Freshwater Mussels care sheet

Freshwater Mussels care sheet

Water Quality - Freshwater mussels are equally comfortable in tropical or cold water.

They are not as fussy as most Aquarium Fish about the type of water they live in.

Feeding and breathing is accomplished by sucking water and micro-organisms through openings between the shells. The result of this is extremely clear water, as mussels act as a living filter. They enjoy sinking algae wafers, which they simply love to eat. Their gills are situated inside the bivalves.

General Information

There are many species of Freshwater mussels and they make an interesting addition to the aquarium.

They are protected by two shells, bivalves, hinged by a tough elastic membrane. They move about by protruding a broad, tongue-shaped muscle, the foot, into the sand, then pulling themselves slowly forward. This process could dislodge plants in newly set up aquariums.

They are best known in the aquarium hobby for their role in protecting and incubating eggs of the popular Bitterling, which lay their eggs in the breathing opening of the mussel. However, we have found that they prefer slightly lower water temperature usually in the region of 20 to 22 degree Celsius meaning that Coldwater companions will be more suitable getting along with them

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Make sure that there are no dead Mussels being left in the tank, or else it will immediately foul the water and raise ammonia level hazardous to your aquatic ecosystem.


Freshwater Mussels are compatible with most tropical species and Coldwater fish as they will adjust to suit the natural conditions. There are certain fish species however which we would recommend you avoid keeping them together with, such as freshwater puffer, loaches and certain catfish and cichlid species because they will end up making a good meal out of them.



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