Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

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THQ created the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

Hi all, my LFS recently got in freshwater mussels
www.livefish.com.au/freshwater-mussel-5cm.html

I believe very similar to freshwater clams you guys have in the states.
www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=1075+1642&pcatid=1642

They are bivalves that are water column feeders and are apparently an awesome natural filter, as they remove particulates and nitrates and excrete out clean water, and they breed quickly. Some people have managed to just filtrate their outdoor goldfish ponds purely with these guys, and have NO other filtration.

Just wondering, given how dirty and messy oscars are, has anyone tried these as supplemental filtration? They sound pretty cool, and will still keep working hard even if your filter breaks down or there's a power outage. Or will the oscar try to eat them, shell and all?
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OFL replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

This is a new one on me, I can't serve ever heard of anyone other using shellfish to the filtrate an aquarium. At the end of the day they are still living creatures and therefore I would have thought they will produce waste by themselves. I don't think any of us will ever get away without having to use an adequate filter when keeping Oscar fish.

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DRACO replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

at some point of my fish keeping, i have tried to put some fresh water clams in the substrate of my grow out tank... but the objective was just to find out if the will thrive in there... it never occur to me about the filtration. it did live in there but lost it when i put my softshell turtle in there.

i do know that mussels do the cleaning of dirty water along the shorelines.... and that give me some shivers coz i eat a lot of mussels... however, after realizing that people along the shorelines are eating them long time ago and they still live until now, i eat them again until now...except when our gov't announces the presence of Red Tide.
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noodle replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

I have tried them but not with oscars, they did not work well for me but they did live for a few years. I think you will find that the claims about them cleaning water are vastly exaggerated and mostly based on wishful thinking. They do filter some solids out of the water but they did not reduce nitrates for me. From memory the nitrates went up. I think that plants are more adept at removing nitrates and things such as sand tend to trap sediments along shorelines. Feel free to get some, they are strangely fun to watch, but don't get your hopes up too much that they will do much cleaning.
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THQ replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

Thanks for your experiences. Sounds like more work than not. Think i'll skip them apart from the dinner plate :)

Yeah, i have planted tanks and absolutely love the symbiosis between fish and plants, and the fact that food/waste are complementary. The closest thing to a self sufficient fish tank would be an outdoor aquaponics system that uses up all the nitrate and filters the water through the bacteria-laden plant soil bed for the cold water fish. You could grow edible vegetables and even stock food fish, and have rainbow trout salad regularly lol. Only thing needed is a water pump from the tank to the plant bed. Maintenance free, just feed the fish. No water changes, gravel vaccing, etc ever. Rain and sunshine do the rest.

But can't plant enough plants to make a difference to nitrates or oxygen in an oscar tank given their behaviour.
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Phantom replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

They might work with other cichlids but I doubt with an oscar. They are too opportunistic and will ferret them out eventually either killing them or harrassing them to death. Its amazing how tenacious and nitpicky oscars can be lol. Tried snails multiple times no success. I imagine a mussel would be the same outcome; the oscars sees a foreign object sticking out of the substrate he MUST grab it lol. Only time I had success with them was when I had my jaguar. I guess they were beneath his notice lol.
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jnet replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

I used to have fresh water mussels in with oscars they dug up the sand but not sure how good afilter I just liked them :) when they died they opened up and the tank had a feast but until then they were fine.

I was trying to find a vid but dont seem to have a good one on youtube.

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jnet replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

oh forgot to mention mine were about 7cm to 10cm in sized they werent small :)

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THQ replied the topic: Anyone tried using freshwater mussels/clams to filter?

Thanks. How long did they live for? Did you have to feed them deliberately, or did they get enough nutrition from the water column? Did they die from natural or oscar-related causes? Cheers.
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