Invert species sold as helpful to aquariums/ otherwise bad by experts, advice?

  • #1
I have a heavy planted 80 gallon freshwater tank. Its cycled, balanced and about 6 months along now with 4 angels, 4 corys 6 otos and some nerite snails. I blew it today thinking it would be great to add something like more inverts. I read on the few online retailers that sold these asian freshwater clams Corbicual sp stating that they add to the bio system of the tank. Thinking great, Ill order 4 to help my water filtration like it says on the description. I did. The only thing was it says feed them an invert food. Invert food? I asked them to explain that. It took the cust service going to the invert farm where raised to get their answer. Meanwhile I went looking myself on blogs and expert sites on clams. I should have done that first. YIKES, now I'm afraid to even get them near my tank or water.

I read they will ruin a tank, they will cause parisitic attachment to fish gills at reproductive times, water in a tank should not be drained from water changes into the house drain due to invasive problems in waterways, they in fact create ammonia from their waste products and it will throw off everything I have worked so hard to get right.

Suggestions ?, I'm not planning on ever putting these clam in my tank unless someone tells me different. Why do pet stores do this. I am so used to this one site liveaquaria being reliable, but they really lied about what it is supposed to do based on 18 other expert accounts of this invasive species. If I cannot find an owner or a store that takes them, I may only have one choice and its my last resort. HELP
  • #2
Welcome to the forum

I would not put them anywhere near your tank. Yes they will create ammonia, but any living thing you put in the tank will do that. The question is always how much.

If you want an invert that's actually good for your tank, get some malaysian trumpet snails. I think they are a terrific addition to every tank. BUT, read up on them first, cause once you've got them, you've got them.
  • #3
Pet stores do this to sell for money. I could tell somebody that you need to eat these pellets to make you smarter, because they are smart pills, but than you realize they taste like rabbit droppings and I respond "See, it makes you smart already".

If you want to get rid of them I would actually get some gas and burn it so it doesn't do harm to other things.
  • #4
I'm with Jaysee. I don't have any experience, but I thought the same thing when I saw them. I looked around and someone said that they were a pain to keep alive, and foul up the water VERY quickly when they do pass on.

I think it's a marketing thing. Clams are the "new thing" of the aquaria world, and they want to make money. I'm sure some innocently think it's a good idea.

Cant you return them? Double check the return policy. Good luck!
  • #5
You could do a species tank, just have the clams and some plants... maybe add some snails for more interest?
  • #6
SoltarianKnight has clams, I believe. Send him a PM

I admittedly don't know much about them, but I had heard about the parasite issue and that was enough for me.
  • #7
Welcome to Fishlore....

As a kid, I use to have freshwater clams in my fish tank and didn't do any kind of special feeding regimen with them, they filtered the water for food. On that note, knowing more now, I would not put them in a fish tank again with the possibility of them reproducing and having their larva stage attach to the gills of the fish.

Also, it is not about them producing ammonia in the water (all inhabitants do that) it is about them dying in your tank and not knowing that they did that will pollute the water with their decaying carcass.

You can also try giving them away locally to anyone who has a shrimp tank as an alternative.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
That was my exact thought after doing this. I hate it when the "I'm with stupid" shirt points to me. I have too much invested in this tank to add these critters.

Its just the advertisement that got me mad, but its not much of an investment loss to fuss over. Ill try doing that. Thanks.
  • #9
SoltarianKnight has clams, I believe. Send him a PM.

I realized you can't send Private Messages yet, so I sent one for you. You might hear something you haven't heard yet - who knows.
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
They would not make it since the bio cycle is so critical. I couldnt cycle a tank fast enough even with tank water. The new substrate would kill them. I think I found some takers at my local pet store

thanks, Is start a nw tank cause they sound interesting but I know they will die from the new cycles if I tried. Not worth it for 8 dollers.

Thanks for the quick advice and suggestions. I appreciate it.

Thank you so much, I'm due to get them in tomorrow. They won't take them back because of the travel time in shipping already on the overnight trip I'm told. If they are doa, then I can ask for the store credit maybe?. Not sure. What a mess . Fish keeping is supposed to be calm lol
  • #11
Fish keeping is supposed to be calm lol

eventually.... Takes some people longer than others to get there.
  • #12
I do keep calms, in a invert tank.

I wouldn't keep them in a fish tank tbh, they are beneficial in some ways, they filter nitrates and aerate the gravel. However, their larval stage can be a pain and If they die your tank can take a hit in the bioload.

They will not hurt your fish. This is false. The clams have a close niche with their natural habitat and only certain specific fish can host them, they will not hurt other fish.

Feeding is easy, you don't. If you are keeping clams you want some current, that is all they need to eat. I keep snails with mine and I feed the snails pellets and the pellets will break up and drift in the current. I also recommend having some soil in the tank for them as well.

I might try 2-3 of them in a larger tank, maybe one that has a big bioload already. Something like 75gallons.
  • #13
Which fish are susceptible?
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Thank you for your response. I have spent some time reading from what I feel are reputable reports on this clam. I will link one of the 18 which deals with the species and what it has done to the eco systems of the waterways here. Others are from the USGS, university studies on the species and the problems of the microscopic host getting into the waterways attaching to fish and other items to get to a safe breeding area. I can only imagine what I put in post here would do to a tank with one clam or more and what the chances are that the host tank water during water changes may have these hosts. I know they survive since they have invaded native species into the water around California, Lake Tahoe and all across the country. After you read this link please tell me what you think about them being ok to have. I'm glad your responsible, but imagine the one that is not. I don't want them just because of this and other reports.

Corbicula fluminea is a hermaphrodite (both sexes are found on one organism) and is capable of self-fertilisation. Sperm is released into the water, caught by another clam, and brooded in the gills. The larvae are released through the excurrent siphon and sent out into the water column. Spawning can continue year around in water temperatures higher than 16 degrees Celsius. The water temperature must be above 16 degrees Celsius for the clams to release their larvae. In North America, spawning occurs from spring to fall (Aguirre and Poss 1999). Maximum densities of C. fluminea can range from 10,000 to 20,000 per square metre, and a single clam can release an average of 400 of juveniles a day (PNNL 2003) and up to 70,000 per year. Reproductive rates are highest in fall (Aguirre and Poss 1999).
Lifecycle stages
Larvae spawned late in spring and early summer can reach sexual maturity by the next fall (Aguirre and Poss 1999). C. fluminea maximum lifespan is 7 years, but it varies according to habitat (Aguirre and Poss 1999), with an average lifespan of 2 to 4 years (PNNL 2003).

This clam does not invade a fish gill like a zebra clam, but it can attach leaving a cut on the body of the host which then can become infected. The answer based on my last post is, any host animal can be a host to the clam as part of its survival before attachment to its new home. While it says on the store sites that they only breed in brackish water, my last post and the other sites like USGS and ref reports on the Patomic River and the fresh water power plants even here in the Central Coast of California, they do reproduce in fresh water under the correct conditions from the records on this species. Maybe they are near brakish water in these areas, but power plants here are fresh water units and they have an invasion of this species. They are not for me.
  • #15
Which fish are susceptible?

See, that is what's KILLING me. I cannot find anything on Corbicual sp. I would assume that being a native fish, nothing that we keep in the aquarium.
Corbicual sp also seem to be unisex and special in some way.

I Keep Corbicula fluminea myself as far as I know. Mine have reproduced on their own, no fish needed. I put 4 in the tank and took at least 8 out a year later.
  • #16
One of the biggest problems with freshwater clams is that they stay burrowed for the majority of the time and one could easily die and not be missed. It causes outrageously large ammonia spikes and the bodies are often hard to find.
  • #17
Fish keeping is supposed to be calm lol

Fishkeeping is very calm to anyone who does not actually keep fish but just visits someone who does "Oh, look, you got a fish tank. How relaxing!"
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Information overload on these inverts. I learned from USGS that the species most common out of aquariums they find invading power plants of Corbicula sp is Corbicula fluminea. Theres a few including Corbicula japonica, Corbicula sandai. Anyways, more than I ever wanted to know about Asian clams. They also go good with pasta!

The specific one mentioned is of the species Corbiculidae or basket clam that they are sold as. I wanted to thank everyone on the forum who came to my aid. What a great group here. Thanks again.

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