It was almost 20 years ago I first introduced the Fresh Water Dipped (FWD) protocol for treatment of Pinched Mantle Disease (PMD). Over the years, many reefers altered the protocol somewhat but, on the whole, it still is the only tried and true way to treat PMD, a universally fatal disease if untreated. Lately, I began using this protocol on a different disease, the Elegance Coral Syndrome (ECS). Early indications are that this can be effective in treating this disease also. I will discuss more on this later.
I am a Physician with formal training on research and developing treatment protocols for various diseases. I am also an avid aquarist. I have been keeping fresh water aquarium since I was a child. In addition, I started my first marine aquarium in 1980 and reef aquarium in 1996. I also got hooked on clams in 1996. Those days, one can only get blue Maxima from the Red Sea, and they were expensive. In 1997, I ordered several Crocea, Maxima and Squamosa clams from Dick Perrin at Tropicorium in Romulus, Michigan. This shipment was delayed by UPS for 1 day. When the shipment did not arrive, I called Dick to check the status of the order. He reassured me that the clams would be fine. Dick said the clams were healthy and he packed them well. He also said the clams were hardy enough to tolerate the delay. As example of how hardy clams are, Dick mentioned that he once forgot a tray of Maxima clams for several hours in fresh water. The clams tolerated the mishap fine, none of them died. On further discussion, Dick said all his newly imported clams received a fresh water dip for disease control. This planted the seed of using fresh water dip as a possible treatment for clams in my head. Dick was right about the clam shipment. All my clams arrived in good condition. Enclosed are some pictures of the clams I got from Dick Perrin back in 1997. These pictures are of poor quality because digital cameras at the time were expensive and of very low resolution. Even with these poor resolution pictures, we all can see that these clams are healthy and very colorful. These were the Ultra Maxima and Crocea back then. I am not sure why but these Ultra Crocea are not available very often today. I also ordered some corals and clams from Jeff's Exotic Fish. Anybody remember this MO business from LA?
This was a Red Sea Maxima, the most expensive clam I got back then, I got from Dick Perrin of Tropicorium.
Two really beautiful Crocea's, I also got from Dick Perrin of Tropicorium.
A Blue Maxima
Squamosa, a Dead Crocea and part of a Derasa
Another Blue Maxima
First Grade Blue Maxima
Fast forward to early days of the 21st century, I was a full blown clam fanatic. I kept a 420 gal reef system at the time with numerous Tridacna clams of all five species. It was nice enough that it was featured in the Inaugural issue of Advance Aquarist, and online Aquarium magazine, in January, 2002. At the time, my clams started to contract PMD from newly imported clams. In this Aquarium of the Month write up for Advance Aquarist, some of the pictures showed that several of my clams were infected with early PMD. These pictures are attached below.
4 of the 5 know species of Tridacna, at the time, were represented here. Some of these clams are clearly recently afflicted with PMD. The Squamosa in this picture had huge white growth shell, but far advance with PMD. Almost 1/2 of the mantle in one side was retracted. The two Ultra Blue and the Black and White Maxima were also afflicted. The Green Crocea was affected but not clearly seen here.
In this picture, the Gigas just started to get affected as was the Ultra Turquoise Crocea.
Close up of my pride and joy that are fairly advance in the course of the disease. As you all can see, in 2001 I was up to my eyeballs with Pinched Mantle Disease.
More on the next post