Fish 'N' Chips
A Monthly Marine Newsletter
July 2000 Issue


From Liz
Critter Corner
What's Up @ ReefsUK
Caught In The Net
Upcoming Events
What the ... ?
Prove It!, a Bibliography
Newsletter Disclaimer

From Liz
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/23/00

Yahoo! Sucks Up eGroups. I received an email on 6/28/00 from eGroups announcing that they are "...joining the Yahoo! family of services!" I'm not a big fan of Yahoo! and I certainly don't like the way they are sucking up other net services, smells too much like AOL and Microsoft to me. They say they aren't going to change their level of service, so as long as eGroups stays free and reliable, Fish 'N' Chips will stay with eGroups. If you want to read the press release, visit

According to a 7/19/00 email from eGroups they are making changes "in the next few days" to announcement-only groups, which Fish 'N' Chips is. They will be adding ads to the top of the emails. Sorry folks, but that's the price we pay for a free list.

FNC Wins Golden Web Award! Check it out on the new "Awards Won" page at

Visit This Month's Subscriber's Tank Showcase
Todd Hillson's Custom Built Reef Tank is the Showcase for July and can be seen at

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Critter Corner
Tridacna gigas
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/24/00

Tridacna gigas from Exotic Tropicals

General Information:
Tridacna gigas' mantle is usually golden brown, yellow or green. The mantle will have many iridescent blue or green spots on its surface, especially around the edges. Larger T. gigas may have so many of these spots that the whole mantle appears blue or purple.

T. gigas also usually have numerous pale or clear spots, mostly located near the center of the mantle. These clear spots, referred to as "windows", may serve to focus or allow more light through according to The Reef Aquarium Volume One .

T. gigas have a maximum length of 4 feet (1.5m).

Characteristics of T. gigas:

Young T. gigas are sometimes confused with T. crocea and T. derasa. To tell the difference, use the coloring of each species and note that T. gigas does not have scutes and the ribs are more pronounced. Remember, as noted above, that juvenile T. gigas may have sparse scutes and that the triangular inward projections of the shell only become apparent as T. gigas becomes larger.

There have been possible hybrid crosses of T. gigas and T. derasa offered for sale. Characteristics and coloring of these hybrids has been divided between what is the norm for T. gigas and T. derasa. For example, a hybrid mentioned in The Reef Aquarium Volume One had tentacles on the inhalent siphon like the T. derasa. Also according to The Reef Aquarium Volume One, some of these hybrids have teardrop shaped clear windows along the edges of the mantle.

Common Name(s):
The Tridacna gigas clam is commonly called Giant Clam and Gigas Clam.

In The Wild:
T. gigas is the largest bivalve in the world. It is listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature because of its use as food and for novelty items. Its numbers in the wild have been greatly reduced because of over collection and hunting.

Although usually found in shallow lagoons or on reef flats, it can be found as deep as 65½ feet (20 meters). T. gigas embeds itself into the substrate. Some clams found in the wild are so over-grown with sponges, corals, and algae that their shape is unrecognizable.

Native to the Indo-Pacific region, T. gigas are found from the Nicobar Islands in the west to Fiji in the east. There are doubts about T. gigas actually being found in Fiji. According to The Reef Aquarium Volume One, years of observations throughout Fiji have never turned up any living T. gigas or fossil shells. T. gigas has, however, been "re-introduced" there.

Home Aquaria:
Because of T. gigas use as a food item, the clam has been propagated for commercial uses for many years. Specimens have been introduced to the market for hobbyists. All specimens sold in the aquarium trade are aquacultured.

According to The Reef Aquarium Volume One, T. gigas are easy to care for and can grow very rapidly in the aquarium when provided with adequate light and calcium levels. According to Daniel Knop's article On The Half Shell in October 1997, these clams do not like huge fluctuations in water parameters and will not tolerate sudden increases in light intensity. Also according to Knop, T. gigas can be adapted to metal halide lighting, but this should be done over time as a gradual process.

T. gigas can easily outgrow the home aquarium. This is the fastest growing of the tridacnid clams.

Store: My local fish store (Queens, New York) was not selling any T. gigas at the time of this writing.
US Dollars: I found only two sites selling T. gigas. One offered a maricultured T. gigas for $4.00, the other offered 6 inch and up T. gigas at prices of $120.00 and up.
Canadian Dollars: I found no Canadian sites selling the T. gigas clam.

Photo Credits & Author's Note:
Photo of T. gigas used with permission of Dave Brough at Exotic Tropicals

I'd like to extend special thanks to Frank M. Greco who helped me define umbo via the ReefsUK Chat Email Discussion Group.

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What's Up @ ReefsUK
- -
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/7/00

6/20/00 & 7/2/00 - ReefsUK has announced "Chat", the first non-commercial email discussion group for marine hobbyists based in the UK. Chat has been established to allow subscribers to ask questions or seek advice so please ask any question you may have that is related to the marine aquarium hobby.

If you wish to subscribe, send an email to The subject field should be blank and the main body of the email should contain only the words: subscribe chat - that's it, don't put anything else in the message and send the message as text - an html message will just give you an error. Email Derek at the address below if you have any problems.

Note From Liz: You'll find me on ReefsUK's Chat. Depending on my availability, I plan to be posting often. I highly recommend you subscribe. There have already been a number of good discussions.

6/28/00 - Derek would like to know where you want to see ReefsUK going next? Send him an email at the address below.

7/4/00 & 7/5/00 - A new article by Frank M Greco is now on the site. The article gives advice and information on lighting, lighting equipment, requirements, etc. The article is well worth the read regardless of how established your tank or how modern your lighting system is. The article originally appeared on ReefsUK Chat as a reply to a lighting question. To view the article, follow the "Marine Aquariums" link and then choose "Articles."

7/6/00 - Update Two of Richard Rajski's GARF Zero Impact Aquarium is now on the ReefsUK website. Follow the "Marine Aquariums" link and then choose "Articles." Richard has again provided links to sites with useful information and some excellent photographs.

To join the ReefsUK Mailing List, send an email to
To join ReefsUK Chat (Email Discussion Group), visit the ReefsUK Website for instructions.

Editor's Comments:
Information in this section covers the latest happenings at Mark T. Taber's ReefsUK Web Site. Mark has given me permission to publish any information from his mailing list that I feel would be of interest to Fish 'N' Chips subscribers. So, the above, although reworded by me, should be credited to Mark or to Derek Scales who works closely with Mark on the running of ReefsUK. The dates in bold coincide with Mark or Derek's mailings and are provided as a reference.

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Caught In The Net
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/23/00

Marine Aquarium Council

The Marine Aquarium Council has moved. Their new postal address, phone and fax numbers follow:

923 Nu'uanu Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii USA 96817
Phone: (+1 808) 550-8217
Fax: (+1 808) 550-8317

The e-mail and website addresses have not changed. Remember to visit the MAC website at for more information and to subscribe to the newsletter. - your marine fish and reef aquarium info site

A new site is born on the net. is run by Daniel Shevnock and contains the beginnings of a great collection of articles on just about anything that has to do with the marine hobby. Fish 'N' Chips is proud to be an article contributor. I predict big things for Daniel and his site and not just because he'll eventually have links to all my articles on his site! Go check out the site at It'll be worth the trip - you'll get to bookmark a new resource and be able to say you've been there since the beginning.

This Month's Selection From The Fish 'N' Chips Fishy List

Online Vendors - Livestock - Corals (All Types)

The above list matches a portion of the site list maintained on the Fish 'N' Chips WebSite as of the date of this publication. What you see above is what was listed as on their site by the submitter. The date that follows in parenthesis is the date submitted to the list. For the complete up-to-date list, check out the Fish 'N' Chips WebSite at

Site Submission and Updating: To submit your site for inclusion in the Fish 'N' Chips newsletter and website based Fishy Links List, please go to the Fish 'N' Chips website at and complete the Site Submission Form. Please do not send any site submission or update requests via email - I will not process them. Of course, emails are welcome if you are having trouble submitting the form.

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Checking For Stray Voltage
By Frank M. Greco,, 7/3/00
Edited By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/29/00

Here's a procedure for checking your tank for stray voltage: Get a voltmeter, digital or analog, and set it for AC voltage, 100V range. Stick the RED probe in the water, and then touch the BLACK probe to a GROUND, preferably the center screw in a wall outlet, or a cold water pipe or, something like that. It is important to get a good ground! Then note the voltage if any. If it's minimal, change the setting to 50V and lower until you get a reading. 0V is great, but under 10v is OK. Anything 10V and higher, and you should ground the tank.

Editor's Comments:
Frank M. Greco is the SysOp of's Aquarium Newsgroup. Visit at Frank's tip above was originally posted as a reply in the ReefsUK Chat Email Discussion Group. You can find Frank posting there often. Thanks for the tip Frank!

To Submit Your Tip: Send your tip via email to and I'll publish it in an upcoming issue of Fish 'N' Chips. I'll write it up for you or you can do it yourself if you are so inclined. Make sure you let me know if I can include your name and email address or if you'd rather go anonymous.

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Upcoming Events
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/23/00

July 2000

Date and Time: from now until August 1, 2000 on
Info: "Poll Contest" Sponsored by Tampa Bay Saltwater ( Answer any poll in our message board "The Reef" and enter to win 20 pounds of aquacultured Florida Keys rock. Winner pays shipping. You may enter once per poll.
Access: See the Message Board "The Reef" at (

Event: Seahorse Exhibit at the New York Aquarium
Date and Time: from 4/20/00 to April 2001
Info: Some of the animals to be featured are leafy sea dragons, weedy sea dragons, pygmy seahorses, pot belly seahorses, local seahorses, giant seahorses, and pipe fish.
Where & Contact Info: Brooklyn Aquarium, West 8th Street and Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (USA), 11224. Phone: (718) 265-FISH.

September 2000

Event: Marine Aquarium Society of North America hosts MACNA XII
Date and Location: Ft. Lauderdale Florida from September 29th to October 1st, 2000 at the Wyndham Hotel.
Speakers: Speakers include: Walter Adey, Yehuda Benayahu, Bruce Carlson, Vincent Defour, Ruth Francis Floyd, John Forsythe, Richard Harker, Cindy Hunter, Kelly Jedlicki, Martin Moe, Mike Paletta, Ron Shimek, Julian Sprung, and Peter Wilkens. For information on what their topics are, visit
For More Info: Visit

October 2000

Event: The Instant Ocean International Marine Seminar
Date and Location: Gilbert Murray Hall at Leicester (UK) on Sunday, October 22nd, 2000.
Speakers: Mike Paletta (USA), Svein Fossa (Norway), and Julian Sprung (USA).
Tickets: £10. Make checks payable to WYMAG. Send a SASE to Mrs. Christine McCaffery, 31 Henconner Cresc. Leeds. LS7 3NS.
For More Info: Roy Meeke from WYMAG can be reached via phone at 01924 420101 (days) or 01274 611822 (evenings) or via email at

To Submit Your Event: Send your event and all the specifics (date, time, location, pricing, contact info, etc.) via email to and I'll publish it in all issues of Fish 'N' Chips prior to the event.

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What the ... ?
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/24/00

Byssus Gland
The structure in clams that produces fibrous threads (byssus) that attach the clam to substrate. Sometimes permanent although more usually temporary attachment of tough organic threads secreted from a gland in the foot of the clam.

Large, pigmented fleshy portion of tridacnid clams that is exposed to the light by gaping of the shell valves. Also called siphonal tissue. Also, the coral tissue in fleshy polyps (e.g. Catalaphyllia).

The inhalent and exhalent siphons of tridacnid clams are used to allow for gas exchange and to expel wastes.

Umbo / Umbones (plural)
The apparent "apex" or "beak" of each valve around which "radial" growth has proceeded.

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Prove It!, a Bibliography
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 7/23/00

Article: Critter Corner

Article: Upcoming Events

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