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Thread: clams problems maybe with emeralds

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    Site Owner Rob's Avatar
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    clams problems maybe with emeralds

    anyone else hear of problems with emeralds and clams?

    i had one emerald in my tank for a while no problems. then i started getting more and more bubble algae.. my LFS had a sale on small emeralds so i got 2 more.. still huge bubble algae issue, but within a few weeks of that both my clams started to decline.. until they were both gone.. the second one look to be alive nut sick, that night i found one emerald in the shell eating and the other sitting on the shell eating (the clam).

    problem is, i dont know if something else happened to them and the crabs were cleaning up or if there was predation happening. i have never heard of emeralds eating a clam.. and these were 4-6" clams..

    what happened to the clams.. well it started with a lightening in color.. more like a fading, then they stopped opening and when they did they were hypersensitive. even a fish swimming by and they would clamp shut.. then a day or two later.. gone...

    ideas?
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    Master Reefer saxman's Avatar
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    that sux, Rob...

    i'm guessing the crabs were cleaning up the dead/dying clams. how long did you have the clams, and when did you notice the bleaching? what species were they? did you add anything other than the crabs to the system? what are your water params? lighting? did you notice the crabs actively bothering the clams prior to their demise?
    Greg

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    Site Owner Rob's Avatar
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    yea.. i have had them about 16-18 months up to this point. they were both crocea maximas.. one was classified as Ultra because of the coloration.

    i checked parms before and after, everything is normal
    PH- 8.2, Alk and Ca have been a tad low but nothing out of the normal for my system, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia all 0, PO4 was at 0, etc...

    the bleaching seem to start about 2 weeks ago.. clam one started to bleach, then about a day or two before i lost it, the second clam started the same thing. within 2 weeks both were gone.

    i noticed nothing abnormal from any of the crabs before this..

    one thing i should not is that on the first clam, the first sign there was a problem was when it feel off its rock.. the byssal threads and become detached.. i noticed the second clam went through the same thing, but since it was larger and in a more secure spot, it never fell
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    Master Reefer saxman's Avatar
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    hmmm...how did the mantles look? did they seem pinched? it sounds like whatever they had, it was the same thing, altho it's pretty mysterious.

    is it possible they were poisoned? cleaning products, fumes, etc? maybe something from a WC?
    Greg

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    Site Owner Rob's Avatar
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    no signs of pinched mantles.
    the colors on the ultra were always great.. the coloration on the other crocea were more mixed. ever since i got it it seems to get lighter at times.. then recover, then lighter.. keep in mind im seeing this with a very aware eye.. i don't think anyone else would notice the differences, but basically it was mild splotchiness but as mentioned it has always done that..

    as far as chemicals i can be sure.. i suppose its possible, but i would know what.. my tanks are all in the basement and pretty well separated from everything other than whats passed through the furnace.

    it was quite mysterious to me as well.. problem is i would like to replace them, but i feel it would be responsible for me to do so with out a strong effort to identify the problem,.. ya know..
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    Rob, sorry to hear this.

    I have definitely had emerald crabs kill a clam before and since the last emerald I had some 4 years ago disappeared (I couldn't find him when I broke the tank down), I have not bought one since and dealt with the bubble algae by hand and nutrient regulation.

    I don't trust crabs in tanks with clams. Virtually all crabs are opportunistic omnivores. In spite of their being touted as eating bubble algae, I think that emeralds will go for easy meaty foods quicker.
    George
    Smyrna, GA
    25g reef
    Coming Soon: 60g Ocea Cube (24"^3)

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    Site Owner Rob's Avatar
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    yeah, since i now have a few of them and they still haven't touched my BA... Grrr...
    i want that stuff gone.. i wish i knew how it got in there.... Grrr again...
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    Grand Master Reefer Seahorsedreams's Avatar
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    Emerald crabs are opportunitist scavengers. I would lean more towards the crabs selecting an easy lunch from a dying clam not as them being the reason of the clam's decline in the first place.
    Renee

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    Master Reefer saxman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    yeah, since i now have a few of them and they still haven't touched my BA... Grrr...
    i want that stuff gone.. i wish i knew how it got in there.... Grrr again...
    Rob,

    won't your foxface eat the stuff? ours LOVES it.
    Greg

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    Site Owner Rob's Avatar
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    you would think...lol

    the foxface will eat caulepra, and nori but wont eat the bubble algae, which is why i got the emeralds... i have three and they wont touch it either... and i know they eat algae because i ahev seen them eat the nori an and the film algae i scrape off from under the rim of the tank..
    i have been thinking about another tang.. maybe this is a good excuse..
    maybe i should start a BA thread..

    oh and back to the clam.. i didn't really think the emerald was "causing it" but i wanted to check.. it was just too coincidental to go unquestioned
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