Fresh water clams from local lake? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Fresh water clams from local lake?

I have a couple lakes in my area that have tons of fresh water clams that bury themselves in the sand and muck. I was wondering if they would be okay to bring home and put in with my Blue Lobster so they have something they can munch on if they are hungry and have something to do that kinda plays to their natural instincts?

Would I need to quarantine the clams and treat them for parasites or something first or can I just put them in the tank? Would any clam parasite find host in the Lobster?

There is also a fresh water muscle in the same lakes. While I know the Lobster will have a hard time getting to them to eat them, would they work to filter the water and keep it clean maybe even clearing up green water?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 04:41 PM
I don't know about the clams, but I do know the freshwater mussels are increasingly rare and dying off in the wild. I wouldn't advise taking those as the population is already so weak. They make quite nice pearls, so they've been harvested for years by people hoping to find a nice prize inside.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I will have to make sure I keep the locations a secret then because there are thousands of them in the rivers and lakes I fish.
Never seen a pearl in them though, not even something that resembled one. Might be a different species or might just be another clam of some kind. I never bothered finding out if it was a clam or a muscle, lol.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 05:10 PM
I say go for it.AS long as u quarantine them for a little while. If they breed then you'd be helping them survive.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 06:05 PM
I wouldn't do it. Clams are filter feeders so if you don't have a lot of micros in the tank they wont last long. It's hard to tell when a clam dies and if you leave a dead clam in the tank for over a few days it will muck up your water quickly.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 07:35 PM
Bivalves (both clams and mussels) also tend to carry many parasites that can be harmful to fish. Actually, the larval stage of their offspring is a parasite. The freshwater clams we see in our LFS are the kind that reproduce in a different way that is not harmful to fish (I can't remember exactly how), but you would want to be VERY positive of your ID of a bivalve before adding it to your aquarium.

I'd pretty much just say no. Nothing wrong with setting up a separate tank for some local critters you've collected, but the risks of introducing toxins, parasites and just generally bacteria that your domestic fish cannot handle is too high. Perhaps after keeping them for some time in a separate habitat and much studying...I don't think it's worth it though.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 07:52 PM
Hmmm...too bad those nasty zebra mussles in Lake Michigan are pretty inedible. I'd send you a few.....thousand.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I needed to know. A seperate tank would not be a bad idea just to play with them and see what they do. Will have to get some positive ID on them if I ever decide to put them in a tank with fish.

As for Zebra Muscles, I hear they make great lawn fertilizer!
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-17-2008, 10:00 PM
Zebra mussels are the reason Lake Erie has made the comeback it has. What was once a contaminated cesspool has now become one of the greatest fisheries in the world for walleye,smallmouth bass and other fish. The problem with zebra mussels is that they play havoc with water intake gates and other mechanical devices used by man by collecting on them.

I would think that wild caught mussels and clams should remain in their natural habitat. They are not easy to care for and would challenge even the most experienced hobbiest. Water temerature, quality, and flow must be reproduced to simulate the natural habitat. Food needs to be cultured and available to the animal. Tough criteria for anyone to maintain.

I think that they would be a critter I would shy away from.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-04-2008, 04:41 PM
i found this post from a google search on clams and reading it brought back memories from when i was about 12. I had my first tank, just 10 gallons, and i liked loading that thing up with animals. I'm sure they hated me. I went camping at brevort lake in the upper peninsula and left there with a bucket of clams, probably six of them, and just came home and put them in the tank. There they learned to cope with a dozen swordtails, neons, danios, and cherry barbs, fake plants and dead bleached coral from the fish store. There were two salamanders in there also, a small frog from the back yard, an albino snail, some of those loaches that stay at the bottom, and a pleco, and also that stupid fresh water crab that chased the pleco around and broke the plants..and the ghost shrimp had already died off. This is 10 gallons. So in go the clams, at least six of them except after adding them i realized one had come open and didnt look right. Thats when the leech crawled out. Perfect! So i just let things be. As far as I can remember nothing horrible happend at first. The clams would slowly move around the tank floor and uproot everything in their path. And for fear of the dreaded leech i just let things float round instead of trying to replant. The thing that amazed me was the way the fake coral eventually ended up in little fragments from being pushed around by the clams. The leech would come and go, climbing up the sides of the tank, and then dissappearing freaklishly for a few days, and then turn up again later. eventually it made it into the back filter, and then was gone. Things lasted this way well into the winter before the clams started opening up and decaying one by one. For awhile though it did seem like the water was alot cleaner. I'd recommend being 12 again.
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