Should clams be fed manually?????

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by JsPLAYn, 28 Jun 2011.

  1. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn

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    I want to purchase a clam, but I am not a fan of manual feeding....... So should I or shouldn't I???... If I do,what's the best type of clam to invest in,besides for colour, lifespan etc
     
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  3. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    If you have the correct lighting a clam should not need extra feeding, in fact lighting is probably more important than manual feeding
     
  4. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    Serious, well I have 3 150watt MH's ... And 4 a 54watt t5's.... Sufficient?
    Mh's only run from 11 till 5 tho...and t5s are all actinics @ the moment
     
  5. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Yeah that sounds sufficient IMO
    Remember with clams you have to consider flow, placement,etc which play a large role in the general well being of the clam
    What K rating are the MH bulbs
     
  6. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    10k..... 14k.... 10k ...... Will most prob place it under 14k island under my SPS.... Medium flow there
     
  7. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Do not try feed clams manually as they feed mainly off ammonia, so yup lighting is your best food source. The Squamousa(sp) clam is the least demanding and the fastest growing.
     
  8. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    IME they grow best (in general, the different types of clams produce different results) under the 10K but for awesome colour and good growth then the 14K is the best
     
  9. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Oh and depending on the clam as well with regards to flow, for some medium flow is fine but most prefer low flow
     
  10. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Posted this on another forum a while back
    I noticed a lot of ppl wanting info on clams, so I decided to start this thread.

    The thread is based on personal experience so if there is something in it with which you don’t agree pls don’t rip my head off, feel free to correct it in a post.
    Additions to the thread are more than welcome as I would like to hear some advice from others to; maybe you guys know some cool tricks to keeping them, which I would love to read about.
    Clams
    General info

    Clam is not classified as a coral but rather as an invertebrate, it is classified as a mollusca bivalvia. Mollusca is just a classification or phylum of which many invertebrate animals fall under and bivalvia is just a sub class to which clams belong, which very simply means that they have two shells.
    If cared for properly, they have a very long life span, however seen as though the hobby of keeping clams is fairly young, there have not been many cases of old living clams in captivity but in the wild there have been reports of clams over a hundred years old.
    There are many different species of clams which can be kept in captivity but the most common are the ones which fall into the genus of Tridacna, will go into individual detail later on.
    Basic Anatomy
    [​IMG]This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 1023x685 and weights 133KB.[​IMG]
    In the above photo you will be able to see the basic anatomy of a clam
    There hard exterior in which there body is housed is known simply as there shell or skeleton, which can easily open or close to allow the clam to protect its soft tissue body from predators.
    The colourful tips of the soft body which protrude from the shell is known as the clams mantle. Between the two mantles in the middle of the clams body you will find the there siphon system which the clam uses to draw in water, filter out what it needs and then get rid of the water on the other side of its system again. The opening to the siphon system can be seen as the flat slit in the clams body, which runs level to the mantles, the end where the siphon systems finish and water is released from can be seen as the tube or funnel on the other end of the slit. When this slit is open, the clam is known to be gaping, it is at this point where it is drawing in water, filtering it and then releasing it again.
    Underneath the clam, which you cant see in the photo, ther is a soft piece which comes out of the shell, known as the foot of the clam, this is what the clam will use to either burry himself in the sand or to attach himself to a rock, depending on what that species prefers.
    Ecology
    Feeding

    Clams are mainly filter feeders. There mantles are covered in [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiotic"]Symbiosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Common_clownfish_curves_dnsmpl.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Common_clownfish_curves_dnsmpl.jpg/250px-Common_clownfish_curves_dnsmpl.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/7/70/Common_clownfish_curves_dnsmpl.jpg/250px-Common_clownfish_curves_dnsmpl.jpg[/ame] zooxanthellae from which the clam will then receive the nutrients it requires to grow. The clam will filter out phosphates and nitrates out the water, which will then be used along with carbon dioxide by the zooxanthellae in the process of photosynthesis. As the zooxanthellae are photosynthetic, they will require strong lighting in order to survive and thrive.
    Clams in captivity will also benefit from the target feeding of small micro foods like phytoplankton and other micro planktons, but as long as the lighting is correct and all other parameters are met the clam will not need any of this food to live.

    Reproduction

    Not going to go deep in to this, but clams reproduce sexually and they are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female sex organs, however self fertilization ( like in most hermaphrodites ) does not occur in clams.
    One clam will release either eggs or sperm and another will release either eggs or sperms as well into the water colum, where the eggs from one clam will land somewhere and the sperm from another will land on the eggs and fertilse them, so fertilization does not take place inside the clams. This process basically ensures a larger gene pool.

    Care in Capivity

    I will give a basic outline of the general care then I will go into individual care.

    Lighting: this can be either strong or medium.
    Strong- this type of clam will require MH to thrive
    Medium- this clam will be able to get along with T5’s HO depending on the height of the clam in the tank
    Personally every clam species for me should be kept under a MH lighting of some sort as it is just so much better for the animal, but those who want to try get away with T5’s I will explain later how to.

    Flow: this will be classified as low to medium
    Low- most clams will benefit from this, low flow will basically mean that there is no sign of the mantle being lifted either up or down by current
    Medium- slight movement of mantles but very little. If large gaping of the clams ‘mouth’ is noticed, could be a sign of too much flow

    Feeding
    Photosynthetic- means only correct light is required to feed the clam

    Water conditions
    All clams will benefit from the following conditions
    Calcium- 420-450mg/L
    Magnesium- 1280-1350ppm
    Alkalinity- 8-11 dKH
    Temp- 23-27 degrees
    Salinity- 1.023-1.025
    pH-8.1-8.4

    Placement
    This is where they prefer to be placed in the tank
    Rocks- attached to the rock work
    Sand- prefer a fine sandy substrate

    Acclimatization
    I would recommend using the drip method for all clam species. One tip I can give you is when using the drip method place a small amount of fine sand in the container and put the clam on top of that as it will help to reduce the stress level of the clam.

    General care notes
    Clams do not like fine bubbles in the water as I believe it traps and blocks there filtering system, so try and avoid too long an exposure to fine bubbles.
    Clams under 8cm should be avoided when purchasing a clam, as there mantles have not covered themselves fully in zooxanthellae yet, so they will require supplement feeding, but often don’t get enough food and die.
    Clams believe it or not do not like “perfect” nutrient free water and will benefit in small levels of nitrates and phosphates. To clarify though im not saying put a clam in a tank of nitrates higher than 50 and think it will clear up your water for you, I stress when I say LOW OR SMALL amounts of nitrates and phosphates.
    Than another personal bit of advice is that I would not keep a clam in a tank that is less than a year old, from a stability and nutrient perspective. Don’t get me wrong you could easily keep a clam in a tank that is a month old and he will survive, but whether he survives ‘happily’ is another question, so once again I say personal opinion wait a year or so, purely for the clams benefit.

    Species
    I’m going to just talk about the four most common species kept in home aquariums
    Please note the photos are taken from liveaquaria.com, I don’t claim these to be clams of my own and the photos are there for example purpose only
    T. Crocea
    [​IMG]



    Flow= medium
    Lighting= medium (if placed high enough to the lights) otherwise strong
    Feeding= photosynthetic
    Placement= rocks
    More info found here
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+529+1650&pcatid=1650

    T. Squamosa
    [​IMG]

    Flow= medium
    Lighting= medium (if placed high enough to the lights) otherwise strong
    Feeding= photosynthetic
    Placement= rocks or sandy but in my experience prefer sand
    More info
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+529+589&pcatid=589

    T. Maxima
    [​IMG]

    Flow= low to medium
    Lighting= High
    Feeding= photosynthetic
    Placement= Sandy
    More info
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+529+586&pcatid=586

    T. Derasa
    [​IMG]
    Flow= low to medium
    Lighting= Medium (depending on their position in the tank) to high
    Feeding= photosynthetic
    Placement= Sandy or rocky, if kept on the rocks need to be kept in a crevice where they sit securely as they do not attach to rock or sand as well as the others do
    More info
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=497+529+585&pcatid=585

    I do currently own every single one of these species of clams, so like I said this is all based on personal experience, except of course the info given in the links
    If there is any question you would like to know and has not been covered in the thread, fell free to ask and I will try help as much as I can.
    Thanks guys, hope it helps
     
    Alan likes this.
  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    good info givem there by Reefhead.. clams need not be fed manually but they do require some nutrients and strong lighting and depth of tank will play a role to a extent....

    know the clam you purchase and its requirements eg: must it be on the sand or rock?

    and assess the depth of water it will be in to determine if your lighting will be suffiecient..

    i personally had better sucess with clams under a 250w than 150w in 500cm water level.. not sure why.. but there are other factors that i may have been lacking in..
     
  12. Suhayl

    Suhayl

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    I believe with strong lighting and good water quality they will do ok. Remember certain fish nip and destroy clams like an Angel. Choose your fish properly.
     
  13. DarrenT

    DarrenT

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    thanks for the info reefhead, am planning to put a squamosa clam in later on this year(if i can find any).
     
  14. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Pleasure. Peter Bee pets has a few at the moment
     
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