Trivial but this may help others


Premium Member
My very favourite 5.5" aqua maxima clam had been less than happy most of the past week. Not gaping or sliming or anything overly serious but just not opening his mantle very much. This clam normally has a very wide mantle and this is the first time I can remember him showing any signs of distress at all.

I began attributing the cause to a wide variety of things but nothing I could do seemed to make any difference. Then, on Friday, I was siphoning flatworms and I took out all my clams and placed them in a tub of tank water to allow me better access to the sandbed. This is pretty much my routine lately and it gives me the opportunity to inspect my clams up close once a week or so.

Before putting them back in I checked the aqua maxima minutely and could see no signs of trouble at all except for about a dozen little stubby hydroid type hard tubes near the edge of his shell where his mantle opens. I just snapped them off with my finger nail and put the clam back in the tank hoping for the best. Sure enough, he's happy as a clam again.

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I just wanted to post this as something to check for if you have a clam that's not quite right but you can't seem to find any cause for it.
Thanks for the tip. And, that is one of the most beautiful maximas I've ever seen! How big is it, where did you get it, and under what kind of lighting do you keep it?
I got it from an excellent Canadian online dealer in BC. I keep my clams under dual 250w halides with 6.5k Iwasakis and 4 110w actinc VHOs. The tank is 24" deep. So far so good.

Nice little tid-bit.

I have a 3 year old squamosa, that had a similar problem ( aptasia on the shell ) always semi retracted on one side. It was a microscopic aptasia too. Took me a few days to figure out where it was( since it was so small )but when I did find it, I gently scrubbed it with a soft bristle toothbrush under running fresh water-mantle side down. Did this about 3 times over the course of a week and now 8 months later still no problem.

BTW- wasnt trying to be a post hijacker, just thought I could add to your experience.:)
Leviathan - no problem, I'm glad you added that. Several months ago now I had a nasty aiptasia outbreak and noticed exactly the same thing with my clams. They were very irritated by the tiniest aiptasia near their mantles.

My copperband butterfly took care of my aiptasia so I don't even think about it any more. I used to worry about him being too tempted to nip the clams' mantles if he was eating aiptasia off their shells but it didn't turn out to be a problem at all. He can take an aiptasia off a clams' shell with such surgical precision the clam doesn't even flinch. It's odd that stinging corals don't seem to bother clams at all but aiptasia do. They must have a stronger sting I guess.