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Old 05-21-2007, 10:26 PM   #1
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Tridacnid Clams

Hello,

I am interested in conducting an experiment using about 30 juvenile tradacnidae clams ~2 cm in length over a three month period. At the end of that time they will be returned to the lagoon.

My question is what size tank should I have to make sure each specimen has sufficient space and access to their share of nutrients, etc. I've spoken with a clam retailer who suggested about 1 gallon per clam, but he may have meant 1 gallon per mature clam, i.e., 15-20 cm in length. Like I said, my specimens will be an order of magnitude smaller.

Do any of the experts out there have an answer to that one. If so, I'd really appreciate hearing your opinion.

Thank you,

Charley Waters
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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I guess the first question I have is...what do you plan on accompishing with this study? Second, what species of clam are you targeting? This will make a difference in advice given.

First and foremost, providing the proper husbandry for this project will likely be very expensive when you figure in the set up costs and lighting cost. Keep iin mind that clams of this size rely on heavy nutrients in the water (as well as light) for nurishment. This type of feeding can foul water without the proper filtration. Clams do not contribute to the bioload as fish do. However, the biproducts of feeding them may be an issue.

If you can, please discribe the type of tank you are planning...to include lighting and filtering.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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WELCOME TO AA!!!

I am also curious as to the extent of the experiment.
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for writing.

I'm in the process of planning the tank. I've gone over Daniel Knop's book regarding nutrient and environmental requirements and there's no question that extensive time and dollars will be required.

I've done quite a bit of field work on projects designed to restore clam populations on atolls in the South Pacific. Species involved were T. squamosa, T. maxima and T. derasa.

Now I'm working on a Master's thesis in Marine Biology that asks whether elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 suppress the calcification process in certain marine organisms, and valve development of tridacnid clams in particular. The controlled experiment (so far, at least) will involve exposing clams to three levels of atmospheric CO2 and measuring response variables.

I hope to collect data over a 90 day period using 30 specimens in each of the three tanks. My question is, assuming that environmental and nutritional conditions are met per clam, what is an appropriate tank size for 30 clams ~2 cm in size? In my field work, there were thousands in huge raceways so it's difficult to gauge what the ratio might be.

Thanks again for your interest. Any ideas?

Charley
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Old 05-22-2007, 03:10 PM   #5
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assuming that environmental and nutritional conditions are met per clam
The larger the tank the easier that will be to do. The tank will be a very different environmenet from a raceway. Clams that small need suplemental feedings that can quickly foul the water.
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:02 PM   #6
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Not sure if I can help at all, but I'd do the longer, more shallow tanks. Shallow for the lighting needs. Deeper tank will need more costly light. You're most likely gonna have to look at supplementing large amounts of calcium too.

Even if 1g per clam is true (I'm doubting it though), I'd still consider a larger tank since more water volume is more forgiving - especially since you're gonna have feeding issues like Lando mentioned. If they say 1g per, I'd still consider a 125g tank. That's 4g per. Or maybe even a custom (or DYI) acrylic that's even more shallow. Consider this advice just my gut talking here, not anything scientific. On the lighting, you may be talking at least 6-8 watts per gallon. I did do a (single) Deresa in a 72g tank which is deeper than the 125 I believe. Lived for 5 years with 4x65 power compact lighting and virtually no calcium dosing. Grew almost twice as large in that environment.


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Old 05-22-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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Maybe you should check out www.glasscages.com ... I have seen a tank they built for an individual that just wanted a shallow tank for corals. The tank I saw was 100 gallons, 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and I believe 12-14 inches tall. Seems like that would be a lot easier to light than even a normal 125. At any rate, they will build a tank to your specifications. 8)
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:55 PM   #8
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Sounds like an interesting experiment. A few things I was thinking of....

First, How do you plan on adding the supplemented CO2? If you add it in a closed in environment I would imagine you'd have issues keeping CO2 levels high enough (as it gets taken into the water and used to control pH). I could be totally wrong, just a guess.

Second, wouldn't you need 3 different tanks to use in order to subject the clams to the varying levels of CO2 constantly? Or were you thinking of doing it in shifts with the same tank? You could get three 33 gallon tanks or 3 45 gallon long tanks, both with the same footprint (4 ft long) except the 45 gallon is 4 inches taller.

Lighting would be very important and shallow tanks are definitley better than deeper tanks.

Best of luck.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #9
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Now I'm working on a Master's thesis in Marine Biology that asks whether elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 suppress the calcification process in certain marine organisms, and valve development of tridacnid clams in particular. The controlled experiment (so far, at least) will involve exposing clams to three levels of atmospheric CO2 and measuring response variables.
Thanks for the info. It sounds like an interesting experiment.

I am not sure the whole "size/gal" rule is appropriate here. In terms of a tank...I agree that shallow and wide will be best. It will give you the most light penetration and better water movement with less equipment. In terms of filtration for the tank...I suggest using a LS substrate with some LR for added biological filtration. The use of refugium would also be very helpful. I am not sure what macroalgae grows in the area you are trying to duplicate but adding some would be very helpful.

A LFS by me has a very nice acrylic frag tank that would be perfect for this. It is 4ftx4ft and only about 8in tall.

Sounds interesting...keep us posted on the process.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:31 PM   #10
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Hello, and thanks to all of you.

Yes, I will have three separate tanks.

One of you believed 1 gallon per specimen might not be enough. Do I understand that correctly?

Another wrote that 33 or 45 gallon tanks would be sufficient. Do I understand that correctly?

The long, narrow and shallow solution is a great suggestion.

Thanks to you all for your input!

Charley
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