The hardy sea clam.
Living on the sandy and muddy bottoms of oceans and freshwaters, the clam is one of the most interesting aquatic creatures. With over 15,000 known bivalve species, there is a mix of freshwater and saltwater clams, with most species living in saltwater.
Since these creatures are incredibly hardy, they are known for living quite a long time. Giant sea clams can live up to 150 years, and in 2007, one found quahog clam specimen was estimated to be between 400 to 410 years old. While some species, especially those found in cold waters, can live long lives, typically, most species only live for 3 to 10 years.
In the Wild
These shellfish are found all over the world and live in many different habitats. Typically, sea clams are found in muddy coastal flats and coral reefs, but they can survive in the cold Arctic and Antarctic waters and in deep waters as well.
Giant sea clams live in the Pacific and Indian Oceans where they can weigh upwards of 500 pounds and grow over four feet long. Like other clams, sea clams are characterized by two shells that are equal in size, and they have a burrowing foot, which allows them to dig into the sand and mud. Clams spend much of their day in the burrows that they make.
In the Tank
In aquariums, clams are just as durable as they are in the wild. However, they still need strict water and tank requirements. Clams need a consistent amount of salinity and alkalinity as well as a pH of around 8. They need to have at least 2ppm of nitrates, so they can eat.
Baby clams will need more maintenance to ensure they get enough food until they can grow algae on their shells. As they age and get to around 4 inches, they will need no food supplementation, and they can survive on their own through the photosynthesis process of the algae on their shells.
Clams have a rather unique way of breathing. They use tubes, which are known as siphons or necks, to draw water in and push it out. When water is brought in, it goes through millions of hairlike structures on their gills. For some species, this is also how they get much of their nutrition.
These fascinating creatures will not only be beautiful additions to your tank, but they will be great conversation starters as well
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Clam photo by Mal B
Found on Flickr.com
License: Some Rights Reserved
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