The swan mussel (Anodonta cygnea) is our largest native freshwater mussel species and can reach a length of 20cm, although a length of 15 cm is more common. Like all mussels the swan mussel feeds by filtering small particles of algae, bacteria and organic matter from the water. They can be kept in outdoor ponds, coldwater or tropical aquariums and would make a excellent addition to a wildlife pond.
large Swan mussel (Anodonta cygnea) 10 - 15 cm
The swan mussel is quite hardy and can survive a wide range of conditions. These mussels are better suited to ponds as aquariums usually don't have enough floating particles for the mussel to consume, However, mussels can sometimes thrive aquariums if food is put in for them such as algae (green water), phyto plankton, crushed fish pellets, flake food (finely crushed) or liquid fish food such as Liquifry. The larvae of the Swan mussel (glochidia) go through a parasitic stage for their first few weeks where they will attach to fish, feeding off their mucus before dropping off and turning into small mussels. While this may sound detrimental to the fishes health it rarley causes problems for the host fish and nothing to worry about.