I want to have clams Please help me out


New member
I have PC lights, on a 20 gal. tank. The watts are 4 pc's at 55 watts each. Is this enough for a small tank like mine??
Could I ever put MH on a tank like this, or would the heat factor be way to much??
I want to do it right, so, I could set-up my 55 gal, but sure don't want to if it isn't neccessary.
Please tell me what I need to do, so I won't kill anything.
Thank You
That is definitely a lot of pc lighting :D Yes, you could put a metal halide on that tank without having heat problems (as long as it is set up right with either an open backed canopy and fans or by using a pendant system). There are a few people here running halides on tanks that size.

As for the clams, you would definitely be fine with a squamosa or a derasa. I am personally not a fan of keeping maximas or croceas under pc's because I have seen them fade away under them. However, there are people that are doing it successfully.

Yeah, i just recently upgraded my lighting to mh, before did the pc thing with a maxima and crocea, worked out fine
Good Luck
get your self a small netal halide pendant, on yout tank a 175 watt MH would be perfect. Look at the REEF OPTIX II pendant, you will be really happy with that!!

Good luck, Clams are cool as h#LL!!!
If I do go to M/H ??
How many watts would I need??
I have a Hamilton 4/ 55 ABS watt hood
Should I trade or sell this, so I can use a pendant??
If I did that, how can I still have actinic ??
I am at a loss what to do !!!
Thanks for the help !!
As You can tell, I need all I can get
They will survive under that much PC lighting but I've seen photos of mantles under PC's for 1 year then under MH for 1 year(the same clams of course). The difference is striking!
Should I trade or sell this, so I can use a pendant??
If I did that, how can I still have actinic ??
Lighting you can always use (At least I can always use lighting somewhere - phyto culture....whatever). I'd go with a pendant for that kind of tank. That way you can raise it or even have a fan blow if heat becomes an issue. If you get some lighting in the higher Kelvins you might be able to skip actinics.
Where is the best place to get what I need??
How many K's would I need to not have to use actinic??
I am going to do it !!!
They are so beautiful !!!
Thanks again for the help
I think the color temperature (kelvin) is personal preference. I'm running two 250 watt MH's with a 55watt PC actinic.
You could check MarineDepot.com for pendants - I'm not sure about the pricing on Pendants & where to get the best deal with those. You may even just want to make this into a DIY project. I know they sell most of the hardware a HomeDepot. You could buy everthing you need there except the bulb. Marine depot has the best prices on a 12,000k sunburst ($69.00 - 175watt).
I have seen a lot of yellow in the MH bulbs. Which ones are more of a blue/white ??
I want the right set-up. I have a lot of money in all the lights, that I have bought over the past 2 yrs.
Thanks again
For a tank your size, look at the 150W DE 10K or 20K pendants.
These bulbs are excellent and are cheap(er) to replace. The DE in the pendants have less heat.
Hope this helps-Adam
N.B.-I think most would recommend 10K over 20K for clams but it is a preference issue. (6500K probably is most similar to real clam environment)
I think most would recommend 10K over 20K for clams but it is a preference issue. (6500K probably is most similar to real clam environment)

THis is right on, it is the color of your choice, HOWEVER i would stay in the 10k range MINIUM.
I found a website that had pics of different k bulbs and VHO on a tank to give a great idea of coloring, I will try to find it and post the URL here.

Good luck,
ADS is right. It is a preference issue. There are a number of us (myself included) keeping clams under 20k bulbs successfully (you can see a pic of one of mine in my avatar)

Thank You so much for all the help !!
I really need it bad !!
Ok, then the concensus (sp) is 10,000k to 20,000k
Are the 20,000 that much hotter to run??
Is there anyway that I would go over board and burn anything??
I seen a Max Clam at my LFS and it has been under VHO for 2 weeks. Luckily it still looks great. Should I consider him??
I want a healthy one to start.
Thank You again
The color spectrum (20k) won't effect the heat. That is really determined by the wattage of the bulb. Your best bet for chosing the bulb you will like is to see some of them in person.

As for burning anything you always want to place new acquisitions at the bottom of the tank and then move them up gradually over a period of time to acclimate them to the lighting.
Look at some sites and try to decide if you want to go retrofit w/ MH in your hood or a pendant. For a small tank a pendant would be easier to control heat(IMO only). Once you have decided, look at the bulbs. If you go w/ a pendant the double-ended bulbs are great on HQI ballasts and the price is right. If you go retrofit, (the reflector/mogul in DIY hood) 175W 10K Ushio is nice for your size tank.
There is also the 70W HQI PFO minihood setup in 10K which is more for nano reefs but the bulb prices for 70 & 150W 10K are about the same so I would use 150W for your application.
I MAY be selling my 175w reef optix pendant and old blaast. I am waiting on my new 400's for my FOWLR tank (i know over kill for fish, but i got a GREAT DEAL) Anyway i will let you know if i sell the pendant and bulb. It would work GREAT on your tank, i have it on my 55 gal hex now with my octopus. when i get my other 400's i am going to take the VHO's off my 250 FOWLR and put them on my hex and MAY get rid of the 175 MH...

Good luck
Thank You ALL!!
I have been out all day getting reading material about Clams and talking to others.
I am learning !!!
I am interested in your lights Ken !! If I don't get some before You are ready.
Thanks to Everyone and Please remember me, if You think of more stuff to inform me of. I want to do this one right the first time !!