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Clams and Mussels

After introducing fish and becoming experienced and successful in that aspect, you may be interested in adding different types of life into your water garden. Freshwater clams or mussels, for example, require similar care as crustaceans. Trays of sand or aquarium gravel help create the living environment and won’t cloud the water. Fresh water clams act as a filter by taking in as much as a gallon of water every two hours through their shells. They also feed on algae and other organic particles. Hold back on introducing them into your pond until your water garden is well established so the clams don’t starve.

The Swan Mussel is the mussel that is most widely available at most aquatic supply and pet stores. You can also search at local markets for this variety. Be sure to check that the mussels you are purchasing are in fact alive and are freshwater species. If you purchase dead mussels or those that are saltwater species that end up dying, their decay will pollute your pond and mask it with a disgusting stench. Be very careful to avoid this because the only way to completely start over is to drain and clean out the entire pond. Although freshwater clams can be found along natural creaks and streams, avoiding plucking them and introducing them into your pond because since they are wild they may be carrying parasites.

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