Saltwater Aquarium Tahitian Maxima Clams for Marine and Reef Aquariums
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Picture of Tahitian Maxima Clams

Tahitian Maxima Clams for Saltwater Aquariums, (Tridacna Maxima)

Tahitian Maxima Clams are some of the nicest wild maxima clams in the ocean. Once in a while we are lucky to have some in stock. Aquarium Creations grading system for Tahitian Maxima clams is First Grade, Ultra Grade, Best Pick Grade. Best Pick have that extra something, they are extremely beautiful specimens in a sea of beautiful specimens. They are the best of the best..

Approximate Size 1" to 1-1/4" 1-1/4" to 2" 2" to 3"
Grade First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick
Price $69.99 $99.99 $129.99 $119.99 $149.99 $189.99 $149.99 $189.99 $239.99

Approximate Size 3" to 4" 4" to 5" 5" to 6" 6" to 7"
Grade First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick First Grade Ultra Grade Best Pick
Price $199.99 $249.99 $289.99 $239.99 $299.99 $349.99 $299.99 $359.99 $419.99 $379.99 $429.99 $499.99

Maxima Clam: Tridacna Maxima Information
Today, Maxima clams are among the most popular of the Tridacna clams. They are also one of the most readily recognized of the giant clams in the aquarium industry. It is a favorite for many aquarist and much of its popularity is due to the "no two are alike" patterned mantles. Maxima Clams show such a variety of exotic colors and patterns that many in the aquarium hobby consider the Maxima Clam to be the Holy Grail of Aquariumm Clams. Tridacna maxima has the widest distribution of any Tridacnid species. It is found from the Red Sea, throughout the Indo-Pacific region, to Australia and Polynesia. It usually occurs in shallow, clear water, high current areas where they are known to form high-density populations. They will attach to the substrate with threads from the byssal organ.

Some of the Tridacna Maxima's more common names include Elongate Giant Clam, Great Clam, Rugose Clam and Small Giant Clam. Yet with some specimens being so intensely colored and strongly patterned, you will find references to them in the aquarium industry under a variety of descriptive names such names as Ultra Maxima Clam, Blue Maxima, Golden Maxima, Teardrop Maxima,Black and White Maxima and Zebra Maxima just to name a few.

The Maxima Clam will generally reach a maximum of about 12" in length in a large enough aquarium, though in the wild Maxima clam's have reached over 16 inches. It is the third largest giant clam following its cousins, the massive Gigas Clam, Tridacna gigas which reaches over 3 feet in length, and the Derasa Clam, Tridacna derasa. Even though Maxima's can grow large, they do it at a much slower rate. On average this clam will only grow .08 to 1.6 inches per year, rather than the 4" per year seen with the for-mentioned two big fellows. To reach a 14" length will take a Maxima clam 50 to 60 years.

Keeping a Maxima Clam in your reef tank Maxima Clams need the reef environment with live rock. They should be placed on live rock or some other solid material they can attach to. They can handle strong water motion and relatively strong fluctuations in water parameters, but high pH and high temperatures can cause problems. The size of the tank should be at least 100 gallons for your Maxima Clam (though larger is better) as this will help keep water parameters more stable. Live rock is necessary and sand is preferred if they will be on the substrate. A mature tank is also important. The tank should be at least 6 months old from the time of adding that last piece of live rock. Once you see Coralline algae growing (that cool pink and purple hard algae) you know your tank is doing well and ready for your clam.

Clam Placement: When placing your maxima into the tank, do not put it in a tight crevice. This may prevent it from opening fully, or if it moves too much, it can fall behind the rock work. If putting them in a hole in the rock work, keep excess detritus out by periodically using a turkey baster or power head. If you have plenty of light on the substrate, placing them on a flat rock below the sand is best. Put a flat rock on the bottom glass of the tank and the clam on top of that. That helps to stabilize them and if you have to move them, the small rock makes it easier. Fill in the area with sand, as much as half way up the clam, to keep their byssal opening blocked off. This helps prevent pests from attacking them through the opening.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects in maintaining Maxima Clams. Coming from shallow waters in the wild, these clams will need intense lighting. Kelvin is best at 6K to 10K, to mimic the light levels they receive naturally in their shallow ocean habitat. Provide very strong lighting, such as 400W metal halides or intense LED lighting if they will be towards the bottom of the tank. If you plan to keep these clams under fluorescent lighting, keep them close to the top of the tank, and the lights. Whatever lights you are using, be sure to protect the lights from the maxima's squirt of water which happens when they become startled. Pay attention to the color of the clam's mantle and use that as your judge for where your clam should go. While one Maxima Clam may do well in a tank with one type of lighting, another may not. Some will show vivid colouration, another may be showing off the brown color of their zooxanthellae. If your clam's color is iridescent, it has adapted to bright lighting and should be placed closer to the top of your tank. If your clam is mainly brown, it should be placed lower in your tank away from strong lighting. The brown colouration is the clam's zooxanthellae showing and is probably due to the clam losing its protective colouration during transport. If you need to move them, it should take a few weeks to slowly get them into their new position or you will shock them. You will see their mantle extending excessively if the light is not strong enough.

Water Flow: When it comes to water flow, these clams typically live where they're regularly exposed to strong currents and wave activity. So, they're quite used to strong, surging water motion. Thus, it's perfectly okay to expose them to a surging or turbulent flow, but putting a specimen in a spot where a pump blasts it with a strong, non-stop linear current is not recommended. Basically, what you need to avoid is putting a specimen anywhere that currents cause its mantle to fold upwards or over onto itself all the time, or an even stronger flow that makes a specimen chronically retract its mantle. On the other hand, it's hard to have it too slow as long as the water constantly flows over and around them.

Diet and Feeding: Maxima clams are Omnivore's. Nutrition is obtained through filter-feeding of phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus along with lighting and the marine algae, zooxanthellae. Clams under 4" need daily feedings of phytoplankton. It is suggested that they be fed micro-foods designed for filter feeders, especially when small. A yeast-based suspension that has been mechanically whisked, live phytoplankton or commercially prepared micro-foods like 'marine snow' or 'reef snow' can be offered. Once they are older they will still benefit from phytoplankton foods fed on a regular schedule in an aggressively skimmed tank. With plenty of fish present, direct feeding is not as critical once they are over 4" long. When there is a good fish population, most clams fulfill their nutritional requirements by filter feeding and absorbing dissolved organic compounds from the water.

Feeding Frequency - Daily for clams up to 2" and several times per week for clams up to 4" is recommended. Can be fed weekly when full grown, but do not feed if there are plenty of fish in the tank.

Tankmates to Avoid: Avoid any species which would be tempted to nip at the mantle e.g. angelfish, large wrasses, some butterfly fish. Avoid placing the clam too near to stinging corals, particularly those with long sweeper tentacles, and be sure that none of your corals shade out the clam as they grow.

Proper Water Chemistry: Proper water chemistry is important to all Tridacna Clams. Best to keep calcium levels 380 to 450 mg/L, alkalinity levels between 8 to 11 dKH, and the tanks magnesium level between 1280 to 1350 ppm.

Acclimation to tank: Slowly acclimate the clam to your water conditions (drip acclimatisation is best, over the course of around an hour) and then place the clam as low down in the tank as possible, gradually moving it higher over 2 week time periods. It is important that it is not moved repeatedly over less a period of time unless you absolutely have to. Clams have a lot of trouble adapting to changes in lighting and current as it is, and moving them over and over again in shorter time periods can prove very stressful.

Care Level: Moderate. - Tridacna Maxima's are a relatively hardy clam as long as they receive the required strong lighting, proper water chemistry and good water flow.

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