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FAQs on Sponge Identification 9

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 10, Sponge ID 11Sponge ID 12, Sponge ID 13, Sponge ID 14, Sponge ID 15, Sponge ID 16, Sponge ID 17, Sponge ID 18, Sponge ID 19, Sponge ID 20, Sponge ID 21, & Sponges 1Sponges 2Sponges 3, Sponge Selection, Sponge Compatibility, Sponge Systems, Sponge Feeding, Sponge Disease, Sponge Reproduction

Can't identify encrusting creature on my live rock; looks like old chewing gum, but with mouths in it, living in a crevice. ( I know that's weird)   6/23/08 Hello, <Hi Alisa, Mich here.> and thank you all for providing such a comprehensive resource for aquarists. <On behalf of Bob and crew, you're welcome!> I have researched for days trying to identify this strange thing, and frankly my research may be inhibited by my inability to really describe what I'm looking at, as I've never seen anything like it before. My closest approximation is that it is some sort of flat tunicate or encrusting sponge, but I haven't found a picture of anything very close. <Mmm, doesn't look like a tunicate to me. Looks like a sponge.> Specs: I have a 45 gallon long reef tank with a 14 gallon sump. I have a wet/dry filter, <I'd remove the biomaterial, it increases nitrates.> protein skimmer, an internal overflow and two powerheads, and a 24 hour power compact fluorescent lighting system with 2 AquaClear 502 powerheads. I have about 40 lbs of live rock, all live sand and about 2.5 inches of substrate, 16 hermit crabs (scarlet, red leg, blue leg, and left handed), <Not a fan... Too opportunistic in my opinion.> 15 American star snails, <Mmm, I'm not familiar with this common name.> two true percula, a Midas Blenny, and a Coral Beauty, 1 four inch tall brown pulsing xenia, and 9 polyps of blue spotted mushrooms. Levels: As of today my Nitrate is 0, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Ph is 8.1, Phosphate is 0, Alkalinity 11 DKH, Calcium 340, Salinity 1.024 <OK.> Question: There is a strange encrusting creature on a piece of my live rock which appears to be growing out of a crevice. It is light beige, and about 2 inches long and ranges from 3/4 to 1/4 inch wide, and has six 'mouths' of varying size from 3/4 inch wide to 1/8 inch wide, that look just like clam mouths, and they open during the day and close at night. It is not moving, or if it is moving, it is doing so super slowly. I have included a photo, and an wondering a) what is this thing? and b) is it safe, or should it be removed? <Looks like a sponge to me. As long as it is not impinging on anything I would leave in place.> Thanks for any help you can offer! <Welcome,
Alisa Berman

Can I rescue my sponge? And what kind is it?  7/29/08 Hi Bob and crew! <Kerstin> Well, as usual, I have been searching your great website and the web, and wouldn't you know it - I haven't been able to identify my sponge. I did find a great website (www.poppe-images.com) with an amazing number of pictures of different sponges; it complimented your articles on them. I have learned lots in the process (as usual), and so I am wondering if you could assist me with the following: <Will try> 1. Do you have any idea which type of sponge this is? <Mmm, looks most like a Monanchora unguifera to me... is it from the TWA, the tropical West Atlantic?> I have only seen orange pictures that have this kind of structure, and didn't know if that would translate; my LFS had no record of what kind it is. I did try to do research on the sponge before I purchased it, and I observed it in the tank at my LFS for over a month - where it seemed to have no problems. <Mmm... the color... feeding type...> 2. Do you have any suggestions of things I can do that will help it stay alive? <A very large refugium... culture of food there and elsewhere... careful addition of small foods> I have included a picture of where it is in my 92-gallon corner tank; the tank has an Outer Orbit 250W HQI/T5 light hanging ~8 inches above the tank frame, and the sponge is on the right side of the light. <I see... also another sponge toward the off right on the bottom> I added the sponge to my tank six weeks ago, and until recently, it looked fine; only within the last week has it started to develop some areas at the top where it is going pale white/green. <Ahh, die-back> I am wondering if it needs either more or less light, current, food, <Likely this, and time to settle in, but... again, this is a non-photosynthetic species... some concern with alkaloid release...> or any combination of those? Or should I just re-setup my quarantine tank and watch what it does there? I don't know if it would be toxic to my tank if it dies, hence that question. <Is...> The red sponge did come attached to a small piece of rock, which was in fact encrusted with an orange sponge and a small feather duster (which has since disappeared). The encrusting orange seems to have attached it to the rock - but I am sure I can move it if I need to. <I would leave this as is> I had rearranged my powerheads slightly lower about 2 weeks ago (when it was still doing well); I have returned them to their previous position (higher along glass, but blowing in the same direction) again as of yesterday; could the change in current be what caused the sponge to start deteriorating? <Mmm, much more likely just from collection, being moved issues> Other information about my tank: - My fish are a Zebrasoma Xanthurum (Purple tang), Pseudocheilinus Hexataenia (Sixline Wrasse), Ecsenius Bicolor (Bicolor Blenny), Gramma Loreto (Royal Gramma/Fairy Basslet), Siganus doliatus (Barred Spinefoot - Rabbitfish); - Invertebrates are 2 Blood-red shrimp, 4 skunk-cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, and a serpent star, as well as an unidentified crab (have seen his molted shell once, is about 3/4-inch wide). - Corals include several different types of brains, a Lobophyllia, 2 Acropora, a Stylophora, a Pavona, an Acanthastrea, a small green Zoanthid rock, a Micromussa, a Turbinaria, two Fungias, and 2 mushrooms (I tried, but these are on the base of a 25-lb. rock, and until they become a nuisance, I am not willing to dismantle my tank just to scrape them off the rock...). Could any of these be proving a problem for the sponge? <Mmm, more like the opposite... again, for emphasis, instead of hinting around, I would watch your Anthozoans... move the sponge out, change a bunch of water, utilize carbon... should they show rapid negative behavior> - I also have several other sponges - a yellow encrusting who is happy no matter where he is located, and an orange encrusting sponge that has recently sprung up. <A good sign re the overall fitness of your system that these sponges are proliferating> - Most of my parameters are in the general norms, with pH running at 8-8.2 (depends on time of day for the measurement), temp. running 80 +/- .6 °F (MH tends to heat up the tank, the fan keeps the temp from swinging too badly). I have been battling low alkalinity, which I seem to finally (in the last 2 months), have under control around 8.5 dKH (I seem to have an alkalinity sink in my tank, <Yes... the metabolism/growth of the biomineralizing life t/here> with it dropping sometimes below 7 (not since I have had the sponge) <Mmm, it may be supplying, and/or depressing the uptake therein> while the Calcium would spike above 550 (also finally stabilizing)). - I do weekly water changes of 5-10 gallons, and have gotten rid of my Bryopsis algae (finally!) after weeks of raising the alkalinity and just generally picking it off/sucking it up with water changes. I had a small case of red slime about 3 weeks ago - it seems to be primarily gone, and even the small HOT refugium (I used Steven's instructions to convert a AquaClear 110 with Chaeto and Fiji Mud) is rid of the red slime. <Good> - My Tunze skimmer produces about 100ml of skimmate every 4-5 days, and the tank has been set up since I upgraded it from a 29-gallon back in November last year. My powerheads for circulation are a Hydor Koralia 2, Hydor Koralia 3, and a MaxiJet 1200 with the Hydor Flo Deflector on it. <Sounds/reads good as well> I greatly appreciate any inputs you can provide... I learn lots every time I research on your site, and feel my tank wouldn't be doing as well without the excellent information and opinions you provide. I am working on a sump/refugium, <Ahh! Do go forward with this full steam> but at this point want to see what is at MACNA before I build/purchase one; if that would help my sponge, I may need to see what can be done to keep it alive until then. <Do hope to meet you in Atlanta> Thanks tremendously in advance for any information, Kerstin DeRolf:-) <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

White growth on live rock: Syconoid sponges and likely Ascidian - 4/21/08 Hello crew. <Hi Bubba> I have been looking for answers for a while now. <Heheee! Haven't we all!> I have this white growth on my live rock. I have felt it and it feels almost like a gel of some sort? <That's a helpful clue, thanks!> I have tried to blow it off with a power head and have tried to suction it off with no luck. I had this stuff once in the past, same exact spot, and finally got it off with a tooth brush. 2-3 months later and it is back. I have included a picture for you to see. At the bottom of the pic there is some of the stuff that comes out of the rock in little q-tip heads. <Guess what one of their common names is? Yep, a Q-tip sponge, also known as a harmless Syconoid sponge. See the FAQ's/photos at the following link regarding these neat little sponges: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf7.htm > There are numerous pieces of that type. <Yes, these can be quite numerous at times, especially in new systems or when there's a high nutrient load.> The middle of the pic is the same stuff, but it just seems to be one big growth. The pic is good so hopefully you can tell what I have. Do you think it is some type of sponge? <Mmmm, no. If it feels like a gel, that is - smooth or slimy, it's more than likely a harmless Ascidian (tunicate/sea squirt) of some sort. For more information on these, please see this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ascidians.> I have looked for sponge pics but it seems they are mostly red or orange. <Oh, you've been missing out on some real beauties! Sponges come in a wide variety of beautiful colors and interesting shapes, as can be seen at the following link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm . Enjoy!> Please help!! Bubba D. <Not to worry, Bubba. Sponges and tunicates are all part of the diversity that makes for a healthy system. Take care, -Lynn>

Help to Identify -- Sponge 4/19/08 Hi, <Hi Crystal> This was on a live rock that I bought from a local store. I have been told it is a sponge and also told it was and encrusting Bryozoan. Please help me, I have searched the web and not found anything that looks like it. <It's a neat little sponge! Please see the following links for more information and photos (also note the associated links at the top of each page): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaqs.htm > Thank you, Crystal <You're very welcome. Take care, -Lynn>

Are these sponges? I hope? Yes! Syconoid Sponges - 3/31/08 Hello crew! <Hi Ben!> I have been lurking since I started this hobby and have sent one email that was answered by James 'Salty Dog' and really helped me with my algae problems. <Excellent!> I appreciate the database of information you guys have built up. It certainly helps us relative newbies out. <Hehee! It even helps this oldie out as well!> (sorry for the re-mail, I forgot to attach the pic the first time around!) <No worries. :-)> The reason I write today is that I have a mysterious growth on my Neon Hammer and would love a little help with an ID! <No problem! It's a harmless filtering Syconoid sponge, commonly called a Q-tip or Pineapple sponge. Please see this link for other examples/photos and more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf7.htm > I admit, I looked around on the site, but time hasn't permitted me to do an exhaustive search, so I apologize for that. <Alright, well I'll let you off the hook just this once!> This is the only place it exists in the tank, on the stems of this hammer. I have attached a picture. There are quite a number of them. They are best described as what look like tiny soft white pineapples. <Yep, hence the common name.> Could they be sponges? <Yep> Or egg cases? <Nope> I did notice a while ago that one of my brittle sea stars was hanging out in there, but I haven't seen any snails in there. Is this something that could be harmful? <Not likely.> The Hammer is starting to sprout a couple tiny new polyps so I hope it isn't. <Should be fine.> Also they popped up relatively quickly. One week they weren't there, the next they were! <That's fairly typical. These neat little sponges usually appear in boom and bust cycles, showing up in great numbers, then dropping off to a few or none.> Animals in tank: 2 Ocellaris, 1 algae blenny, 2 brittle sea stars, 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, 4 peppermint shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, and a bunch or Cerith, turbo and Nassarius snails. Pulsing Xenia, Neon Hammer, and clove polyp. Oh yeah, and some Chaeto. Tank readings: Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates- 0, pH 8.2, Calcium 380, KH 8 (on the Ap test- that's how they measure it) phosphates 0 and salinity 1.025. It's a 40 gallon breeder. Any help on an ID would be appreciated! Ben <You're welcome, Ben, enjoy those little sponges while they last! Take care, -Lynn>

plant id... actually a Poriferan -- 03/20/08 hello, I have an unusual plant in my reef tank. It looks like coralline algae in color. It grows slowly and has broad leafs/tissue. Its pretty robust-- not brittle, quite slippery. I have been searching for any similar plant/macroalgae morphology, but have not found anything close. I would appreciate any input to help figure this out. Thanks, rob <Very nice pic and organism... This is actually a Sponge. See the Net, or here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm and the linked ID files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: plant id, Poriferan  3/20/08 Thanks a lot for the input. I did actually frag it and find it to be one of the cooler parts of my reef system. <Is a beauty! And testament to your good maintenance. Cheers! BobF>

Isn't that pretty?

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