How I deal with Pyram snails, the Giant Clam parasitic snails.

Parasitic snails in the family Pyramidellidae, commonly known by reefers as Pyram snails, is one of the major reasons why new clam keepers who do not know about these parasites cannot keep Giant clams for any length of time. Infestation of these tiny snails in our aquarium will wipe out the entire Giant clam population, given a little time, unless we take steps to eliminate them from our system.

There are many ways we can try to eliminate them from our system. Biological control does not seem to work very well for me in my tank. I am sure there are predators of these snails exist in the wild and in aquarium. I myself never able to get a wrasse or 10 that would eliminate these snails from my system. The best way to do this is, IME, manual removal.

I recently obtain a wild caught T. noae from Viet Nam. Because wild caught clams often come with parasites or something else that is worst, I QT my Teardrop clam in my QT system. It arrived late in the evening, and I was very busy that day so I just put it into my QT tank, on thick sand so he will not attach to anything and did not deal with it until the weekend.
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As I predicted, the clam have multiple parasitic snails on it. Attached is how I deal with these parasites.

Pictures of Pyram snails under the mantle and byssas gland opening.
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I use a metal spoon and knock all the scutes off the shell, all of them. This makes it so much easier to clean the shell.
I use both tooth brush and larger cleaning brush to scrub everything off the clam shell. I have a gallon of tank water that I can dip the clam in to make sure I clean everything I can.
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Once finished cleaning, I placed the clam back into the QT tank, take care place him on the opposite side of the tank. I will take him out and clean him weekly for several weeks. Once I detected no Pyram snail, I lengthen the time in between cleaning. After 6 week with no Pyram snail, and if the clam is doing well and growing, he is ready for DT.

Enjoy your clams everybody. Hope this write up help keep a few more beautiful clams alive in our aquarium.
About author
OrionN
Reefer in Corpus Christi, Texas
Keep aquarium all my life, marine aquariums since 1980 and reef aquariums since 1996.
Passionate about Clams, Anemones and clown fish, Tangs, Angels and Wrasses

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Wow! That was an excellent instructive guide. Thank you for that..
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Great write up!
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