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Your First Pond
Trees & Sunshine
Take The Plunge
Preformed Pools
Installing A Liner
Making A Raised Pool
A Koi Pond
Miniature Ponds
Adding A Waterfall
Colourful Ponds
Choosing A Pump
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Pond Pipework
Installing A Fountain
Self-Contained Fountains
The Leaky Pond
Planting The Pond
A Wildlife Pond
A Bog Garden
Pond Plants
Plants Round A Pond
Choosing A Lily
Floating Plants
Water Hyacinth
Oxygenating Plants
About Fish
When To Buy Fish
Choosing Fish
Quarantining Fish
Fish Under Stress
Feeding Your Fish
Holidays & Fish
Breeding Coldwater Fish
Changing Colours Of Fish
Pond Fish
A Koi Collection
Ghost Koi
Fancy Goldfish
Coldwater Catfish
Grass Carp
Rearing Trout
Swan Mussels
Visitors To The Pond
Visiting A Koi Auction
Clubs & Societies
Caring For Fish
Testing The Water
Are You Poisoning Your Fish
Ponds & Medicines
Diseases & Parasites
Disappearing Fish
Problems With Herons
Green Ponds
Fish Pond Filters
How A Filter Works
Improving Your Filter
Ultra Violet Sterilizers
Looking After A Filter
The Pond Through The Year
Spring Cleaning
Pond Plants In Spring
Ponds In Summer
Autumn & Winter
Breaking The Ice
10 Problems
Useful Facts & Figures

Allotment Articles1.
Allotment Articles 2.

Swan Mussels

Swan Mussels are often sold to fishpond keepers as an aid to filtration because they are filter feeders. This is perfectly true as they do filter the particulate matter out of the water at the rate of about one pint of water per hour for a mature mussel. However, as the average fish pond holds in excess of 100 gallons, or 800 pints of water it is easy to see that one would need a very large number in deed to give effective filtration.

When mature Swan mussels measure 6, or 7 inches, or about 15 cm in length, but they start out life as tiny eggs which float around in the water slowly developing. As they develop they go through a stage where they become parasitic on fish. They catch a ride on any passing fish and cling to it boring a tiny hole in the fish. They continue developing and after a few weeks they drop off doing no serious damage and they become free swimming. At this stage they are tiny miniature adults and will cling to the sides of the pool. Here they grow over several years until they reach maturity. Mussels like a good layer of mud on the bottom of the pool into which they can bury themselves. They do this with the use of their pseudopodia, or single foot with which they move.

Swan mussels have an unusual relationship with a fish called a Bitterling. The female fish develops an ovipositor, or egg laying tube in the breeding season down which she lays about 50 eggs directly into the mussel. The eggs develop inside the shell of the mussel until they hatch and then the baby fish swim out. This prevents the eggs from being eaten by other fish. In return the fish act as hosts to the baby mussels. 

One problem with this arrangement is that the adult fish find the mussel very tasty to eat as do most other fish especially Tench and Carp. For this reason unless you intend to breed Bitterling, mussels can end up being an expensive type of fish food if added to a pond.