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unexplained death of my Deresa Clam

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#1 karnivor



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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:41 AM

Hi Guys,

about 3 weeks ago, I was faced with the unexplained death of my beloved Deresa Clam, which went from healthy and growing, to a gaping and dying clam. At the time, I could not understand why it should be, but decided to do a little research on the subject.

There are a number of reasons for these inexplicable deaths and I started to keep a watchful eye on my remaining Squamosa Clam, which still appears in good health. This morning, whilst spending some time doing a water change and general maintenance, I decided to give the squamosa a quick health check by lifting it out of the water and doing a visual check.

These are what I found hanging around the underside of the shell, by the bysal opening. The largest is about 9mm.

Posted Image

They are called Pyramidalid Snails and are parasitic to clams. They can cause death by their constant feeding from the flesh of the clam and can reproduce rapidly. Although some Wrasses will eat them, they live a very secluded life under the shell of the clam which makes them difficult to irradicate. I now need to consider a course of action to deal with them, and my first thoughts are to make a stand for the clam to sit on, raised above the gravel, until I can get rid of them. I will be doing regular inspections from now on, until it gets a clean bill of health.

If you have clams, I would certainly advise taking a good look at them from the underside.
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#2 Guest_Quigs_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:32 PM

The usual suspects Tony - Wish I'd seen a thread on this and would have pointed you in that direction.

I keep a banana wrasse for that very purpose. Once a month or so I turn the clam on its side and the wrasse comes over and picks them off individually and smashes them to pieces. Its now got to a point where he's exhausted his supply and the clam if happy with no further pests.

#3 Guest_chriss_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:44 PM

Beggers! At least you know the cause and can keep it in mind for the future.


#4 bobba fett

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:45 PM

You could make a proper Newquay necklace from the shells to blend in!

Shame for the clam but atleast you have an explainiation, I hate losses when you can't account for them

I suggest a change of plan... Let the wookie win


#5 Guest_dave14_*

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:03 PM

good post Tony, I've lost 2 clams over the last couple years although I think one I dropped kalk paste on when killing aips, but the other was a mystery

#6 Guest_lindsay_*

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:39 PM

Yeah they normally hide in the day but come out and make their way to the top of the clam at night.Often laying their eggs on the shell of the clam near the top.Not sure but i think that the clam farmers also use wrasse to control them,six line wrasse rings a bell.They will kill small and large clams but if found in time a large clam will normally recover.




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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:17 PM

I had an issue with my clams and was asking Lyds advice at the weekend, about the clam being irritated by yellow Zoes on the shell and around the mantle, he said was it the zoe's or could it be snails, I hadn't noticed the snails till I went home and had a look and there were hundreds of them all around the edge of both clams.

We've spend every night since the weekend after the lights go out with a syphon and head torch erradicating the pests, hopefully we are on top of it and the clams are coming out a lot better. One clam I could get out of the tank being only as big as my hand and gave it a good scrub, but the other is too big to lift so just perservering with the syphon.

Thanks Lyds for the advice, I would never have known they were a pest.

#8 Guest_lindsay_*

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 02:26 PM

No problem Andy,not sure but i think you will find the snails will target the clams,this is a pain but at the same time will give you the opportunity to remove the snails and lower their numbers,the other thing that can be done is to add a wrasse,some wrasse eat them,large clams normally recover if the snails numbers are reduced,it can be a different story for smaller clams as they get weak quicker.

#9 Danny Tucker

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:55 AM

very interesting thread!!

quick question, in a system that has never had a clam, would these snails still be present??
also, where do the snails come from in the first place? do they hitch hike on the clam from when you buy it?

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