Clam Positioning - Inspiration from the Wild - Reefs.com


Clam Positioning – Inspiration from the Wild

the fire coral to the right might sting a little

the fire coral to the right might sting a little

 Placing clams directly onto the substrate really shows them off, but in the wild they are very much part of the reef. OK, before I start I want to acknowledge that larger clams are very often seen unattached, but for many smaller individuals, starting life very much, in the reef seems to be the norm. So here’s some quick inspiration. 
a squamosal sitting proud

a squamosa sitting proud

 
another squamosal well and truly part of the reef

another squamosa, well and truly part of the reef

 Tridacnids are quite capable of growing within and even into their surroundings (Croceas aren’t called ‘boring’ for no reason), but some folks first starting out in the hobby don’t always know that they have the ability to modify the coral around them to ensure they have space to expand their mantle and benefit from water flow. Clams can dissolve the coral substrate around them via secretions from their mantle.  on the reef a close up look can often reveal that the mantle has created an impression of itself into the surrounding structure. 
This maxima is in only a few inches of water at low tide

This maxima is in only a few inches of water at low tide

 The image above shows a maxima I photographed at low tide, in only a few inches of water on a fringing reef.  the shell-like algae is a species of padina. Obviously, anyone keeping clams is ensuring their well-being by ‘keeping their options open’.  leaving them on the substrate, or in a ‘caddy’ of some sort means the clams can be moved and relocated if the need arises, but its always worth understanding the anatomy of reefs in the wild. 
a very attractive setting in this turbinaria

a very attractive setting in this turbinaria

 
some colonies can gold multiple specimens

some colonies can gold multiple specimens

 So how about coral colonies with clams placed within them?  it certainly looks pretty good, but would you try to replicate this?

About Richard Aspinall

Richard lives in Scotland where he works as a freelance writer and photographer. Richard writes for several magazines on topics as diverse as scuba diving, travel and wildlife.
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