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  1. #1
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Can Chem warfare hurt a clam?

    Everything was completely fine yesterday morning, but while I was at work during the day one of my acros fell onto a birds nest and a green ricorrdia.

    The ricrrdia's about the only thing not suffering right now. The pink birds nest has huge bleach spots, the green acro is bleaching from the tips, and I don't think the clam that was "down stream" is going to make it.

    Even the "green monster" frag I got from my first MASO meeting is showing stress, but it's just the stuff on that side of the tank. Everything else is okay, I'm only having problems with the 2 of the 3 coral directly involved, my clam, and another acro "down stream" from them.

    The clam was right beside "ground zero".

    My water paramaters are all normal (77.5F, pH 8.2, 0, 0 ,0, Alk 9 dKH, Ca 420... Okay the alk is low. All tested immediately after starting carbon etc.)

    I noticed the clam was gaping before anythign else, I immediately started runing carbon, set the skimmer to a wetter mix, rinsed out all my spounges, and started mixing for a 20% partial. I should be able to do that by lunch time.

    Since I can't seen any water chemistry fubars, I'm guessing the clam got nuked in a chem warfare between the 3 corals. I just never heard of clams getting nuked, is that possible?

    Is there anything else I can do / missed?
    I'm almost positive the clam is a gonner at this point, it's receded halfway into the shell & I'm starting to see translucent streeks in it

    Any ideas?
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  2. #2
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I just finished a 25G partial, no change
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  3. #3
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    The clam's pretty much toast

    Can it stay in the water a couple hours (in case of a miracle) or will it start to pollute the water pretty quick? (i.e. should I take it out now)

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    That sounds really bizarre to me. If the clam dies it'll take at least a few hours to start decomposing, so leaving it alone for a while won't hurt.
    I have NEVER seen a clam affected by a battle between ricordia and sps. Ricordia will always win in a battle between sps because it can "reach" and react more quickly. In this type of interaction, the ricordia would not really resort to chemical retaliation (I'm not even sure if ricordia has chemical abilities..) it would send out its mesentaric (sp.) filaments- ei: it's digestive organs to basically suck the flesh right of of the sps- they don't stand a chance. The Sps would try to sting back, but again I don't think it would be chemical, they would use their tiny stingers in their polyp tentacles, to no avail. I don't think that there is anything in the interaction between the ricordia and the sps that could really cause a clam stress..
    Having said all that, this info is based purely on 12 years of observing corals attack each other and a little research, but NO real biology, so it could very well be missing something here, or I could just be wrong.
    It's really too bad though. The sps will loose a little more flesh over the next few days, and if they don't get a secondary bacterial infection, they should do fine, although they will have a small fleshless spot on the skeleton where they got burned. It may grow back a little but if the spot is too big it won't cover over completely.
    There is no other advice I can give you about what to do, you are covering all the basses...
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  5. #5
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reefmutt
    That sounds really bizarre to me.
    I agree, I didn't think there'd be enough there to zap a clam even if they did start a war. I'm just at a loss as to what did happen.

    You pretty much pegged what I'm seeing in the coral: anything the riccordia could touch has been pretty much stripped down to shiney white stone. Where the acro & the bird's nest touched, the bird's nest lost.

    When I removed the clam, I couldn't find the foot & there was a fair bit of flesh missing from the area. I don't know if this is part of a clam dying or not. It didn't look like it had been eaten, it was just gone.

    It's possible that there's something in the tank that's developed a taste for the bottom of my clam and these 2 events are unrelated & just happened the same day.

    If that is the case, what should I be looking for? I didn't see any snails on the clam nor anything else that didn't belong. But I'm only using my eyes.

    The only fish that migh cause a problem is my copper banded, but he's always treated the clam like another rock, if there's a bug on it it's fair game. I've seen him anoy the clam when picking a mysis or a pod off it, but I've never seen him nip the clam itself. (I spend a fair bit of time watching the CBB too, he's my favourite fish)

    The clam was part of my bio filter, so I'd like to get another one, but I first want to make sure the tank's okay. What should I be looking for prior to getting a replacement?

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bram's Avatar
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    I don't think that the foot of the clam could b destroyed in one day

    was it reacting to light normally (as best you can remember)
    Closing up ith shadows
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  7. #7
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    how big was the clam?could have starved.
    also, possible pyranid snails ate thru the bysal gland.
    also, clams are strange, they could be dieing a slow death and you not even know it as there extended then all of a sudden they collapse. I just lost a clam that was attached. I had him for a short period of time.I've lost a few clams in my time and for no appernt reason

  8. #8
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    It was pretty large (5 inches or so) and I feed the tank phyto every 3rd day. It reacted well to the light, the mantle extended pretty far, although not as far as my neighbours. I assumed it was because I had MH lights & he's using PC lights with a higher posistioning. (Maybe that was a bad assumption.)

    I had problems getting that clam to attach to anything. It picked up a pebble the size of a marble & refused to take anything else offered. (I never attempted to remove it from the rock, only sat it on larger pieces hoping it would move.)

    It fell off my live rock frequently enough that I gave up & put it on a piece of slate on the sand bed. (No Idea how, I'd place it on the rocks, wake up in the morning or come home from work & it'd be in the sand.)

    It was positioned so that it wouldn't get blasted from my SIEO, but still get light from both MH lamps.

    I've read someplace that Crocea don't particularily like the sand bed, but I hoped I'd be okay if it was on a rock on the sand. Could that be what's pooched it?

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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