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Marine Aquarium Club of North America
Marine Aquarium Conference of North America
Marine Aquaculture Conference of North America
Marine Aquarium Corals of North America
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Clam Care
Clams are gorgeous gems of the sea.
 
They utilize some dissolved nutrients and particulate matter in the water as food, but are photosynthetic so require intense lighting--the products of photosynthesis provide most of the nutritional requirements of most clams, especially larger clams. Clams smaller than about 1.5 inches can be somewhat difficult to maintain, larger clams are easily maintained with proper water quality and lighting due to the larger mantle and the clam's ability to produce enough food for itself from photosynthesis. All invertebrates, including clams, require full strength natural saltwater parameters. Clams smaller than about 1.5 inches can be more difficult to maintain due to their need for supplemental feeding.   

Care Level

Easy to Moderate. Clams love intense lighting, they feed off the products of photosynthesis and this demands intense lighting.

Aggressiveness

Not Aggressive, may be stung by aggressive corals and anemones, may be attacked by many types of carnivorous fish including angelfish and butterflyfish. It has been reported that small fish such as clownfish have been inadvertantly killed by clams as they naturally close when an intruder approaches or casts a shadow over them although this is a rare.

Lighting Requirements

Metal Halides are optimum; higher levels of LEDs or T-5 Fluorescents may suffice. Maxima clams especially require 250 - 400 watt Metal Halide lighting or equivalent intensity. Without enough lighting clams will die within 1-2 months from starvation.

Water Flow

Low to Moderate

Tank Placement

Bottom on rock rubble so the foot may attach. It is not recommended to place clams on rockwork because it is very detrimental for a clam to fall off and lay upside down for any period of time.

Water Quality

Maintain proper Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium levels for shell growth. Low to very low Phosphate and Nitrate levels. Full strength Natural saltwater parameters are best including salinity.

Special Notes

Take care when unpacking your clam that you do not expose it to air. Internal air bubbles can cause problems, "burp" the clam by tipping to dislodge any bubbles. 
 
Proper intense lighting and natural saltwater parameters are essential for long-term succes in maintaining larger clams. While these animals are not inherently delicate to maintain, they do require certain considerations as oulined above. We quarantine all clams for a minimum of 2 weeks before sale.