View Full Version : Anyone have experience with freshwater clams?

03-30-2007, 11:37 PM
I have a weird scenario.

I bought my aquarium from a private seller who had upgraded.

He was a super nice guy, and gave me all kinds of advice when I told him that this was my first aquarium.

It included everything that I needed to get going except a heater (at least thats what he told me).

So me being the eager person I am, set up the tank, get things going, even add fish........just to learn that it would have been very wise to get an undergravel filter.

Well, I don't have anything under the gravel. I have a whisper filter that uses a sponge, and little carbon bags for filtration.

I have a lot of nasty stuff actually in my gravel. Anytime I move rock or do a water change, a lot of stuff floats around, and my water stays more or less kind of dirty looking.

Now that I am done telling my story, here is my question......

Will freshwater clams help with this? I've read that they are filter feeders, and will basically clean up all of the junk that is in my gravel.

I have live plants, and they are helping to keep my nitrates at awesome levels, so that's not a huge problem for me.

Any advice? I think that clams would be cool to begin with, but I can only find them online. I really don't want to pay $20.00 express shipping unless if they really might make a difference.


03-31-2007, 12:27 AM
I have them and love them. But I also have them paired with Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and together with the plants, my substrate stays pretty clean. Once and awhile I'll get a couple tufts of algae growing on my flourite, but that's about it. I do, however, have a substrate heater and that helps promote water circulation up thru the gravel.

Side note: They like smaller substrate, because their little foot has to be able to push thru the sand/substrate. The biggest my substrate gets is eco-complete and fluorite, and they move around fine with that.

You don't want an UGF with a planted tank anyway:ezpi_wink1:

03-31-2007, 12:29 AM
How often do you vacuum the substrate? (and what kind is it?)

Does the food you feed ever hit the substrate and go uneaten?

03-31-2007, 12:41 AM
I have small aquarium gravel...........I dunno................a little smaller then pea sized.

I have food hit the bottom and not get eaten all the time.

I have several bottom feeders, but still some of the sinking food as well as the flake food makes it to the bottom and stays there.

I have kuhli loaches, and they have no problem burying themselves, so I think that the clams should be ok.

I vacuum probably about once a week to two weeks.

I plan on adding an algae ball as well, and I just read that it'll help out with water filtration as well.

03-31-2007, 12:49 AM
I keep ghost shrimp for the flakes that hit the bottom, they dont miss a single one! They have so much color to them, they're not even ghosts! I never vacuum my gravel, it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for my aquarium maintenance.

Once in awhile I'll see a clam poking out of the substrate with his little breather out in the water...I don't know what the heck they're doing but its reassuring to know they're still alive/doing their job!

04-02-2007, 04:35 PM
If you have bottom feeders and you still have left over food, you're probably overfeeding. I also want to second everyone who said don't get an UGF, you don't need one, and it will cause problems.

How often do you do a water change? You should probably do it once a week and when you do, push the siphon down into the gravel. It's very important to clean the gravel regularly.

As far as Clams, I love my clam, but he filters the water, not the substrate. Shrimp do a great job on algae and excess food.

04-02-2007, 09:54 PM
i used to have a clam in my 33g, but now for cleaning i just use ghost shrimp.

04-05-2007, 11:42 PM
i work at a seafood restaurant (i know, all of you are now ashamed at me), but we get uber fresh seafood daily. i was curious if i'd be able to use one of the small clams we get in or mussel in my aquarium. im just considering building an aquarium as i just aquired two ghost shrimp. please let me know if the clams/mussles would do okay in fresh water. the mussels are PEI's and the clams are from the chesapeak bay. thanks

04-05-2007, 11:47 PM
i tried that. The clams may carry disease

04-11-2007, 03:45 PM
The little Golden Clams are illegal to import now I believe. They have been released in to the local ecosystems and are wreaking havok as are the Zebra Mussels. Speaking of, you can probably collect as many Zebra Mussels as you want in the right place. They are found in freshwater lakes very far inland. The thing I don't like about clams is that IF they reproduce (They usually don't according to the article), the larvae are parasitic and attach to fish gills. So they sound risky to me.

04-11-2007, 08:06 PM
Alot of time clams won't survive unless there is alot of plankton or algae in the water. I would skip the clams and maybe get a snail instead.