re: freshwater bivalves

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 20:41:33 -0500 (EST)
From: DIONIGI MALADORNO <MALADORD%A1%RNISD0 at mr_nut.roche.com>
Subject: Freshwater mussels
To: AQUATIC PLANTS <Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com>

<<<<From: Stephen.Pushak at saudan_HAC.COM
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 13:22:16 PDT
Subject: The use of shell fish for green algae control

Has anyone used freshwater clams or mussels in aquariums? These might
be good to help control green water. Are they difficult to keep? How
do you feed them?

Steve in sunny, hot Vancouver>>>>

I have been keeping two freshwater mussels for several months now (5-6) in a
sort of invertebrate freshwater 5 gal. tank I have. I started it a year ago
as a gammarus culture, with lots of hornwort (did I spell it right?) and of
green algae (they look as bunches of green floss). No heat, no artificial
light, close to a window (facing east), bottom of coral gravel, a small
tetra sponge filter, lots of ramshorn and pond snails, few dark daphnia-like
things, many blackworms, few trumpet snails (for some reason I must be the
only person in the world that can't get these Malaysian trumpets to
multiplicate). At some point I stimulated the growth of algae introducing
one Delaware Aquatic Imports fertilizer tablet, but they now seem to have
reached an equilibrium with the hornwort, and there is plenty. When the
gammarus colony started to decrease in numbers (quite normal after a while,
I heard), I decided that it wasn't worth the work of starting a new culture,
and I bought the mussels instead.
Concerning the effect of the mussels on algae growth, I did not notice any
decrease in green thread algae growth, but I guess this is not surprising. I
do not know how effective they would be on green water. The rare times when
you can catch them moving around and digging in the substrate they are quite
amusing , but for the rest of the time they do not do much, even if they
seem to change position every day (when I am not around). 
Every two-three days I introduce in the tank some yeast (the common baking
type that comes in small bags in any food store) and a few drops of a liquid
invertebrate food made by Tetra (but when I finish it I will try not to use
it anymore).

In the past I had another two in a community tank, but they did not do well
and died in a few weeks. I doubt they can sustain tropical temperatures for
long periods of time.