Gold Maxima Clam - Tridacna maxima
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Clams are wonderful additions to any reef aquaria but do have some requirements that make them more difficult than other inverts to keep. Some research is recommended before purchasing one to find out what species will work the best in your reef aquarium.
Maxima Clams (Tridacna maxima) are probably the most widespread species of Tridacna clams, ranging across the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to east Indonesia. They are most prized for their brilliant colors and cultured specimens are becoming more available in recent years. Although they can grow much larger, Maxima Clams are very similar in appearance, color and shape to some Crocea Clams (Tridacna crocea), especially in blue and purple individuals and in smaller sizes.
The Maxima Clam can be found in a variety of colors from blues and purples to black, white, orange and greens. The mantle is often spotted, especially around the edges, but the patterns is as variable as the color and can also be striped, blotched or covered with a lace-like network. "Striped" and "Teardrop" varieties tend to be the most common in the aquarium trade. The shell of Maxima Clams may be slightly yellow or orange tinted when clean or around the inner rim. Like Crocea Clams, Maxima Clams may create indentations in rockwork. Maxima's are not usually completed burrowed however; the shell is usually about 1/2 to 1/3 exposed from their burrow.
The hinge of the Maxima Clam is typically about 1/3 as long as the entire shell and the shell itself is very elongated compared to its height. They have about six or seven prominent folds. Again like Crocea Clams, Maxima's harvested from the wild usually do not have pronounced "scutes" along the outside of the shell, while aquacultured clams that have not been grown in an environment where they are burrowing into hard surfaces may have larger thin scutes. Since Maxima's usually only partially burrow into rocks, the lower part of the shell may be smooth while the upper part may still have its scutes.
The "byssal opening" where the foot and byssal threads are extended from on the bottom of the clam is moderately large but can vary in size between individuals. The opening is usually symmetrical to allow the clam to close completely but can be slightly "off-center" so the two sides do not completely match.
Maxima's have moderate difficulty when compared to other Tridacna clams. In the aquarium, place high in the tank under direct light (Metal Halide, VHO, or Power Compact). Smaller clams with smaller mantles rely heavily on planktonic foods filtered from the water for their nutrition. They should be fed regularly with various types of planktonic foods like phytoplankton, zooplankton, oyster eggs, rotifers and similar items. Avoid keeping with potential predators or tankmates that may nip at the clam's mantle like some wrasses, angelfish, crabs, and others.
For more information on these and other clams, visit the Giant Clams Species Profile on That Fish Blog by our staff marine biologists.
The clam pictured above is representative only - the coloration of the clam you receive may vary. Please contact the Livestock department for information on availability of specific colorations.
That Fish Place
|Gold Maxima Clam
|Yes, with caution
|Yes, with caution
|Max Size (in inches)
|16 shell length
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)
|Specific Gravity Range
|Armed Forces Americas
|Armed Forces Europe
|Armed Forces Pacific