What happened to my clam

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by sandersc, 1 Jul 2015.

  1. sandersc

    sandersc

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    Something very strange happened overnight in my tank! How somebody can give an explanation of what may have happened.

    Last night before lights off everything was fine in the tank. Even the clam was nice looking, with its mantle and mouth wide open.

    This morning when I got to the tank I immediately noticed that the clam was open.but there was no mantle showing. In between the two shell halves was another snail shell stuck. I immediately removed the shell and the clam stayed open and I could see some white flesh inside the clam.

    I immediately removed the clam and put it in quarintine, it seems dead.
    What could have happened here?
     
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  3. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    Some pics of clam this morning

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    What snail was inside the clam?
     
  5. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    This is a is of the shell I removed from the clam. Could it be tha a hermit dropped its shell there?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    It could have
     
  7. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    This is a screen shot it took from a video I made yesterday morning. Here you can see what the clam looked like, although it was not totally open at this stage.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Hi Sanders, sorry about your clam. :(
    Looking at the shell, that clam was not well for a long time (it was not producing new shell layers).
    If you take out the flesh and look on the inner wall lining of the clam shell, you will most likely see where the last growth layers were and most probably be very receded into the shell.
    If the snail shell was used by your hermit crab, it could have been that the crab was eating the remains.
     
  9. Asheen

    Asheen

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    sorry for jumping in, but how can this be avoided @tekkengal
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    @tekkengal, if you say "for a long time" what time period are we talking about?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    @tekkengalhow would one be able to see its not doing well? The clam opened up everyday and responded immediately when the light changed or when one of the bigger fishes swam passed it?

    What would be tell tale signs of it not doing well. According to my observations this clam did really well in the tank.

    Sanders
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    The clam in this case was most likely a crocea (looking at the shell and mantle colouration). This is a high light loving clam so you would need to provide a lighting equivalent to that of what most sps corals would need. With croceas, they are also "burrowing" clams (from what I read) so the placement would need to be on rock rather than substrate.

    As with sps, clams need calcium, and a lot of it (420ppm minimum in my opinion), to build their shell. If the levels are low, they will most likely not be able to produce new shell layers.

    Clams also require nutrients but looking at the health of the LPS corals in the tank, this does not seem to be the main reason for the decline in health.

    So even if it responded to light, it was slowly deteriorating.

    Another reason it could have died is that there could have been parasitic snails feeding on it. Not likely but it is a possibility.

    This is a good article which contains reasons why clams perish:
    Feature Article: A Look at "Mysterious Clam Deaths" Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

    You can see the difference in the shell layers in these two pics from that article:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  13. Hingis

    Hingis

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    That's why I got rid of my hermits.. They devoured my claim in 48 hrs.. Grrrrr.. Lesson learnt.
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hermits will not bother a clam that is healthy. Dying or dead they will eat it.
     
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  15. 4age

    4age

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    any cleaner shrimp in tank?
     
  16. sandersc

    sandersc Thread Starter

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    @4age no only peppermint shrimp.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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