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Crocea Clam

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Species group:

Other common names: Boring Clam, Crocus Clam

Scientific name: Tridacna crocea

The Basics:
The often brilliantly-colored Crocea Clam is a good choice for folks who can provide the strong lighting and planktonic foods it requires…and its unique boring and digging abilities are very interesting to observe.

The Crocea Clam ranges throughout the Indo-Pacific region and along the Great Barrier Reef, where it inhabits limestone-based substrates, often in huge colonies.

Appearance / health:
The mantle (visible portion of the body wall) is sometimes a stunning metallic blue or green, but even the more subdued individuals are attractively marked with interesting patterns. The Crocea Clam reaches 15.2 cm (6 in) in shell length.

The Crocea Clam will decline in condition if not provided with ample food, light, calcium, and trace elements, but is otherwise fairly hardy.

Behavior / temperament:
This beautiful Clam releases acids that break down the carbonates in limestone. It then burrows into the substrate by powerfully snapping the shells open and closed. The Crocea Clam will not harm other aquarium inhabitants.

Housing:
The Crocea Clam requires strong lighting so the nutrient-producing symbiotic algae it hosts can thrive. The water should be well-oxygenated via moderate currents, ammonia and nitrite-free, and in the temperature range of 22-25.5 C (72-78 F). Crushed coral or aragonite, of a depth that allows for burrowing, may be used as the substrate.

The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to keep Crocea Clams in good health: Salinity: 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4; Alkalinity 8-12 dKH; Calcium 300-480 mg/L. Strontium, iodine and other trace elements should be added as suggested by the product manufacturer.

Diet:
In addition to the nutrients provided by symbiotic algae, Crocea Clams require daily feedings of liquid plankton preparations designed for use with filter-feeding marine invertebrates.

Breeding:
Clam larvae (veligers) are planktonic for several weeks. Captive breeding has not been recorded in home aquariums.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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