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FAQs on Sponge Identification 14

Related Articles: Sponges in Marine Aquariums

Related FAQs: Sponge ID 1, Sponge ID 2, Sponge ID 3, Sponge ID 4, Sponge ID 5, Sponge ID 6, Sponge ID 7, Sponge ID 8, Sponge ID 9, Sponge ID 10, Sponge ID 10, Sponge ID 11, Sponge ID 12, Sponge ID 13, Sponge ID 15, Sponge ID 16, Sponge ID 17, Sponge ID 18, Sponge ID 19, Sponge ID 20, Sponge ID 21, & Sponges 1, Sponges 2, Sponges 3, Sponge Selection, Sponge Compatibility, Sponge Systems, Sponge Feeding, Sponge Disease, Sponge Reproduction,

Re: name of algae, new... -- 02/08/10
Thank you for your quick answer. Can you help me again with this one? It was taken Again in N-Sulawesi on a house rif in Lembeh street.
<Ahh! Have spent quite a few vacations at KBR and Lembeh Resort... there are now some 11 resorts being built and up there, as well as some boats that come over from the Bunaken/Manado side>
That same stuff I also found in the Philippines, a year ago, but could not found out what is was.
Thanks again Bob.
Greetz Tineke
<I don't know what this is... looks like some sort of Chlorophyte that is overgrowing a stony coral skeleton to me. Did you happen to touch, move it with your hand that you recall? BobF>

Re: name of algae -- 02/08/10
Hay Bob....indeed it looks like overgrow of coral. I did found also the one from the Philippines which I send you now. There is a very close-up so maybe you can see what it is. But than the first pictures I send you, there was one who looks like a flower (886T-5221)...maybe this algae used base as a kind of stabilization and grow bigger later. I didn't touched it but as I remember it was on the edges not very *stony*
Greetz Tineke
<I'll be... you know, this close up reminds me of... some sort of Ascidian colony; with some filamentous Green algae growing at the apices of the branching. I do wish we had some on hand to section and look at under a 'scope. Am going to ask LynnZ to take a look here as well. BobF>
Re: name of algae -- 02/09/10
Thank you Bob, I wait till you get an answer. When ever I found that again I will take a little piece with me...although it is forbidden (just for sciences :)) unless LynnZ comes with the name.
I look forwards to the answer!
<Me too Tineke>
Greetz from Holland
<And back at you as they say, from S. California. BobF>

Re: Re: name of algae, perhaps a Poriferan -- 2/10/10
Thank you Bob, I wait till you get an answer.
<<Hello Tineke and Bob, Lynn here today.>>
When ever I found that again I will take a little piece with me...although it is forbidden (just for sciences :)) unless LynnZ comes with the name.
<<Hmmm, I wish I could say that I have, but all I can offer are more possibilities. One that comes to mind is that what we're seeing isn't something actually overgrowing a coral skeleton, but instead perhaps a branching Demosponge, order Haplosclerida, all by itself. Perhaps the sponge is dead and has a growth of some sort of filamentous algae covering the openings/osculae at the tips? Apparently, these sponges are found around the Philippines. I'd feel a whole lot more confident though, if I could find and see a close-up of one, but I haven't been successful. I know that these sponges are very fibrous but I'm not sure if they're as ropy-looking as what I see in your close-up photo.
If it's not a branching sponge, then I'm guessing it's some sort of Chlorophyte or Phaeophyte overgrowing a coral skeleton. What bothers me about this theory is that the entire winding mass appears almost too smooth and web-like in its covering of the skeleton. If this were an algae, it seems like there would be stem ends extending here and there from the mass, especially considering the fact that it winds around some fairly narrow branches. I don't see any. Everything just seems a little too close and compact.
One last possibility I looked into was an Ascidian/tunicate overgrowing a coral skeleton. Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck finding any suitable candidates. Of the three I mentioned, I'm leaning towards the sponge, especially after having seen the first link below (note the small osculae).
Sponge, order Haplosclerida. See photo under 'Sponge pictures of week 3': http://www.naturalsciences.be/active/expeditions/archive2005/patagonia2/page5
Another sponge in this order, found in Hawaii and the Philippines (note branching variety): http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/HBS/invertguide/species/gelliodes_fibrosa.htm
Ascidian overgrowing coral: http://life.bio.sunysb.edu/marinebio/cr_36.jpg >
I look forwards to the answer!
<Me too Tineke>
<<Same here, Tineke>>
Greetz from Holland
<And back at you as they say, from S. California. BobF>
<<And the same from Washington state as well. Take care, LynnZ>>
>Well done, as usual, Lynn. BobF<

Predatory Tunicate? More Likely a Sponge 2/5/10
I got a bunch of live rock from my local fish store and when I got home I noticed a small Grey slimy spot on one of the rocks. Since then it has grown a lot. When I feed my fish it actually opens up what I call its mouth (all of them) and takes what falls on it. I did put a piece of fresh shrimp next to it and watched but it had no tentacles, but it did have a web like covering over its mouth when it opened up, when feeding is done it closes up again. I showed it the person that I got the live rock from, but he had no idea what it was. If anyone could possibly know what it is
please get back. Its driving me crazy not knowing what it is.
<I wish the photos were a little more clear, but looks like a sponge to me.
I don't think it's a tunicate because they are generally difficult to keep in captivity, a sponge is more likely to proliferate as you described.>

Predatory Tunicate? More Likely a Sponge -- 2/5/10
Thanks for getting back.
<You're welcome.>
I know my camera is bad.
<If you are using a traditional camera (Not a phone) it might have a "Macro" setting, usually is a symbol that looks like a flower. This setting will take clearer up close photos.>
the only other thing I think might help you is that it doesn't have a shape, but instead as it grows it takes the shape of the rock.
<Supports the belief that this is a sponge.>
also at some spots (couldn't get a clear image of them),instead of the mouth being all web it has a hole the size of a pencil tip in the center of the webbing. Its never afraid when I come around it,
<Sponges don't really react much.>
if it wants to eat and I am around it will still eat. One more thing if it is a sponge is it reef safe?
<More or less. Sponges can be a sign of excess nutrients in your system.

Hydroid? (Nope'¦Syconoid) -- 01/28/09
Greetings again WWM crew,
<<Howdy Nick>>
You have always been so kind and helpful.
<<Is our pleasure to serve>>
I just noticed a few of these in my pico tonight, and tried the hitchhiker ID sites without luck. They are about 1/2 cm and they are only under rocks in shaded areas. The small Zoanthids on the left are for size comparison. If you tell me what these are, I will search the web on how to best get rid of them.
<<Well Nick, if you are referring to the small white spherical object attached to the underside of the rock toward the upper right of the photo (I don't espy anything else)'¦it's a Syconoid sponge. These 'can grow' to a few centimeters in diameter 'and are harmless if not beneficial. No need to worry here>>
Thank you in advance,
Nick N.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Sponge ID -- 01/03/10
I didn't find any info on Eudistoma obscuratum in the sponge section. I ordered a sponge, called a Red Velvet Sponge, after being assured by the supplier that it was of the easiest care level.
<... no, not so>
It was listed as a Eudistoma obscuratum,
<Mmm, no>
but it sure looks similar to Mycale laxissima.
<Mmm, maybe>
I wasn't able to find any useful care info on the Eudistoma obscuratum, and the few pictures I located look nothing like my specimen. (Except, of course, for the photos provided my supplier.) What do you think? Thanks for your help.
<Oh... where to start here... Have you read our scant coverage re Poriferans in aquariums? Mainly this last page/file:
below... and the linked FAQs files above. As you'll find, the non-photosynthetic sponges (gauged by general colour in this case) are not easily maintained under most captive conditions; and some have dire metabolic activities. I would return this specimen. Bob Fenner>

A larva (?) I can't find an ID for 12/25/09
Greetings to everyone!
<Happy holidays!>
Aprox 2 wks ago I noticed some white specs in my skimmer and decided to wait to ID (let them grow). Yesterday during maintenance I discover they have indeed grown. I have attached 3 pics with some in focus areas (round
does not focus well in my camera...sorry.) In water they have what appears to be a foot for anchoring and the pointed end in the first 2 photos is actually open in water. (but not as much as a feather duster would be, km.)
Any thoughts as to their ID, and should I let them be or sterilize?
<I'd leave them be>
All the best of the season to everyone and their families at WWM!!
Richard J.C.
<Thanks Richard. These look to be "Syconoid" sponges to me. Harmless. Bob Fenner>

Sponge question and worms: It is a Sponge: Sponge ID 12/14/2009
<Hi Kody.>
I have had my saltwater aquarium for about 8-9 months, its 90gal with a Fluval external canister, and has 2 Koralia 4 fans in it.
I have 70lbs of live rock and 30lbs of live sand and recently I have notice that on the live rock, little white, spongy worm like things coming out of the rock. I was hoping you guys could help identify these and whether or
not I should be worried about them. And also on parts of the live rock I have notice a yellow sponge type thing start growing on the surface of the rock, again is this anything to worry about or is it just a sponge that has started to thrive?
<The little white things are called Syconoid sponges and they are harmless.
Without a picture I can't identify the yellow sponge. Have a look here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm and the linked pages at the top of that page and see if you can identify it>
Thanks Kody

Re: Sponge question and worms: It is a Sponge: Sponge ID Likely a Clathria sp.12/15/2009
<Hi Kody>
Here is a picture of the sponge that is growing on the live rock, its like a light yellow color and I couldn't find anything that looks exactly like this in your link you sent me. Sorry the picture is kind of dark, I really hope you can help =]
<By the picture, my best guess is one of the Clathria sp. sponges. Refer to the pages I sent you before ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm ) for their care. Enjoy your free hitchhiker.>
Thanks Kody

Sponge ID, incomp. 12/2/09
Hi WWM Crew,
Thanks in advance for your time and dedication sharing your knowledge and wisdom (again).
<Given our background, passion, compassion, other make-up, this is a most-natural course>
My 150G mixed tank has been running for about 2 years now. When first set up I added about 50KG of new (matured) live rock to about the same from my previous smaller tank).
As usual I looked in wonder at the "Free" life that hitched a ride on this rock and was very pleased to see some of this grow into established colonies in my now mature tank.
The pics below are what I believe to be a sponge that over the last 2 years has grown from a tiny speck to approaching 12" across. It is white at the base but dark brown all over the rest due to possible algae growth ? (but
it has always looked like this even when very small)
I have noticed that some of the zooids have migrated away (or died back) from this (but not completely, as evident in the photo).
<I see>
The reason for my mail, is that for the first time I had need to move some rocks recently (actually adding a little more) when my hand brushed against
this sponge. I was very surprised to find it was not the lovely smooth velvety texture I imagined but covered in tiny hooks and barbs that seemed to stick into my skin and certainly bloody stung !
<Many sponges are indeed not what they appear... Some are very toxic to touch, others are dangerously noxious chemically to their tankmates. It should be obvious to folks looking at their behavior, dominance in many reef situations that these early forms of life have "mechanisms" for securing space, competing...>
I'm now concerned that this may not be the harmless free addition I first though it was and would appreciate your thoughts ?
Thanks again for your help
Steve Burkinheath
<Mmm, I can't place the genus even here, but I've encountered something like this in aquariums before. If it were me, mine, I'd really consider taking out the rock all this sponge is on... and with gloves and a few sharp tools, knives at the ready, excising it from the rock... and yes, toss it. I am more concerned with the long/er term issues of toxicity here, even your health, than the value of this Poriferan as an ornamental. I am sorry if I'm being too blunt, perhaps appear callous here, but like grading school papers, I adhere to a "if in doubt, count it out" rule where potentially toxic life is concerned. I have found it pays to shy on the side of conservatism in such matters.
Bob Fenner>

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