Species Name : Mercenaria Mercenaria
Care Level : Easy
Temperament : Peaceful
Color : Brownish, Gray, White
Diet : Filter Feeder
Reef Compatible : Yes
Water Conditions : 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size : 3 Inches
Origin : Maricultured in Western Atlantic
Family : Veneridae
Supplements : Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Trace Elements
The Cleaner Clam (Mercenaria Mercenaria) is a durable, beneficial, and functional addition to any tank. The Cleaner Clam often goes by many names, Hardshell clam, Quahog, littleneck, cherry stone, and chowder. Usually used in relation to size; smallest being littleneck, then cherry stone, then chowder. Quahog is the all-encompassing name.
Mercenaria Mercenaria has a large, heavy shell that ranges from being a pale brownish color to shades of gray and white. The exterior of the shell, except nearest the umbo is covered with a series of growth rings. The interior of the shell is colored a deep purple around the posterior edge and hinge. The Cleaner Clam is a beneficial organism that will spend most of its time buried beneath the surface of the sand filtering water for detritus and algae. The clam contains a foot, which allows it to burrow into the sand. Cleaner Clams are essential members of any janitorial crew.
It is advisable to keep them in at least 5 Gallon tanks. They do not require light as they will spend much of their time burrowed under a sandy substrate. For the growth and survival of clams in a reef tank, it is necessary to have a certain percentage of the water be nitrates. If the nitrates aren’t present, the clam will starve and can also eventually die.
They are peaceful species. Cleaner clams can also be excellent live food for large predatory organisms, so stay away from these types of tank mates if you don't want your clams to be eaten.
This bivalve is a filter feeder and will not live without particulate food, they don't directly absorb nitrogen products like a photosynthetic clam can. They only consume the little organic particles that can lead to nitrates. They do so by sucking water in and passing it over their gills then expelling the filtered water.
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