Lighting opinion for clams

Craig Lambert

Premium Member
I have a 75G tank. 48.5X18.5X21.5. With the DSB tank depth is 16.5" I'm running two Icecap Ballast (660 & 430) driving 6 URI VHO bulbs. 2 48" 110 watt Super Actinic, 2 48" 110 Watt Actinic White, and 2 36" 95 watt Actinic White (these are the two bulbs in the center as my fans did not leave enough room for 48" bulbs).
The total is 630 watts VHO. (105 watts per square foot, or 8.4 watts per gallon). Would clams be OK?


What type of clams are you wishing to keep? Squamosa need less light than Maximas and Croceas. I would Imagine you would be okay with any of these species. If a specimen isnt doing good, you can always raise him, onto the top of the rocks.
I was pretty sure that Squamosa would be OK. I would love to keep a Maxima, but I don't want to keep an animal in a light deprived envronment either. If it was placed 6"-8" beneath the surface on a "shelf-type" piece of rock with excellent exposure to my lighting do you think it would be fine?


I dont have too much experience with VHO myself. I would imagine that a maxima would be fine under those lights though. I have heard people keeping max, and croc. und PC. I dont really suggest that, but w/ VHO I think you wouyld have better luck. Again I am not real familiar with VHO myself, but it seems like you do have a good amount of lighting for your tank. A good idea would be to buy a smaller clam (that isnt as dependent on photosynthesis) and see how it does. When you dealing w/ small clams (less than 3") they do best w/ supplemental DT's feeings, as they don't get as much energy from photosynthesis. When it gets larger you can keep an eye on it, and if it is healthy, just keep it, but if it is stressed you can always trade it with another hobbyist. Hope this all helps.

P.s. I think it is great that you would not buy an animal because you would not want to keep it in light deprivation. Not all hobbyists are like thi unfortunently. I would also reccomend captive raised with the infamous clam disease going around, especially on the clams from phonpei.
Check out some of the past threads here, they will help......maximas thriving under VHO or PC seem to be the exception rather than the rule. If it was me, I'd stick with squamosa , derasa, of hippopus. Pick up a used 250 MH setup used and you'll be good for anything. (I got my whole 175watt MH setup with 2 bulbs for $100!)
MH isn't going to happen. I wanted them from the start, but my tank location has a height restriction. It's really a fine piece of furnature, with limited space so vho was the best I could do. 95% of VHO tanks run 440 watts. I'm significantly above that with 630 watts on a medium sized, and relatively shallow tank. I'm posing the question because if I can't keep clams with what I have, I can't keep them

How much room do you have in your canopy? You'd be surprised in the small areas you can fit a MH. maybe something could be worked out.
I would switch at least two of your VHO's to Aquasun's and you will be fine. I run two aquasuns and two super actinics, and I have excellent growth on my 5 maxima's, 1 squamosa, and 1 derasa. They are all on the sandbed about 12-14" underwater. MH's are great if you can use them but in my experience they are certainly not required for these clams. I would be afraid of a crocea in you tank but start with a squamosa and a derasa. If these do well then I wouldn't hesitate to add a maxima. The more aquasun's you can use the better. I also feed DT's two to three times per week.
Thanks Squidman. I have 2 new Aquasuns and can rotate them into the mix anytime. I guess they do provide a bit more light...though I'm not crazy about the pink hue. I havn't tried that with this set-up yet. Mabe running two Super Actinics, Two 50/50's and 2 Aquasuns would give an added punch. Thanks for the idea!