Tech-D dip

Dr. Beer

New member
Here are the parameters I dipped under.

Water chemistry

Water was from my water change can, and had been aged at 1.025 SG for 3 days.
2 gallons, aerated in 5 gallon bucket for 1 hour prior to dip
1/4 teaspoon of Superbuffer dKH 1 hour prior to dip to stabilize pH and dKH.
3ml of Koralvit F. I noticed adding this during acclimation relieved A LOT of the stress on my clam from the shipping, so thought it wouldn't hurt here.
7 teaspoons of Tech-D mixed immediately before dip
Dip duration, 3 minutes, +/- 5 seconds
82F (a bit warmer than my display, which is at 79F-80F)
pH 8.2
dKH 13
All measurements except temp correspond precisely to my display.

Well, I've never seen my clam completely close its inhalant siphon in a natural way until I dipped it. In the dipped it "coughed" two times. I emptied all the air out of it while in the dip to ensure that all parts of the clam were cleansed out.
Placed back in display. After 5 minutes it is starting to open up a little. Inhalant siphon only open about 2mm, exhalant siphon is inverted into the shell (goofy looking but seen it do this before occassionally).

If anything new comes up I'll post it here. I hope I didn't just donate my clam to science and experimentation. :eek2:
Best of luck to you and your clam. I've been following your situation with interest. Please keep us posted.
Take care,
Dr. Beer, I have donated many of my clams to experimentation and science. I am probably the only one who buys dying clams and clams with visible parasites as well as healthy ones.

All of my clams dipped "coughed" a couple of times. It's perfectly normal. In my experience, if your clam survives the dip, he will live past ~12hrs. If not, you will notice mantle retraction beyond the shell rim and death. Or, some of mine that didn't survive the dip closed their shells tightly and died that way.
eh, I have bought some animals that are not healthy with the intent of experimentation, but alas I don't have the funds to do so with clams. :p However, since this situation came up, it is better to learn something that to simply do nothing. I always try to learn something with everything I do, even if I have done it many times.
That said...

It has been about 4 hours since the dip. Except for one spot on the mantle next to the inhalant siphon, there is little to no pinching. I am hoping the exception to this will "unpinch" soon.

The clam was expectedly stressed from the dip, and is showing some mild gaping. Reactions to simuli are still excellent. Also its adductor muscle is still quite strong, as it can quickly snap its shell shut entirely if it feels inclined.

We will see how the clam is doing in the morning.

As an aside, I'm not sure if the shrimp inside it surived or not, as I haven't seen either corpse or live creature.
Beer, it's only money! What is money compared to knowledge?? :D

Besides, is everybody here going to take all the observations in Knop's book as fact and not put his observations to the test? I do so with any good observation in the literature. Sometimes the outcomes are slightly different. Many times it is difficult to read about something and fully understand or recognize it. Watching it for yourself is more fun anyway. :spin3:
Hmm well it has been about 10 hours since the dip.

The clam is still alive. One part of the mantle that was pinched is not pinched, but another part that was still is, though not quite so much. Mantle for the most part is fully extended in the center of the clam, but on the side around the inhalant siphon it isn't extended as much. Also this is the area where the mantle is still pinched.
Inhalant sihpon still has the curled edges, and doesn't really look any better or any worse.
Bleaching around the inhalant siphon is still there. However, I don't expect that to change directly because of a dip, nor would I expect the zooxanthellae to recover in one night.
I will say the clam appears to be more sensitive. It reacts to the slightest things now, much as it did when I first acquired it. I'm hoping this is because of a general improvement in health rather than being stressed and "scared" easily.

I'm wondering if the clam might be suffering from lack of light? I don't believe this is so, but best to search out all possibilities. If lighting were the issue I think there would be generalized bleaching on the entire mantle instead of just around the inhalant siphon. It is 10" from 110w of PC, 1 10k, 1 03 actinic.
Definetely not a lack of light. Generalized bleaching would occur if this was the case. But, I would suggest situating future clam purchases as close to the PCs as possible if they are your only lighting source.
Well, if he didn't respond to the first dip, it is possible his mantle pinching is due to some sort of discomfort - I am guessing you would probably feel uncomfortable as well if you had snails sucking your blood from inside your body. :(

Dipping him like you did would decrease the chance of a secondary bacterial infection from setting in - it would not kill the snails. I noticed an improvement in clams with only pinched mantles - not pinched mantles and multiple blood sucking alien snails.

Your situation of parasitic pyramidillae INSIDE your clam still puzzles me. Knop did mention "surgically" removing rocks from a clam. To what extent he considers "surgery" on a clam feasible I do not know. I am not implying anything. Dr., Where is your scalpel? :D :eek2:
hmm well I was always the best at dissecting in my bio 101/102 labs. :D

Tonight while pod watching at 0230 I took a look at my clam and there were a bunch of pyramid snails all over the rim of its shell. I promptly pulled my clam, picked off the ones I could see (many 2mm+) and gave it a very thorough brushing. I found a mass of orange goo in one of the scutes that I am assuming to be eggs, so I brushed inside every single scute. Not a single part of the clam wasn't completely brushed.

Also I found two of those brownish snails that msu76md found. One was elongated, light brownish with dark brown striping. The other was larger, a bit more round and I couldn't discern any stripes. It had some orangish markings as well, but seemed to be covered in a thin film of mucous so hard to make out. They have VERY strong shells. I had to use a hard metal object smashing against them on a hard surface to break the shells.

Judging from the silhouettes I saw inside the clam I am venturing to say it is these brownish snails and not the pryamid snails.

I also saw various little critters crawling on the shell but they appeared to be just the typical reef critters so I put those back into my tank (I see them crawling in the substrate and on the rocks all the time). The Nassarius snails and two hermit crabs haven't bothered the clam yet so I know it isn't dead. It also had a good marine smell to it.

It isn't dead yet, and I think it has quite a bit of strength left. I am hoping I can bring the clam through this ordeal. I'm going to give the clam another 5 days or so and if I see no improvement or the situation deteriorates I will execute a hyposalinity treatment for 30 minutes. This will kill the last shrimp (I haven't seen the other shrimp for days and I think I saw its corpse in the clam not too long ago) inside it but will also hopefully take all the parasites with it.

On a more positive note...
The clam seems to have put on some growth since I got it, so that is a good sign. It is only on the order of 1mm or less, but better than no growth at all. Also it is using more Ca than I expected so Ca levels have dropped over the past two weeks by about 100 points (450 down to 350, but now that I know how much it consumes I will be able to keep it stable at 450).
Also, its adductor muscle is still plenty strong. Reactions to all stimuli are excellent and immediate. Coloration everywhere except around the inhalant siphon is good. The central fading was recovering its color but has stopped; it isn't losing any though. Overall I'd say this clam is built like a tank. 2 20 minute scrubbing sessions, parasites inside it and outside, 3 minute Tech-D dip and it is still hanging in there. I'm still hoping for the best.

Any advice on the pryamid snails? Will hyposalinity kill them or are they unaffected by it? Any thoughts on the brown snails? I've been contemplating adding a 250w HQI to this tank (I'm setting up a 120 in a few months so I don't want to blow money on a lesser light) so I could add a T. maxima, but at this point no other clams are going in. Would the lighting still be a good idea to help give the clam more energy? Of course I'd acclimate to the lighting properly...

All input is appreciated and thanks to those who have been following this.

Yes, hyposalinity will kill snails, but it will kill your clam first. The reason for this is that snails can form an almost perfect seal around their opening if they feel discomfort. Obviously the tridacna cannot. So, while tridacna's cells are being osmotically stressed, Mr. Snail's cells are sitting nice and comfy in his saltwater jacuzzi.

I am almost certain there are no chemicals that will kill your snails before your clam. Which is why every reference in the literature I have found suggests manual removal of parasitic snails and or use of natural, biological controls. (Like Coris Gaimard)

A switch to HQI will stress your clam! Regardless of how well you acclimate him, he must still adapt to this new light, and adjust his zooxanthellae populations accordingly. That is not to say he will die - but it will give him unnessecary stress. Which is part of the reason I suggested you place him closer to the PCs if you were concerned about lighting intensity.

Of course, I would not consider adding any clams until you go a couple of weeks without parasitic snails on or inside your current clam. If you are planning a larger tank, it will be months anyway until your system will be stable enough to house tridacnids.

Yes I'm definitely not adding any other clams to this tank, and I'm looking at 6 months before I have a tank set up and ready to house a Tridacnid. Fortunately I can be patient when I need to be. :)