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Freshwater Mussels


bubbzy81
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I recently bought 3 freshwater mussels to put in my tropical tank. The random aquarium where I purchased them from told me 2 things: 1. They can't live in a tank with clown loaches. 2. If you need to treat the water for any fungus problems, it will probably kill the mussels coz they can't tolerate copper. So that's all fine & they've been doing well. But one of my swordtails has developed a fungal problem & I went to my regular aquarium & he tells me that I shouldn't have mussels in my tank coz they will either eat my fish or kill them if they spawn.

Has anyone had any experience with this???

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I've kept mussel before, as a kid. I've never experienced fish loss with them, my understanding is that they are filter feeders, I can't see that they could eat a fish. Perhaps if they were feeding and they were startled by a fish they might accidentaly close on one and kill it.

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What he explained was when they spawn they release a toxin so the fish leave them alone, but in such a concentrated area, it will kill all the fish. He said it may never happen but that was a chance i wasnt willing to take.

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A toxin? Not what I understood. I have heard of spore-like things (assume they meant eggs or something along those lines) that lodge in fish gills, but I've never experienced it or heard of anyone experiencing it. It was somehow related to blue bitterlings, so I have a very strong suspicion that they are NOT talking about the same type of freshwater mussel as blue bitterlings are not native.

Eating your fish would be rather interesting as I am pretty certain they are filter feeders. Unless your fish turn into particulate matter, I think you are pretty safe :)

I've had mussels for years and never had an issue with them killing anything. Once I had one close on a betta tail, but that was not intended and the betta was fine, and when the mussels die they do rot quickly and pollute the tank. That could kill fish if you weren't on top of it quickly. Those are the only two problems I've had.

The shop is right about the copper ( green dye-based) meds, they damage all invertebrates so mussels, shrimp, cray, smails, etc will all be adversely affected. You can either remove the fish or remove the mussel for the period of treatment.

Clown loaches I'm not certain on. I'd not trust large loaches as they are very good at killing and eating snails, and all they'd need to do is chew the joint between the shells. Small loaches have trouble with snails, so I'd expect they'd have trouble with mussels too, however it probably isn't worth the risk :)

If you are enjoying the mussels, I'd just carry on with them :) I think the scientific name of the species found in pet shops is Velesunio ambiguus, so maybe try a google search. I've had a quick look, but all I can find is something on them being used as biological indicators to measure heavy metals etc.

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