What ate my clam


New member

I have a 500 gal tank which I have had up and running for about seven months. I had just added my 3rd Maxima about 3 weeks ago. I noticed the clam had closed up about two days ago, and when I inspected him this morning, there lay the clam shell open and EMPTY!

I would like to know what made a snack of my clam, because Iââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢m afraid of what will happen to the other two Maximas.

Any input would be appreciated.
Welcome to RC!!

In my experience clams look perfect then all of the sudden they die. You rarely see them slowly degrade over time.

I doubt anything ate your clam. Where did you get it? How big was it? I would guess the place you got it was not taking care of it correctly. (feeding{no matter what the size}, lighting).

If this was the only maxima in your tank, I would say its you, but you have other good ones. And nothing has eaten them right?

Try to buy cultured clams whenever possible and from a reputable place. Ask how long they've had it and if they feed it. Never listen to an LFS guy who says you don't have to feed clams over 3". Their stomachs do not suddenly disappear when they reach a certain size!!

I always reccomend Clams Direct Barry has THE BEST costumer support and feedback.


I agree. Your clam was eaten because it died. The question is why did it die.

What are your specs? What lights do you have? What fish.inverts do you have? Do you feed live phyto? Have you checked for pyramid smails.
i too had a phenomenon similar to this in my tank. i had bought 5 small maxima clams before i figured out what had been cleaning out my clams over night.

a welk.

atlantic species, i thought it was a conch of some sort, only to expensively discover what it really was and that his main diet in the atlantic is....gasp......clams.

so...maybe...just maybe you have one. or the one that i sold back to my lfs.
My tank stats are as follows:

Temp: 77-78
Sal: 1.024
PH: 8.10
MG: 1300
CA: 290
KH: 8.6
Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are 0

I have also purchased a calcium reactor to rectify my low CA values, which should be running by next week.


How long did it take the welk to eat one of your clams? My 2ââ"šÂ¬Ã‚ clam was devoured in one night!
There's your problem. Maxima and crocea clams NEED metal halide, or they will starve. More than 12 inches from the bulb maximas need at least 250 watt MH bulbs. PCs just don't have the PAR to penetrate through the water. Using the outdated watts per gallon method, you have roughly 1.5 watts per gallon of PC lighting. Most maxima keepers have 5-10 watts per gallon of MH supplimented with actinics sometimes.

I strongly urge you to not place anything but maybe a squamosa under your lights. Also, if interested in more clams, reading Daniel Knop's "Giant Clams" will give you all the info you need.
if you had a welk you would know it. mine was big, around 3 to 4 inches long and it consumed two two and a half inch maximas in one night.
Now I agree that you need more than 1.5 wpg but I would like to say that you do not NEED MH lighting to keep clams. They are kept very well under comparable VHO. I would reccomend the use of live phytplankton. I have been adding live nano. for my 5 clams and they are all doing great. You all might have already read the post about feeding clams in the clam forum. But for anyone who has not read these articles I highly reccomend them.
You are correct, some people can keep clams very well with VHO, but, this fellow has a 500 gallon tank! He's going to need MH to punch that far through the water.


I saw your post about using VHO lighting for clams. How many wpg do you have or what measure would you use? I've heard so much about needing MH lights, but i know they cost a good deal to run. I also wonder if they don't lead to other necessities, i.e. more fans, chillers for keeping water temps down. I wish I could afford MH's. If it were just the initial cost, then maybe, but these also will add a considerable amount to your electric bill.

Thanks, lood forward to hearing from you.
That's not true, man. MH can be the same cost wise as VHO and PC is you shop right. (I got 175watt pendant with 2 month old bulb for $100) Plus they don't cost much to run either, my 715 watt costs me under $2 in electricity.

WPG is meaningless, how big is your tank?