New clam need advice


New member
I bought a clam yesterday from a store that was going out of biz. I knew it was a clam when I first saw it, the mantle was blue but it was not open that much.(About 3" long, I think either maxima or crocea) It closed right away when I put my hand over it. I think it was not very open due to no circulation at the time.

Anyway, when the actinics came on I found it standing on its end in the sand this morning. I thought one of the fish had uprooted it so I laid it back over. I noticed that it had part of its mantle? out and it was covered in sand. It got very angry at me and closed some.

When I stood it back on its side its tongue? came out and started sweeping the sand then it jabbed something down in the sand. I went ahead and fed the fish and noticed a little feeder arm coming out?

What I want to know if is this normal behavior, and should I let the halide come on like it normally would, or will the intense light make it stop its progress? I have tried to educate myself about clams, but I have no practical experience.

Any thoughts and what to expect would be great!


New member
How would I know if it had been focibly detached? What I tought was algae on it yesterday I think may be broken bissle fibers.

Please help,


New member

Here is some reading I have found helpfull. The 4th one gives a description of the bysal gland.
The 2nd one gives tips on placement of clams.

Hope this helps.

edited to add: You should get Daniel Kopp's book Giant Clams.


New member
I cut back my photo period on the halide, and that has brought it out a bit more. Right now it is standing on its head again, and I believe it is tryin to attach itself to the base of the live rock I set it near. I am going to keep the lights shortened for another week then work back up to normal.

Any thoughts appreciated!



Well-known member
David, it would really help if we knew what you had. Can you post a picture or two? What does the shell look like? Is it smooth? Does it have ridges?

Did you read the above 5 links?

Clams need tons of light, so I'd have to say that shortening your lighting period is a mistake no matter what type of clam you have. If the clam wants to attach, let it. That is, of course, if it isn't attaching in a shaded area.

Are you feeding phtyoplankton to your tank yet?

Look for a new thread from me. I'm going to post a picture of my Blue Maxima. You can compare the shell to your own.