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View Full Version : Tiny clam, big in siphon. Is it unhappy?


BeachVacationer
09/21/2015, 06:26 PM
Just got my first clam today (no idea what kind of Tridacna clam, this place was owned and operated by Mexicans who spoke not so much English)! These little guys, an inch long, are hard to find right now. Anyway, it's been a few hours in my tank and noticed the huge in apparatus. Is this telling me some thing important?

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mbingha
09/21/2015, 07:32 PM
Looks like a maxima clam. They are typically difficult when smaller and will need feedings until they are a little larger. Also, how mature is your rank? It looks fairly new by the picture. What are your parameters (Ca, alk, SG, trate, trite, ammonia)?

BeachVacationer
09/21/2015, 08:27 PM
This tank is about 5 months old, I used to test early on but after it's been cycled I stopped testing though I do monthly phosphate test still to be sure its about zero. It's a pico 5 gal tank so I do 75% WC twice a week. I use tap plus Instant Ocean and dose nothing. I figure Lake Michigan water plus IO provides enough calcium and other essentials for even clams and snails. I don't have any SPS in this tank. I use carbon and phoszorb. Just wondering why the opening is so big, doesn't this mean it's not filter feeding? I did read it needs supplemental feeding, so I picked up a bottle of phytoplankton and did put that in the tank.
SG is around 32 per those cheapy plastic meter and temp is 78.

mbingha
09/22/2015, 06:09 AM
That clam will quickly outgrow a 5 gal.

Tap water could be the culprit as you don't know what you're introducing... (Copper pipes, chlorine, etc)

IO really doesn't provide much in the way of calcium and alk, you really should use reef crystals if you like that brand. Clams take up huge amounts of calcium.

5 months is still a very young tank.

What kind of lighting do you use? Clams LOVE light.

Hydrometers are wildly inaccurate, get a refractometer, they are cheap and reliable. Your SG could be off enough to easily kill a clam.

MondoBongo
09/22/2015, 09:17 AM
it's going to be difficult to keep your calcium and alk stable in that small a water volume if that clam gets happy and starts growing. they can take up an amazing amount of resources.

i would definitely look at water quality first. if you're using unfiltered (RODI filter) water from one of the Great Lakes, i wouldn't even want to know what kind of nasty is in that. add in to that a salt mix that is deficient in many of the elements that clams needs, and you have a recipe for trouble.

like mbingha said, your lighting is a paramount concern as well. Tridacna need strong lights.

and lastly, when they're that small, they are much more difficult to keep than when they're more established. they don't ship as well, and are much more easily stressed. judging by the size of that intake siphon, that is a seriously unhappy clam.

have you checked it closely for long term indicators of health, such as a good growth edge on the shell, and strong reaction to stimuli?

did you check the byssus closely and under the mantel near the shell edge for pyramid snails?

all the Tridacna clams should show good mantel extensions, most beyond the shell edge, he looks fairly contracted and stressed.

doesn't this mean it's not filter feeding?

these guys are not filter feeders. they get the bulk of their carbon through a symbiotic relationship with their zooxanthellae, and are able to absorb other nutrients like nitrates directly from the water.

mbingha
09/22/2015, 09:22 AM
Also forgot to ask, do you have an ato? With a 5 gallon you will experience significant salinity fluctuations with evaporation throughout the day.

MondoBongo
09/22/2015, 09:47 AM
Also forgot to ask, do you have an ato? With a 5 gallon you will experience significant salinity fluctuations with evaporation throughout the day.

i wouldn't reef without it. best piece of equipment i've ever bought, and there was an appreciable increase in growth from my corals.

oldbones
09/22/2015, 10:10 AM
i wouldn't reef without it. best piece of equipment i've ever bought, and there was an appreciable increase in growth from my corals.

Almost as good as a RODI system! ;)

MondoBongo
09/22/2015, 11:32 AM
Indeed. But you can get RODI water without a RODI system, as most fish stores sell it at a fairly reasonable price. I don't know of any ways to automatically top off a tank, without having an automatic top off (be it a commercial unit or DIY). ;)

mbingha
09/22/2015, 03:20 PM
I think the point here, is that the op's tank isn't suited for the clam he purchased and unfortunately, will likely die as a result of it.

Giovanni
09/22/2015, 04:34 PM
That clam kinda looks like a gigas! Did you get it online or local?

BeachVacationer
09/22/2015, 10:04 PM
Thanks guys for all your input, I will consider them for sure as I am a newbie at this. Completeness, I don't use RO, ATO is me twice a day using distilled water, I will switch to reef salt instead of instant ocean, and I have 25 watts of LEDs, tank is only 10 inches from led to top of substrate.

Giovanni, you may be right. This little guy might be gigas! I've been looking all over the place in Chicagoland and no one has maximas, several places said they can't get them ATM. So then I found a outfit run by Mexicans in the burbs who claimed they have maximas. So trusted them and bought is guy for $38.

But as you mentioned and after reading this article, it might be a gigas. It's in siphon is large with no tentacles, it shell is white, and it is rather chubby and the mantle doesn't extend that much.

Maybe folks here haven't seen too many small gigas to know one?

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/11/inverts

Like this picture, the color is different but otherwise it looks just like mine.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/11/inverts_album/DSC03527.jpg

So should I let it grow until it gets too big then sell it, is there even a market for these. Did I just overpay big time for a clam no one wants?

BeachVacationer
09/22/2015, 10:08 PM
Looks like the pic attachment didn't work.
Here's the picture of the gigas that looks just like mine.

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Giovanni
09/23/2015, 07:18 AM
It is very very unlikely to be a gigas. I did not mean to imply it was, just that it looks like one. If it were I would be on a quick 1:30 flight up there to buy it and anymore they had!!

MondoBongo
09/23/2015, 08:02 AM
$38 is a highly reasonable price for any Tridacna in my area, as long as it is healthy of course.

Bongo Shrimp
09/23/2015, 08:47 PM
I think I see scutes which would lower the possibility of it being a gigas.

BeachVacationer
09/23/2015, 10:19 PM
I guess time will tell what kind of clam it is. But for now my issue is trying to get this little guy to attach to a square ceramic frag plate. It keeps moving around and it even moved off the plate. This morning it was off the plate it it had some filaments attached to the bottom glass of the tank. I gently nudged it off and put it back on the plate. Is evening it rotated 90 degrees and almost off the plate but not attached again. I recentered it tonight and moved sand around him hoping to limit its movement. Hoping it will attach to the plate overnight. I see a long piece of poop coming out of the out siphon tonight, so that's a good sign!

BeachVacationer
09/24/2015, 08:54 AM
We'll it moved 3 inches overnight and loosely attached to the bottom of the tank. So I carefully unattached it and boxed it in on the plate using some stones. Not sure why it doesn't like the plate. I need it to stick on the plate so I can move it later. I know it's not good to break the attachment filaments and I've done that twice now, hoping I haven't caused a fatal injury. I'm wondering if the filaments extend far, attach then it pulls itself toward the attachment point. It'll be interesting to see if it can move these rocks away.

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BeachVacationer
09/24/2015, 08:57 AM
Here's what the bottom of this guy looks like, another clue to ID this clam?

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MondoBongo
09/24/2015, 10:03 AM
If it is moving, it is unhappy where you put it. Stop moving it back. It doesn't like that spot for whatever reason.

BeachVacationer
09/24/2015, 11:12 AM
Well, I don't want it sticking where I'm acclimating it.

oldbones
09/24/2015, 11:58 AM
Then put it where you want it to end up!

Unless you're running some nuclear lighting, I doubt you're going to hurt the clam.

That being said, I'd want to know what species it was before selecting a permanent spot for it... Maxima or Deresa will want to be on the sand bed, Crocea will want to live on the rock work.

Maybe this article will help: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-07/jf/feature/index.php

Safe bet that it's not a Deresa or Squamosa.

BeachVacationer
09/24/2015, 12:43 PM
Ok thanks!

Giovanni
09/24/2015, 12:53 PM
Here's what the bottom of this guy looks like, another clue to ID this clam?

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Maxima for sure.

BeachVacationer
09/30/2015, 10:10 PM
Good lord, I had no idea these clams move so easily. I thought my snails and small hermit crab was moving him. So I built this contraption to keep him on the ceramic frag plate and keep the crab off of him so he can attached to the plate. Overnight the clam rotated 180 in this thing! Just amazing how it can move. It hasn't attached at all to the plate. It surely must soon I hope. Does it not like the rough surface?

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Gagonzalez
10/01/2015, 05:51 PM
It is a Maxima. It likes to be attached to rock or rock rubble if possible. It is moving because it does not like it there. Either he hates the light or the water in the tank it is in or both. If it doesn't like it's conditions it will not attach no matter what. If you keep fighting to keep it in it's place, it will die instead of living in those conditions. It needs to move to another location or take it back to the store.

BeachVacationer
10/02/2015, 08:45 AM
Maybe so, but it has loosely attached itself to the plate overnight. We shall see.

BeachVacationer
10/09/2015, 10:03 PM
It may not like it but this plate will be his home. This is my final contraption to keep it from moving. It attached before and I put it where I want it to be the permanent location but it unattached itself and tried to attach where it don't want it too. It hope it will survive but this will be his home for a long time. I'm just amazed how much these guys can move!

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Bongo Shrimp
10/09/2015, 10:07 PM
I wouldn't trap it like that. Doing so will only stress it out and could lead to death. Like others have mentioned, if it wants to move, its because the conditions are not right where it is. Forcing it to be somewhere that it deems unfit for itself is almost like torture.

MondoBongo
10/09/2015, 11:11 PM
Yeah. A moving clam is an unhappy clam. Restraining them is not a good idea. But, good luck with that. You seem very determined to do it.

Gagonzalez
10/10/2015, 04:45 PM
yeah. A moving clam is an unhappy clam. Restraining them is not a good idea. But, good luck with that. You seem very determined to do it.

yep!

BeachVacationer
10/10/2015, 09:01 PM
My observation is that it likes or wants to rest on the substrate. When it moves off of the frag plug it encounters my sand then it settles in there. Overnight it's filaments will dig down and attach to the glass on the bottom. But I can't have it attaching there because I need the ability to move it in the future without killing it. So I keep building my contraptions. The last one failed miserably. The clam is way too strong. I've seen it move. It moves by pushing something out of the hole in the bottom. It can lift itself about 1/2 inch and push in the direction it wants to go. It can move small rocks without problems. It just popped those sticks off in one move. Very interesting creature. So this my new containment box. I will leave it there for a month if it holds him in hoping it will attach securely to the plug.

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Bongo Shrimp
10/10/2015, 10:56 PM
My observation is that it likes or wants to rest on the substrate. When it moves off of the frag plug it encounters my sand then it settles in there. Overnight it's filaments will dig down and attach to the glass on the bottom. But I can't have it attaching there because I need the ability to move it in the future without killing it. So I keep building my contraptions. The last one failed miserably. The clam is way too strong. I've seen it move. It moves by pushing something out of the hole in the bottom. It can lift itself about 1/2 inch and push in the direction it wants to go. It can move small rocks without problems. It just popped those sticks off in one move. Very interesting creature. So this my new containment box. I will leave it there for a month if it holds him in hoping it will attach securely to the plug.

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That new contraption is even worse than the last one. The only outcome of restraining the clam like that is going to be death. It won't even be able to grow properly and that will really mess things up. Think of it as if you were restrained in a tiny cage under the sun and couldn't move at all. You'd be very uncomfortable and could realistically die from it. It's a cliche comparison but it's a realistic one. Besides, the goal of keeping the animals we keep in our aquariums is to provide them exactly what they need and allow them to be happy under our care. It is NOT to force them to conform to our requirements or wants to make our lives easier.

If you're so hell-bent on being able to easily move it down the road, you have to find a way to do it without confining it. How about sliding a thin tile under the sand in a spot you know he likes and then put him on the sand over it. He will reach down and attach to the tile and be happy and you could always move the whole tile with him attached later.

Nina51
10/11/2015, 11:14 AM
i have a clam i got when it was just a couple of inches. it is now close to 7" and is firmly attached to the bottom glass, front and center. i wouldn't even think about try to move it. obviously, it's happy there and the other corals on the sand bed are either attached to rubble or as in the case of my plate coral, just live there. there have been times when i have rearranged the sand bed corals but the clam is where it's happy and that's where it'll stay.

if you keep handling this clam, you will surely kill it.

Giovanni
10/11/2015, 06:51 PM
Even if attached to something and gets moved to a spot it does not like, it will drop it's basal filaments and move.

BeachVacationer
10/11/2015, 09:49 PM
Giovanni, I think you're right. I will need to rethink my approach to this.

pinetreex
10/17/2015, 01:56 PM
You got them from underwater worlds in bensenville correct?

BeachVacationer
10/18/2015, 09:17 AM
Yes sir! Is that good/bad?

pinetreex
10/18/2015, 01:43 PM
Not sure on the livestock, but the mexican guys give terrible advice and have no knowledge. Asked them once if they had any formalin based meds for brooklynella and they said formalin doesnt work and told me to use carbon. I walked out the door after hearing that.

BeachVacationer
10/18/2015, 06:16 PM
I have only been there once to but this clam. I was just so happy to find one in our area. Seemed like clams are much in demand in Chicagoland area and thus hard to find locally. I'm new to reef so I don't if this place is a reputable source. I was surprised to see juvie discus there. I know discus and those were horrible! But the Mexican guy who spoke decent English told me to make sure I had enough calcium and light for the clam so that was spot on. But yeah, you can't compare these guys to say Reef Wise in Lisle. Have you been to Xzotic? Ok but they need to keep their tanks way cleaner too. I do shop at places like Aquarium Adventure but rather give my money to mom and pop stores like Tropi-quatics, Aqua Pros, or even Coral Reef Pet Center.

pinetreex
10/18/2015, 08:11 PM
Since I live in gurnee, I dont normally shop at those places unless I go towards chicago for other reason. But shotanks in mundelein owned by matt is probably the best place for me. Recently a wave of large maxima clams came in to wholesalers and all the stores around my area now carry them. I know matt had some last week and fish planet as well.

oldbones
11/15/2015, 09:51 AM
Hey, how's the clam doing?

RobTheReefer
12/14/2015, 01:46 AM
Oops. Double.

RobTheReefer
12/14/2015, 01:48 AM
Rip. It died in a miniature iron maiden. :facepalm:

Cottage
01/09/2016, 12:31 AM
Curious as well

BeachVacationer
01/09/2016, 10:18 PM
Yup, it's dead. I may not have had enough light, or it was in poor health when I got it. Could be that I bothered it too much. May try again if I find some more.