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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently did a redo on my 55G aquarium changing it to a soil substrate, I cleaned out the sand from the tank and stored it in some containers and was going to dump it later. Well, today I was getting ready to dump the sand when I noticed a shell that didn't look like any snails I have, so I pulled it out of the bucket and it was a clam! I don't know where it came from but I think it must have been in there for months I hadn't added anything to the tank for a long time. I found a total of three clams, here are some pics (sorry for the bad pics they're taken with my Nintendo 3DS, also sorry for my horrible writing skills, English is my native language but I'm not good at writing).


Freshwater Clam 1 by slimnexus, on Flickr


Freshwater Clam 3 by slimnexus, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I plan on keeping them. I hope I can keep them alive in the bowl they're in until the tank cycles. Do you think they're Golden Clams?

Another thing I found living in my tank substrate were some kind of red worms, tubifex as far as I can tell. I'm trying to culture those as live food now.
 

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Yeah, I plan on keeping them. I hope I can keep them alive in the bowl they're in until the tank cycles. Do you think they're Golden Clams?

Another thing I found living in my tank substrate were some kind of red worms, tubifex as far as I can tell. I'm trying to culture those as live food now.
Yes, Golden Clams would be my first guest. There are different kinds of Golden Clams. We have the Americanized one which some say Is an invasive species. And there are The Asian ones which are a little more "Tropical". The ones I have are American. Your's might be as well. The fact that they were in your tank Unbeknown to you kinda Highlights their invasivenes. Lol! They are functional for me, They def improve the quality of the tank they are in.
 

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I discovered a very similar critter (small, yellow clam about as big around as a pencil eraser) last weekend while tearing down a 30g tank full of plecos... I was picking snails out of the substrate to offer to my loaches and lo and behold there's an itty bitty clam in there... dropped the little guy in another tank (not the loach one!) and by the next day he (she? it?) disappeared... probably dug his way under the substrate.

I've heard from many places that clams require an extremely mucky environment because they're filter feeders, and thus they don't tend to survive long in captivity. That said, the setup I pulled mine out of was the messiest tank in my basement - plecos aren't the cleanest of fish - so I'm not terribly surprised that a baby clam could live in there. Still have no idea where it came from, though - best guess is it hitchhiked in on a plant or something, much like snails are so wont to do.
 

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I discovered a very similar critter (small, yellow clam about as big around as a pencil eraser) last weekend while tearing down a 30g tank full of plecos... I was picking snails out of the substrate to offer to my loaches and lo and behold there's an itty bitty clam in there... dropped the little guy in another tank (not the loach one!) and by the next day he (she? it?) disappeared... probably dug his way under the substrate.

I've heard from many places that clams require an extremely mucky environment because they're filter feeders, and thus they don't tend to survive long in captivity. That said, the setup I pulled mine out of was the messiest tank in my basement - plecos aren't the cleanest of fish - so I'm not terribly surprised that a baby clam could live in there. Still have no idea where it came from, though - best guess is it hitchhiked in on a plant or something, much like snails are so wont to do.
The more I hear experiences like your's the easier it is to get a good understanding of how they are invasive. I imagine they must have a very robust larval stage. and whatever isn't eaten has a very likely chance of reaching adulthood. I wonder how feasible of a food source Adult Golden Clams will be in the Aquarium. Puffer food?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replys everyone. And about using them as live food, I think I read somewhere that they take a long time to grow and mature. So it may not be feasible. But I don't really know much about clams.
 

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Clams are awesome for so many reasons. First, they do not require mucky environments....actually they prefer sandy or very fine substate and they are filter feeders which is why they do NOT like mucky environments.

Filter feeding is another reason they are awesome. Shrimp and snails are great for tank cleanliness, but clams and muscles are great for water cleanliness. They are also good indicators of water quality. If the quality is poor they stay closed unless they have to eat.

They do cause some problems. They dig through the substrate until they find the spot they like the most, which includes uprooting shallow rooted plants.

Clams and muscles breed in an interesting fashion. They send out spores into the water that adhear themselves to the gils of fish. What probably happened was you purchased a wild caught fish that had spores on their gils. After these spores develop, they fall off of the gils into the substrate and form a shell. And that is what makes them so invasive. A fish is transported from a body of water with clams to a body of water without clams via fishing, flooding, animals(birds, racoons, etc....).

I am currently trying to acquire some clams and muscles for my tank right now, I used to have them in a planted Fluval Edge when I had that tank, but I didnt transfer them over to my 55 gallon because I'm an idiot.
For those of you who would like to aqcuire some, find sandy substated bodies of water with water flow. Free standing lakes don't usually have them.
 
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