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FAQs on FW Aquatic Bivalves/Clams and Freshwater Aquariums

Related Articles:  Golden Clams, Myths and Facts about these freshwater clams by Justin Pierce, Invertebrates in Freshwater AquariumsInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs:  FW Invert.s 1, FW Invert.s 2, Hydra, Worms, Snails, Crustaceans Shrimps Crayfishes, W and Brackish Crabs Terrestrial Hermit Crabs,


Pondering whether or not to get a freshwater clam tomorrow :D <And, not, a FW Pipefish>    1/27/14
Hello Crew! I would like to ask you a question, if it isn't too much trouble ;)
<Why we're here>
Tomorrow I'll be buying a pipefish
<... not easily kept>

and two mystery snails; my veterinarian uncle has assured me that pipefish do indeed eat flake food
<Very difficult to sustain on dried foods alone; esp. flake. Imagine living on flake cereal solely yourself>

if trained from fryhood ;) and although I just got some tall spiral shelled snails that look like MTS (hahaha my third species so far; I have some small apples and 2 colors of Ramshorn, but I do so love inverts!), I want some more snails haha. And my friend who's going to sell me the pipefish also told me she has a freshwater clam to sell.
<Also a very poor survivor in aquariums>

I know feeding's rather complicated, but could I feed the clam on infusoria? Is it wise to get one?
<Not wise; almost all starve to death in days>

I don't mind not seeing it much, as long as it comes out sometimes. Would it uproot my plants (thinking of getting a leafy type ground cover plant)?
<Won't live long enough to uproot anything>

This is an awesome opportunity, I want the clam, but I definitely don't want it to starve! Will the "dirt" in my aquarium be enough for it? I've heard snails help microorganisms to grow, and I definitely have more than I can handle of those even with my angels and Betta eating the babies! Also the sump bottom is full of fluffy brown stuff which I can't really seem to remove...Would an infusoria supplement like for baby fish (made with plantains or crumpled lettuce) feed them OK? What about brine shrimp? I can now buy live brine shrimp on occasion...
<I'd pass>
Will the clam eat the leftover flakes, or crushed shrimp/snail/turtle/frog food? I always make sure some sinks anyway for my Cory cats, and they look fat, sleek and healthy lol! Also assuming it buries itself, how often should I uproot it to see if it's still alive? And, if it does die, is there any sort of scavenger that could dig it out and eat it before it becomes a problem?
Thank you sooo much in advance!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
 Re: Pondering whether or not to get a freshwater clam tomorrow :D    1/27/14

By the way, my tank is 63G with a 100L sump, bio-balls and the whole thing, and is sparsely (as of yet) planted. I have two angelfish, two swords, one Betta that I am trying to rehome and 3 paleatus Cory cats.
Thank you once again!
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Pondering whether or not to get a freshwater clam tomorrow :D    1/28/14

Thanks! Then won't get the clam, but I think I'll try the pipefish,
<DO read re... again; only rarely kept alive by hobbyists for any period of time... Most "fall apart" due to stress in handling, shipping; subsequent/consequent secondary infection>

now that I can get live food reasonably often. Is there anything I can feed them in terms of 'human' food? Would they like crushed dog/cat kibble as a treat?
<? No
... Search, read re what you're up to... ahead of just purchasing life>
Thanks again!

Methylene blue! FW use, FW Clams...   3/23/10
Hi I've recently treated a sick fish with methylene blue,
<Largely recommend against this unless you have no other options. Can be used to treat fungal infections; somewhat less reliable against external bacterial infections. But can, will stress filter bacteria and also stains just about everything, including the silicone sealant holding your tank together.
<<Mmm, Neale... are you thinking of Malachite Green here? Methylene Blue rarely disrupts nitrification, and doesn't stain greatly. RMF>>
Re: methylene blue! 3/24/10
Hi Bob,
Yes, quite sure. Just double-checked in 'A-Z of Tropical Fish Diseases and Health Problems' and 'Interpet Manual of Fish Health' and they both say the same thing. Of course, may depend on the concentration and usage, so your
mileage may vary!
Cheers, Neale
<Thank you Neale... I suspect I've had "too diluted" experience here. BobF>
 Can kill plants and invertebrates, too. Basically, old school medication with few/no redeeming features.>
I have put it into a separate tank as I have a fresh water clam
<This will likely starve to death unless you are feeding at least 4-5 times per week on suitable filter feeder food (e.g., as sold for feeding marine clams and tube worms). Contrary to popular "marketing" these clams don't
scavenge, they don't eat algae, they don't filter food from the water, and they don't live long in aquaria. Complete waste of money, really. Will usually starve to death, and when that happens you have a great lump of seafood rotting in the aquarium.>
in my main tank and I was unsure if the methylene would damage it.
<Correct assumption.>
Could you advise me weather or not to treat my main tank as well as the fish that is now separate.
<Depends what you're treating. With methylene blue, because it can, will kill filter bacteria it is normally used in the hospital tank. DO NOT use in your display aquarium. Use Zeolite to filter the hospital tank. For a small to medium sized fish, a simple box filter filled with Zeolite changed weekly should do the trick.>
Also the fish that is in a separate tank has a hole/ulcer on its side and the pet shop could not diagnose this they thought it could be a bite from my other fish on it could be a disease that could in the future attack my other fish.
<"Ulcers" can mean different things. Could be Finrot, could be a bite from an aggressive tankmates, could be hole-in-the-head. Need a photo and some idea of the fish and its surroundings (tank size, water quality stats.) to answer this.>
Could you advise me on this to and whether my clam is going to be affected by any of these diseases or the treatments?.
<Almost all medications other than antibiotics or salt can, will kill molluscs including clams.>
Thanks for your time
Miss Muir.
<You're welcome. Dr. Monks.>

Sick Swordtail Cont'd, admonition re stkg. FW Clams,  -- 08/04/09
Hi Again,
First off I'd like to thank you for your quick and informative response the first time. Sorry for the delayed response, but it took awhile to complete the several treatments on the swordtail.
<We're continuing on from 'Sick Swordtail (Gill Disease/ Flukes) 7/9/09':
I have rotated through several parasitic treatments as recommended and one bacterial medication including: "Life Bearer" for gill flukes for 48 hours as the package said, Formalin & quinine hydrochloride mix from Tetra for 10
days w/ water change and re-dose after five, and NeoPlex for six days so far. None of these have done anything to help the swordtail. From the previous response I assure it is definitely the safe clams and they are being specially fed. There is still no other fish that are affected and he hasn't gotten any worse.
<You haven't told me what type of clams you have in this aquarium, so we can't dismiss pseudo-parasitic clam larvae on the gills. As I've mentioned multiple times, NO FRESHWATER CLAM does well in aquaria, so adding them is POINTLESS. At best, the clam starves to death over a number of months, before dying and then mucking up water quality. At worst, you have a type of clam (the Freshwater Mussels) that produce glochidia that attach
themselves to the gill filaments of fish. While in themselves fairly harmless, the glochidia can, will damage the skin tissue of the filaments, allowing secondary infections to develop. Never, ever add clams to a freshwater aquarium. They are difficult to maintain, always die prematurely, and invariably cause some sort of problem, whether water quality issues or healthcare issues.>
The swordtail still has quickened breathing w/ the slightly gaped gills and kind of "red swollen appearance" on them, I say kind of because his body is already a bright red coloration making it hard to tell, but he eats normal again (out of the blue) and there are no other signs of stress from him. The "white mucus" for better description look like a small piece of cotton behind the gills which doesn't protrude too far out from them staying more compact than really loose and can really only be seen when looking above and behind the fish.
<Could be a fish "louse" of some sort, such as Fish Lice or Anchor Worms, and while these usually don't affect aquarium fish they might do under some circumstances. Typical treatment is either manual removal (not really possible in this case) or the use of an organophosphate insecticide (e.g., metriphonate/Trichlorfon) normally sold for pond fish. Dosage varies with pH and temperature, but is typically around 1 mg per gallon for seven days.
Another medication used for this is Diflubenzuron.>
This has gone on for so long at least a month an half to two w/ no change from any of the meds it makes me think that maybe their is natural reason for this or his immune system is keeping it from getting serious, but I don't really know. Thanks again in advance for any help.
Sincerely, Mack
<Mack, please give me the information I asked for. What type of clams are these? Furthermore, any medication likely to kill external parasites effectively will kill the shrimps and clams you have. If the clams and shrimps are fine, then the medication wasn't particularly effective! Always remember to remove carbon when treating, otherwise nothing will work. I really do need the information requested plus a photo. The description you give isn't really specific enough, and while it might be some type of fluke or fish louse, it might be something else, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick Swordtail Cont'd   8/5/09
Here is the information you requested.
My clams are Corbicula fluminea.
<Ah, I see. Well, this species doesn't have parasitic larvae, so on that point you're fine. On the other hand, it doesn't live long in aquaria, at least not tropical aquaria, being a coldwater species that feeds on plankton. So unless this clam is in an unheated tank and being regularly fed filter-feeder food (as for marine clams, oysters, etc.) it's starving to death. It *will* die, and it *will* pollute the aquarium. There are no freshwater clams that make good, or even viable, aquarium additions, and anyone who tells you they're "scavengers" or "they clean algae from the water" is taking advantage of your ignorance. Don't listen to them!>
All the invertebrates were moved to another tank when I first started the treatments and the carbon has been removed during the whole process.
I did my best to get some pictures that have detail because getting a shot close enough to the gills to really see anything is hard, so I don't know how useful they'll be.
<Not very helpful, to be honest. Unless an image is actually in focus, there's really data not much that can be extracted from it. Try photographing the fish in the aquarium.>
I posted a link to each one at the bottom. I also recapped the two parasite medications I used to show what they "cover". According to the package Life Bearer kills gill flukes, body flukes, and fish lice using the active
ingredients of dimethyl, hydroxy, and trichlotomethyl phosphate, Tetra Pond Fish Treatment (Desafin) according to its label kills Ich, Costia, Trichodina, and other external parasites using the active ingredients of
Formaldehyde and quinine hydrochloride.
<Quite the mix of medications.>
<Well, the photos are, unfortunately, useless. So, for the time being, can you precisely answer these questions. [1] Does the white stuff come out through the gill slit, as if attached to something inside the gill chamber, or is it on the gill cover, or simply on the skin around the gill area? [2] Is the white stuff pure white or white with red or off-white areas? [3] How long is the white stuff? Like a short tuft, or more like a piece of thread?
From what you've described hitherto, there's nothing at all obvious that springs to mind. A sharp photo would help me, or Bob, or someone else on the crew narrow down the possibilities. In the meantime, if the fish is feeding normally and doesn't seem to have problems breathing, I'd do a nice big water change (50% if possible) to flush out any medications, and then I'd just run the tank normally for a while and see what happens. If things don't get any worse, the fish's own immune system may well fix the problem for you -- assuming of course all the usual factors are correct. As you know, Swordtails need cool (around 22-24 C) water with lots of oxygen, a high hardness (10+ degrees dH), and a basic pH (around 7.5 to 8). They
don't need salt, but they'll tolerate a low amount very well, and at SG 1.002-1.003, you might have sufficient salinity to knock off a wide variety of external parasites. Marine salt mix would be the ideal, but tonic salt would do if you already have hard, basic water. Salt has a mildly therapeutic effect when fish are weakened, so while redundant as a standard addition to the Swordtail aquarium, in the short term, it might help and won't do any harm. Obviously, this depends on your other livestock tolerating such conditions. Shrimps, snails and clams generally tolerate slightly saline conditions just fine, but most fish are finicky, so review your tankmates first. Other livebearers will be fine, but tetras, catfish, etc. can be stressed. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick Swordtail Cont'd   8/5/09
Yes, I was afraid the shots would be useless. See he has white coloration around the gills which makes it extra hard to photograph and just looking at him on his side you can only tell his gills look a little extra red and swollen and until you look above him during feeding you find the "white stuff" which barely protrudes from gill slits.
<Does the white stuff go in and out when the fish feeds? Because of the way the fish "throat" works, food can sometimes pass into the areas with the gill filaments on each side of this cavity. As Microsoft would say, "this isn't a bug, but a feature", but occasionally loose material can get wedged in the gill filaments that should have been swallowed or expelled. If this is the case, when the fish feeds, the white stuff would flip in and out
with the water current. Eventually, the gills should clear themselves, and the danger is more irritation than anything else. Because the gills are so delicate, you shouldn't try and pull the material out.>
So getting a photograph from the side will probably prove just a bad, but I will provide one anyway from inside the tank.
<Very good.>
1. The white stuff comes out from the gills and appears to be attached in the gill chamber. The protrude part seems very loose though small moving when his gills move, but the part in the gills is more firm and doesn't act like the protruding part.
<I see; sounds as if the gill-ward end is attached or wedged, while the protruding part is loose and flapping about.>
2. It's hard to say the white stuff is "pretty white", but I'd say it has some "clearness" to it when you look closer if that makes sense.
<Yes, does make sense.>
3. The white stuff is definitely more of a short tuft and not like a thread, it protrudes only about 3mm give or take a little.
<Well, fungal threads look like short, white fibres, and are often likened to cotton wool. Dead tissue looks, well, dead, i.e., off-white to grey.>
My tank has a temperature of about 78 degrees Fahrenheit right now because its the summer here, but the temp. was more around 73 when this started.
The general hardness is about 9-11 dKH and pH 7.6.
<A summertime high of 78 won't do any harm to Swordtails provided there's plenty of water movement. Water chemistry sounds good.>
There are small tetras in the tank x-ray and flame that can't be moved so I don't now about the salt.
<X-ray tetras (Pristella maxillaris) actually tolerate slightly brackish water in the wild, so 3-4 grammes/litre (~SG 1.001 at 25 C) would do them no harm, and might well help Mr. Swordtail. But Flame tetras are, like most South American characins, somewhat intolerant of salt, so if you did add some salt, you'd want to watch them very carefully for signs of distress.
Salt isn't a poison, but over the long term, freshwater fish can be stressed by exposure to saline conditions.>
Hope this helps and I'll try to get better pics!
<A picture really would help! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sick Swordtail Cont'd   8/5/09
The swordtail is being quite skittish when I approach the tank going back and forth at the back of it making pictures hard to get. Since he was far back that meant I had to use the zoom to actually get a picture close enough to see the gills. There are some glaring pictures mainly because of the zoom. If I have to try again I can though I doubt it will look any better. Also I have noticed that when he eats a massive amount of bubbles come out at a rather large size compared to the gills, I know this can sometimes happen with fish but its new since the "white stuff" appeared. I don't believe it goes in and out rather side to side, but I can't confirm that until tomorrow when I feed him.
Here are the best picture I could get after about 30 min., though I still can't get much out of them but who knows maybe they'll give you a little insight.
<Photos not dramatically better, so can't actually see the problem. So going on instinct here! Suspect the problem is physical damage and/or something trapped inside the gill cavity. Would directly treat the water.
Would instead give the Swordtail daily saltwater dips to prevent secondary infections and speed up healing. Dips are simple. Put one litre of water from the aquarium in a container. Add 35 grammes of non-iodised salt.
Aquarium salt is good, but so are equivalent cooking salts, such as kosher salt. You don't want marine salt mix for this, because that would change the pH and hardness as well as salinity. It's plain vanilla sodium chloride we're after here! Now, dissolve the salt thoroughly. When it's all dissolved, net the fish gently, and then place in the salty water tub until the fish shows signs of severe distress (classically, it rolls over, but thrashing about wildly would be a good sign too). You should be able to dip this type of fish, a salt-tolerant livebearer, for at least 2 minutes, and anything up to 20 minutes will be safe, assuming it hasn't rolled over first. Lift up the fish, place the net in the aquarium, let the fish recover, and once it looks happy again, release it. You can repeat this on a daily basis if necessary. The idea here is that "blitzing" bacteria and fungal colonies on the outside of the fish with salty water draws out the water from their cells, killing them. It also shocks external freshwater parasites such as lice and anchor worms. It has no effect on parasites and bacteria inside the fish, which is why it doesn't help with whitespot, if you're wondering. I find saltwater dips quite helpful for mystery diseases, and you might too! Good luck, Neale.>

Tiny clams 5/17/09
We live in western Oregon, and have 2 VERY large Koi ponds. The smaller (30') pond circulates via a stream into the larger (60') pond, and the larger pond water is pumped back into the smaller pond. The ponds are about 10 yrs old. Nothing has been added for many years, but just this week, I found a tiny clam shell in the streambed, and upon looking further, found pockets full of these tiny clams. I have no idea how they got there, or what type they are. Any ideas? I'm including pix of what I found. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks, Jeanne
<Jeanne, these are likely some type of Sphaeriidae, such as Pisidium or Sphaerium spp. They do occur in ponds, and unlike (some) Swan Mussels, their juveniles don't parasitize fish, so are completely harmless. I've no idea how these funny little clams get about, but many species have astonishingly wide (often near-global) distributions so however they move from one body of water to the next, they do it very well. Cheers, Neale.>

 Lost in spaaaaaace!

Question about Clams, FW, human consumption  8/7/07 Can you eat a fresh water clam from a lake? Location Northern Maine Thanks Betty <Hello Betty. Almost certainly not, unless your local Fish & Wildlife agency considers that lake pollution-free and safe for shellfish fishing. Bivalves (clams, mussels, etc.) are just about the best filters on the planet, and will sift out bacteria as well as algae from the water. If those bacteria are pathogenic, perhaps thanks to nearby farms dumping effluent into the rivers that feed that lake, then those bacteria will end up in you. Bivalves can also collect heavy metals, sometimes naturally in the water and sometimes a product of local industry. Either way, not good. All that said, some freshwater mussels (mostly Unio-type things) are eaten in different parts of the world. They generally don't taste very good, so are more a subsistence food item than a delicacy. Cheers, Neale>

Freshwater Mussels 6/29/07 Hi guys <Ave.> I saw some freshwater mussel in the LFS. They have advised that they are natural filters. I was just wondering how effective they are in a tank and how many is required to be fully effective. And are they also able to survive in a tank with salinity of 1.010. If yes, what's the highest salinity they can tolerate? And also keeping in mind that I have the Marilyna puffer in the same tank. With its current size, it seems to struggle trying to crack open a full size mussel which I have tried to feed it once. So in the short term I believe its life won't be in danger. Thanks in advance. Wil <Freshwater mussels -- the order Unionoida -- are exceedingly difficult to keep alive in aquaria. The irony is that they are also among the longest lived invertebrates, many species living for more than 100 years. The problem is they have very little tolerance for poor water quality or the wrong environmental conditions. This is why many species in the developed world are threatened with extinction. Another factor is food: unless you deliberately give them suitable food a couple of times a week, they will starve. Read up on marine filter feeding inverts such as tube worms and you'll have an idea on what's required to keep them alive. Despite what retailers say, they cannot live by "scavenging" or "cleaning the water". Nor will they adapt to brackish water conditions. Freshwater clams (usually Corbicula fluminea) seem to succeed a little better in aquaria, and do have (very slight) tolerance for brackish water. But really, you would be better off forgetting about bivalves altogether. I have yet to meet one that qualifies as an "easy" addition to the freshwater aquarium except, possibly, mini-species like Pisidium when kept in invert-only unfiltered tanks with lots of algae and plankton. Cheers, Neale.>

Oysters in aquarium   4/22/07 Hello! I have a 75 gallon tank with African Cichlids( Malawian).  I am wondering if it is OK to put some oyster clusters in the tank with them. <Should be fine. What looks great is siliconing the oysters together to make a great big reef. You can pick up silicone sealant cheaply from any DIY store. Follow the instructions, as it's pretty noxious stuff while curing. The fish will appreciate this complex habitat, and in fact many fishes (though not cichlids) exploit oyster reefs as homes and nesting sites.> I have read about crushed oyster shells, but not about the whole oyster cluster.  My concerns are that they have such sharp edges. <A valid concern, but cichlids are usually fine about this. They use their lateral line system to "feel" their way around, and being very maneuverable swimmers, don't normally bump into things.> My second concern is the best way to clean them.  I have a lot of other rock work and caves for hiding but really like to look of these clusters.  Any advise is great!  Thank you! <Rinse, rinse, and rinse again is the best way to clean things. If these are collected from the beach, then you need to "cure" them, perhaps in the sunshine for a few weeks, to allow anything organic to die off and decay. (In museums they use insects to speed this up, so why not put the shells near an ant colony and let the ants do the work!) Afterwards, it's just a case of washing away any dirt left behind. It's actually pretty unlikely anything in the shells could cause harm to your fish, particularly if the oysters were sold as food or collected from a clean, unpolluted beach.> Christie <Cheers, Neale>

Are freshwater clams hardy?   4/11/07 Hello, thank you so much for your quick response to my last question. Your website is amazing!!! After this, I should be done harassing you! Currently, I have a 45 gallon tank with 6 zebra danios, 4 Mickey mouse platys, and 3 Cory catfish (I plan on buying 3 more soon to make a full school of 6). I looked all over your website trying to find information on clams but couldn't find any. <Hmmm... couldn't have looked very far. On the front page there is a picture of a freshwater clam, and that links to this month's Conscientious Aquarist magazine, within which is a whole article about nothing other than freshwater clams! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I2/Cover/cover.htm > Are freshwater clams hardy? <In the wild, yes; in aquaria, no. For various reasons, not least of all feeding. They are filter feeders and don't scavenge whatever the guys in the pet store might suggest.> What kind of levels do they like (pH, temperature, etc.)? <Depends on the clam -- "clam" covers literally thousands of species, of which several hundred are freshwater denizens. Most want at least moderately hard water with a non-acidic pH (as do shelled mollusks generally). Tropical species like Corbicula fluminea want tropical temperatures, but coldwater species like Unio and Anodonta spp. want cooler water. Bear in mind some of the coldwater species live over a hundred years, yet in in aquaria most die after a few months. Ergo, they aren't easy to keep.> Will they reproduce a lot and fill my tank full of clams? <No. While freshwater clams can be bred and reared in ponds, in aquaria the filter usually sucks up the larvae (called glochidia) and also some cases the specific host the (briefly) parasite larvae need is missing (usually some type of fish).> Thank you very much for all your help! <Basically avoid clams unless you're willing to set up a tank primarily suited to their needs, with other animals like shrimps or fishes added carefully. Cheers, Neale> -Victoria

Anodonta sp. Lying on Side = Problem?   6/23/06 Hi WWM! <Ed> I know you folks "specialize" in saltwater clams, but I thought I'd ask you a question about my Anodonta (Jade-Green Clam), since I read on your pages that if a clam is lying on its side, then it may starve? <Mmm... not in all or this case. This FW Mussel lives oriented in any fashion... usually in mud> Well, that's what my Anodonta has been doing for a day or two now, and, although it doesn't seem to be dead (it does open and close slightly, as normal), it looks, well, odd. Otherwise, the tank seems to be OK. I have two Ancistrus mini-catfish in there, a bunch of snails and four Cambarellus montezumae. Since one of the Cambarellus is holding a clutch of eggs I reckon that the tank must be pretty healthy. I know the pH is not very high (round about 7) but the clam hasn't had a problem with this before. Any hints or tips about this? <Unfortunately I don't have any practical experience with this species, nor any print or Net reference of use> Obviously, this clam isn't very big, so "setting it upright again" may just mean that it falls right back down again. Perhaps its foot got damaged and it is now "re-growing" it? <I would not try to "set it upright"... Thanks a million for any replies, I do like browsing your site and thought that the section on snail control was really great! Cheers, Ed (UK ex-pat living in Germany) <Do please take a long read through this search result: http://www.google.com/search?q=Anodonta re the genus... Some useful habitat, feeding information to be gleaned. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anodonta sp. Lying on Side = Problem?  6/25/06 - Hi Bob! <Ed> Many thanks for your speedy reply! I have read the links and found some interesting stuff as you suggested. I also contacted someone else, who, like you suggested, said that this is normal behaviour: they don't have the "vertical" requirements of saltwater -- and esp. giant -- clams. So, I'll keep an eye on him but he sees to be still fine, in his new orientation ;-) Cheers, Ed Bradburn <Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Freshwater clams Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am trying to maintain (grow) freshwater clams in aerated 1/2 gallon jars with gravel substrate (only 2 clams per jar). What is the best way to provide them with enough calcium to ensure shell growth (I am trying to maintain pH at 8.5)? Would Kalkwasser work? <too caustic for such a small volume of water. Try reef calcium blocks (slow dissolving) instead. Several different brands out there. They will provide calcium and carbonates for calcification.> Thank you. I greatly appreciate the help. Kathrin Stanger-Hall <always welcome, Anthony>

FW Mollusks and Disease (1/9/2004) Hi, Thanks again for the help. I did one bit of clarification please:   At 01:01 AM 1/7/2004, you wrote: ><I haven't tried it. However, I've heard that freshwater mollusks can be disease carriers.> Disease in what respect? Something that might hurt my fish, or something that I might actually catch myself? <Possibly both - read more by searching the FAQs under "disease, carriers" Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Oystahs..  >Can oysters live in a fresh water tank to help keep it clean?  >>Only if they're freshwater oysters, a creature of which I am not aware. Mussels and clams do exist in freshwaters, though. Know that these creatures can be somewhat delicate.  >I have 6 different fish, a crab, an African frog and 2 snails. Two bottom dwellers to keep the gravel clean.  >>Ah, just because they inhabit the bottom a detritus-eater does not make.  >I don't have live plants, I'm treating the water with AquaSafe, but the water remains cloudy, and with Clear Water treatment. Mr. Jean Charles Blanchette.  >>If the tank is new (or sometimes even if not) you are likely experiencing what is known as 'new tank syndrome'. What you need to do is stop messing with it, don't vacuum, don't clean the sides, let it be for a while. This should allow sufficient nitrifying bacteria to develop that will out compete the free-floating bacteria that I'm guessing have taken hold in your tank. This is, of course, shooting from the hip, as I haven't got much useable information. Marina

Using Clams as FW filters Crew @ WetWeb. Is it possible that freshwater clams could take the place of my aquarium filter? << No, I don't like that idea.  I much prefer the idea that a nice filter can provide a better home for clams.  I understand the reasoning of using clams as the filters, but I don't like the idea.  To me, it is better to have a clean system which requires feeding, as opposed to a dirty system that doesn't require cleaning. Hope that makes sense. >> <<  Adam B.  >>

Green algae growing on freshwater clam I have a freshwater clam in my home aquarium. I've had it for 5 months now. I also have a small goldfish in the tank with the clam. Last month green algae started growing on the shell of the clam and on the walls of the tank. The clam is still alive and very active. The algae can be cleaned from the walls of the tank, but does not come off the shell of the clam. Is this normal? Please help. Lea. <Quite normal and not a problem. Bob Fenner>

New FW Clams Dear Crew (Sabrina?), I really, really do need to spend some time having a long chat with my father about the appropriateness of surprise additions to our tanks. It must be something about Mondays.  I think this is the third one in a row.  In the meantime, I would like to save the two freshwater clams that were today's addition. I've got two main questions. First, I do know that copper kills invertebrates. My problem is that due to a fairly extensive velvet problem through the goldfish tanks, everything fishy that I own has at one time or another been treated with copper/malachite green in the last few months.  This includes both big glass tanks, the plastic tank with the Betta, water change buckets, etc.  I'm now very worried that the copper residue from the silicon/glass will kill the poor things - although at least he put them in the experimental/quarantine tank with the clean gravel and not my main tank. Is the residue likely to do this? <A high quality carbon and weekly water changes should have the residual copper down to a trace. The clams should be able to handle this.> The second problem is that, unfortunately, yesterday was the day I chose to do the clean-out and massive water change in that tank, so there's no longer much algae for them to eat. Is there anything that I can feed the poor things in the meantime? I think I might have some left over green water and plant bits outside, but how much space/water do the poor things need? < Clams are filter feeders and will pick up enough residual fish food to keep them going. They are not exactly active so they don't require a bunch of food.-Chuck.> 

Freshwater golden clams  9/29/05 Hello, I just purchased 8 freshwater golden clams off eBay. they are awesome. then they disappeared. one after the other. they buried themselves in the gravel. I see the gravel moving. I know nothing about these. but I love them. do you know any helpful information that might be of relevance to me? thanks !! <Is it Corbicula?: http://crayfishshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=33 Use the scientific name in your search engines... Bob Fenner>

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