Maximas under PCs - A sad LFS story


Premium Member
Hi friends,

I have to vent, after visiting the local Baltimore aquarium superstore. I have not purchased anything there for a long time after seeing the way their livestock is treated.

To give you an idea about how "great" this store is they had 4 moorish idols in stock. Myself and others in our local reef club have actually heard them saying to people that they are good beginner fish! UGH!

Anyway, on to the clams. The store has 4 reef show tanks:
The first is a 460 that looks like a drunk chimp put it together. It has halides but no clams.

The next is a 75 lit by 4x65 PCs. Several months ago I saw a 4 inch maxima was put in. Well, guess what, there is no clam as of this weekend. Just a shell.

The next is a 15 high lit by a clip on 32 watt JBJ light. The tank is less than 6 months old. When I first saw it a few weeks ago there was a 1.5 inch maxima clam in there. (I know they don't feed DTs, they don't even sell it) Big surprise, this weekend, no more clam.

The last is a 10 gallon lit by 2x32 PCs. The tank is more thn half rock, and has a hippo tang, a yellow tang, a flame hawk, and a tomato clown. Last time I was in there there were two maximas under 2 inches in there. Both were gaping. Well, no more clams in there now either.

To top this visit off they have set up a 6 foot long SPS tank with two center braces lit by a single coralife 250 watt 20k bulb! The tank looked like crap and down in the bottom were some drab maximas all gaping away and looking sickly. $199 each.

This place will continue to get no $$ from me. Luckly there is a great LFS here in baltimore, Exotic Aquatics, and they treat their animals like gold.

I just had to vent and share this sad story. The tanks are pretty nice, although overstocked, but this just furthers my experience with seeing maximas under PCs. 99.5% of the time they just won't cut it.
I have a 55 gallon tank and using 4x96 watt PC.
Do I have enough lights for Maxima clams ?

I currently have one Maxima and am thinking of getting more clams.
No way, man :( How long have you had your maxima? From what I have seen, they usually slowly starve over a few months and then you wake up and there's a shell :( (read my original post!) With very rare exception, maximas need metal halide light. In the case of your tank, I would have 2x175 or 2x250 MH for care of maxima clams and crocea clams. I strongly urge you to read "Giant Clams" by Daniel Knop.
It's because there isn't MH. Sadly, only once in a blue moon are maximas able to adjust to PC lighting.

On paper, PCs and MH look the same. They almost have the same PAR rating. But, that number is useless to us. The first consideration is that for PCs, that PAR is spread out through the entire length of the bulb, and not a point source like MH. That leads to the second consideration.....the ability to penetrate that PAR into the water. If you measured the PAR under the water 6 inches below the bulb, the rating for equvilent wattage PCs would be a fraction of that of the MH.

I really understand all this stuff that much, but MH, is the one and only lighting source we have that is close to natural sunlight.

I wish you the best of luck with your clam :) , but I think it would be best to limit future purchases to squamosas and the like until you upgrade your lighting.
Yeah, what peabody saus is right, but sometimes clams can adapt. Especially if you buy a small, draber colored squamosa or deresa. Dont get rid of your clam until somthing starts looking wrong. But I wouldn't buy any more for maybe 1 year.