clams/mussels for turtle tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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clams/mussels for turtle tank?

Filtration is an ongoing issue with my turtle tank. Am in the process of adding more filtration and aeration. I was wondering if mussels or clams can survive in dirty turtle water. And whether or not the clams/mussels, if large enough, can avoid being eaten by the turtles. If anyone has experience with this, I'd appreciate it.



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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2020, 07:07 PM
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Hmm I wonder if the issues is total nutrient management. Are you overfeeding the turtles? is that something that can be cut back without impacting their growth?

what about a larger system? it'll help dilute things a bit better if they have a larger tank.

I think the clams/mussels may be more of a band aid instead of fixing the root cause and they may pose their own issues/needs.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think I'm overfeeding them. The problem is they produce so much waste. Any amount of food will result in overwhelming waste lol

A larger system currently isn't an option. I am thinking of making a pond for them. They do need more space. So that is part of that problem.

Mussels/clams would be a bandaid yes, but I am adding more filtration. I just thought it'd be nice if they did thrive alongside the turtles, and their filtration of waste would be a small bonus. Though, would be cool if they thrived to the degree that their numbers would actually contribute to filtration.

I mostly want to know if turtle water is too dirty for them. Or if they'd love it lol.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 08:41 AM
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Clams will need very good water flow and pristine water quality. Clams will not survive in a turtle tank.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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I thought pristine water will starve them to death? I'm guessing turtle water is too dirty, but don't they need some measure of dirtiness?


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 08:28 AM
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I thought pristine water will starve them to death? I'm guessing turtle water is too dirty, but don't they need some measure of dirtiness?
Turbid/muddy water and dirty water are two different things. When there are heavy rains and high flow of water there might be sediments, vegetation, microorganisms, infusoria etc suspended in water that will be used by clams. How ever they cannot consume uneaten food or filter water in a turtle tank.

Turtles are messy and poop a lot. This can dramatically raise the Ammonia and Nitrates and the clams will not survive this.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 05:39 AM
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^^. Clams need pristine water in terms of nitrogenous waste products. But they like dirty water in terms of water filled with lots of microorganisms for them to feed on (unless they're tridacnids, but those are saltwater photosynthetic exceptions).

Have you tried using a plant filter, specifically something like a Pothos? I've heard good things about Pothos plants just sucking up all the waste products (but not the detritus) in monster fish tanks.

However, if you were to seed the water with a freshwater microalgae species, like Nannochloris or Scenedesmus, and you had a resultant green water bloom....you might (heavy, heavy emphasis on might), be able to keep one clam/mussel. It would most likely not work, and would probably only work for a very large system and one clam/mussel.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the clarification. I'm wondering if nitrogenous waste products aren't an issue (like with the pothos plant solution) then I wonder if they'll eat the detritus.

Not for the turtle tank yet, but I do make use of pothos in other aquariums.



^ This is an old pic, but you can see the roots in the bottle as part of powerhead filter. Now the roots are much bigger, and overflows out of a 2 liter bottle.



^ I like to think that the lights being on fuels nitrate absorption, but, can't really be measured. Though, filtration in that tank is excellent.

I'd like to do more research before just buying some clams/mussels and experimenting, but there doesn't seem to be that much info about the particular question of whether or not they can coexist with turtles.


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