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christyf5
03-31-2014, 11:27 PM
So I've had my squamosa clam for about 4 years now. Bought it at about 3" and its now over 8". It had been doing really well up until late last week when I noticed it was looking a bit deflated, the exhalant siphon was sagging and the mantle was partially retracted at the inhalant siphon. I was concerned as the MH lights had been on for some time so it wasn't just "waking up". I reached in, thinking it had gotten to close to a coral and perhaps was being stung (its surrounded by ricordeas) and the clam shells moved independently of each other. Not good. I gently closed the clam (he wasn't interested in closing much) and looked at the underside, while he was still in the water and saw that the hinge was completely gone. There was nothing holding the two shells together. !@#%

I PMed our resident clam expert TimT and he said to try crazy glueing some velcro in place of the hinge. I was a bit skeptical (and somewhat confused) but went for it. Here are some photos of the "surgery"

Missing hinge photo:
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30142608_zps709c07c0.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30142608_zps709c07c0.jpg.html)

ok that is a crap photo in which you can't see much. Basically there was a big hole where the hinge normally would be. LOL, stupid cell phone pics. I had to clip a few of the scutes to provide a flat surface for the velcro to attach to.

addition of velcro:
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30143319_zps4cecaf9c.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30143319_zps4cecaf9c.jpg.html)

back in the tank:
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30143441_zps135cf42a.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30143441_zps135cf42a.jpg.html)

20 mins later:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg.html)

I didn't do any "before" photos (never thought to) but he basically looked the same as the after. Here is what the affected area looked like (and still sort of looks like):
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150645_zps80516e66.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150645_zps80516e66.jpg.html)

and today (with photobomber)!
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-31151845_zps460a8033.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-31151845_zps460a8033.jpg.html)

Its still not as happy looking as I'd like but with the way its sitting at least the two shells are supported and fixed together whereas previously they would have been all over the place at this angle.

Anyway, just thought I'd share and thanks to Tim for the help and advice! :mrgreen:

Doug
03-31-2014, 11:34 PM
Now thats different. Good work Christy.

mark
04-01-2014, 04:38 AM
get rid of that 'staff' under your name and replace it with 'clam surgeon'. great job

EmilyB
04-01-2014, 04:49 AM
Amazing....good work

TimT
04-01-2014, 04:55 AM
Hi Christy,

Glad to have been able to help.

I suspect that once the clam gets used to the tight feeling around the mantle in that area it will start to extend it more. As it grows the new shell will probably change around the hinge area to allow the mantle to more fully open.

Might there be a new business for Christy selling clam prosthetics? ;-)

Cheers,
Tim

Coral Hoarder
04-01-2014, 04:55 AM
Wow cool !

Slyguy00
04-01-2014, 05:34 AM
Thats awesome! Very creative.

apexifd
04-01-2014, 05:42 AM
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg.html)

thats a big pair of bubble algae on the right side of clam.

asylumdown
04-01-2014, 07:09 AM
What's the hinge normally made out of? Will it grow back? Any idea how it lost it? Is the clam still able to expand and contract normally without it?

So many questions lol.

monza
04-01-2014, 02:37 PM
Amazing! Well done.

Magickiwi
04-01-2014, 03:06 PM
Any idea what the prognosis for the clam is for the future?

Delphinus
04-01-2014, 04:22 PM
That's incredible! Wow. Nice suggestion Tim and kudos to you Christy for following through on that.

I remember a few years back about how a clam had a rock land on it and cracked the shell, the aquarist superglued the pieces back together and the clam lived. So you would be surprised at how resilient they can be if you get to them in time.

Interesting how you mentioned that there are ricordea's near the base. I have a derasa exhibiting similar symptoms (inhalant siphon slightly sunken, not expanding as much as normal, etc.) and I noticed there is a ricordia somewhat near the side that is showing irritation. I was considering getting in there and removing the ricordea but I wasn't convinced that there was a connection, now I'm not sure there isn't a connection..

christyf5
04-02-2014, 12:12 AM
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-03-30150636_zps7a7ba395.jpg.html)

thats a big pair of bubble algae on the right side of clam.

thanks for noticing :razz: I like to watch them get really big and then when people come over, they ask why I have marbles in my tank. It gives them something to talk about besides "Dory!"

christyf5
04-02-2014, 12:21 AM
Thanks for all the comments everyone. I will have a lucrative clam prosthetics business and make a killing as that cost me less than $2 to do.

The hinge is normally made out of um, crap, I think its chitin but don't quote me on that. I have no idea what happened, I've had it happen before and I believe it ultimately led to the demise of the clam as there is nothing to restrict how far the two shells will part, except for the adductor muscle/ligament which becomes stretched and ultimately the clam puts all of its energy towards holding the two shells at a certain point and it becomes stressed and dies (my theory). It doesn't grow back to my knowledge. Its clearly gone and just isn't repairable even if it could repair itself. So far the clam seems to be ok with opening and retracting. I haven't had a look at it with the lights off but the larger clams never close up fully anyways.

I have no idea of future prognosis. I like to think the clam can live for years like this. Its looking even better today than it was a few days ago so I am feeling positive. Here are some more photos:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-04-01160557_zps614176ae.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-04-01160557_zps614176ae.jpg.html)

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b365/christyf5/Mar%2031%202014/2014-04-01160715_zps35f1b3c8.jpg (http://s23.photobucket.com/user/christyf5/media/Mar%2031%202014/2014-04-01160715_zps35f1b3c8.jpg.html)

even yesterday I couldn't see that little flap of mantle that is tucked in there (and looking like it will emerge at any time). It looks promising to me :lol:

Tony, I'd definitely get in there and have a look at your clam. I have no idea what disintegrates the hinge or if the ricordeas can even do any damage but you just never know. Can't hurt to look :biggrin:

TimT
04-02-2014, 07:56 PM
Looking good Christy.

I would be interested to see if the clam survives long term and how the shell growth pattern is modified due to the replacement hip oops I mean hinge.

Good Work!!!

makana
04-03-2014, 03:28 AM
Everything I read said that it can't grow back. About a year ago mine my clam lost almost all of it. I placed it in a more secure location and a couple months later a couple threads grew out to the rock. Today it has almost a full foot stuck on the rock.

christyf5
04-03-2014, 08:24 PM
Everything I read said that it can't grow back. About a year ago mine my clam lost almost all of it. I placed it in a more secure location and a couple months later a couple threads grew out to the rock. Today it has almost a full foot stuck on the rock.


The foot and the hinge are two different parts on either "end" of the clam. The hinge will never grow back, the foot will never be lost (the clam would be dead as it is a major part of the internal tissues) and is only for mobility but the byssal gland, which produces the threads to attach to rock, can be damaged enough that it will no longer produce the threads (I do believe that larger clams will no longer produce the threads as they are heavy enough to stay put without attaching). Its likely that your clam lost its byssal threads and took awhile for the gland to recover and start producing again.