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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am considering putting a freshwater clam or two in my aquarium as I have read that they can greatly improve water clarity...

I have also read that despite their benefits they typically die in about 3 months thus causing a potential waste disaster. Can and or is there such a clam that can have any sort of longevity in a planted aquarium setting?

Here are two sites that I found on the internet and one of em says that the clams should be able to live about a year the other isn't specific.
http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_pages/misc_critters/critters.htm#top2
http://www.azgardens.com/aquarium_snails.php

I am looking for someone on the forum that has first hand experience in this area!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found here that this lady said she put freshwater clams in her water to clear it up..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
lol that's awesome I didn't really think about it like that!! I'll just get some polishing media for my FX5. Any online sources you'd recommend?
 

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cut a few pads of this stuff and layer it to fit flat into the last stage basket of your canister filter. then every time you do a water change, shake rinse these pads really well and put them back in place. these pads then need to be replaced with new ones you'll cut up again every few Months.

 

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FW clams are cool but after a while you need to keep them fed. I had most of mine die while I was away for a week because they didn't have anything to eat. So at the moment I only have one Asian clam. Really neat though.

So They're fine for some people and bad for others.

As for that other member with the clams, we discussed them for a few days via PM before she went out to get some. She got them for the right reasons don't worry.

-Andrew
 

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Something else you can do is to feed the clams/muscles on marine invertabrate food by Kent Marine or other. Just use a pipette or silicone a turkey baster with a section of 3/16" stiff tubing into the open end so that you can feed them from above the water line.
Mix the Invert food into some water say about 1-2 cups then use the device you choose to siphon it all up and squirt it close to the clam when they are open.

This will keep them alive for up to about three years or so. I have used this before with the Corbicual species and had good results.

Good luck!
 

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For anyone else who was wondering about clams ~ That's me that PMed with FishNewb and talked about them on my journal thread ("My First Scape"). I happen to like the clams a lot! Nifty little things, though rather boring if you like a lot of "livliness" in your tank. I don't see them doing much of anything at all, but it's kind of neat to look down in the tank and see their "mouths" open, knowing they're keeping things clean. Call me mean, but sometimes I dig them out and put them back on top of the sand just to watch my betta freak out from curiosity over them as they dig back down. *snicker*

I did ask FishNewb about them at length and read a lot online. They'll definitely clear up green water/substrate dust and do it quick, but then you'll have to feed them. I keep mine in little clay pots with sand or Soilmaster in them and move them around, pot and all, to different tanks to keep them free of GW, and also bring in gallons of GW from my goldfish ponds to give them.

After reading everything I have and listening to what FN had to say about them, I don't think I'd let them loose in a planted tank. They burrow down into the substrate and can be really hard to find if they move from where you last saw them, so if one were to die you'd have to dig around in the top inch of the substrate 'til you find it. That doesn't sound like much fun in a planted tank to me, so I'll just keep them in the pots where I know where they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I might get one if I were to ever find it in an LFS however I don't think I want to buy one online yet simply because I am on the road to beating my green water problems.

Also I have MTS in my tank how will those react to the clams?
 

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Thin gravel layers work pretty good also. I am a firm believer that most people put waaaay to much soil and gravel into their tanks anyways. So if the gravel is thinner the clams don't have enough to hide in or just barely enough to get mostly covered they will be visible all the time...
Of course if your using large plants such as Echinodorus types they need more depth for perfect root growth. Ahhh choices...

As for the snails, I have never kept them in a planted tank so I can't say how they would react to the clams, to me most snails just eat plants or uproot them, so out they stay...
 

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I think I might get one if I were to ever find it in an LFS however I don't think I want to buy one online yet simply because I am on the road to beating my green water problems.
Congrats! Then I wouldn't get one, especially if you don't want to add more work to your list. Right now it's raining cats and dogs, but I have to run outside to get some more GW for my clams. A bit of a pita, but I gotta' do it (and I really don't mind it that much ;) ). I think I will atleast wait 'til a break in the rain though. ;)

Also I have MTS in my tank how will those react to the clams?
No idea. I only have one MTS and haven't had it long.

there are other ways to beat green water ya know.
Yup, and apparently Andy's figured that out. But for me, I kind of like the idea of "Invisible Maids". *snicker*

Silicon a mini ball and chain on them...


Thin gravel layers work pretty good also. ... the clams don't have enough to hide in or just barely enough to get mostly covered they will be visible all the time...
That's an interesting idea. It'd be nice to see more of them more often. Hmmmm ... I'll bet I can do a thin layer of substrate in a moss tank I've got in the plans. I wasn't sure what I was going to put on the floor of that tank, so maybe I'll just pick something that's shallow-rooted, like glosso or HC (though the moss might take over with the high light, ferts and CO2). Or maybe I'll leave out carpet plants so I can see the snails better. If I think I need more plants in there in the "body" of the tank, I can always use anubias and java ferns. Neat idea ~ thanks, Doug!
 

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what about clams in an over-fed tank?

I tend to over feed my south american tank so my earth eaters can sift through the sand and my 2 cat fish have something to eat. I feed flake. Will this over feeding provide enough food for some clams? The peices would be bigger than, say green water, but there would be plenty of stuff blowing around the top of the sand a couple times a day. I normally feed twice daily and do weekly 30% water changes.
 

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what about clams in an over-fed tank?
The reason's for not doing this:

Feeding clams and other mollusc creatures that need calcium and other nutrients to keep their shells in good shape and to just plain live will get soft shells that fall apart. Hence the reason I used invert food it has nutri's in it that seemed to work very well for my clams. (They are FILTER FEEDERS)
You could always add the required nutri's via a dosing system or something and just hope that the food you are give everything else has enough "Contact" with the clams. (liquids mix well with water and when squirted next to the clams work extremely well).

The earth eaters might like to pick at the clams to often and cause them to die due to lack of feeding. (they need to be open to do this)

Beyond that, feeding clams are pretty hardy creature with a short lifespan of about 3-4 years. FME
 

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My 55 gallon has 1 canister running all biological, and 1 canister with nothing but filter floss. I've never had water as clear as it has been sincwe adding filter floss! Best mechanical media ever. (and I get stuffing from walmart for pillows - same thing! REAL cheap)
I had one freshwater clam- they're a bit less than exciting.
 

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I had one freshwater clam- they're a bit less than exciting.
Clams aren't supposed to "Excite" you. They are there for the purpose of cleaning the water in a natural method. Excitement is what the fish and shrimps are for, and of course you can clean the tank with a filter and consistantly replace the medium for money. Personally I like the natural methods when possible.;)

Most clams have some pretty colors on their shells as seen below for those who wish to add color.

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=1642
 
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