Foot attached to Small shells T. crocea - please advise


Premium Member
I purchased my first clam yesterday, a 3.5" T. crocea from Tropicorium. The foot has 3 small shells attached to it. Each is about 1/3 the size of the nail on your little finger. I would like to take those off as they prevent attachment to the spot where I want him to go high up on my rocks. He is hanging on to these small shells pretty tightly. I am aware that you need to be very careful of the foot so I am not trying hard to get them off.

Please advise on how I can get him to let go (other than a boiling water dip :).

Thanks in advance for your advise.

If it was my clam, I'd leave it alone:) If clam likes it's new place,it'll let go of the old stuff and will attach by himself.It always worked for me,FWIW.If you do want to remove something,it'll have to be a clean cut with something sharp and clean.Make sure you cut as close as you can to those pieces of shell.Try just leaning your clam in a way that it's stable and I think it will do the rest by itself;)
Zenya has the right idea here. I would leave him alone as well. But, to clarify things a bit - his foot does not attach to anything - it is an organ that is used to move the clam. Those threads you see attached to the clam are threads secreted from Mr. Clam's byssal gland - and they are attached to this gland as well.

If the clam is seriously stressed, like shipping him and putting him in a new tank, Mr. Clam will sometimes spontaneously release the threads from his byssal gland, and you will see a big white chunk of old thread. Mr. clam will also do this if he is not happy with his location and feels it's time to move - ditch the anchors, and walk away!

If you want to do this for him - you can cut the threads as close to the object as possible, with as little pressure as possible. Mr. clam does not like to be tugged on from his byssal opening. And, make sure you don't cut his foot if he tries to stick it out.

Common Sense will keep your beloved bivalve out of the clamergency room. :)
Thanks to both of you

Thanks to both of you

Thanks for the great positive help. Clam is doing great. Colors are getting better even after two days. I am now hooked. Fighting back a compulsive urge to go back to Tropicorium and buy a few more. For now am in contol of that urge. Would like to have a month with this guy before I get any more,,,, but I may weaken if Santa is too good to me. In any case I will buy Daniel Knopp's book. Going to right now.

I just wanted to make sure that those are not pyramid snails, because they LOVE to prey on clams around the byssal opening. Can you identify if they are or not? What you described sounded like the right size. Or, are they just old discarded shells of a hermit/dead snail?
Happy Holidays,
Most Cool

Most Cool

Thanks for your care. This Internet group is made up of such interesting people. You are a Classical Musician. Astounding that I would have the opportunity to interact with an individual with such a skill. Would you believe that the principal in a LFS (Coral Reef Of Ann Arbor) is a violinist with the Detroit SO?

On to the shells: I have my eyes peeled for those little snails, but these are just little small flat, oval white shells. Larger size substrate stuff. He dropped one of them today.

Happy holidays to you also.

Thanks for the kind words! :D Glad to hear that they're not pyramid snails! Those little buggers can really go after the byssal opening, and that's not good news for your clam. I was a little afraid that's what you had.

If you really want to remove the shells, look through past threads here that tell how to safely cut byssal threads. You and your clam should be just fine.

Well, had to check email after midnight church service, should go to bed.....happy holidays to all!!!
Off Topic, but IMO, musicians who play in major symphony orchestras deserve the highest respect. The competition to get a chair in one is fierce, and these guys are really underpaid. ~$55k a year plus benefits for most string players in average major symphonies. (Principal players do not count.) If only people knew the amount of dedication, committment, and sacrifices you must make to become a professional.

Can anyone fathom practicing almost every day of your life since you were a toddler, practicing hours a day, going to music school, auditioning when and if an opening for a position opens up in an orchestra? You obsess about your music almost constantly, picking every note apart looking for subtle nuances in emotion and intonation. Technical proficiency and consistency is a must if you are to be successful.

Funny when you think about how a no name schmuck can make a "melody" out of 3 or 4 notes on a guitar, live an outrageous life and call themselves a "musician" - only to be adored by the public and make millions. An instrument that takes only weeks to master does not qualify one for praise or admiration of any kind. It is laughable in the least.

More people should contribute to their major symphony.
Then buy more reef stuff and clams!!


Do I sence a little frustration here?:D
Although I tend to agree with you in most of what you've said,it takes alot more then a few weeks to rally master a guitar.
I'm talking about serious guitar playing:)
beeng originaly from the eastern Europe,clasical music is a part of me and all my family,but I do enjoy many guitarists recordings.;)
You guys are REALLY going to laugh! Take a wild guess at what instrument I play. Yes, you got it, classical guitar! And you thought symphony jobs were tough to get.....there are a lot fewer jobs out there for solo classical guitarists. Serious guitar playing takes the same amount of work and time as other instruments like violin, classical paino, etc! (Don't worry, Cromax....I know what you were saying about guitar, and I don't take it personally.) But, I'm confident I'm on the right track. I'm still in school and enjoying a hint of success even though I'm not there yet (I got to go play in Japan last year!) and I'm studying with the greatest guitarist on the face of the planet, Manuel Barruecco and the finest guitar school in the world, The Peabody Conservatory of Music. I do play with symphonies, but as a guest artist performing a concerto with the orchestra. It's a tough road, but I do it because I love it. Heck, last night I got to perform a solo piece at a church for 4000 people....pretty fun stuff! When I do enjoy financial success (God willing) like my teacher does with his 150 solo concerts a year I'm going to buy the biggest darn clam tank.... :)

Sorry I stray form the topic, but it's really nice to hear from someone who appreciates the devotion and work it takes to be a serious musician. More often now people's perception of serious music is getting an electric guitar for Christmas, learning three chords, and getting on MTV with no musical study....sigh.

Happy Holidays!
Oh yes. It is a long, hard road. Keep up the determination Jeff, if you ever need an extra clam you could always pick up some extra students. :D
OT here as well, but I had to comment...

Cromax is 100% correct. I played classical trumpet for a good 10 years, spending 4 of those years in a university majoring in performance on that instrument. On average I practiced 6 hours a day, 7 days a week, 335 days a year (I would take the equivalent of 1 month rest over the year for muscle growth). This doesn't count the time I spent studying music, obsessing over my pieces, the performances or anything else that goes with it. I don't intend to demean popular musicians, but they have it easy most of the time.

As a comment to the guitar, it is easy to pick up and learn but to master it, ESPECIALLY classical guitar, is something that very few can do.