Anybody ever have freshwater clams in their tank?

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JamesBenjamin

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Original poster
Nov 7, 2002
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My room mate and a friend are thinking of getting a batch of 10 to split between us (to save shipping) are they easy to take care of? I've looked around on some websites, but I haven't seen much about them.

Also, we all use gravel, as opposed to sand in our tanks, will that matter?

Thanks!
 

wetmanNY

AC Members
They'd filter the water, wouldn't they? Which might make up for their shortcomings in the lively-entertainment area! Actually people suggest that you should poke your clams gently each morning: "Hello there! still alive are we?"

After a couple of days, you'd begin to know.

While they are alive, they'll put down a muscular foot and work their way through your gravel like a bulldozer.

I think all the freshwater clams are Unionidae. (Try a www.google.search for them.) The Unionids have one unpopular habit. Their larvae, if they spawn, attach themselves to fishes' gills. Fish transport the young clams upstream, which is not the easy direction for a clam. Without fishes the clam population would drift slowly farther and farther downstream. The fish won't like this aspect.

(Apparently the world's richest, most endangered freshwater bivalves are right here in the U.S. So the whole conception is interesting.)
 

JamisonBWolsh

I am what I am. Defender of truth!
Nov 1, 2002
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Mission Hills, CA 91345
The larvae does not cause any harm to the fish and there is no problem with that. when I researched this, clams are HARD to not only keep alive, and when they die, its hard to tell. They also carry diseases. IF you can keep them alive, THEY have very good filter capabilties. Try Zebra Mussels :)
 

JamisonBWolsh

I am what I am. Defender of truth!
Nov 1, 2002
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Mission Hills, CA 91345
Of course I was KIDDING :) Zebra are an evasive species damaging many a lake and plugs up pipes. BUT, they are hardy unlike clams. And in an aquarium, they can be manageable. Seriously, I would think they may make better tank mates then clams. Are they are to "take off" plastic parts or glass? I never seen them for sale...so who knows?
 

FishBait

triggerhappy
Nov 27, 2002
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Wilmington, NC
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If you do infact end up with any member of Family Unionidae I doubt the larvae will attach to just any fish. I don't know about your area, but in the susquehana river basin they have become quite rare, due to the fact they use the American eel as their preferred transport. Since the eels have been cut off from migration due to the large hydroelectric dams the mussels numbers have dropped.

I've collected a few of these and placed in some displays in the biology lab at my college, and they are indeed hard to keep alive. Best to stay away from this group.
 

FishBait

triggerhappy
Nov 27, 2002
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Wilmington, NC
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Are you asking about ease of keeping them in captivity? I honestly don't know, I've never seen them in my area. Lots of Corbicularids though, they look more like the typical image of a clam. I have had better luck with smaller individuals of these.
 
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