HELP! Clam Rescue!!! (photos)


Premium Member
I just purchased this Tmax the other day, and he was doing fine until this morning, when I noticed that the mantle was exhibiting generally unhealthy shrinking.

The ohpter clams in my system (another Max and a Derasea) seem to be doing OK. Photos below. NEED HELP He's looking even worse now, in the span of about 1/2 hour than he did when I took the shots.

  • Water tests out fine, 82 F, Alk and pH are a bit low, a bit of transient nitrtite spike from adding animals in the last 24 hours.
  • Last night, a piece of tissue seemed to be ejected from underneath him that looked like byssal gland, but checking him from underneath, it seems the gland is still there.
  • Clam is NOT attached to any rock - can this be the problem? Directly on the sand bed.

Too much current / Not enough current?
Too much light / not enough light / wrong kind of light?
Freaking out from not being on a rock?



When I have had clams do the same thing they are most likely not going to make it. If you have only had it a few days, I would say it started going down hill at the LFS that you got it at. I would never buy a clam that is not fully open and looking 100%, I have found that once they start going downhill there is nothing you can do to help them. They need alot of light and moderate current.. They also do not like to be touched or moved much. If you can but it closer to the light I would and then never touch it again. It may make it but I am sad to say it most likely will not. Also I have notice that you have it on the sand, TMax usually like to be a rock and seem to do better when they are. I had mine up on the top of all my rocks in a small dip the I made so it would not fall. It did great until I had water problems..

Good Luck!!!!!
you should put your maxima on the rock, this is how they are found in the wild, as close to the surface as possible. These clams are found in the wild in very shallow areas on rocky flats.

hope he pulls through
Thanks, guys. Got him on a rock now, right under the lights, with a bit of current aimed at him with the power head, but it doesn't look good. Probably going to bomb by the end of the day. Real bummer. Here's how he looked last night:


Keep us posted. Personally, I think the clam is going to be fine :)
John, thanks for the kind thoughts. Would that it could be true. Unfortunately, I don't share your optimism. Here's the situation for the moment. Moved the clam right underthe lights, all of 3" below my CSL 4x96 fixture. Turned off the main circ to feed with some phytoplankton, and directed my MaxiJet 900 toward the clam's incurrent siphon:



I have a feeling I'm going to have two interesting ash trays by tomorrow morning.
Rovert, I wouldn't aim a powerhead at the clam. They like fairly low current and too much can really bother them.
I have experienced a curling of the edges of mantles on some of my clams when just added to a tank with already happy healthy clams in it. After recently getting a light meter and taking readings at spots where the clams were unhappy I think I can see why. Under 250W HQI the readings of the spots were upto 10x more than the LFS also take into account that they have been at dealers and shipping. Clams do like high light but you must be careful to acclimate them to the position IME.

Unfortunatley it does seem like your clam is on it's way extermley quickly. I have fed phyto to all mine and they have made it through. Hope yours makes it.


Dead On Awakening.

Regretfully, this poor guy didn't make it. And MAN, what an odor it is. Another bummer is the cost of this bad boy. I wonder if there's any recourse with the LFS. All the SPS and the other clam I bought from them are fine. How would you approach this? We're talking a $130 clam here that went south, while the other was just fine. Any thoughts?

Sorry about your loss. I also lost a clam although I can't figure out why as it was doing great for about four months and just went in a couple of days. It didn't look like anything had burrowed into the shell so I don't know what happened.

As for the LFS and recovering your money, good luck. I have never seen a LFS that has a return policy on saltwater livestock. On the other hand, if you give a lot of business (and money) to this LFS I would let them know what happened and would be very surprised if you didn't get a nice discount next time. I would try the sympathy route if it was me.