getting what appears to be a Tridacna crocea, from all the pictures I've found. They are all around 1 1/2 - 2" in size. <Sizes do range, but small is OK.> I was thinking of placing the clam on flat spot I have close to the top of my tank (about 4" from the surface, with the lights another 2-3" above that). Would this be acceptable? <Yes, should be.> If so, would the clam be capable of attaching itself to the live rock, or do they require some form of substrate. <You could put it directly on the live rock, but I wouldn't recommend it.   This is making a relatively permanent commitment to the given location, as you will want to do all that you can to avoid damaging the Byssal organ (the foot) once it attaches. A better solution, in my opinion, would be to put the clam in, and I know how wrong this sounds in the karmic sense, another empty clam shell, or any other type of shell for that matter.  That way it can easily be moved and relocated if need be.      Thank you in advance! James. <You are quite welcome.  -Mich>

Clams in harms way... sys., comp.  11/12/06 Hello Crew, <Clowning...> I have a 36 gallon saltwater tank with a flame and a cherub angel <Not enough room...> and   surprisingly they have not harmed one another. <As far as seems apparent> I also have a fire shrimp, a  yellow tailed damsel, a royal Gramma, and various corals and one clam. When I  first purchased the 2 clams, they used to be open all the time, such beautiful specimens! Then the angels were starting to pick at them, mostly the flame  angel. <Not atypical behavior, particularly in too crowded settings> The larger of the clams was more brave and used to open somewhat despite  the picking from the angels. But the smaller one closed up more and more and I was beginning to worry because the clams need light to survive. I tries <tried> moving the smaller one closer to light and in different locations but the pecking continued until yesterday when I looked in my tank the clam was a darker more dull blue inside and the shrimp was eating through it's flesh! I took him out and threw him away.... the poor thing but is there anything I can do to stop  the pecking from my angels? <More appropriate setting... much larger volume system> After the other one died, I moved the larger one up  to the surface of the water and now he is open almost all the time and almost  all the way because the angels rarely go up so high! The one concern from me is  that I don't get to see the clams beautiful colors anymore because I cannot view  the inside of him. How can I prevent my angels from picking on him when he is  placed on the substrate in order for me to view his colors? It seems they pick  on him more when he is lower because they pass by him much more often. Any advice would help! Thank you! <A bigger tank... please see WWM re the Compatibility, Systems... of all these species. Bob Fenner>

Relocating Clams/Dealing With The Byssal Attachment - 08/26/06 Crew- <<Craig>> A quick question: <<Alrighty>> I have had a Maxima in my system for about 10 weeks now, and it seems to be doing fine.  However, once a week or so, I will come home and it will be laying over on its side. <<...?>> When I first introduced the clam in QT, it picked up a small piece of rubble from the sand bed. <<Ahh...know where this is going...>> This piece of rubble does not cover the byssal area entirely, but the clam 'thinks' it has secured itself when in reality it has not. <<Indeed...am very familiar with this scenario>> Short of jamming it into a crevice, is there anything I can/should do to get it to let go of the little piece of the rock so it can attach to a more substantial piece? <<There is, yes.  Remove the clam from the tank and using a sharp knife with a pointy flexible blade (a fillet knife works very well), "carefully" pull on the stone stretching the byssal threads just enough to get the tip of the blade in to "cut" the threads.  Cutting the byssal threads does the clam no harm...but do be attentive/diligent when doing so, so as to not cut or tear the byssal gland (this often proves fatal).  I have done this procedure time and again when relocating clams (can be done "in-tank" with adequate care) or to resolve the issue you describe, without a single loss related re>> Craig <<Regards, EricR>>

Tridacna Squamosa Clam - Tankmates and Equipment   6/17/06 Good Afternoon! <And to you> First off, I'd like to say thanks for unknowingly holding my hand through every step of setting up and maintaining my first marine aquarium. Whenever I can't find an answer to a question or a solution to a problem anywhere else, I find it here with the help of your wonderful search function. Thank you all for volunteering your time to help others. <Welcome> My tank has been set up and operational for just over a year now... nice covering of coralline (I'd say 35% to 40% of all rock surfaces are covered in a thick, dark purple layer of it) and my little tubeworms are sprouting up all over the rocks. I'll start with the basics, the tank, equipment, inhabitants, etc... ------ (read with Tridacna Squamosa clam in mind) Tank and "landscape": *55gal (standard dimensions) *~50 - 60 lbs of LR *~3-4 inch live sand bed Filtration: *10% water changes every week. *Rena XP3 canister filter (not my favorite, but I was in desperate need of an upgrade with short notice... would love to upgrade to a sump system with a refugium, but my tank's stand is separated down the middle underneath) (rated at 350 gph) *MarineLand Emperor 400 hang on filter (my original filter during initial LR cycle... still installed in addition to the Rena) (rated to 400gph... yeah right...) *400gph power head (forgot the brand) *NOTE - lack of a skimmer... will soon be getting a Aqua C Remora hang-on skimmer. I've heard good things. Lighting: *Coralife Aqualight - 2x 65W 10k (130W total) + 2x 65W Actinic (130W total) = 260 total watts. (there will be questions on this later in the e-mail) These are PC lights unless I've grossly misunderstood the definitions. *10k's are on for ~10 hours per day (should this be longer?) *Actinics are on for ~1.5 hours before and after the 10k's (13 hours total) Test Results (chemistry): Temp - 76 F Ammonia - 0ppm Nitrate - 0ppm Nitrite - 0ppm Spec. Grav - 1.023 Calcium - 450ppm + (added with Kalk mixture by slow drip so as not to spike the pH) pH - 8.3 I also add iodine occasionally (once every few weeks) but can't get my hands on a test kit... weird, I know. Current Inhabitants: *Snowflake Moray Eel (about 1.5 feet long... he may be returning to the LFS soon) *Lawnmower Blenny *Three territorial Black and White Striped Damsels <The term territorial is almost superfluous...> *Green Brittle Star (huge... he's probably over a foot diameter at the arm tips if you stretched him out) <Predaceous> *Diamond Watchman Goby (SUPERB sand cleaner) *15 or so hermit crabs *8 big Turbo Snails *5 Bumble Bee Snails *2 Sand Sifting Starfish (both are rather large... 5 inches or so) *1 Purple Spiny Urchin (he's lazy and hides almost all the time... never goes on the substrate) (would gladly bring him back to the LFS if incompatible though) *1 Aiptasia hitch hiker (now Kalk'ed away and all gone... searched for more, none currently, listed because I know there may be more hiding on me) I think that about covers the basics (hope I didn't miss anything). My questions are in reference to the Tridacna squamosa clam (a very difficult species to find good, definite information on, <You're in luck... James Fatherree's new Giant Clam book is just about to debut...> lots of info on other Tridacnas, but not much on Squamosas). Neither of my two LFS's (yes, there are two within a mile of my house, lucky me) are very knowledgeable on the "odd" questions about marine livestock, though they try to be as helpful as possible, so I rely on the internet for my answers (hence my contacting you).  I also apologize about the number of questions contained here, but I've been researching, and as I research, I keep coming up with more questions and since Squamosas are apparently not a popular topic/pet, there is very little info specific to them to answer my questions (many places just mention that Squamosas are "exceptions to the rule" but never say how). One of the LFS's has a beautiful Tridacna squamosa clam specimen (about 4 inches) in stock along with Deresa's and a Crocea. All have been there at least a week, and all seem healthy with a good (fast and deliberate) response to light. None are gaping. No bleaching on any specimen. I would like to make sure my tank is prepared (equipment and lighting) and that all current inhabitants aren't going to harm him (I guess he's a "him"... he's still young). Does all the equipment seem ok in the list above (specific lighting questions below)? Inhabitants? <Mmm, what you have should work... Your ideas, plans for upgrades are even better. No predation issues other than the eel, serpent star "scaring" the clam a bit by moving over, around it...> When researching lighting, I see it mentioned repeatedly that Actinics aren't necessary, but does that mean when I'm calculating my watts per gallon that I should; ignore them all together, include a fraction of their wattage, or include their full Wattage but avoid them where possible? <I would not count this wavelength, type of lighting in useful illumination calculations at all> Is the light they produce completely out of the useful spectrum for most creatures, the clam specifically? <Is of very little use> I was considering adding a 175Watt MH light. Well, more than considering, I'm going to do it unless you say it's not necessary or would be overkill (probably not overkill is my guess). I've been trying to find cost effective equipment (MH's are expensive, obviously). In my search I've checked eBay. There are some interesting cheapER (still not cheap) alternatives like MH grow lights (for gardens I suppose, I'd obviously replace the bulb for the proper color) and the like, will these work over a tank? <Please see WWM re metal halides... Many of the units sold from other applications are of limited to no use with aquariums> I don't see why not, but I'm erring on the side of caution before blowing the money and being sorry later on. Should I shoot for more than 175 extra watts in the MH? (I suppose this will depend on the answer to my question about Actinics). <Up to you> For the MH - 6.5k? 10k? 20k? <... posted... on WWM> What do Squamosas like? (he'll probably be placed on the substrate (putting the top of his mantle about 16 to 17 inches from the water's surface) as I've read they prefer). I know I need a skimmer, but I've also read tidbits here and there on this site that say you should to let them run on a "1 day on / 1 day off" cycle with clams to let phyto's grow and reproduce. If a skimmer is necessary, as I'm assuming it is, would the Aqua C Remora with the Maxi Jet 1200 be a good choice given the other equipment? <I would run the skimmer continuously here> Any good recommendations (ignoring my current inhabitant list, as they can all be moved to another tank if necessary or returned to the LFS) on tank mates for a Squamosa? Fish, inverts, corals... open to anything. <... too broad a question... But in this size tank, I'd aim for smaller species...> If this e-mail is too long (it's long, I know), I apologize, and will rewrite it and resend a shorter version if necessary. I hope I've provided all info necessary for you to make good recommendations. Thanks so much, Eric <Keep reading Eric, and working toward those upgrades. Bob Fenner>

Clams/Systems  3/20/06 Hey crew,  <Hello Karina> About 2 months ago, I bought a blue and brown 4 in. Crocea clam from my LFS.  I quarantined and placed into my tank, on the substrate at first, with a small shell underneath so it could attach.  All this time it's been sitting in the substrate and doing well, looking quite healthy.  I decided that I should move it into the rockwork, so it could get more light and it might perhaps be more comfortable there.  Now that it's there though...it seems that it is trying to move itself off the shell it's attached to.  At first it was right at the byssal opening.  Now the shell is angled, and the foot is attached to only the edge of the shell.  Is the clam moving itself to try and attach to my rock?  Is there any way I can get it back onto the shell?  Just in case I ever need to move it again.  <Clams do better on the substrate.> I also bought a couple of clams from ClamsDirect about two weeks ago.  The squamosa is doing well, but the little maxima 1.5 - 2in. I've never seen fully open up.  I feed DTs every other day, and currently they are under 4 65 watt bulbs, 6500/10k dual, and 10k/ actinic dual.  (I read actinic was mainly for aesthetics, so I replaced the dual nm actinic for a dual daylight bulb)  Also it has yet to attach to the shell I placed underneath it.  I can see the mantle just barely peeking out, but seeing as to how there is nothing in this tank but the other squamosa, I don't see how anything can be bothering it, unless it isn't getting enough light.  Water param.s. are all 0 at the moment.  Any help you could provide me would be great.  I tried the ClamsDirect forum....but for some reason I cannot register and log on.  I look forward to hearing from you.  <Karina, about the only species of clam that might survive under your lighting would be small Tridacnids or clams with brown mantles such as your squamosa, and that will also depend on the depth of your tank.  Keep in mind that even these clams will grow better under intense lighting.  All others are going to require MH or HQI lighting along with proper levels of calcium, strontium and iodide to survive.  Some research should have been done on your part before purchasing. Read here for more info on this subject.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Clam_care/Clam_care.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Tridacnid systems 9/21/05 <Hi Adam J here.> I have a ten-gallon nano with pc lighting. The Lighting is a Coralife 96 watt 50/50 power quad lamp. I was wondering if I could keep any clams under my lighting ? <The lighting is ok, it is the volume of the tank that worries me.> I dose calcium and have a CPR Bak-Pak also. Would it be possible if I put the clam at the top of the tank ? <Well the four clams commonly seen in the trade are in the genus Tridacnid, unfortunately 3 of which  (T. Deresa, T. Squamosa, T. Maxima) grow too large for your system. T. Crocea stays small enough but is the most sensitive and most light loving of the group.  You would have to place it in the upper ? of the tank on a rock to which it can attach its byssal foot, replace the light bulb every 6 to 9 months and keep the water chemistry stable, which is not easy in such a small tank.> <Adam J.>

Throwing Some Light On A Small Tank 7/13/05 Hi Mr. Bob <Actually, Scott F. here today!> I currently have a 15 gallon nano saltwater tank. Will it be possible to keep SPS and clams (Crocea or Maxima) under power compact fluorescent lamps? <If the proximity of the lamps is close enough to the animals, and you are providing nutritional supplementation to the animals, it is certainly possible. However, I would hesitate to recommend a clam for this sized tank. They will simply outgrow the tank if provided with proper conditions.> I've read that they should be kept under MH. <In most cases, yes- but in a small, shallow tank, it might be possible to be successful with them.> My current lighting is composed of 6 26watts power compact/compact fluorescent lamps making it 10 watts per gallon over a 24"x1"x1 tank. These are 6500k screw-in lamps that can be found at hardware shops (I'm experimenting with these lamps). My tank inhabitants include 2 colonies of red and Blue Mushrooms and 1 Frogspawn coral , a bit shaded by live rocks. They seem happy with the current lighting though, no bleaching or closing up. <I'd be careful about this combination of animals for the long run. Frogspawn are very aggressive corals.> And also, do you know of any site which discusses about power compacts for reef lighting? I've been searching the net but found none so far. Thanks in advance. <I honestly don't know any specific sites dedicated to compact fluorescent lighting exclusively, but you might want to check out sites of manufacturers of compact fluorescent lighting for more information. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Moving a Well-attached Clam - Hi all, I've got another question for you (by the way Bob thanks for the help last time - I bought a Hamilton 10K bulb and really like the look, I'm thinking about buying a pendent and using the 14K over my 37 gal hex with maybe a clown fish pair and BT anemone - still thinking though - so many possibilities - so few tanks). But on to my new question, I did the lighting change so that I could add a clam to my reef, and my Tridacna maxima is looking great sitting under about 6 - 8 inches of water directly beneath the bulb with about a month under its belt. Problem - I bought a really nicely shaped piece of rock from the LFS where he had it in a sump without any light on it for a long time (this is why I don't think it's simply a cycling issue). This piece of what was once a table Acropora that had been rolling around on the ocean floor long enough to give it a beautiful flat top the size of a dinner plate on a stalk. My clam quickly attached to it and is doing well, but the rock is starting to grow hair algae like crazy. I have no hair algae anywhere else in my tank and never have had - all my rock is covered with coralline algae (this set up is more then 10 years old). I believe this rock is leaching phosphate or something and would like to remove it from my tank. I do not want to risk injuring my clam though, it is really attached quite solidly already. Is there an easy way to get them to let go? I've searched the archives but haven't found anything about this - it seems not attaching is far more prevalent. The clams welfare is of course most important. Any suggestions?? <What I have done in the past is to get a sharp blade on my Exacto knife [clean it with alcohol before you put it in the tank] and very carefully cut away the byssal threads at their point of attachment on the rock. Be prepared to move very slowly as I'm sure you're aware of the problems you will cause to your clam if you accidentally rip the clam off its base. I've done this a couple of times without trouble - you just have to take you're time and use a sharp blade.> Thanks again for your wonderful site! John <Cheers, J -- >

Clams 06/07/2005 Hello from British Columbia Canada, <Why hello there!> I would like to thank you for all of the hard work you people put into this site for the hobby, very well done! <Thanks> I would like to ask about Clams, I have just purchased a DE 150w MH with 2X96w Actinic total of 492w, this will be placed on my 55g   system. I would like to ask if this will be enough to have a Crocea/Maxima  clam in the system, the tank is 19' deep from the top of the   glass and 13' wide, the system is 2 years old with 70lbs of LR and 35lbs of LS, as of right now I have a Hippo Clam in the tank he/she   has been there for over a year and doing just fine. <You should be alright. Do some research on those clams. They like light but there are other things that are just as important.  Like Isochrysis for feed.  Also Clams are fond of Nitrates believe it or not :)  Also check out the Giant Clams book by Daniel Knop> Thank you very much for your time as I know that you are very busy   with this site. < No problem.. EricS> Ash

- Derasa Question - JasonC, <Good morning.> Thanks so much for the quick response!  <My pleasure.>  I have a follow-up question for you... I'm also expecting some SPS (Montipora capricornis & an Acro) along with a T. derasa in a shipment to arrive on Friday. I've bought Seachem's Reef Dip for the SPS... is this a good product?  <I have no experience with it.>  Also, is there any special solution I should use for the T. derasa?  <None that I am aware of.>  I have a 250w MH on a 54g corner bowfront about 7 inches above the water. As far as placement of the Derasa, what would you consider ideal, substrate or rock?  <On something solid... I've found that placement on rock can be a little precarious - have had clams cough and fall from uneven mounting attempts. In any case, on something solid [like a bivalve shell], off the substrate is preferred to prevent predatory attack through the byssal opening.>  I want to get it right the first time because I know they can be easily stressed by movement within the tank. I've read the substrate is fine in many places, but according to something I read on the web attributed to Daniel Knop, it is better to have a derasa sitting on a rock because they are sensitive to sediment being stirred which could clog their gills.  <I don't recall this, but there are other good reasons to keep your clam off the substrate.>  Can you clarify this for me... Thank you again for all of your advice... Kevin <Cheers, J -- > 

Nano Acroporas & clams Good morning crew <Alex> Do you guys know If I can have Acroporas & clams in my 10 gall nano reef system ?  I'm running It with 8 watts per gall with a Rio 600 pump. I know I should not have a problem with light & flow, but my LFS told me it could not be done. Clams yes Acroporas no. I know Acros are very aggressive so I should provide a lot of distance from each other.  What do you guys think? Thank you for your time! <Mmm, can be done... but not easily... by "clams" I take it you mean Tridacnids... get too big... and Acroporas generally require high and consistent water quality... difficult to achieve in such a small volume... though possible, have seen done. Bob Fenner>

Light and food for a clam dear crew, can I just using 3 fluorescent lamps 20 watt each and just white color in 2 feet aquarium? << Absolutely.  But you won't be able to keep much in there.  If this is just a freshwater tank, you are fine.  If this is to be a mini reef aquarium, then you are in need of much more lighting. >> and also can I feet my clam with sera coral liquid? << I'm not sure I understand this question.  I don't know what sera coral liquid is, but I'll recommend that you definitely do not have a clam under such small lighting.  I would think that 200 watts of light is a minimum for most ornamental clams.  They do well when fed phytoplankton and even some commercial zooplankton products. >> <<  Blundell  >> Clam care? hello, I have a question about my clam? the first week I buy it, the clam open widely. but after 2 weeks, the clam suddenly close for 2 days? << Are you feeding it?  Does it have enough light. >> before the clam close, I change the water and add all the nutrition. the water condition all are good after testing by the testing kit. my lighting is also good. I use about 100 watts on 2 foot deep  aquarium and the length is about 80 cm. so what should I do? << Can you talk more about this light.  100 watts of VHO is one bulb, and that is definitely not enough light.  And as for food, are you adding live phytoplankton or rotifers?  If not, I'd recommend you do so. >> hope to get your reply soon!!! <<  Blundell  >> Snails and clams 4/6/04  Dear Crew, http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=350432  Here is the link. If you don't want to use that mode here is the included info but fewer pictures of the clam.  Thank you in advance for your help. I highly respect your efforts for this hobby.  "I have a crocea clam that I have had in my 125 gal tank for about a 6 weeks now. I have a 10K and 20K 400 watt halides directly over the clam at a depth of about 20 inches of water and 6 inches above the water.  <yikes... do read more in the wetwebmedia.com archives about such extreme uses of light. 400 watt MH is high for 125 gall tanks as it is unless you are dedicated to stonies and clams... and even then, 6" off the surface of the water is severe. Some animals will tolerate or even favor it. Many more will suffer (photoinhibition) over time. Its deceivingly problematic as the stress can take many weeks/months to manifest symptoms.>  The water pars are good, zero nitrates last checked, weekly water changes for a month or so and every two to three before that. The tank has been up since October of last year. I do have a little trouble keeping the Alk and Ca inline. They tend to go low a little.  <no worries... its more important to be steady than high>  I do not yet have a skimmer in the system.  <unless you are doing large, regular water changes (weekly), please do get a skimmer ASAP to prevent future problems/challenges from accumulated organics>  Circulation is provided by a little giant 5. (I will be upgrading to a sequence 5800 running the new Becket skimmer and providing circulation.)  <ahh, good. Although the over-engineered/inefficient (electric consumption) Becket style skimmer plus the excess lighting tell me you are an SPS keeper or have been guided by the same <G>>  The tank temp runs 80 in the day and at night and then drops early morning to 78 before the lights come on.  Since my tank was bought used with 120 lb of live rock I have had a problem with phosphate. I read 0.03. I have been running PhosBan: "Julian Sprung's Marine Aquarium Formula" by Two Little Fishies. With this and water changes I have nearly completely eliminated hair alga. I also run carbon.  <OK>  The clam has been looking this way for several weeks. It is attached to rock that is buried in the sand. I pulled it out about two weeks ago to check for snails. I was careful not to pull it off the rock. I did not set the clam directly upright as you can see. Last night I found the second snail crawling on the sand near the clam. It had been close to a month since I found the last one that looks like this one. Any thoughts? Your advice is appreciated!  <the gaping does not look severe... although laying on its side is hardly ideal. The snail appears to be a little olive snail. Regardless, this snail is not an algae eater as clearly evidenced by its modified radula/proboscis. That does not mean it is predatory either... but do be cautious>  PS I will begin to feed phyto algae on Wednesday.  <unless this algae is live-cultured, do know/consider that bottled phyto supplements are largely abused IMO (particle size tends to be too large to be useful for many phyto-feeders). More importantly, the overwhelming majority of filter-feeders in your/any reef are zooplankton feeders. Do use/employ a refugium for this purpose if not already doing so>  I have him in a container in the sump awaiting sentence."  Thank you.  <a proper QT tank would be better and really is a must if you intent to succeed long term as an aquarist. All new livestock (snails, clams, corals, fishes, algae, rocks, everything! must go through QT) and in cases such as this, the animal in question can be pulled back for isolation rather than lingering in the system and risking a spread of infection or imposition to water quality with death/decay. Much to do/read/learn here my friend. Anthony>

Crocea Clam [Formerly Citron Goby annoying Crocea Clam] Hello again, <Hi> The Citron Goby died. I found a hairy crab of some sort peaking out of a hole after I put the fish in the tank, but didn't get an opportunity to skewer it with a metal rod. It probably ate the fish. <I'm very sorry to hear that!> Tank life info: After about a weeks worth of treatment with Chemi Clean, and a four gallon water change, the Red Cyanobacteria seems to be gone, thankfully. I'll probably be getting rid of the Palythoa as soon as I can find someone who wants it or buys it. I'm hoping to get hold of a small frogspawn, fox coral, xenia, a few Ricordeas, and a few shrimp & snails. One by one on the corals, of course, to make sure there's enough room and clearance in between them. Clam info: It's still in there, still responsive to outside movement, etc. I'm looking into buying a Coralife 20" 96W PowerQuad fixture, which should be plenty of light for almost anything, correct? (12g Tank, 96W PC, that's 8W per gallon) [What I have now is a 50/50 32W PC Bulb] I'm not around to kill expensive animals (or life in general), which is why I ask what's best. Hopefully the light won't create TOO much heat suspended above the tank. (4" clearance or so) <The 96wt PowerQuad sounds good. As for heat, adding a small 4" fan (which can be bought at home depot or radio shack) can help out a lot.> Tank info: Right now it's an Eclipse hood with a 32W PC installed. When I get the Coralife fixture, I intend to take the hood off and put it in storage, and just use an eggcrate cover over the water and suspend the PowerQuad hood above it. I've got an old Marineland BioWheel filter up in the attic with a 10G tank that I was thinking about using, but I hear activated carbon only is not a very effective filtration method. <Activated Carbon can be a great way in getting rid of many toxins which enter the aquarium. I currently use it on my tank for chemical warfare between corals.> RedSea sells a Prizm skimmer that a local LFS uses to skim out stuff on smaller tanks, would that be a better option than the BioWheel system? <The Prizm skimmer will do a fair job skimming the aquarium. However, many people prefer the "Bak Pak" skimmers for smaller sized aquariums, although either choice is fine.> Lastly, the bubble coral I put in the back of the tank for a bit of rehab is doing quite well. It was closed in the 78g, but it slowly opening up more and more with each passing day. In it's current location though, since it's expanding now, it's beginning to touch nearby green star polyps. Are the two incompatible - should I move the bubble coral further away? <The bubble coral will start to sting the star polyps causing the polyps not to open. You can  move one of the corals further away from each other to avoid any physical contact.> And, again, thanks for your help. :) <No problem! Take Care, Graham.> -Enrique

Clam, Anemone Tank You guys rock, <Thanks!> First off the website is awesome, I have learned so much, I recently pulled all of the coral and fish out of my 55 gal reef, and had planned on setting up a rose BTA tank with about five rose's in it (its really hard to find info on anemone only tank set ups), <Sounds good.> I have since thought about putting several clams in as well, will the anemones release too many toxins to keep clam in the tank? <Anemones will not have any chemical warfare with tridacnid clams. Instead, I would be worried about physical warfare; make sure the anemones do not come in contact with the clams at any time.> the tank is about 20" tall with a 6" sand bed. and I run 2 175w MH 10000k about 6" from the surface is this enough light to keep the clams on the sand bed, <They'll do fine on the sandbed. However, keep in mind that some clams such as the T. crocea and T. maxima are rock boring clams and will attach their byssal gland to some surface. I would recommend putting them on top of an empty shell on the sandbed. When the clams attach to the shell, you may burry the shell giving the appearance that the clams are placed directly on the sandbed.> I have two 110w VHO that I could also put on. would this be to much light is there such a thing? <You're far from your limit -- you do not have too much light.> If so what VHO bulbs so I use (true actinic 50/50's etc.)?,and for the clams could i just put a piece of acrylic under the sand in the area I want them to be for their foot? If so how far under should it be buried? <That will also work well as using the empty clam shells. You may burry the clam about 1/2 into the sandbed. As an example, a clam 2" high (I'm not referring to the length of the clam, but instead the space between the foot and the mantel o the clam) would be buried around 1" in the sandbed. A clam 1" high would be buried about .5" in the sandbed. A clam 3" high would be buried around 1.5" in the sandbed. Of course, there are many exceptions and you do not have to burry the clams at all if you do not wish to. T. squamosa, T. derasa and T. gigas will do fine simply left on top of the sand.> Thanks <Take Care, Graham.> Will

Clam Question 12/14/03 Ok, Guys, I'd like to ask for some help.  My LFS just got in a BEAUTIFUL bright blue crocea (5-6") and have priced it at only $49. I am thinking of getting it, but need to know what changes I should make, and if it is even feasible in my system, so I need to describe it for you.  This may be a little long.  Sorry. I've been keeping SW FO for 16 years, and LR/Anemones and mostly softies for 6-7. For my corals, I have an AllGlass 72 bowfront with an overflow, with quite a bit of liverock from different sources (including Florida, back when that was legal) I have added over the years to keep the microfauna up, and twenty gallon sump tank which I have made into a combined sump/refugium.  It is set up like this (in cross-section): |                                                      | |                                    |                 | |                                    |________| |                                                      | |                                                      | |                                                      | |___________________________| I then have a standard, siphon style overflow out of the refugium and into a 5 gallon bucket (I wish I had room in the stand for something larger), where the return pump is located.  My Berlin skimmer and its pump are in the raised compartment, where all the incoming, surface skimmed water goes.  The effluent of the skimmer goes into the main part of the sump, as does the overflow from the compartment.  The water level in the 20G is about 2" below the top.  I have a standard fluorescent light over it, on 24x7, and have sand, some liverock and mushroom Caulerpa in the refugium.  This is all the filtration I use, though I occasionally supplement this with a hang on Skilter for mechanical filtration and additional skimming (mostly after I clean, to remove any "stuff" I stir up).  I imagine you guys find this woefully inadequate, but it has worked for me for years.   <no complaints here... just a concern that your skimmer does not produce enough skimmate weekly for its brand/placement> I tend to subscribe to the "less is more" principle, believing that the main problem many people have with their reef tanks is that they won't leave them alone! <agreed> For lighting, I am using 4x48" VHO (3 daylight and 1 actinic).  I use 1 block of sea-lab formula 28 supplement to supplement calcium and trace elements, as well as very occasional water changes.  The tank has about 4-5" of small crushed coral which is teaming with microfauna.  Here are the specs for my tank: Ammonia & Nitrite: ~0 (obviously) NitrAte: 8 to occasionally as high as 20, with an average of 10-12 ppm PH: 8.0-8.2 Calcium: 380-410 Alkalinity: 4.0-4.8 meq/L In terms of the setup itself, do you think it could keep a crocea alive and happy (if I place it in the top half of the tank)? As for the inhabitants, they currently are a nice Marine Beta (Comet), a Coral Beauty dwarf angel (how long do these live?  Mine is starting to swim kinda funny, waving his whole body.  He's been in there about 4 years.  Is there any information on life expectancy for most fish?   <yes... data in public and hobby literature like the Dick Mills Tetra Marine Encyclopedia. Your dwarf angel can easily live 5-7 years IMO. No surprise to go over 10 years> I wonder when my fish die after anywhere from 2-9 years if it is a problem, or just old age), a six line wrasse, a green spotted mandarin (who does great on all the isopods in my tank), a south sea devil and two green Chromis.  Inverts: a LT Anemone that is almost 18" across, a huge colt coral, a green trumpet/Candycane coral, a rose Lobophyllia, a huge colony of green star polyps, many, many green frilly mushrooms, some button polyps, a cleaner shrimp, a fire shrimp, a large green brittle star, and much microfauna. Everyone has been happy and healthy together for about three years (except the Betta, who was new this summer). I am planning to move the anemone and possible the damsel to another tank (my wife wants to set up my 42 hex as a anemone/clown/damsel tank), and probably will get a chevron tang to replace the Sailfin that finally outgrew the system and had to be moved to my 150 FO.  After reading your FAQ's, I suppose I had better move the cleaner shrimp, too.  And I am planning to thin out the star polyps and frilly mushrooms by giving some to a friend. Other than that, do you see any animals that concern you? <nope... alls reasonable> Basically, given what I have and how I keep my system, would it simply be foolish to buy a crocea? Jim <not at all... once the shrimp is out and with a close eye on the angel, the clam will fare well in the top 12" of the aquarium. Anthony>

Adding new clam A member of my fish club is selling a very healthy 7" squamosa clam. We have the room in our 90g overflow.  Currently, we have a 4" crocea which seems to be really thriving.  We've got the space but I want to be sure it's a good environment for the clam.  We currently have 4 x 96 pc.s so the distance between the sand and lights is roughly 22"  This new clam likes a sand bottom.  I'm guessing that the light reduction is too drastic but wanted to check for sure.  Thanks in advance for the help. I LOVE your website; your design makes it really easy to learn a lot quickly.  Nancy < Hi Nancy you are right I would not reduce the lighting from 400watt halide to power compacts Thanks for the question Mike H>

Fiberglass tank Ok this is a short question. Is it possible to make a plywood tank and cover it in fiberglass to make sure it doesn't leak.   I was looking to make my wife a small clam pond in the house 36"x36"x16"   <Short answer, yes, possible. In the not so old days, fiberglass, resin and (marine) plywood were (along with large screws) often what marine wholesale facilities systems were constructed of. Viewing panel/s can be siliconed to inside cut-outs. Bob Fenner, who asks, "have you seen ClamsDirect. com's clam system units?">

Crocea Clam I have a 135 gallon tank.  Would an Aquacultured Crocea Clam work in my tank with 420 watts of VHO lighting?  Thanks.<Do look over this link http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tridacnidart.htm ,and would also purchase Anthony Calfo's and Robert Fenner's book "Reef Invertebrates", It covers clams, Good Luck, IanB> Tyler

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

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>

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>

Building a Dream Tank Hello again Steve, Thank you for the quick reply! You asked for more info about the tank in the picture I sent. I will direct you to the web site I found it on http://www.cpfarms.com <The link does not seem to work or perhaps the site is down for some reason.> They had a members contest and that tank won third place. I don't know if it is still posted on their page. These are tanks for Japan. I used my translator and the best info I could gather was the following. It was a standard 90 gallon tank. Berlin style. 250w.HQI with another lighting set up I was completely unfamiliar with. I'm sorry I can't understand the translation. It had been up for a year and a half. The owner Chita Satoshi commented that the only major problems were being able to get the Clams to stay amongst the rock work. <T. crocea are comfortable amongst rocks, but maximas prefer to be on the sand. Try to get Daniel Knop's excellent book "Giant Clams".> I am only assuming that their is use of a calcium reactor, though there was no mention of one. <A good idea to have one> I know that is not much to go on. I was hoping that just looking at the corals themselves you could let me know if (using the correct equipment) it could be, not copied, but matched. <Yes, if looks very doable. Some suggestions. 90 gal. tank with built in overflows, preferable over siphon hang-on units Sump with high quality skimmer; Euro-Reef, Tunze, Aqua-C, etc. Return pump(s) rated at 900 gph or greater (check that overflows can handle this) 2 175 watt MH's with 10,000K Aqualine Buschke lamps Supplemental actinics supplied by 2 48" VHO's or 2 36" PC's Water purification unit (RO, DI, or Kold-Sterile) Calcium Reactor... 4-6" Deep Sand Bed... Small quarantine tank for new additions Most importantly, a good source for livestock> Thanks again. Josie

Zero nitrates w/ refugium vs. giant clam Hello Mr. Fenner- I have read all the refugium notes/FAQs and I'm sold on one. For my future 92 corner tank I will use a 20 gal hex for the sump and one for the refugium (have an odd-shaped stand). From my limited (but growing---thanks!) knowledge, I understand that giant clams actually like some nitrates.  <This is so... to a degree.> I plan to start as basically a FO system, but I want to set it up as properly as possible w/ long term reef results in mind. So, what is your "official" opinion on clam + skimmer + Miracle Mud refugium? Thank You! Erik Nelson <Of all timely notes... picked up Leng Sy yesterday on the way to going to Hollywood, giving a pitch to the combined L.A. and Orange County marine clubs... and Leng and I went over and over re skimmers, his mud product... We kind of agree that "skimming has its place" and in general, after some time, balancing (a few months typically), a not-too efficient skimmer can/should be cycled on/off (day intervals) to allow production of planktonic organisms, in the face of a dearth of removable materials... in most systems. Bob Fenner>

I need your advice - thank you Dear Mr. Fenner, I thank you for all of your advice given so far, from sharks to clams you have covered it all! But once again, I have come to you for help. Here is my  final huge list although it needs revision. I hope you can help me figure out what is needed and what is not. My plan is listed below, yet my general  drift for this plan is a display aquarium for my choice anemone/clown pair.  Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis magnifica)/Percula Clown Pair - mated (Amphiprion Percula). Here is my plan, please let me know what you think,  the other inverts such as corals and clam all depend on anemone size and what it wants. I am concerned w/ having a Mandarinfish w/anemone.  <And you should be... if the anemone is mounted high enough in the system, the Mandarin is probably going to be okay> And as you know the six line is only if I have a clam, for parasite control. I will have around 25 - 30 lbs live rock to create a base and wall along the back.  My concern from there is the lighting. I know clams will thrive under so much lighting, but I may not have a clam therefore, should I go w/ another  light option? Maybe 1 250 MH and actinic VHO's? <This is a sound idea. And to place the Tridacnid clam approximately under the brightest area under the MH> I am lost w/so much for a lil old display system. The cost for equipment is high, but I am able to get livestock at wholesale cost through a friend. Please help, you know more than most, and my friend wants me to stock up my tank to be w/the corals he listed. I thank you for all of your advice, and all you have done for the hobby! Thank you, Chris Anderson Reef Tank Plan Equipment List 58 gallon Oceanic Reef Ready Tank w/ Black Trim Black Oceanic Reef Ready Cabinet Black Oceanic Reef Ready Cap Environmental Tower Scrubber Skimmer (E.T.S.S) Reef Devil III w/ Iwaki Pump Hamilton Technology 36" Deluxe Aluminum System w/ two 175 watt MH and two 95 watt VHO actinics LifeReef Custom ETS Sump www.lifereef.com Red Sea Wavemaster Pro Kent Marine 35 GPD Maxima Hi-S RO/DI <Nice gear. I would utilize some activated carbon once a month in the filter flow path to lessen the likelihood of biochemical anomalies> Species List Blue Ultra Maxima Clam (Tridacna maxima) Magnificent Sea Anemone (Heteractis Magnifica) Xenia () Bubble Coral () Green Open Brain Colt Coral Finger Leather (Sinularia) Mushrooms Button Polyps Green Star Polyps Yellow Polyps Yellow Tonga Leather <Sometimes touchy, but gorgeous> Elegance Corals <Always touchy... ask to have someone help you pick out a very healthy specimen... place it low in the system (as in the substrate)... and read over the bits on Catalaphyllia/Elegance I have posted: Home Page > Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)<Wait on this species for last, three months plus in> Clownfish - M/F (Amphiprion Percula) Cleaner Shrimp - M/F (Lysmata amboinensis) Banggai Cardinalfish - M/F (Pterapogon kauderni) Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) Assorted Hermits 12 Scarlets 2 Brittle Stars Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus) >><And this fish for at least two months after the system is up and running> Keep dreaming, planning, and chatting,

Supplements, clams Hi, I'm interested in getting a Samoan Blue Rim Derasa Clam from FF express. What type of supplements should I add to the water? How often?  >> I would "just" do regular water changes with a good salt mix (Aquarium Systems product, Tropic Marin), feed your other livestock (maybe the occasional/weekly single celled algae infusion to the tank in general), and pay attention to alkalinity (keep it above 3.5 meq/l) and calcium (above 400ppm)... and not worry about much else... Many ways to do this... the best with a calcium reactor... and test kits. Don't get involved with antagonistic mixtures of Kalkwasser, calcium chloride... or even "two-part" supplements without knowing what you're doing, and without testing. Sorry to state, there is no, no-brainer "just pour in one capful per this volume" of standard ACME do-all supplements. Bob Fenner

Clams... I am wanting to add a clam to my aquarium. I have a 75 Gallon with 4 48" VHO's (2 blue and 2 50/50). I have a large protein skimmer, wet/dry trickle system and also 65 - 70 lbs of live rock. The current inhabitants are: 2 pearly Jawfish, 3 yellow Coris wrasses, 1 six line wrasse, 1 coral beauty angel, 1 Lemonpeel angel, 1 scopas tang 1 orange spot goby, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 pistol shrimp, 1 brittle star, 1 serpent star, 2 cucumbers and lots of hermits and snails. I am adding 1 harlequin shrimp, <I wouldn't add this Shrimp... an obligate feeder on starfish...> replacing the scopas with a purple tang. I also have lots of mushroom corals, some green star coral and a gold crown Sarcophyton and a small rose bubble anemone. Everything seems to be doing fine. What would I need to do to add a clam? <Needs to be placed high in your tank... maybe no more than four inches below the surface... need bright lighting> Would I need to start adding calcium?  <Yes, in some format... these animals need high calcium and alkalinity> what would be the best way for the least money. Not the cheapest, but best on both <?> fronts.  <Calcium can be supplemented with Kalkwasser with care in preparation, administration (at night, trickled in with brisk circulation... maybe hooked up to a venturi intake and an all plastic air/needle valve onto a powerhead... To prevent negative interactions with alkaline materials> I don't want to pay $400 for a calcium reactor. also, I am thinking of getting rid of my serpent and brittle stars because I heard they may take fish at night. what can you tell me about that?  <The principal "green" species is notorious for eating fishes at night when it is large, hungry> thanks. Chris Madsen >>
<You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

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