Oyster in a fresh water tank?

  • #1
I just read somewhere that oysters clean water and can filter 50 gallons of water a day. I had an idea of putting 1 oyster in my 20 gallon tank to help clean the water but I will still change the water weekly. I just have 1 angelfish in there.

Has anybody ever had oysters in their aquarium and do you think it's a good idea to keep oysters as pets?
  • #2
You know what does a fantastic job of filtering water and is adapted to freshwater? Zebra mussels! Unlike a filter you buy though, mussels and oysters are living things that produce their own waste products. A tank is a closed system and you have to find a way to remove the wastes, not just keep moving them down the line.
  • #3
*runs away in terror*
  • #4
I know. I'm old enough to remember Lake.Erie before it had Zebra Mussels. The change was fast and I also.remember how crystal clear the water was after they.got established.
  • #5
I thought oysters were salt water. Would they even survive in Freshwater. Alison
  • #6
I thought oysters were salt water. Would they even survive in Freshwater. Alison

There are freshwater species and marine species. A bit like pufferfish- they share a lot of physical traits but have some differences that make their care requirements different. When I went to the lake a few weeks ago one of my friends found freshwater clams! It was so cool. ^.^

CORRECTION: Freshwater oysters are technically not a kind of oyster, they are clams. My bad.

  • #7
I knew there were freshwater clams and mussles but not oysters. Thanks Gena. Alison
  • #8
Saltwater oysters will just die in a freshwater tank and foul the water even more.
  • #9
Unless she lives on the shore of Hudson Bay, the OP won't have access to saltwater organisms
  • #10
I looked it up, technically freshwater oysters aren't real oysters. They are types of clam that are sometimes called oysters. Oysters and clams are both mussels. My bad!

This is what I'm talking about:

I knew there were freshwater clams and mussles but not oysters. Thanks Gena. Alison

You were right! Where I live oyster/clam is used interchangeably. I never realized that it was an informal usage until now. >.<
  • #11
Whatever you want to call them they are a pain to keep alive. When they die you will have an ammonia spike that may very well kill your entire stock. They bury so you will never see them. And if I'm remembering this right, need cooler water than tropical fish.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Thanks for the help guys. So clams for freshwater. I won't be getting one since they require cooler waters but it's interesting though how they can help clean aquariums. Have any of you owned one before?
  • #13
from research I did on them feeding them is a pain and they tend to die from lack of food in fish tanks. Been awile since I looked info up on them but a simplified condensed version of all stuff I read is this. They are natural filters for water cause they eat stuff in water for nourishment. Now the catch to this in a tank is our tanks water doesn't have all the debris and microorganisms floating in them that a lake or stream would have. Therfore they are under nourished and tend to die shortly after being introduced to tank. Not saying you can't keep them but our tanks tend to be pristine environments over there natural habitats. If we duplicate that habitat more closely the tank would prolly not be very pleasing to our eyes and make it harder to maintain the water which keeps our fish. I thought about adding them just to have something different in tank, but quickly abandoned that idea.

wanted to add also they are filter feeders not filters so they eat suspended algea, left over food, some suspended fish waste and small microorganisims, but they add a biological load to tank. They are a living aniamal not a plant so they add ammonia, nitrite and later nitrates to water just as a fish does. only advantage you gain by using them as filters is water clarifers really to remove small suspend particles of food and consumble waste. plus you will have to spot feed them and inspect them for growth to make sure they are eating enough. some suggestions I read was to bury a small dish in substrate with clams in them. that way you can do inspections easliy instead of digging threw entire tank to find them. every once in awile you inspect them to make sure they alive still (close shells when touched) and measure growth.

I have NOT owed any just read about them, this information is easy to find. So just research and educate yourself. Find out if it is an addition you would really like in your tank. After all what one person finds difficult or a pain another person might find it fun and enjoyable to nurture them into adulthood.
  • #14
You could probably feed them using liquid bivalve food (yes, those exist. They're made specifically for filter feeders and are popular for saltwater tanks, especially with corals.)
Or, you could use a jar to culture green water and feed them that. (That's basically what those bivalve foods are- plankton. Though green water is actually euglena.)

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