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Title: Fresh Water Clams
Description: How are your clams???

ddm - May 3, 2010 12:00 AM (GMT)
Hi Robyn,

I saw on your blog that you recently added clams to your large pond. How are they doing? I tried clams last year and they were eaten in 2 days by the animals. I didn't do a very good job of hiding them! I was thinking of giving them a try again. Maby I'll wait and see how your's fair.



Robyn - May 3, 2010 06:55 PM (GMT)
My clams are in a cage that I made them. I have yet to see them open so I don't even know if they're alive. With the goldfish spawning, the water is too murky to see the clams under the water. I pull the cage up when I get in. They have moved from where I put them. Debris tends to settle in the cage which may not be such a good thing but I wanted to know where they were at and that the animals wouldn't be eating them. What animals ate your clams if you know?

ddm - May 4, 2010 01:25 AM (GMT)
My clams were eaten by either the raccoons or the opposums. Both types of animals have come up to my back sliding door and looked in. Last week an opposum ran over one of my daughters feet as we were coming into the house after dark. The opposum didn't look very upset about the incident. My daughter was another story.

Maybe it's a stupid question, but do clams have the ability to move? I think if clams are dead they open up. At least that's what salt water clams do.


Robyn - May 4, 2010 04:18 PM (GMT)
Yes, they can move. When they open up, they can stick out their insides (some sites call it a muscular foot) and push off. Some of mine went from parallel to the ground to having their mouths sticking upwards. They can also go farther fast by opening and closing their shells quickly and shooting out water but I think that's more for saltwater clams. I agree that I think the shells would open when dead because the muscles keeping them closed would relax. If that's always the case then my six are all still alive. We have a lot of raccoons, and I'm sure they'd eat the clams if they weren't protected. The raccoons sure love their escargot so why not clams.

That opossum must have been sight impaired! I had one growl out me a few months back when I tried to take his photo!

Otter - May 4, 2010 11:48 PM (GMT)
Where did you get your clams?

I think a clam or mussel filter is a great idea. I've been told these creatures need very hard water and so won't do well in a typical fish pond, but I suspect this is only true for some species.

ddm - May 5, 2010 12:54 AM (GMT)
I must have very friendly opposums around my house. Last winter one of my neighbors opened his grill to turn it on and he found an opposum that had taken up residence! The opposum very reluctantly jumped off the grill and walked away! Needless to say they didn't use their grill that night.

In your blog Robyn you said you used pea gravel instead of sand. Are the clams buried in the pea gravel?



Broxandval - May 5, 2010 07:59 AM (GMT)
Hi Otter
Weve found that putting them in ithe koi is a bad idea as hey wait for the foot to come out tgen proceed to eat the poor unfortunate creature :(
broxandval Fishiedude

Otter - May 5, 2010 09:28 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Broxandval @ May 5 2010, 02:59 AM)
Hi Otter
Weve found that putting them in ithe koi is a bad idea as hey wait for the foot to come out tgen proceed to eat the poor unfortunate creature :(
broxandval Fishiedude

I agree, Dave. A cage or separate chamber makes sense.

What I would worry about is making sure I had a native species. Considering how much trouble the aliens cause, I wouldn't want to take a chance on them hitching a ride out of my pond. My local pond dealer quit selling snails because of this, and I don't blame him.

Robyn - May 5, 2010 11:39 PM (GMT)
I got my clams from
I don't think they need hard water at least not any more than other mollusks (snails basically). Snails and clams won't do as well without some calcium in the water. My pond water is soft but I do have oyster shells and crushed coral in the filter. The snails seem okay with it.

There is a lot of debris in the clam's cage but I move it up and down when I get in to try to get some off. Half of them have turned so that their openings are facing upwards, and they seem to be anchored down in the pea gravel. Sand would just wash out the holes of the cage in time. Also, if it's deep enough, sand becomes compacted and anaerobic.

Dave, you tried clams in your koi tank? I've never seen my clams open but I can't see them without lifting the cage which would get them to close if they were open.

I put my four bitterlings in the pond today. It looks like I have two males in breeding color which are beautiful and two females. I wonder if they'll find the secret entrance to the clam cage. I had a small shubunkin goldfish with the bitterlings. After release, I saw little Bunky following the bitterlings like he's one of them. I wonder what the fish are thinking about all the space, tons of other animals, and such that are suddenly in their life.

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