Jump to content
ZephNYC

Pinched Mantle disease

Recommended Posts

ZephNYC

In the short time I have been on this forum I have noticed, and tried to help, many people with clams suffering from Pinched Mantle Disease. I figured I would share my experiences and findings as this one pathogen, in particular, has been peeking my interest for the last 6 years or so. In a nutshell - PM is devastating. PM shut down all importation of crocea clams from Vietnam for nearly a year back in the early 90's. PM also was pretty much the cause of the demise of Clamsdirect.com, because all they sold was clams and had no other inventory to cover the losses. ANyway, I just wanted you to know how serious it was and still is. Back then it was usually croceas that had it. Maximas second. Lately it appears to be the other way around, which is actually kind of refreshing because even a healthy crocea is hard enough to keep alive for many years in a closed system. Notice how you never see big crocea clams anymore, and nobody is farming them. So here are some pictures of clams carrying PM.

 

1. small gold maxima suffering from PM

goldmaxpm.jpg

 

2. Deresa showing early symptoms of PM

deresapm.jpg

 

3. ) Maxima with PM

pm1n.jpg

 

This is what the actual pathogen looks like.

gilltissue03.jpg

 

They resemble little air bubbles under 100X.

As silly as this sounds, I have not been able to find the name of the actual pathogen responsible, and i honestly think that it has not yet been positively identified. There are theories of it being parasitic also.

Even if we dont know for sure what it is, the good news is we do know how to kill it. Ironically the majic cure could not be simpler than turning on your sink. You wont find any meds cheaper than this one ( or more powerfull when it comes to marine species) Here is what 35 minute FWD's did so save the Maxima in pic # 3

 

pm3k.jpg

 

and after a second 35 minute dip and 2 weeks time frame

 

pm4f.jpg

 

so two dips and two more weeks recovery...

pm6h.jpg

 

Sounds easy right? Once in a while it is. But if you have more than one clam, or God forbid - MANY clams...you need to be scared and there are lots of things you need to do.

 

First is first -How to do a fresh water dip:

Use a container or tank that will hold enough water to completely cover your clam, and fill it with dechlorinated TAP water. NOT RO, distilled or anything else.You will need a ph meter to bring the ph up from around 7 to atleast 8 with a little buffer. I like to add an airstone, but thats just me.

dipf.jpg

 

Now there is controversy over just how long you should dip your clam. Rule of thumb is 30 minutes. BUT!!! - the thing is the sicker a clam is the weaker it is and the less FW it can take. THis is why it is so important to observe your clams and catch it as early as possible. FWDs are very stressfull sure, but a healthy clam can take an hour long dip and walk away in good shape. However, a 20 minute fwd will kill a clam that that is too far gone. So the sicker your clam looks the shorter you should dip it. One dip is never enough anyway, so make it a quicky the first time and see how/if it recovers. I recall a story about Dick Perin of Tropicorium, who dipped a group of newly arrived crocea clams....and then forgot about them 2 hours. They all survived just fine.

So after you dip your clam you can put it back in the display tank IF THERE ARE NO OTHER CLAMS IN THAT SYSTEM. If you have more clams in there you need to quarantine it..and count on it being in the QT for atleast a month. Please feed it DAILY unless you have lots of fish in your QT tank, which is such an

awesome idea as clams go goofy for fish waste. No matter what products you use, nothing compares to fish waste/ammonia when it comes to making clams happy.

Now you need to make some changes in your system or it will return. WHatever this pathogen, or parasite is, we do know that it is iron dependent. You need to get all the iron out of your system and take measures not to add any back. This is not as easy as it sounds. Forget all you have ever read about carbon. It does not remove iron, or copper or most other stuff we have been told it does all these years.

 

activated carbon

 

 

Technically it does, but far far less then you think. We have had good results using massive amounts of carbon in large media reactors, but have had better results using poly filters...and the best, the very best is carbon, poly filters and chemi pure resins all used simultaneously. Pheww..I have to do all that ?? No....you have to do even more.

How is the iron getting in your system in the first place? from food sure, from iron based po removers, sure...but mostly from water changes. THIS IS WHERE EVERYONE WENT WRONG! You have to remove the iron from your newly mixed saltwater or you will be feeding the disease. Now let me tell you this is almost IMPOSSIBLE to do. THis is why - Why does a polyfilter remove trace elements and so forth from your tank, but they brag and advertise that it does NOT remove elements from newly mixed salt ? It is because of the various chelates used in these elements. Ie. Carbon is great at removing CHELATED IRON, which is found in all of your additives, but the iron in your salt mix is not chelated and carbon will not remove it. Either will poly filters. CHEMI PURE to the rescue. Chemi pure is a patented formula and pretty much the only ion exchange resin commonly found on the market. it is FAR BETTER than all other media..and even that isnt great at removing iron, but it will if you use it right. Basically you have to make a chemi pure reactor and force the water through it efficiently. Just putting it in a regular media box wont work very well. We thought we were helping our clams with huge water changes but we were killing them! Thinking we were flushing the sytem but all we were doing was feeding the pathogen. Also be sure to use a non iron based phosphate remover. You need an alluminum based product (white not brown) or you will leach iron back into your system.

I prepare newly mixed seawater in 30 gal trash cans running it through first a carbon reactor, then through poly filters and lastly through chemi pure and even this only removed MOST of the iron. Of course you could use macro to remove more of the iron, that would be brilliant.

Ever notice how doing a large water change will stop your skimmer from foaming for a while? THis is due to the disruption of your water chemistry and the ionic balance, but this does not happen when you pre-treat your water with chemi pure.

 

IF IT IS WET IT NEEDS TO BE QUARANTINED.

We have all bent the rules from time to time and even the old veterans still take a chance every now and then. I did, and man am I regretting it. After losing nearly 50 clams to PM all I had left was 2 large Gigas clams, that appeared immune. THey remained the only clams in that system for over 3 years, and they looked awesome. I was confident my system was clean by now. I purchased a new maxima, put it right in my system ( STUPID!) and not only did it quickly come down with PM, but so did one of my oldest gigas clams. THat I am struggling to cure as we speak.

20120501151957724.jpg

 

I will follow up soon with pics of my new dedicated clam quarantine tank, which already has 4 maximas basking in the sun and me keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

 

I can not stress enough how important your bio load is in relation to your clam population. Why dont you see more successfull tanks with lots and lots of clams? Most tanks are able to maintain a couple of clams for the long run, but thats really about it . Even in the books and magazines you never see more than just a few clams in even a pretty big tank. Even the vendors have to move them out fast or even offer them for free as incentive to purchase other items. My personal opinion is our tanks are just too clean these days to maintain more than just a couple of clams for the long run ( meaning more than 3 years) We all want zero nitrates, zero phospahtes, no dissolved organics, dont over feed your fish!!! Must do those water changes or your tank will get dirty. As far as I know, the only man to ever keep large amounts of insanely awesome clams happy enough to spawn on a regular basis is Wayne Shang. And you know how he does it?? In his 700 gal reef he does a small 10% MONTHLY water change, but doesnt even use new water. He uses stinky water from his fish only system PACKED WITH NITRATES AND PHOSPHATES AND ORGANICS. Cuz thats what clams like!!!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Singlefin

awesome write up. thank you. I'm sure this will help lots of people. Whats the most clams you have kept at once?

Share this post


Link to post
jgpico

Awesome stuff zeph, thank you for all the great info and help. This will help me and a lot of people enjoy clams.

Share this post


Link to post
Rehype
Awesome stuff zeph, thank you for all the great info and help. This will help me and a lot of people enjoy clams.

 

+1 Thanks for taking the time to post this.

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
awesome write up. thank you. I'm sure this will help lots of people. Whats the most clams you have kept at once?

 

I had and lost 47 large clams from a 210 gal reef. I am looking forward to explaining my new systems and ideas. Basically it involves 2 tanks that share a common sump. One contains an insane amount of fish, and the other no fish at all...just clams. This way they benefit from the pollution, but dont get bothered by the fish. There are few things that bother a clam more than a tank full of big tangs.

Share this post


Link to post
Singlefin

Right on. Looking forward to that write up. Thanks for taking the time.

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
Right on. Looking forward to that write up. Thanks for taking the time.

 

Thank you all for reading and for the encouragement!

Share this post


Link to post
altolamprologus

Excellent write up Zeph. This should be stickied so people can find it easier when it falls off the homepage.

Share this post


Link to post
wombat

The name of the protozoan that causes pinched mantle is Perkinsus.

 

Personally I feel like the iron concern is much ado about nothing. I have plenty of clams in systems that have chelated iron additions and they do fine.

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
The name of the protozoan that causes pinched mantle is Perkinsus.

 

Personally I feel like the iron concern is much ado about nothing. I have plenty of clams in systems that have chelated iron additions and they do fine.

 

Actually Perkinsus is not pinched mantle at all. Daniell Knop Quotes" Infections by species of Perkinsus are normallly found in the digestive track. No typical syptoms of the infection are known" He also says : infections by Perkinsus show no signs.

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
The name of the protozoan that causes pinched mantle is Perkinsus.

 

Personally I feel like the iron concern is much ado about nothing. I have plenty of clams in systems that have chelated iron additions and they do fine.

 

James Fatheree quotes in his book " giant clams in the sea and in the aquaerium -" A protozoa by the name of Perkinsus has been found in the digestive tract of crocea, maxima and gigas ( goggin & Lester 1987) and will lead to a clams death in bad situations. But there are no diagnostic symptoms that you can identify, and there is no recommended treatment even if you could." other

He also says " another UNIDENTIFIED PROTOZOA can invade the mantle tissue and destroy zooxanthellae" - This is pinched mantle disease.

Share this post


Link to post
patback

Excellent. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
patback

Zeph, if you have old copper pipes, should you instead try rodi, or go ahead with the tap?Is there a protocol to acclimate the clan to or from the salt and fresh?

Edited by patback

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
Zeph, if you have old copper pipes, should you instead try rodi, or go ahead with the tap?Is there a protocol to acclimate the clan to or from the salt and fresh?

 

If you use PRIME dechlorinator it will nuetralize the heavy metals and you will not have to be concerned about the short time your clam will be exposed to such low levels of copper. No need to acclimate the clam into and out of fresh water. WIll you be dipping one soon?

 

If you use PRIME dechlorinator it will nuetralize the heavy metals and you will not have to be concerned about the short time your clam will be exposed to such low levels of copper. No need to acclimate the clam into and out of fresh water. WIll you be dipping one soon?

 

Silly me forgot to mention you HAVE to make the FWD bath the same temp as your display tank.

Share this post


Link to post
patback

I may be. 2 days ago my clam looked a bit shrunken on one side, the side next to the torch. It wasn't stung( that I can tell) but somthing was definitely bothering it. After moving it to the other side of the tank, it looked much better yesterday, but still not 100 percent. I'm going to see what it's like today. Maybe I can pm you a pic and you can let me know what you think?

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
I may be. 2 days ago my clam looked a bit shrunken on one side, the side next to the torch. It wasn't stung( that I can tell) but somthing was definitely bothering it. After moving it to the other side of the tank, it looked much better yesterday, but still not 100 percent. I'm going to see what it's like today. Maybe I can pm you a pic and you can let me know what you think?

 

I would love to see a pic...dont dip it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
patback

Okay. I'll shoot you a pm when I get off of work. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
TJ_Burton

Fantastic post.

 

*edit*

PM'd the thread link to the mods to try and get this sticky'd.

Edited by TJ_Burton

Share this post


Link to post
Lalani

Stickied. :)

Share this post


Link to post
TJ_Burton
Stickied. :)

 

Thanks Lani,

 

Zeph and I are going to continue expanding on this; cover some other ailments that have PM-like symptoms that are not actually PM and how to ID and treat them.

Share this post


Link to post
Wizzy

Very informative, thank you :D

 

 

 

My Question-

 

When you FW dip the clams are you waiting two weeks in between dips?

 

Or are you dipping them twice and then waiting two weeks?

 

Thanks- Wizzy

Share this post


Link to post
Singlefin

How do you initially get the PM parasite? Is it introduced to your system or can they just "develop" it from being dormant in the clam?

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
Very informative, thank you :D

 

 

 

My Question-

 

When you FW dip the clams are you waiting two weeks in between dips?

 

Or are you dipping them twice and then waiting two weeks?

 

Thanks- Wizzy

 

Wait 2 weeks in between dips. I really did that post as kind of a "quicky", and there is lots I left out. Sorry If I didnt make that clear. I also forgot to mention the fresh water needs to be the same temp as the display. I guess I figured that was kind of obvious.

Share this post


Link to post
TJ_Burton
How do you initially get the PM parasite? Is it introduced to your system or can they just "develop" it from being dormant in the clam?

 

A clam without exposure to PM will not contract it. However, clams can have PM and not show symptoms for months.

 

For example: a storefront has a shipment of clams come in from an area where PM is currently affecting the population of tridacna sp. and they place those new clams in the same aquarium as the shipment of clams they had received 6 weeks ago from an area where PM is not prevalent. The new clams can easily pass PM to the clams that did not previously have it, and due to the healthy state of the clams that just contracted PM from the new shipment, they will likely show no symptoms at all for up to 3 months.

 

This is the reason quarantine is so important when bringing new clams into your collection.

Share this post


Link to post
ZephNYC
How do you initially get the PM parasite? Is it introduced to your system or can they just "develop" it from being dormant in the clam?

 

It's not like fish that can carry dormant parasites for years or even a life time without ever getting a symptom. It is introduced for sure and It doesnt stay dormant for long, or at all in my opinion. If it is in there it is chewing on your mantles and your clam(s) will show it in a month or so, usually. It has to to survive. So the glass is actually half full because if you qt a clam for 8 weeks and it still looks great you can be confident it is clean. The hard part is waiting 8 weeks to put her in your display. Patience is not one of my virtues. lol.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...