Questions about clams


15& Over Club
Premium Member
Clam expert's give me some guidance. The wife and I would really like to keep a clam in her 29 gal reef but I'm not sure were able to provide for one yet. I've read lots of post's that say you must have MH or you are doomed.:rolleyes: Is MH the largest single requirement for success with clams, besides pristine water quality and regular feedings of phytoplankton? Heres the spec's of mrs9iron's tank.
130 watts of pc lighting, we will be adding an additional 110 watts in the next couple of week's.
4 inch semi-dsb that's full of critters
50 lbs of Fiji LR(almost totally encrusted with corraline)
2 maxi jets for circulation(this tank is sumpless)
Red Sea Prizm skimmer(pulls out green gunk like mad)
2 types of macro algae for nutrient export also
Stock list
Pair of tank raised Oscelleris clowns (sp?)
Euphillia Ancora
Euphillia glaberesnce(sp?)
Sarcophyton (I know they don't get along with euphillia but they are at opposite ends of the tank)
Several types of shrooms (Rhodatics) etc.
Purple SeaWhip gorg
Button Polyps (cullivaria Sp?)
Golden Astrea
Trochus snails
Queen conch
Fighting conch
tiger cucumber
nasuarris snails
The tank has a moderate bio-load. Tank Parameters are as follows
Ammonia undetectable amount
Nitrates 0
Nitrite 0
calcium 420
phosphates undetectable amount
I do daily top off with kalkwasser and on occasion I add very small amounts of turbo calcium. I do feed my fish once a day and its usually a large meal that takes me half an hour or so to do. I also feed Dt's phyto weekly.

Give me some suggestions, Am I ready and able to support a clam?
We kept two (2) clams in our 29 for 3 years with 4ea. 55W PC's. Many said we couldn't do it, but they look great. We saw over 1.5-2.0" of growth. We recently moved them to a new 75RR. Again, we didn't use MH. We are running 4 110W VHO's and 4 65W PC's. They are still doing great...

mr9Iron, Must be a golfer as well :) me too :)

I would be foolish to say that you can not keep a clam under your lighting as it appears that some people are doing it with success.

IMO & IME I like to see more lighting such as MH for Maxima and Crocea's but if you intend to add more lighting like you say, then I would consider a Squamosa or Derasa.

I also have some great artical on keeping clams on my website that I think would be helpful (links).

The most important item for a clam over 4 inches is light! The more the better such as MH. (for maximas and croceas) If you are interested in a maxima under three inches then food is the best item and your lighting system will be fine.
Thanks for the quick replys everyone.:D

TopTank, I am some what of a amature golfer. I can drive a ball about 350 yards straight up and drop it ten feet in front of me.:D Thanks for the websites I cant wait to explore them.

dougchambers, Those are words of encouragement!!!;) Can you give me specifics on your husbandry technics? I.E. Feeding, current, etc. Also what types of clams were you keeping?

Jim Norris, what types of foods do you recommend for the smaller clams? How often do you feed and how much do you feed? If you had a book about clams to recommed what would it be? Btw, Ive seen your clam tanks and they are amazing.:D :D

My biggest question is how the heck do you tell the difference between a maxima,croeca,derasa and a squamosa?
Vince - I'm happy to say that my Derasa's have survived despite my husbandry skills. However, under our new 75 gallon setup, I've been much more diligent about our maintenance cycles.

Right now I'm struggling to get the calcium up to where I want it. I haven't been able to get above about 350 and we are giving serious consideration to building a calcium reactor.

Here is what I'm doing, but I'm sure there are better methods. I hope to learn along with you as others post to your query.

I feed DT's every two days. I do a direct feed of my baby Maxima in a small glass and then mix some fresh DT into the remainder of the glass and then feed it into the tank. Incidentally, the 1.5-2" of growth you see in my clams was without DT's...

I'm driving my calcium with Kent Turbo Calcium and prior to that have been using 2-part B-Ionic.

Here is a poor quality picture of the center section in our new 75RR with the two clams.

Here is a full view if you are interested. I has been setup since 03/16/02. (Ignore the water spots on the lens)

With all this said, I've read numerous articles that insist more lighting will be required for Maxima and Squamosa's.

Give it a try. They are very rewarding...

Dougchambers, thanks for the information and the pictures they were very nice. What did you mean by direct feeding the clam? What did you feed him and how did you do it? I direct feed my Euphillias with a turkey baster and brine soaked in selcon, is this how you would feed the clam? Oh yeah, how did you cram all 4 of your pc's into the 29 gal hood? Also did you have any heat problems?
I feed my clams Dts. There is nothing yet that I have used that is better!. Telling the difference between the different types of clams is hard at first, but like most things once you get into it it will soon become very easy to tell the difference. Read all that you can fine. Daniel Knopp book is good! (it is the only one out there solely devoted to giant clams). Go on the internet and type giant clams a whole world will open up for you. Also right here there are several people that are O- SO GOOD with clams. Barry (toptank), James Fox, Kevinpro ect.
Thanks Jim for the help. I've been doing searches and trying to read everything that I can get my hands on about clams. I think I will pick up the Konp book as soon as I can.

Jim, if you were going to purchase a squamosa clam where would you buy it from and how much would you pay for one? Also are the squamosa's more difficult to acquire than the dersa's and the croeca's? I've been looking at a few different sites and the latter 2 seem to be the most common.

Toptank, do you have any deresas or squamosa that your willing to sell in the future?
I got all 4 PC's in our 29 hood without too much trouble. I used a standard reflector and DIY kit I got at Worked good. I did have to install a small fan to keep some air moving, but we never had any real problems with heat

The new pictures are of our new 75 gallon tank. We use 4 110W 46.5" VHO's and 4 65 PC's. Heat was a bit of a problem until we loaded three (3) Rotron Whisper fans in the hood. You can barely tell there are there.

By direct feeding, I prepare a small coffee mug with water out of the sump and a light dosing of DT's in it. I prop my hood open and place the cup no one of the glass covers and physically pull the baby clam out and put him in the coffee cup. With having him under the lights, he opens back up rather quickly and the water starts clearing within about 10 minutes.

Then I put the clam back in the tank, dose a little more DT into the coffee cup and poor the mixture into the tank.

It's been working well so far.


I am a sponsor for RC and yes I am always getting new shipment every few weeks. You can see my site listed below or look for the "Banner" at the top of the pages in rotation.

If I don't have what you are looking for then I can turn you on to someone that does.

Barry, Thanks for the help. Im thinking that I would like to have a couple of small deresa's, so if you come upon any let me know.:D
Squamosas, derasa, maximas, and croceas can be had almost anywhere. As Jim Fox stated check the board and or vendor list. Both the derasa and the squamosa are excellent choices. With in these two types of clams there are afew choices that will determine the cost. Size, color and is it wilded of farmed.
Jim, I will most definetly be checking around at the various vendors. What do you think are some of the best colors for a deresa clam? Also, are the farmed clams more hardy than the wild ones? I've heard that they are a bit more expensive but I think they would be worth it if they were a bit more forgiving.