Central Bleaching: reversible?


Active member
Hey guys.

I recently bought a gold maxima from liveaquariua.com

This was not a "what you see is what you get" kind of a deal. It was like a $35 generic gold maxima clam. I just kind of added it on the order so I could get free shipping (for orders $175 or more). I still like the clam though!:)

Anyway, at first I thought that it was just sort of a drab color. But just now I was looking a lot closer at the clam, and it appears that the only part of the clam that is really "drab" is the central part of the siphonal lobe. I looked even closer and it looked bleached.

I looked in "Giant Clams" by Daniel Knop and it is most likely due to acclimation to lighting. When they are shipped, they can sometimes go through a long period or darkness, and then when it gets exposed to a higher light intensity high in UV, it can bleach. Particularly in the center of the clam where the light rays hit the clam most directly.

It basically came to me in the present condition that it is now in, at least in regards to bleaching. So I didn't really cause the bleaching, but I'm guessing my 400w MH aren't helping the matter any. Anyway, I'm babbling on and on, so I'll get to to point:

Has anyone else ever experinced this? If so, were you able to reverse it and restore the clam's beauty?

Any input would be appreciated.
i would try to acclimate it slowly to the halides. i have had a few clams that had bleaching but with some time they got their full color back.
Thanks. I am already doing just that.

I am glad that there is at least a potential that the clam could recover 100%.:)
Just an update: I think my clam is either dead or dying. :( I still don't know what caused the bleaching, but the clam never really was able to establish itself in my tank.

It is now gaping today, and the flesh in the middle of the mantle (the same stuff that was bleached) is now deteriorating. Pretty soon he simply won't have a mantle, and his insides will be exposed.:( My crabs are still leaving him alone, but I just don't know what else I can do for the poor guy. This may have simply been an unhealthy and stressed clam, as he was bleached when I got him.

The clam was under 400w MH, and ca and alk were at their normal levels (about 415 and 10.5 for my tank). I fed DT's every other day. There were no signs of parasites or any type of predation, with the exception of my neon goby which frequently irritated it by swimming in its mantle, but I wouldn't have expected it to have killed the clam.

It never attached to the rocks, or the shell I put under it. I NEVER saw full mantle extension.

Oh well, at least my Derasa is still going strong.:)

EDIT: hmmmmm, I just turned around after 2 minutes and he's no longer gaping. He is still very reactive to changes in light intensity ie he clams up if a fish swims overhead - I'm out of ideas.:confused:
Check him for parasites on the undersides of his shell? Perhaps (and I think you are already doing this) put him in a shady spot and slowly bring him out.

I have *heard* that freshwater dips can be helpful, but I've never tried that.

Much luck.
I am doubting that there is a parasite problem, and if I am wrong, a FW may push him over the edge...

I have been slowly increasing the photoperiod of my MH to help the clam with the stress, but apparently this has not helped. I moved him under a ledge towards the back of my tank. I'm calling this spot his "deathbed." A good amount of light still gets back there, but it is pretty shady. He is at least out of the way of traffic from other fish, so he should be unbothered. Plus, if he dies, I won't have to watch my crabs devouring his carcase.:)

I'll see what happens....
You were right.:( I looked this morning - LOADED with those stupid snails! It is definitely parasites. Man I HATE those things!:mad:

I think it may be too late, but we'll see. I mean, the clam now has THREE openings on his mantle. (Uhhh, yeah, one of them is actually flesh that has withered away.):(

They say knowing is half the battle, I'm just afraid that the battle is over.:(
I'm sorry to hear your clam passed away. I always check my critters carefully before I put them in my tank. I've seen many clams come into lfs infested with parasites...