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FAQs about Giant Clam Lighting Design, Fixtures

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, Bivalves, Mollusks, Lighting Marine Invertebrates

Related FAQs: Tridacnid Lighting 1, Tridacnid Lighting 2, & FAQs on Tridacnid Lighting: Science/Application, Lamps/Bulbs, Duration, Quality and Intensity, Trouble/Fixing, Makes/Models/Manufacturers, & Tridacnid Identification, Tridacnid Selection, Tridacnid Compatibility, Tridacnid Systems, Tridacnid Placement, Tridacnid Feeding, Tridacnid Disease, Tridacnid Reproduction, Tridacnids 1, Tridacnids 2, Tridacnids 3, Tridacnids 4, Tridacnid Clam BusinessBivalves, Bivalves 2, Lighting Marine Invertebrates,

Mmm, choices depend on species used, position, depth of tank, "other factors"....

LED Spot lighting   10/29/11
Hello, it has been a while since I have asked a question directly. Most of the time I find the answers to my questions in the vast amount of information you have built over the years on your website. It truly is an asset.
<Ah yes>
My question today has to do with leds for a sparsely populated reef tank. I have a crocea clam that is about 5 years old now and has increased in size considerably over time under 175 watt 10k halides. It is by far, the most light demanding specimen in the tank. I have recently moved into an Incorporated town with ridiculous electric rates! I am an avid diyer so want to try my hand at an led fixture. Using known, quality products to create a light that fits my needs. My tank is a 180 with the clam in the middle and just a few other, less demanding corals, throughout the tank. My thought is, why buy 110 leds to light the whole tank when I only need the intense light in specific, permanent spots. I can use high quality leds with a more focused lens where needed, and light the rest of the tank with a lens that spreads the light more evenly, to less than normal reef standards. It would save energy, and look pretty neat in my opinion. I would always be able to upgrade in the future as well. I guess my question is, how much should I be using to focus on the clam?
<A good deal. In other words, I do think some simple reflectoring about the Crees will do it here>
It is 10" below the surface, I would think maybe 2 or 3 focused 3 watt daylight Cree leds should do the trick?
<Try this out... w/ a PAR meter to test>
I am certain there will be some adjustments, but want to shock the clam as little as possible.
Thank you for any input!
<Please do report back your observations. Bob Fenner>

Metal Halide Vs T5 HO    5/28/11
Hello guys and gals! John here. I hate to add to the large amount of questions you receive and answer. I also know that reef lighting is an open for debate topic. I am currently using a Current T5 HO Nova Extreme fixture on a 90 gallon (48" long) Mixed reef with clams. I am wanting to use that fixture for a propagation tank of LPS. My consideration for a replacement is either an ATI 36" 8 bulb fixture, with individual reflectors, or a 48" Ice Cap MH. I have read The Book Of Coral Propagation. I am reading the Conscientious Marine Aquarist but I can't find the answer I am looking for.
I guess I am looking for someone more knowledgeable than myself ,that is not trying to sell me something, to give me advice. Thank you so much for all of your help in the past and future.
<Mmm, well all three fixtures could/would work... a bit of an equation/expression is the amount of energy and time you're interested in investing in for the amount of growth you'd like... the MH fixture here will get you the most growth in shorter time, but with more operational cost (a few tens of percent)... the HO an intermediate time frame/growth... and your present fixture last... Is this response satisfying? Bob Fenner>
Re: Metal Halide Vs T5 HO    5/29/11
Yes and no. I guess I should have been more specific. Lighting is such a tough topic. I have Crocea and Squamosa clams but I would like to add Maxima. according to Anthony Calfo, Crocea clams are the most light demanding. everything else I read and hear says Maximas need MH.
<Not necessarily... but as you state, high intensity...>
I am a bit confused, since my Croceas are doing well. I don't want light overkill but I would like the maximum light for growth, health and aesthetics of my invertebrates. Would Metal Halides be overkill?
<Mmm, better to have you search WWM re PAR, metering... How to put it/this... it's not the technology or means of producing photonic energy that is important, but the cost of production, application (depth, water clarity, colour....) that's important>
I suppose that is really what I was after. My tank is 48x24x18.
<... and so sometimes Maximas, Gigas clams are "placed up higher" in the water column>
Thanks again for your quick response
and helpful info.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Metal Halide Vs T5 HO 5/30/2011

<Hello John. Bob has asked me to respond to your query as I had reviewed the Orphek PR 156 LED
Well, to either confuse or simplify matters, While I was on WWM researching PAR metering, I ran into the article by James (Salty Dog) on the Orphek PR-156.
Would one of these fixtures work for the dimensions of my tank? That would be a great alternative if I could use just one fixture.
<My test of the PR 156 showed that it would easily cover an area of about 30" x 24" with the lens placed about four inches above the surface of the water. The fixture I tested incorporated the 90 degree reflectors.
Since that time a new model was released dubbed the PR 156W which uses 120 degree reflectors which spread the light out even further at the cost of some intensity. My advice before laying out the cash would be for you to contact Douglas at Orphek as to the ability of the PR 156W to effectively
light your tank dimensions while still providing enough intensity to satisfy your light loving animals. He can be reached at  usa@orphek.com >
Thanks again.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Metal Halide Vs T5 HO
Thanks James. You folks are invaluable.
<You're welcome John, and thank you for your kind words. James (Salty Dog)>

Tridacnid sys./lighting   9/12/09
<Hi Eddie, James replying for Mike who will be out a few weeks.>
Well would you consider a clam for being light hungry. I just want to make sure that the 150watt would be able to penetrate to the bottom where I would place a clam(not sure yet on which one). Thanks for helping me. I was really surprised at how fast you replied considering the amount of emails you probably get.
<The T. Maxima, and crocea are considered light loving clams, twin 150 watt HQI lamps in your 72 gallon bowfront should be just fine. James (Salty Dog)>

Blue Clams And Lighting/Clam Lighting 8/18/09
I've a 50 gallon. acrylic LPS Reef setup with 192 watts of PC - 1/96 watt dual daylight/ 460nm actinic and 1/96 watt actinic 460/420 nm lighting. Do I really need metal halides or will my lighting do? Also, the 50/50 is timed for 8 hours and the actinic for 10 hrs a day. If halides are required would a small Nano Viper 150 watt metal halide clamp-on, at one edge of the tank, work? And if so, how should I time my new PC/Halide setup?
<Both the Tridacna maxima and crocea require high light levels to survive, and with that being said, I would recommend using the 150 watt halide clamp-on with your current lighting photoperiod. Derasa, squamosa, and gigas clams are much less light needy and can be successfully kept in tanks 12-14 inches in depth under power compact/T5 lighting.>
Best wishes,
<Regards. James (Salty Dog)>
R. Gene Hayden
Re Blue Clams And Lighting/Clam Lighting 8/18/09
Thanks James;)
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Best wishes,
R. Gene Hayden

Clams I have a few questions first off I was wondering if there are any butterfly fish that a reef safe? Second I wanted to know what kind of lighting is needed to keep clams alive? >> IMO yes... some of this family (Chaetodontidae) are largely zooplanktivorous (though, of course there are gradations to almost absolute coral polyp feeders). Some examples: The longnose butterflyfishes of the genus Forcipiger... Chelmons, Chelmonops species, the Bannerfish genus members: Heniochus, the Raccoon butterflyfishes, Chaetodon lunula and C. fasciatus... There are others, and the family, it's uses detailed in articles stored at www.wetwebmedia.com Clams? As in giant clams (family Tridacnidae) require bright/intense, full-spectrum lighting to optimize their growth and color... most folks use Very High Output Fluorescents on the low end to Compact Fluorescents and Metal Halides on the high... depending on tank depth, desired effects. Bob Fenner 

Crocea Clam lighting 3/15/03 I would like to buy a Crocea Clam and would like to know how close to the lights it would need to be. Its a 55 Gallon tank 20 inches deep with 4 36inch VHO's 2 Super Actinic URI 1 Actinic White URI 1 Aquasun URI <within the top 12" of the water surface will be fine, my friend. Have you read the sample chapter on Tridacnids from our new book, by the way? Click on the chapter link on this page: http://wetwebfotos.com/store/nma-ri.html best regards, Anthony>

Clam Lighting How many hours per day of high intensity lighting does a 2-3 inch maxima clam need if it is placed in a 20 inch deep tank with 2-175W metal halide bulbs suspended 12 inches above the surface of the water? <<Hi Jacqueline, Craig answering while the WWM crew is attending MACNA. Clams are light hungry and require the highest intensity lighting. Even with 175 watt MH's I would still place this clam close to the top of the tank. The very minimum would be six hours a day with the best of light but I would about double that to ten to twelve hours for your clam to grow and thrive. I personally use 12 hours. Small clams do well placed in a removable container so they can be target fed with phytoplankton. Feeding is actually more important for small clams than light at this stage, although they need the best of both to thrive. Cheers, Craig>>

Clam lighting for a 75 gallon Hello there, I have a 75 gallon tank with two of the 48 inch Aqualights, which total 520 watts of light. Split it would be 4 10,000k bulbs and 4 actinics, which are 65 watts each. Anyway, would this be enough light for 1 or 2 clams if kept in about the middle of the tank or closer to the top?      Jim >>Wow, Jim!  First, have you gone through this section on our site?--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tridacnidart.htm Here is some more information specific to lighting questions--> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm >>Part of the issue is species of clam, for instance Tridacna derasa and Hippopus can do well with lower lighting.  I'll assume that you would like to know which species you can keep with the lighting you have available for them, and I see no reason why you couldn't keep either of these species.  If you wanted to get something like T. crocea, then I would be sure to place it higher up. >>>>Ok guys, I'd like to bump this to someone who REALLY knows their stuff on the clams.  I've spent about an hour reading through old FAQ's and as many articles that appear to be related, but I feel I can't give a very complete answer regarding which species will do well with his lighting, or which might be better, as I've not had experience with every species.  Also, because of this lack of experience, I can't tell him which species *can* be placed up on rockwork, and which others will do better on the tank bottom.  Nor can I advise him on specific bulbs, and I don't want bad information to slip by or to have left something important out.  Thanks!<<<<

Maxima Clam light 4/22/03 I've read through the FAQ's and the link to the chapter in your new book, but I am still unsure as to whether or not I can successfully keep a T. maxima. <OK> I have a 75 gallon tank and run two separate PC fixtures and a twin tube fluorescent fixture.  One PC fixture has two 50/50, 65 watt bulbs (130 total) and the other has two 50/50, 55 watt (110 total) bulbs.  These two fixtures are at the front of the tank.  The dual tube fluorescent fixture sits at the back of the tank and has a 10,000k and an actinic bulb that amount to 70 total watts. Do you think I could keep a maxima if I place it on a rock about 6 inches under the lights at the front of the tank (under the pc's).   <yes... easily> I believe I have the perfect spot for one, that is, if the lighting is adequate... <agreed> Oh one more thing... will it be bothered if I place it next to Xenias? <not likely at all... Xenia is quite passive> Thanks <kindly, Anthony>

Clam lighting recommendations Thanks now for my lighting what would you recommend for my 24" cube, I would like to keep a clam or two. I am looking at MH & PC lighting. Thank Dave <Hi Dave, For clams and high light demanding inhabitants, a 175 watt MH (or 250 watts) perhaps with two VHO or PC actinic bulbs to supplement the blue spectrum would be ideal. I would favor the 250 watt for the depth and they are available in a "radium" which may do away with the need for actinic lighting.  The color rendition is a personal choice, you may want to look at clams under different types of lighting to "see" the difference. The blue light will definitely help "fire" the colors of clams and corals.  For PC's try to find "true" actinic blue bulbs. I prefer VHO myself, with Ice Cap ballasts very flexible. (Can drive PC/NO/HO/VHO). Have Fun!  Craig>

Maxima clam lighting - 9/3/03 Greetings WWM Crew! <Hello Kev. Paul here to help> Thanks for your dedication, expertise, and this website. <Yes, indeed. Thank you Bob!>  It is an invaluable resource. <Agreed and always much improving thanks to your query!> I would like to add small Maxima clam to my 10 gal reef, but fear my current lighting is insufficient.  It is a 28W, 10,000K 50/50 that stands on legs such that the bottom of the light fixture is 2.5" from the water surface.  The spot I would like to place the clam is about 2" below the water surface and there is no lid on the aquarium. <Hmmmmm. I think this is grossly insufficient.>  Is this enough light? <Unfortunately this is unsuitable for any clam. This is quite a small tank for such an inhabitant (it can be done though), but more light is definitely needed before adding such a beautiful animal. Lower light clams are more along the lines of the Squamosa clams but again there just isn't enough light here. Give a call to Barry at www.clamsdirect.com. He is super knowledgeable and offers great advice on what you will need to keep clams o plenty! -P> Best Regards, Kevin.

Clams under PCs? 9/1/03 I think this one is for Anthony or Bob.  I was reading the Reef Invertebrates book and there was a section that stated you could keep certain clams under PCs.   <you can keep even the most demanding SPS corals and clams under standard fluorescent lighting as long as the bulbs are properly close to the water (no further than 3" off surface) and the invertebrates are kept shallow enough (less than 10" of water)> My tank is a 125 gallon (72x18x20), actually 112, but sold to me as a 125 :-(  Anyway, I'm in the process of upgrading everything on my tank.  I'm adding a sump/refugium, live rock, more lighting.  I currently have 2 96W Smartlites, but am going to add two more 96W fixtures.  I was planning on having 2 10,000K and 2 Actinics.  Would these be enough to keep clams?   <indeed... no worries. Do keep your most demanding creatures like clams with the top 16" of the surface under PC.s> Thanks, and I love the book.  I just purchased the BOCP. <thanks kindly... will have it posted promptly tomorrow! Anthony>

Clam Lighting Questions Dear WWM crew, I hate to make a nuisance of myself, but I have a couple more questions (several of them are probably stupid, but, hey, I won't know if I don't ask, right?) <Truly, the only stupid question is the one not asked!  Especially if lack of asking kills animals.> I went back to the store, and the Crocea was gone (big surprise) but they now have a beautiful purple maxima for the same price.  I was talking about getting it when a friend and fellow reef keeper jumped down my throat for dooming a clam to certain death by trying to keep it under VHO's when all clams MUST have MH. <Tell your friend to settle down and 'don't believe the hype!'> He even pulled a reef-keeping handbook off the store shelf at random (hardly the most responsible method, I know) and showed me that it says they require MH.  Even your own FAQ's seem to mention MH a lot.  But then other articles say they can be kept under normal fluorescents!  I know it has a lot to do with depth and distance between bulb and water, but aren't there some sort of guidelines?  Can a med-large purple maxima be kept under VHO's? <MH is certainly recommended.  As a general rule, the more light they get, the better clams do, however, as long as you exceed their minimum requirements, they will do fine.  Growth may be a bit slower, but they will do fine.  In your tank, under 3xVHO's, I would certainly keep a clam in the upper 8-12 inches.> In the same vein, I also looked at (and ended up purchasing) the most beautiful Frogspawn/Octobubble I have ever seen.  It had been there for a month, under 3x4' VHO's, and was doing great.  I also know your website says these corals need moderate light and current, and I would have thought my system about perfect, but again, my friend and his handbook both insist they require bright MH light and very brisk current. <The level of reef keeping has been raised since most current available references were published.  What was considered brisk current then, would be moderate at best now.  Your system sounds quite ideal for Euphyllias.> I must admit that I've not had luck with these before, but after reading your website, I was thinking it had more to do with the large numbers of soft corals (many of which I have removed to their own tank), and not inadequate light.  I placed the Frogspawn at the opposite end of the tank from the overflow/return, about halfway down.  It gets good indirect flow but no strong direct current.  Does that seem reasonable? <Sounds very reasonable.  Overly strong current will prevent the coral from opening, and you certainly have plenty of light.  Euphyllias are quite sensitive to water quality in general, and the presence of soft corals in particular.  Water changes and carbon will help ameliorate these effects.> One thing I would find extremely helpful is if your descriptions of each coral/clam/animal said something about light/current/placement requirements. I know that I read something about different clams having preferences between rocks and sand in the FAQ's somewhere, but now I can't find it, and the species descriptions don't say.  Same for corals. <Any clam or coral can be kept on the sand as long as it can't bury itself.  As a rule, Crocea, maxima and Squamosa clams are rock dwellers, but all can be kept on the sand as long as they get enough light.> Okay, I am sorry for the length, but I have two last questions: <No worries!  Ask away.> In your descriptions of placing VHO tubes 3-6 inches above the water, I am assuming this is without a glass canopy in between?  I still had one on my tank until recently.  I grew up with them and never really thought about removing it until I was thinking seriously about lighting. <Give up the glass!  Glass covers really do attenuate the light a lot, particularly if they aren't very clean.> Second, does my colt coral pose a major chemical warfare problem, or is that mostly a leather coral issue?  Can I keep just a few green star polyps and/or frilly mushrooms in my reef tank without doing any harm, if I thin them regularly? <All softies will produce allelopathic chemicals.  Sinularias (finger leathers) and mushrooms are among the worst.  Your colt and star polyps are more dangerous in direct physical encounters.  When you rule out all other causes of ill health in a coral and suspect chemical warfare, you will have to remove the aggressor or the victim.  In the mean time, keep up the water changes and frequently changed small amounts of carbon.> Thanks again for all the advice and help.  Jim <Glad to!  Adam>

Clam Lighting Hello <Hey Robert> Thanks for providing a great web site and valuable advice. <I will pass your thanks along.> I have a 50 gal reef tank with 4, 36" VHO lights 2 AquaSun and 2 actinics driven by a icecap 660 ballast. The lights are about 4" above the water and the water depth is about 15". Is it possible to keep a Tridacna Crocea or Maxima clam? Will it be ok or slowly die? <In all honesty Robert I'm inclined to say a Derasa would probably do well under those lights but it might not be enough for the Crocea or Maxima as they start to grow.> I am thinking about upgrading my lighting to MH but can't decide what wattage to go with 150,175 or 250. <If you wish to keep more clams and more SPS corals then I would suggest the 250 or even a 400 light.> I do have a Montipora Digitata about 8" below the surface that is thriving under this lighting. <Wonderful. Sounds like a very lovely tank.> Thanks, Robert Walz <Good luck Robert, It sounds like you are well on your way. MacL. > Tridacnid under Power Compacts - 2/24/04 Hi, crew from fish heaven. <Howdy> Can one keep Tridacna clams under PC lights? without MH. <Some clams can adjust better than others. Squamosa and Derasa do a bit better than Crocea and Maxima. Be sure to keep 'em a little higher in the tank once acclimated. (acclimation and feeding is very important)> I'm thinking of putting them 10-12" under the PC's. <Check out the Forums at www.clamsdirect.com. Proprietor Barry Neigut is knowledgeable (one of the nice guys in the biz) and is extremely helpful. Lots of info to be had. Oh, and check out our FAQs and articles on clams. ~Paulito> Thanks, Bernd from Honduras.

Clam placement under halides - 1/27/04 You guys rule! <Thanks> Got a 150W DE MH over a 38 gallon (22+" deep). Got 4-5" of sand.  Would it be acceptable to place a T. maxima or T. crocea on or near the substrate (approx. 17-18" deep)? <Well, 150 is a little on the low side but I would go for it. Watch the clam and see how it looks. Maybe slowly move it towards the mid part of the tank or higher over time. Feel free to drop by ClamsDirect.com and ask the experts there in their forum or maybe even call Barry (the owner) and see what he says. Let him know I sent ya. ~Paul>  Or is this too deep for my lighting. <Might be a little deep. Try it and watch the clam for signs of stress (i.e.. gaping extended mantle far beyond normal, extreme recession of mantle, not reacting to movement to name a few.) Good luck. ~Paul> Thanks! -matt

Clams under power compact lighting - 11/17/04 Hi. <Hello, Sharon> I was wondering if a squamosa clam or any other clams can be kept under 400 watts of power compact lighting. <Well, based on your tank depth and size I wonder..... The answer is a bit complicated, but I would like to say "yes!" if some other points of interests are addressed and the clam is placed midway to high in the tank. You just might get away with it on the bottom as well. The tank has to be fully "aged" and by that I mean it must have been set up for a minimum of eight months, plenty of coralline algae growth, water chemistry within the suggested parameters, and have done your research on your particular species of clam as far as habitat and feeding requirements. It is important to note that clams do not get 100% of their nutritional needs from photosynthesis alone. They also need to pull food from the water. A live phytoplankton might go a long way to help in this endeavor and there are lots of quality live phytoplankton feeds on the market. I prefer Reed Mariculture's Phytofeast or DT's Live Phytoplankton. Also be sure to get your clams from a quality dealer. This is very important in that you get clams that are properly cared for in the interim holding, and also are responsible in their selection. I prefer captive bred over wild clams. As for a purchase place, I prefer Barry Neigut at www.clamsdirect.com. Period! The guy knows his stuff, extremely knowledgeable, consults with us here, at WetWebMedia and other sources, often, has a great selection of captive bred clams (WYSIWYG), good prices, really a great resource. I don't get paid to state this, this is just where I have most recently heard lots of good things, seen him at various reef gatherings, presents at them too! Do your own research and find your own source and let us know about it.> The tank is a 135 and is 18 inches deep. thanks a lot <Thanks Sharon for asking your question here at WetWebMedia. We really appreciate your participation. ~Paul> Collegiate Crewmember Wants a T. maxima - Lighting?  + Anthony's Response Hey Anthony, and\or anyone else willing to chime in: I'm going to have to downsize to a smaller aquarium when I go to a dorm, and I'm looking at a "nano" type aquarium with an enclosed hood, retrofitted with PCs and T5's. I know someone who mods them, and gets 9200Lux @ 1ft depth (about where the clam would be) using PC and T5 lighting. I have a 7" teardrop (gold\purple\maroon) maxima, and I'm wondering if this will be enough. I'm very wary about not keeping it under halides - think that this would cut it? If not I'll just go with a halide pendant, I was just hoping I could get away with a hood to help prevent beer in the aquarium! :D Thanks, Michael <Put that tank in front of the window, and add phyto and I think you'll be just fine. Adam> <Your concern for not keeping it under halides is wholly unfounded. This clam and a majority of zooxanthellate creatures we see in the hobby can easily be kept in shallow water under good fluorescent lighting. No worries. Anthony >  

Discrepancy on the Tridacna FAQ page Sat, 19 Mar 2005 On this particular archive of FAQs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tridaclgtgfaqs.htm there are some major differings of opinion in the lighting Q and A's. In one question, Anthony is saying to me that clams can be kept under PCs just fine, and on another Q and A Jim is saying never try maximas under anything but a 250w halide. <Interesting> I know that lighting is probably the fuzziest area of our hobby, and everyone's opinions are contributed to this site, but this is one heck of a differing opinion! Just wondered what everyone else thought about this. It just made me say "whoa!". <Thanks for this Mike... Antoine? BobF who is of the opinion/stance that all Tridacnids can do "well" under both types of lighting>

Re: Discrepancy on the Tridacna FAQ page - Jim Responds I pasted my reply below for clarification - you might want to read it again.  There is NO hard and fast rule, and it's more a question of intensity rather than type for starters.  I have seen very intense maximas dull down a bit under less than adequate lighting, although they grew and thrived despite this. I've also pulled maximas out from behind rockwork where they had fallen and been pretty much without light for months on end and were none the worse for wear. What I said was If you want a "can keep anything I want with no worries setup" go with a 250W double ended (HQI) fixture, or a 400 watt mogul setup." This will enable you to keep ANY clam, maxima or otherwise without worrying about whether or not your lighting is adequate, or whether or not it will retain the colors you see when it's shipped to you. Regards Jim "175 watts is not enough light for the more colorful Maximas - at least if you want it to retain it's vibrant colors. Tridacna maxima is actually a very adaptable species, but under inadequate lighting, they tend to lose their vibrancy. He should live and grow in your setup though, and I would recommend you place him in the top third of the tank. Also keep in mind that these animals are filter feeders throughout their lives, despite what you may read to the contrary. Add phyto every other day or so.  I've kept and grown T. Maximas with great success under 150 watt double ended fixtures, but those are brighter than your 175 watt single ended setup. Brown Maximas, or even T. squamosa should do fine with your light. Again, the blue ones will live, but it's not ideal. If you want a "can keep anything I want with no worries setup" go with a 250W double ended (HQI) fixture, or a 400 watt mogul setup. 20k looks better too, IMO. If you upgrade, you can simply start the fixture fairly high off of the water, and lower it a bit each week until it's 10" or so above the water. Cheers Jim" 

Re: Discrepancy on the Tridacna FAQ page - Anthony Responds <Thanks for this Mike... Antoine? BobF who is of the opinion/stance that all Tridacnids can do "well" under both types of lighting.> Agreed... all clams can be kept under any lighting.  To be finessed as needed. Shallow placement under weaker configs, deeper placement under more intense... considerations for ones water clarity (or not), etc.  Some of my nicest maximas and Croceas through the years have been kept under hardware-store bought daylight (6K) lamps with some old Phillips O3 blues for good measure :) 20 and 40 watt lamps ta'boot... shoplights. Ahhh... the 80's :) 

Lighting for maxima Dear WWM Crew, Let me begin by thanking you for this wonderful site!  <Thank you>  I have a 29 gallon glass tank with approximately 25 lbs. of LR, a clown goby, an ocellaris clown, a cleaner shrimp, several dwarf hermits, and a mandarin. PH is at 8.2, ammonia is almost zero, same for nitrites, and my nitrates are pretty low. Calcium is about 440 (I'm trying to encourage coralline algae, it's been spreading well lately). I have wanted to keep a Tridacnid for some time now, preferably a blue/purple maxima. I really don't have the money for a metal halide setup, and I've heard that it's possible to keep them under PC's, as long as they're higher up in the tank. Could you give me your feelings and suggestions on this? Thanks so much for all of your time and effort. This site is a lifesaver.  <Anne, PC's can be used to keep clams, but the wattage level would still have to be high...six to seven watts per gallon. You would still be looking at a 4x65 watt fixture. Orbit does make a 280 watt combo, one 150 HQI and two 65 watt PC's, but you are looking at $430.00. I would look at HQI DIY fixtures. Either way, if you want to keep a maxima, there is no cheap way out in the lighting department. James (Salty Dog)> 

Clams, lights, Feedings - 7/31/05 Hi <Hi Steve, Ali here...> I was reading you site about T. Clams and got mixed information about lighting and feeding T. Clams. Here's my question can an adult T. Maxima survive and thrive in a 60 aquarium with 260 watts of PC lighting. <That won't cut it Steve, you need halides, preferably 2 x 250watt bulbs. P.C. just aren't intense enough to keep the clam happy long-term.> My second question is do T. Clams over 5 inches still need to be feed live phytoplankton, My last is question will a T. Clam eat copepods and such. <No and no. Intense lighting along with stable (moderate-high) calcium/alk. parameters will be enough to keep him healthy and growing> Sorry about all the questions but I really want one but don't want it to die a few days later. Thanks <Good luck and keep reading Steve! - Ali>

Tridacnid clams need intense lighting 8/5/05 Hello Crew, Dr. E here.<<Hello Ethan, Ted on this end>> Thanks again for the help. This is a quick one....I have 2 Tridacnid clams, I have 130W daylight and 130W actinic light is this adequate?<<Probably not.>> I have looked all over the site and haven't found a good answer concerning actinic lights and clams.<<Tridacnid clams need intense lighting. It is possible to keep Tridacnid clams under PC lighting by keeping the clams closer to the light source (place them higher on your reef) and/or compensating for the lack of light by feeding. However, in my opinion, you are better off upgrading to metal halide lighting. It gives you more options with respect to placement of the clams as well as the option of adding SPS corals to your system.>> Thank you. Ethan H. Morris DVM
<<Cheers - Ted>>
Re: Clams and Upgrading PC Lighting 8/6/05 Thanks for the response. I am not sure what is available to me so that I can use metal halide lighting with the setup I have. I have a Current Dual Lamp light. Do they make bulbs to replace the actinic and day light I currently have? If they do which one do I replace?<<You're welcome. MH lighting and PC lighting use different ballasts and fixtures so that simply replacing bulbs is not an option. You will need to research MH lighting and determine what is suitable for your tank. Considerations include the dimensions of your tank, what livestock you currently have and what you would like to add, hardware aesthetics (using a canopy vs. pendants vs. fixtures). Also, you will need to determine what MH bulb(s) you want to use. My friend, you have a lot of reading! The good news is that WWM has a lot of information to offer.>> If they don't make a metal halide bulb how do you suggest I add one (I have enclosed a photo of my tank). Would adding a halide light be too much for my corals?<<After determining what MH fixture, bulbs, etc. you are going to use, please search WWM on "acclimating corals to MH lighting" and read through the FAQs. Good luck - Ted>>
Re: Clams and Upgrading PC Lighting 8/11/05 Hello Crew, <<Hello again Ethan. Ted here once again>> Thanks again for the response. <<You're welcome>> I am going to add a metal halide light to my system. I have 120g with 130W actinic and 130 Daylight, would adding 175W of Metal halide be too much? Or do I replace my current lights? <<If your 120g tank is the standard dimensions of 48x24x24, then the 175W MH lighting will work fine.>> Thank you.
Dr. E
<<Cheers - Ted>>
Re: Clams and Upgrading PC Lighting 8/12/05 Sorry just to be clear is that 175MH + my current lights or the MH alone?<<Sorry for the confusion. The current lighting (130w PC actinic and 130w PC daylight) together with the new lighting (175w MH) will work fine.>> Ethan
<<Cheers - Ted>>

Tridacnid Lighting  9/24/05 Hello everyone, <Hello Tyler, Adam J with you.> I currently have a 135 gallon reef with mostly LPS, Mushrooms & Zoanthids. My tank has 420 watts of VHO lighting.  I am planning to upgrade to 760 watts of VHO lighting.  Is there any type of clam I could keep with this setup? < A few actually, the two larger clams in the Tridacnid family (T. squamosa and T. derasa) should be fine in your set-up as they are the most tolerant as far as lighting (Compared to their smaller cousins T. crocea and T. maxima). Just make sure to keep Calc. Levels high (350+). Another thing to keep in mind with these clams is their sizes. T. squamosa tops out at around 12' with T. derasa at around 24'. See here for more detail http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tridacnidart.htm . Hippopus hippopus would be a good choice too, requirements are about the same but I find the Tridacnids to be more eye catching.>   Thanks. Tyler <Glad to have helped. Adam J.>

Re: Tridacnid Lighting round 2  9/24/05 Wow, that was a fast response. Could I keep a Crocea if it was in the upper part of the tank? <I would rather you try a Squamosa or a Derasa first (especially if you have never kept Tridacnids before).  The T. crocea is in my experience the most demanding Tridacnid as far as lightning goes and the most finicky as far as water quality goes.  Some clam enthusiasts will only recommend keeping these critters under Metal Halide lighting, I won't go that far but I will say I have seen the best success with these under MH.  Many of the Croceas sold as 'ULTRA' may not hold their color under the intensity of VHO, if you wish to try it, is to place the clam in the upper 1/3 of the tank and monitor it for signs of bleaching, browning and gaping.  If you see these symptoms its care is lacking in some area.> Is 760 watts overkill? <Depends on what type of light and targeted specimens (not enough for some too much for others), but for what your keeping this wattage of VHO should be sufficient and then some.> Tyler <Adam J.> T. crocea Lighting and Placement  11/30/05 Hi, <Hi Dustin.> I have read though most of your articles and learned a ton of information for when I set up my next tank, but in the meantime, I have a few questions that I could not find answers to. <Ok.> I would like to purchase a T. Crocea Clam (~1-2'),  <I would go for one in the 2+ range maybe even a little larger.> and have a question about the lighting. I currently have a 40g tank, that is 36'x18' x 12' deep, with a 175w 14000k MH light 5' from the surface of the water, along with 3 -- 24w 6500k mini-PC's, and a 65w 50/50 ( ½ 10000K, ½ Actinic) PC. The MH is in the back-right side of the tank, the 3 mini-PCs are in the back-left side, and the PC is along the front of the tank. I leave the MH and mini-PCs on for 11 hours a day, and the PC on for 15.5 hours a day. I currently have 2 hammer frags under the MH and 4 candy coral frags under the mini-PCs. The hammers open up more than they did at my LFS, and the candy coral seems to be doing OK, although the heads aren't opening as much. <I don't think the lights or to blame for that, the PC's are efficient enough for this specimen, maybe water flow?> My questions are: 1) Is 14000k MH okay for a T. Crocea clam, or should I buy a 10000k replacement bulb? <I would rather see 10,000K for this specimen.> 2) Where would the best placement for this clam be (which area of the tank, and at what elevation)? I would be inclined to say at mid-depth under the MH, but I hear they need a more full spectrum (mixture of my bulbs). <I would place it in the rockwork, upper ½ of the tank as close to the MH bulb as possible. T. Crocea is the most light demanding of Tridacnids. Also as far as spectrum, most animals hosting zooxanthellae prefer Kelvin ratings of 6,500K to 10,000K. Actinics and bulbs in the 15,000K to 20,000K are mainly for aesthetics.> 3) Is my MH lights left on too long (11 hr/day) for this clam? (I read here that some people leave theirs on for 6-8 hours per day) <11 hours is a bit long, I won't say that it will hurt the clam but it is unnecessary.> <<Where did these clams evolve?  The equatorial tropics.  Anyone know what the photoperiod of equatorial regions is?  12 hours of light, 12 of dark.  The goal is to mimic natural conditions.  Marina>><Mmm, gets "dark" much quicker underwater than above... due to angles of refraction, and reflection. RMF> 4) What lighting is best for the candy coral? I have read that they do not like direct MH lighting, so I placed them under the mini-PCs, IYO, what is best? <There placement as far as lighting needs appears fine.> Thanks, and keep up the good work <You are welcome and thank you.> Dustin <Adam J.>

Lighting Upgrade for Tridacnids  12/12/05 Hi, <Hello.> Thanks for having this website, it has increased my knowledge of how to properly take care of my tank.   <Thank you, I'm glad we have helped.> I just wanted to ask you for a recommendation/suggestion as to this question. <Sure.> I currently have some shrooms, hammer coral, frogspawn, xenia, and a Monti cap in my tank which is approx. 15inches deep.  My question is I currently have A 4X65 (260 WATTS) PC and want to get one crocea clam?   <Do you? This clam is the most light loving and sensitive of the Tridacnids so I would research thoroughly, WWM is a good place to start, and the book Reef Invertebrates has a great clam chapter, Giant Clams by Daniel Knop is another great book.> Can I get rid of the PC's altogether and just get two (2) MH pendants. <Yes that would be a great upgrade to keep this clam.> Also, what bulb should I use? My tank is 4 feet in length. <If it were me I would use x2, 250 watt HQI pendants (PFO brand with the electronic ballast) and 10,000K bulbs. That would give you plenty of light.> Thanks again, <No problem.> Jose Nunez <Adam J.>

Crocea Lighting 1/9/08 Hello, First off, thank you for answering mine and the thousands of other emails you must get. <Hello, it is a collaborative effort, we do answer quite a few queries.> I have a 125 gallon tank with an attached 30 gallon refugium & 20 gallon sump. One half of the tank I keep open swimming space and the other half I have live rock. Currently I have two 72 in blue actinic bulbs powered by an Ice Cap 660 ballast. I also have a 36 in PC 10k bulb over the LR. I received a Crocea clam recently and would like to upgrade the PC lighting to MH. <Good idea.> The tank is 18 inches deep, but I plan to keep the clam about 6 to 8 inches from the surface after acclimation to the new lights. Would you recommend 175 or 250 watts for this distance? <The 175 will work fine at this distance for the clam.> Also, what type of corals would you recommend keeping with the clam? <This depends greatly on your taste in corals! Anemones are not a good idea. With other corals just be sure to give the clam its space, and that your corals do not shade the clam. Certain corals lend themselves to be kept with clams, such as Acroporas, simply because they have similar needs in tank conditions (high lighting and flow needs). Thank you <Welcome, Scott V.>

Re: New Setup, Clams 1/11/08 Chris, <Hello> Thanks for you help. <Welcome> Would the T5 system allow me to grow giant clams as well? <Depends> If I were to go with MH, would 3x175W be enough or should I go to 3x250W configuration? And finally, for a watt-to-watt comparison, are the T5HO lights more cost effective than MH? Thank you very much. Cheers, John <All I know about clams I got from here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I3/Tridacna/GotTridacna.htm and the related FAQs , this article should help with the lighting choices and livestock placement.> <Chris>

Lighting For 65g Biotope Shallow Reef Clam Tank (But Not 'Really' A Biotope'¦  Bummer) -- 01/16/08 Hello, <<Hiya Barb!>> I am in pre-setup stages for a 65g (36 x 18 x 24deep, with a brace in the center) biotope shallow reef clam tank. <<Ahh'¦I love it when aquarists use the 'B' word! Can/will make 'life' so much easier in the long term>> I am planning on a DSB of approximately 4'-5". <<Very good'¦and I suggest sugar-fine aragonite for this>> I have had lots of different opinions on lighting. <No doubt, and you're about to get another>> In my tank I would like a variety of clams, and some stony corals; LPS and SPS placed mid to high. <<Mmm, well'¦so much for the biotope'¦>> There are some softies I'd like to try on the bottom, <<So, what you really want is a 'reef garden' style of tank>> and eventually some clowns paired with a BTA (this is not certain as I know my tank is small and may be cruel for an anemone). <<Yikes! Indeed'¦and cruel as well to the sessile denizens of this tank if this motile creature decides to go for a stroll>> I am not planning on many fish; a pair of clowns, some pajama cardinals, possibly some anthias, and down the road if tank conditions mature as hoped, a dragonet and possibly a blue spot Jawfish. <<Well Barb, I think you and I have different ideas of what 'not many fish' constitutes for this tank. While this stock list is not excessive (depending on final numbers of Cardinals and Anthiines), it certainly isn't a 'light' load for this tank>> Naturally, this is all up for discussion and will probably change as time goes by! :) <<Ah good'¦let's do bandy back and forth before anything becomes 'permanent'>> I will have lots of flow, and a 50g sump with a remote 20g-long refugium. <<All 'pluses' here. You will also need a good quality skimmer, and some way to provide chemical filtration (canister filter or media reactor of some kind). And while we're talking chemical filtration'¦while 'researching/reading-up on' the other aspects of reef keeping, do a keyword search on our site and read-up on 'Allelopathy'>> My canopy is 9" high, but the interior has a shelf where the canopy is to be placed on the tank, so the inside height for lighting is 6". <<Hmm, I'm a fan of metal halide for most all marine systems'¦but this canopy sounds too limiting/would position the lights too close to the water I think. I think overheating will be an issue'¦and water splashes could easily 'do in' the bulbs or if present, constantly coat/obscure the shields (aside from outright failure, broken bulbs can also pose shock or fire hazards'¦and a broken bulb that is still burning can seriously damage livestock from excessive UV)>> I am happy to drill the top and sides and install fans for cooling, and the back of the canopy is open so other fans could be placed there if necessary. <<Even so'¦I think you're best going with T5 lighting if you stick with this canopy>> I live in NE Ohio; hot in summer and COLD (brrr) in winter. <<Ah yes, luckily winters are shorter and more temperate here in South Carolina>> My house is kept cool in both summer and winter; pretty much 72-73 year round. <<I see'¦but doesn't change my opinion re halides in this canopy'¦still too close to the water, in my 'opinion'>> Here are some lighting suggestions I've received from other aquarists and some lighting vendors: 1. 6x39w T5 HO; brand suggested Sunlight Tek retrofit kit, or fixture, with an assortment of blue to white bulbs. <<The T5s are a viable option, though since you wish to keep clams and SPS (Acroporids I assume), I would go with 8 of the 39w lamps'¦six 10,000K and two Actinic>> 2. Current Outer Orbit 2x250 10k HQI, 4x39w T5 HO, 9 blue/9white lunar lights <<Too much wattage on the halides>> 3. Current Outer Orbit 2x150 10k, HQI, 4x39w T5 HO, same lunar lights <<This would be my first choice of any listed thus far'¦though I would be inclined to search out a different brand>> 4. Solaris Galileo LED fixture. Not sure how these are being received yet. <<The systems seem promising and expectations are high'¦ Though currently, you'll about have to get a second mortgage to finance one more than a couple feet in length>> Company claims that the things I would like to have will do "great" under the LED's. <<I have heard these clams as well'¦have even spoken to folks doing some testing re. I do like the functionality/adaptability/flexibility of the units'¦I'm just not convinced yet that what is currently offered can go 'toe-to-toe' with metal halide lighting. Still, if you can afford/want to go with one of these units it will likely suffice. Just do be aware; any one lighting solution is not going to be the 'best' solution in a 'reef garden' such as you are planning>> Pricey, too, but again company claims the fixture pays for itself in relatively short time. <<Mmm, will still be measured in 'years'>> I understand the heat involved with MH so I'm not sure my canopy is high enough for this. <<Agreed'¦and can cause more than heat issues, as explained>> I don't want to damage the life in my tank, my canopy, or my electric bill (not too much anyway :) ). I also like the option of 24hr lighting in one fixture. <<Are we still talking about the LED fixture?>> The T5 lighting option does not leave much room in the canopy to add lunar lighting, as the canopy is hinged halfway through the top...there is 10" available space in front of the hinges, and 10" behind the hinges. <<Should be plenty'¦ The T5s can be mounted individually with individual reflectors'¦thus allowing you to use the full measure of the canopy lid>> Please offer opinions and suggestions on these different options, and please be happy to add other suggestions as well! <<Have done so [grin]>> Thank you for your time! Barb M. <<Feel free to write back for further clarification/discussion on any of these issues. Regards, Eric Russell>>

Re: Lighting For 65g Biotope Shallow Reef Clam Tank (But Not 'Really' A Biotope'¦ Bummer) -- 01/18/08 <<Hi Barb'¦FYI- I've taken the excerpts of my responses you included from our previous exchange and placed them between double asterisks (**)>> **Ahh'¦I love it when aquarists use the 'B' word! Can/will make 'life' so much easier in the long term** This is what I thought! <<Yes, but you've strayed to the dark side [grin]. Not that reef-garden tanks can't be kept'¦the majority of hobbyists do'¦but putting some thought toward choosing a particular 'niche' on the reef to replicate, and limiting livestock selections re can pay big dividends in the long-term>> ** Very good'¦and I suggest sugar-fine aragonite for this** Yep! Planned for. <Excellent> ** No doubt, and you're about to get another** That's why I wrote! :) <<Hope you found it useful>> **Mmm, well'¦so much for the biotope'¦** I'll say the dreaded phrase; "from what I've read". I read about this style of tank in John Tullock's Natural Reef Aquariums; Simplified Approaches to Creating Living Microcosms. <<Hmm, my reference/hobby books are currently packed-up (in the middle of renovations)>> But, as I've just opened the book I see I've mis-stated myself! Oh, geez. <<Oh?>> Well, here goes: It appears I have mixed up my purposes (but you knew that! lol)... this approach is called in the book "An Inshore Aquarium for Clown-fish". <<I still gotta say, I just don't think mixing corals/clams with an anemone is good practice unless the tank is very large (hundreds of gallons) and the other invertebrate life well established (hardened), and the anemone is suitably isolated/separated from the sessile animals'¦and even then, best left to experienced hobbyists. If you really want to have that 'symbiotic' experience'¦I recommend you study up on the species of anemone you want to keep (some are easier/better suited to captive life than others) and set up a tank just for this'¦along with a pair of the proper species of Clownfish>> I think with all the studying I'm doing my brain has become very confused. <<Perhaps a quiet moment with a glass of wine is in order'¦>> Here's what he suggests. Let's see if you agree with the approach: "for a smaller system" he suggests a pairing of tank-raised Amphiprion clarkii clownfish and a Macrodactyla doreensis. <<Good choices'¦though there are other suitable; and in my opinion more attractive, Clownfishes that can be kept with this anemone>> Other fish he recommends: Mandarin fish- Synchiropus splendidus or Synchiropus picturatus (added after the tank is very mature), <<I think your tank is too small for these very specialized feeders, ever'¦and they are also likely to become 'anemone food'>> Six or Four Line Wrasse, <<Do be cautious here, these can become quite the little terror'¦ Definitely the 'last' to be added in the stocking order>> Anthias, Cardinals, Damsels, grazing Tangs (obviously I would not have all these fish, but choose from the list). <<Indeed'¦ But this tank is too small for a Tang as well>> Sabellid worms, Giant clams such as Tridacna squamosa, T. gigas, T. crocea, Hippopus hippopus. SPS corals, with careful placement to avoid interaction with the anemone. <<Mmmm'¦>> No softies to mess with the anemone, <<Wise>> of which there would be one. What do you think? <<Have stated my opinions [grin]. And I still think the SPS and a clam or two would make for a great display'¦>> **Well Barb, I think you and I have different ideas of what 'not many fish' constitutes for this tank. While this stock list is not excessive (depending on final numbers of Cardinals and Anthiines), it certainly isn't a 'light' load for this tank** I'm still learning! And, I'm teachable! << Very good, Grasshopper (imagine my best Chinese accent here). Do keep reading/researching your choices re environmental requirements, compatibility, et al'¦ And if/when necessary'¦you know where to find me>> **Ah good'¦let's do bandy back and forth before anything becomes 'permanent' ** Yes, definitely, lets! <<Cool>> **All 'pluses' here. You will also need a good quality skimmer, and some way to provide chemical filtration (canister filter or media reactor of some kind). And while we're talking chemical filtration'¦while 'researching/reading-up on' the other aspects of reef keeping, do a keyword search on our site and read-up on 'Allelopathy' ** I have an ASM G2 skimmer with a Sedra 5000 pump. How's that? <<Should do nicely>> I will read up on Allelopathy, which I believe has to do with chemical warfare between corals in tanks? <<Indeed, but more than just corals'¦ Algae, sponges, many types of organisms can/will employ chemical means of defense>> The chemical filtration will help with allelopathy, I presume? <<And more'¦>> **Hmm, I'm a fan of metal halide for most all marine systems'¦but this canopy sounds too limiting/would position the lights too close to the water I think. I think overheating will be an issue'¦and water splashes could easily 'do in' the bulbs or if present, constantly coat/obscure the shields (aside from outright failure, broken bulbs can also pose shock or fire hazards'¦and a broken bulb that is still burning can seriously damage livestock from excessive UV) ** The rests for the canopy could be lowered about 1-1/2in, would that make a difference? <<...? Wouldn't this just place the bulbs even closer to the surface of the water? Or perhaps I have misunderstood>> Or, I could call the LFS and see if they will let me return it for a store credit. <<This would be my first choice>> **Even so'¦I think you're best going with T5 lighting if you stick with this canopy** Okay. I think I may be inclined to return it or sell it so I can get the most effective lighting for the tank. **Ah yes, luckily winters are shorter and more temperate here in South Carolina** My son lives in NC on Topsail Island. His winters are nice, too! <<Likely a bit cooler this weekend!>> **The T5s are a viable option, though since you wish to keep clams and SPS (Acroporids I assume), I would go with 8 of the 39w lamps'¦six 10,000K and two Actinic** Okay, gotcha! **Too much wattage on the halides** That's what I figured when this was suggested! 'X'ed off the list. **This would be my first choice of any listed thus far'¦though I would be inclined to search out a different brand** Can you recommend any brands? <<Hmm, I generally 'build my own' from DIY components. I suggest you visit the reef forums (ReefCentral.com/Reefs.org) and query folks there re a quality fixture>> This configuration would be good, though, for the "new" biotope I outlined above? <<Yes>> ** Mmm, will still be measured in 'years' ** This is what I figured, and I am NOT considering it. **Agreed'¦and can cause more than heat issues, as explained** Yes, I understand. <<Ah good>> **Are we still talking about the LED fixture? ** No, the Current USA 2x150 fixture I mentioned above has 24 hour lighting... it was attractive to me for that reason. <<I see>> **Should be plenty'¦ The T5s can be mounted individually with individual reflectors'¦thus allowing you to use the full measure of the canopy lid** Okay, I will look into measurement information this evening. **Have done so [grin]** Yes, you have, Thank you! <<A pleasure>> **Feel free to write back for further clarification/discussion on any of these issues. Regards, Eric Russell** And, this is my reply... Thank you very much, Eric! Barb M. <<Be chatting! EricR>> R2: Lighting For 65g Biotope Shallow Reef Clam Tank (But Not 'Really' A Biotope'¦Bummer) -- 01/19/08 <<Hi Barb!'¦just like the last'¦excerpts of my responses you included from our previous exchange placed between double asterisks (**) for clarity (I hope)>> **Yes, but you've strayed to the dark side [grin]. Not that reef-garden tanks can't be kept'¦the majority of hobbyists do'¦but putting some thought toward choosing a particular 'niche' on the reef to replicate, and limiting livestock selections re can pay big dividends in the long-term** I feel I've been pulled back to The Light. <<Ah! A convert'¦>> I do want to do the safest thing for the living beings under my care (insert Grasshopper voice here) :) <<Hee-hee! You/your livestock will be better for it in the long term>> **Perhaps a quiet moment with a glass of wine is in order'¦** A nice Merlot? <<A fine choice'¦though I've become partial to the fuller-bodied, woody flavor of a good Shiraz>> **Good choices'¦though there are other suitable; and in my opinion more attractive, Clownfishes that can be kept with this anemone** Please do tell what these other Clownfishes are. <<Listed here, along with a good article on Macrodactyla doreensis'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/macrodoreensis.htm >> **Do be cautious here, these can become quite the little terror'¦ Definitely the 'last' to be added in the stocking order** I understand that Wrasses can be troublesome. <<Some species more than others, yes>> I did read they can be helpful in keeping nasties from bothering clams. Is this accurate? <<It is>> Is there another suitable fish that could take the place of said Wrasse? <<It is my opinion that a suitably-sized Halichoeres species would be a better selection for your tank than 'any' of the Pseudocheilinus species. A couple of my faves are H. ornatissimus and H. chrysus'¦ Have a look here'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeresbestart.htm >> **Indeed'¦ But this tank is too small for a Tang as well** Yep, I know that about Tangs; they need way more swimming room than this tank can provide. Wasn't considering. <<Encouraging to know>> **Mmmm'¦** A murmur of agreement, or disagreement? <<Of concern'¦re the inclusion/addition of the anemone>> **Wise** Told you I was teachable! <<Ah, putty in my hands [grin]. But seriously, as much as I like my own opinions, do seek out information from other sources as well, and use your own good judgment to make your decisions>> **Have stated my opinions [grin]. And I still think the SPS and a clam or two would make for a great display'¦** I agree, and it sure makes it more simple to know what my goal is. <<And more simple to research>> I know I will need to wait probably a year (if the tank matures correctly) to actually bring an anemone home. I've read differing opinions; whether to add the clowns to the tank ahead of the anemone, or vice-versa. What would you recommend, and why? <<If you do this (add an anemone), I recommend allowing the Cnidarian to become acclimated/hardened before introducing the clowns as they can be pretty rough on a newly acquired, and therefore stressed, anemone>> Once I have cured my LR and I am ready for a CUC, what makeup of crew would you recommend for my little niche of clownfish land? Are there things you can recommend, or suggest things to stay away from? <<Indeed'¦ Do read-up on our site re 'cleanup crews''¦but when utilizing a DSB I am partial to the small burrowing and detritus feeding snails such as Cerith and Nassarius species. The smaller Brittle and Serpent stars are very good detritivores, but can become hazardous to smaller fishes if/when they become large'¦and do avoid the Green Brittle Star altogether (genus Ophiarachna). Many folks also employ supposedly reef-safe crabs ('hermit' or otherwise), but I don't, as I feel they are 'too' opportunistic in their feeding habits>> **Very good, Grasshopper (imagine my best Chinese accent here). Do keep reading/researching your choices re environmental requirements, compatibility, et al'¦ And if/when necessary'¦you know where to find me** Allelopathy is on the study menu for the weekend. <<Excellent my friend>> **And more'¦** Which I'll learn about this weekend... probably be back with some questions. <<Looking forward to it>> **...? Wouldn't this just place the bulbs even closer to the surface of the water? Or perhaps I have misunderstood** If I lower the ledges in the canopy, it will ride higher on the tank'¦giving about 7-1/2" for the lights instead of 6". <<Ah, I see now'¦still marginal for halides I think>> **This would be my first choice** They <<LFS>> will take the canopy back for store credit. However, I've decided to go with T5 lighting retrofits as you suggested to use with the canopy. <<Okay'¦do fit 'as many' bulbs as you can. And keep the addition of bulbs in the short-wave (Actinic) spectrum to the very minimum>> Thanks once again, Eric, for your guidance (said in my best Grasshopper voice) :) Barb M. <<LOL! Quite welcome, Barb! Cheers, Eric Russell>>

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