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I’m sad to announce that my maxima clam died today.  This was my first clam and I only had it for about 3 weeks.  It seemed to be doing fine until two days ago when I noticed it was expelling long strands of brownish-clear mucus.  I thought it may be due to long sweeper tentacles from a nearby coral, so I moved it over about an inch to be out of reach.  The next day the mantle had receded a bit and the mucus continued.  Today, I found it completely gaping and unresponsive.

I’ve been diligent about testing water parameters every day and saw nothing out of ordinary:

  • Temp = 78 F
  • Salinity = 1.026
  • pH = 8.0 - 8.2
  • Alk = 8.1 dKH
  • Cal = 420 ppm
  • Mag = 1320 ppm
  • NO3 = 2 ppm
  • PO4 = 0.05 ppm

I inspected the clam carefully the day I got it to look for pyramid snails or any other potential problems, but it was clean.  Its foot was in tact and I had it on a small rock on the sand bed for several days before moving it up onto the rocks for better lighting where it was at about 300 PAR.  For several weeks it looked happy, had good mantle extension, and reacted to movements or shadows.

I have no idea what went wrong.  Everything else in my tank is thriving and healthy.  After its death I inspected it again and did not find any parasites.  The only issue I currently have is a bit of macro & bubble algae on the rocks, but as you can see from my parameters nothing seems out of line.

I’m chalking this up to “mysterious clam death” that many people seem to report, and I’ll likely never know what caused it.  I think I’ll wait a long while before I consider it I’ll get another clam or if I’ll just stick with corals & fish.  I’m pretty bummed about this. 😞

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21 minutes ago, River City Corals said:

I’m suspecting possibly a polyclad flatworm?

That was one of the possible pests I researched.  I doubt this is the case because I have not seen any snail deaths which they also target.  Of course I can't rule it out since they are good at hiding, but I would expect to see other evidence besides the clam.  I'll continue to monitor.

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