FAQs on Sponge Identification
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Related FAQs: Sponge ID
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Sponge or tunicate? 11/8/2009
I was wondering if you could help me with an ID I cannot make
very confidently based on what I have seen after searching your
site (please see attached pictures). I would have bet these were
sponges, just because they have a texture just like a sponge
would have. On the other hand, they tend to have 1-2 holes per
mass (see red arrows in
picture), and I have seen pictures of tunicates that
"could" look this way. What would be your opinion? Any
ideas about taxonomic ID?
as always, eternally grateful to you for this service to reef
nuts like me,
<Am almost certain these are Syconoid sponges. Please search
WWM with this name or peruse the Sponge ID subFAQs files:
and the linked files above. These are no problem. Bob
White Spherical creature: Likely Syconoid
Sponges: Hitchhiker\Sponge ID 11/2/2009
Lately I have noticed a white dime sized sphere with 2 tubes sticking
out of it on the underside of a piece of live rock.
<Sort of looks like a cotton ball or the end of a Q-Tip?<
The live rock has been in the tank for about 6 months. It seems to
shrink when the lighting gets dim. Can you tell me what this is?
<Pictures are always helpful, but based upon your description, it is
likely a Syconoid sponge - a harmless hitchhiker. You can read about
them by following the links on this page
Re: White Spherical creature: Likely Syconoid
Sponges: Hitchhiker\Sponge ID 11/3/2009
That looks just like it. Is it harmful? Do I need to do something to
rid of it?
<No, they are fine. and will pass with time. have a read here:
Purple rope sponge... ID, no pic 10/7/09
I love your site guys very informative and helpful. I work at
Exotic Aquatics in Balt., Md and regularly use your site for help
or just to check my own knowledge!
I have what I believe to be a small purple rope sponge. It is
maybe eight or nine inches long and three or four in diameter;
attached to a small branch of live rock with rope like pieces
growing out of it and extending I to the water various lengths to
I can't find much info on these as aquarium specimens and
need some general care and maintenance info. Am I possibly
misidentifying this sponge?
<Mmmm, could you send along an image or two?>
Does he eat particulate matter from the water like other
<Due to the color you mention, this is likely a
How and what is the best way to feed? And is there any way to
know/detect his status and health?
<For a store... likely just non-decomposition>
Lastly, is be possibly toxic and maybe not a good aquarium animal
<Odds are that this specimen is non-toxic>
Thanks for your help guys.
<Please send along a well-resolved pic of size. Bob
Re: Purple sponge, ID... more 10/7/2009
Here's a pic of that sponge. This is the best i could get;
its at a strange angle to the glass.
One thing, I might have mislead you a little bit: he is no longer
at the store but in my home reef tank now; that's why I was
concerned with feeding. But in here it should be very similar as
my aquarium is well established and running for 3+ years. Thanks
again for your help.
<This might be an Aplysina cauliformis... but such
identifications are difficult w/o sampling the colony for
structural elements... Do you know the ocean of origin?
Sponge I.D. 9/28/09
Have a sponge id I'm hoping you guys can confirm or help with
a kick in the right direction. I know they're hard to id due
to the 1000's of species, but after scouring databases and
WWM, I believe this to be Spirastrella vagabunda.
<Mmm... I don't think so, but...>
I have thought this from their first appearance on the new live
rock, but they have spread to 50% of the live rock(colonies
approximately the size of quarters and dimes) in a 55 gallon
aquarium in less than 3 weeks. I wasn't aware of this species
reproducing at such high rates.
Hopefully the pictures aren't absolutely horrible. I'm an
avid diver and aquarist.... but a HORRIBLE photographer. Any help
would be appreciated.
<Your pix show definitely some sort of sponge, but also I
think an encrusting algae... Definitive ID to at least Class...
could be done with a simple microscope and reference. Bob
Re: Sponge I.D., control
Thank you for the quick response. I have "Systema Porifera:
A Guide to the Classification of Sponges"
Have you a 'scope?>
and a couple of pocket reef guides by Ned DeLoach, but have found
nothing that really identifies the sponge beyond class,
Spheciospongia. My concern is that the rate of growth I am seeing
is an indication that this is an unwanted organism in my
<A subjective evaluation... but do agree with you concerning
overgrowth... Can be undesirable>
Any opinion there?
<Rock removal and careful scrubbing... or more extreme...
bleaching, rinsing, air-drying>
The 55 gallon containing my new spongy critters is only used for
qt of rock and seeding rock. Thank you again.
<Oh... bleached rock can be reinoculated with some new placed
Florida Sponge ID 9/10/09
Greetings resident fish (and hopefully sponge) expert
<No sponge expert except when using one for washing
I just received a livestock order from an online company. In the
order, they replaced the sponge I ordered with the one shown in
the photo. The customer service gal said she spent 3 hours trying
to find out what it
was but couldn't find anything. She did say it came from off
the Florida coast though. I've done some searching myself,
including the WWM site and can't find anything either. If you
can identify it, I'd be very
<Looks like a specie of Agelas found in Florida waters. Sponge
brittle stars (Ophiothrix suensonii )
are often found living inside this sponge. Bob and other crew
members dive these waters and may have a more accurate
<<Might be a small A. clathrodes. RMF>>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Sponge question 8/19/09
Hi Bob (and friends),
Thanks for the info and good advice. Looks like I have some hard
work ahead of me.
<Mmm, not so hard>
I did watch this sponge's health in the store and waited
several weeks before buying it to make sure it did not suffer in
transport or have air exposure, so at least that is something. I
just have a couple more quick questions, if in addition to the
ultra min F, I also spray the sponge with the liquid left over
from when I thaw enriched brine shrimp, do you think this would
I have also read on the web that stirring up the sand bed can
help is this true?
<Can help, yes>
I have spent a fair amount of time trying to ID this sponge, but
can't seem to do better than ascertaining its a fan sponge, I
have attached a picture of it, do you have any suggestions?
<Mmm, yes: try here:
Thanks very much, I really would like this sponge to do well,
I'd hate to think I condemned it. Are there any types of
photosynthetic sponges you would recommend that are hardy enough
to do well under compact fluorescents?
To answer your question about reading your pages, I really
can't say for the total (its a LOT), but I can say at least 4
hours in the last two days lol
<And you. BobF>