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Freshwater clam in a small tank

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So I have this "genius" idea and want to talk about it with someone, so I dont make a mistake.

I will be moving my group of indostomus paradoxus, including the tubes and the leaves form the left tank to the right (in picture, the tank will be void of all fish)

I have shrimp with indostomus, they are fine, but I was thinking. What if I got a freshwater clam or two in here as well. Granted the tank has low to no flow, given how small the sponge and the filter are, but I have to feed heavily, due to the indostomus, and I always feed by shooting the feed in the tank with a pipette, to make it circulate through the tank

I know clams are all good until they die and kill off the tank, but I can see every corner of this tank and the substrate is not too deep either to miss a clam

I plan to maybe add some moss as well to the tank upper levels, which could create also some vegetable matter for the clams to eat (because otherwise I feed only microworms and bbs)


Would this perhaps work or am I completely wrong? Thanks




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You're keeping some very unique fish! Amazing.

I have no experience with freshwater clams. Where would you get them? I  understand that they play some key roles in any eco system. I'd be careful about removing them from the wild. If you can get some in the hobby, that would be best. But I'm guessing . . . maybe you got your Sticklebacks from the wild?

There's a beautiful video on freshwater clams in river systems in the Southeast. I think these, at least, ought to be left in the wild. Perhaps there are species of clams in lakes and ponds that wouldn't pose a hazard to collect.


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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2023 at 5:20 PM, Pepere said:

Keeping filter feeders in an aquarium is tough to do as it is tough to keep enough food for them to filter feed….

Normally i would agree, granted i have two bamboo shrimp in my 360liters and zero issues for nearly the two years those shrimp have been alive.

But the Indostomus feed super slowly and i have to pump their tank full of microworms or hatched bbs to get them to eat anything, so my issue is always having excess. Shrimp help and i am fairly confident there would be enough food for the clams. But all protein and i can't find info if that is good for them or not



On 6/2/2023 at 5:07 PM, Fish Folk said:

have no experience with freshwater clams. Where would you get them?

There are imports from asia, corticula clams. I am more afraid of introducing their larvae into our ecosystem as they are pretty invasive.

Yes my Indostomus are imports, i am hoping they will breed for me, given they are super hard. Would be nice to help them out. They seem pretty hardy but they are also not much visible so I have no idea how many i have.

The tank has planaria though and i believe it is hurting them. That is why I need to move them as there are too many snails in the substrate for a safe no planaria treatment 

Edited by beastie
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I’m afraid it would a huge risk but I’ve never tried freshwater clams so don’t really have much to add of good value.  One of my local fish stores “rents” them as water clarifiers.  You buy them, then return them once your water has cleared. If you’re buying them locally, have you talked to them about your idea and if it would be enough food to sustain the clams?  Why not use something safer for the tank like your bamboo shrimp?  They should be safe with your Indostomus even when breeding, right?

If you decide to try them start with only one and make sure it stays where you can easily monitor it.  Maybe put it in a clear glass dish with only enough sand to cover its foot.  That should(?) keep it contained so it’s visible?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2023 at 11:38 AM, beastie said:

The tank is 25 liters so that rules both bamboo and vampire shrimp out. Will keep thinking, i need good cleanup for this tank 

If it rules out bamboo or vampire shrimp then, for me, the clam should be ruled out as well.  Clams are far more body mass than a bamboo or vampire shrimp and would need far more feeding, even with a presumed lower metabolism.  I know google search says you only need 10 gallons for clams, but that seems completely backwards to me as far as any logical sense.

I can’t even imagine if a clam went bad in a tank as small as a 10 gallon (or your 6.6 gallon).  I’ve had mystery snails go bad in a 75 and it smells up the whole room even with an always open door, plus I can see the difference it makes for the fish in their behavior.  They feel better within an hour after removing the dead snail (I have loads of aquatic and emergent plants in that tank plus it’s heavily filtered).  Otherwise I would have to do an immediate large water change for a single, adult mystery snail death.  I don’t have any in that tank anymore, I think the fish were messing with them too much.

Edited by Odd Duck
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