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Question on clam not opening

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brandonp View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 20 2016 at 6:43pm
I was wondering how long it should take my new clam to open? I got a small maxima clam that's about 2" a few days ago. It is still only showing a little bit of its flesh and barely open. So the question is how long should I expect it to take to open? It does react to shadows from fish and I have checked to see if any pests are bothering it. All parameters are good. Also how high of nitrates can they handle? They are below 5 but I'm wondering if they can handle up to 20? Thanks all
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2016 at 9:11pm
Several things come to mind.

Lighting - clams do well with bright light, but if the light is different, like going from natural sunlight, where the clam was bred and raised, to LED's, it can take some time for the clam to get accustomed to the new light.

Nutrients - In addition to proper light, the large population of zooxanthellae algae in the clams mantle need to eat N pollution.

Positioning - This relates to water flow and substrate. Some clams like to be in the sand, others prefer a depression in a rock while others prefer to connect their foot to a rock buried in up to an inch of sand. Moderate water flow is good but clams can handle a wide range of flow.

Supplemental feeding - Clams actually love to eat phytoplankton. I have used clams to clear a tank of a bloom of green water / single celled algae. I buy Phyto Paste to feed my clams.

We used to hear the experts talk about how a skimmer is not needed as much where clams are present. I take that to mean that over-skimming is probably not so good if a healthy well fed clam is wanted. Back in the day when Tridacna clams were not so expensive, I kept some very nice large ones in skimmerless tanks.

I believe there was a thread about this not so long ago... yeah here it is:

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2016 at 9:38pm
Thanks Mark. Btw I did read the thread that you posted before I posted my thread. I originally had it in the sand thend stuck it a little higher up on a piece of dead coral rubble. How long can a healthy clam stay closed. Btw it hasn't attempted to attach it's foot. It was in the lfs. It was open when I got there but after flashing my hand over it I didn't see it open again at the store. Are some clams more shy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 7:58am
How long will it remain closed with only a little of the mantle showing? I Googled images of "wild tridacna clams" It appears that in the wild they can be mostly closed, even for a photographer that would have taken the pic of the clam at it's best.

If it is attached to something at the LFS, it's usually best to buy whatever it is attached to if possible. Pulling it off injures it's byssal threads, which can cause issues down the road. Here is an interesting article:
https://pauaproject.wordpress.com/clam-biology/

Yes, each clam may act differently. Like Homo sapiens, individuals within any single species can have quite different behaviors. When I first showed this TOTM for May 2003, another experienced hobbyist told me that this clam opened wide like that because it was sick. A couple months later I gave the tank to my brother but I don't remember how long the clam lived after that. It may have been sick but I never found out. I just know it displayed beautifully. Smile



Same clam in sunlight.


Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - March 21 2016 at 8:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 8:09am
Ok I'm glad to hear its nothing to worry about for now. Thinking about now, I believe there are very little if any white light over the clams at the lfs. So that could be contributing to the shy clam. Thanks again

Edited by brandonp - March 21 2016 at 8:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 8:10am
BTW Mark that is a nice photo and a nice tank you had
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 9:26am
Thank you.

Check this article. It is terrible. The graph shocks me.
Well, I knew I was partly to blame. My interest in clams back then caused over-harvesting, which in turn made them very expensive. I and my fellow hobbyists from those days are responsible for creating the need for the Clam Farming industry. Stern Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

P.S.
One of our most popular guest speakers in earlier times was John Walch, an entrepreneur that helped start many Tridacna clam farms in the South Pacific. He helped a rich dentist design, set up and operate C-Quest, the first commercial clownfish hatchery. He was also the hobby's inspiration for RDP Refugiums.  I wonder what he's doing now? Is he still involved with www.reefball.org ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 12:08pm
Fyi mark, the article didn't post correctly
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