Clams

Clams

There are five species of Tridacna clams kept in the home aquarium.  The largest, the T Gigas, is not commonly imported anymore.  The remaining four (T Derasa, T Squamosa, T Crocea and T Maxima) are all readily available in a wide variety of colors.  The Derasa is identified by its smooth shell and customary tiger striping.  The T Squamosa,  also known as the fluted clam, can be identified by its large fluted scales on its shell.  The mantle is normally brown with spots or wavy lines, but occasionally pure blue Squamosa clams are available and highly sought after. The Crocea or rock boring clam is the smallest of the five clams of the Tridacna family and they are also the slowest growing.  The shell typically only shows fine wavy ridges and the mantle color varies widely with blues, greens, purples and gold.   The T Maxima is a medium size clam with medium fluting on the shell.  This species comes in a wide variety of vivid colors including black, golds, blues, greens and browns

Most clams fulfill their nutritional requirements by filter feeding and absorbing dissolved nutrients from the water. Like most corals, tridacnid clams use symbiotic algae, zooxanthellae, in their tissues to manufacture food for them..  Through photosynthesis the zooxanthellae transform carbon dioxide and nitrogen into carbohydrates and other nutrients for their hosts

Tridacna clams should be kept in standard reef aqaurium conditions - Temperatures around 78-80 degrees, pH 8.1 - 8.3 and Alkalinity in the range of 8-9.5 dKH and calcium at 380 ppm to 450 ppm.  Croceas are the highest light demanding clam of this species followed by T Maxima, T Squamosa, T Derasa and T Gigas in that order.  Tridacna clams do require some nutrients in the water so supplemental feedings might be required in a ultra low nutrient system ULNS

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