Terrible Advice Tuesdays: Clams need to be spot fed regularly in order to thrive.
The Rest of The Story: Here’s one myth that just won’t go away, but really needs to.
Just like your corals giant clams (tridacnids – the ones we keep in our tanks) host of zooxanthellae. Several studies (Klumpp & Griffiths 1994 and Klumpp & Lucas 1994) confirmed that with sufficient lighting the zooxanthellae in the clam can provide all that a tridacnid needs. These studies also confirmed that “under good conditions, the zooxanthellae can typically supply a host clam of any size with an excess of carbon and energy”.
Furthermore, James W. Fatherree, an expert on giant clams explained how clams can filter feed fish waste, uneaten fish food and other organic material in your tank’s water column. This filter feeding serves to provide the clam with even more nutrients.
Several years ago I ran into James at a conference and I asked him what his take was on feeding clams. His advice was direct – clams do not need to be fed regardless of their size. He suggested only feeding a clam if it is in a tank with zero fish for an extended (months on end) period of time.
Even I have made the mistake of believing that clams need to be fed and if you run into someone suggesting that advice, please share this post with them to set the record straight.
Works cited: Aquarium Invertebrates: Tridacnid Clams (Usually) Don’t Need to Be Fed in Aquaria, James W. Fatherree, M.Sc.Browse the Store! Questions?