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FAQs on Sponge Identification 3

Related Articles: Sponges in Marine Aquariums

Related FAQs: Sponge ID 1, Sponge ID 2, Sponge ID 4, Sponges 1Sponges 2Sponges 3, Sponge ID 4, Sponge ID 5, Sponge ID 6, Sponge ID 7, Sponge ID 8, Sponge ID 9, Sponge ID 10, Sponge ID 11, Sponge 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, & Sponge Selection, Sponge Compatibility, Sponge Systems, Sponge Feeding, Sponge Disease, Sponge Reproduction

Yellow Sponge Question? - 5/4/07 Hello, <Hi there!  Mich here.> How are ya? <I'm mighty fine, yourself?> I discovered a bright canary yellow sponge growing across 2 large pieces of liverock in my 125 gallon reef. I was wondering if I should add anything to my reef to keep it happy and healthy? <Sounds like it already is happy and healthy, don't think I'd change a thing.> I also noticed a purple sponge that looks like vines and are almost translucent. I noticed it growing under a large piece of liverock and it is attaching itself to the skeleton of my Torch coral. Should I be concerned about this? <Mmm, no, not overly, though if it is easily done, you may want to shift the Torch away from the sponge.> Can you tell me what these might be? <Mmm, what species of sponge?  Mmm, no, sorry, there are over 5000 species of sponges.  Microscopy work is often needed to identify sponges.>   As always thank you in advance... <Welcome!  Mich> 

Mystery Growth - Haliclona sponge? - 04/04/2007 Hello crew. <Hi, Tom!  Sabrina with you today.> I'd like to start by saying thanks for the great web site. I would have left this hobby after a month if I had not found it. <Wow....  Excellent (and important!) testament....  Thank you for sharing this.  It is very encouraging to realize that our efforts do reach the intended goals!> With that I would like to know if this purple growth can be identified? <I hope so.> It is a deep purple and in spots has a dark green. I thought it was coralline algae but have read that it maybe Cyano bacteria. I have looked at a lot of pictures and can not find any that resemble what I am seeing. <It actually looks VERY much like an encrusting sponge, maybe even Haliclona vetulina, though it doesn't seem to have the "star" pattern that H. vetulina exhibits.  It doesn't look like Cyanobacteria or algae to me, from the images provided.> The tank is ten months old and is fish only. I have some dead corals and the growth is attracted to them mostly. <Any live rock?  Any previously live corals, or things that came from reef tanks, anything like that?  If so, I'm still comfortable saying I think it's an encrusting sponge.> The water parameters are AM=0, NI=0, NA=10. I do regular water changes at five gallons per weekend and ten on the fourth change. I also age the water for three days before I use it. <Very good.> The tank is a Sea Clear System 2 forty gallon. There are two inches of mixed sand and crushed coral. I also have the Sea Clear venture skimmer installed. I would love to get a better skimmer but could not find one the would work with the design of the tank. We are waiting on a new custom one hundred and eighty gallon tank to be built and I have not decided if this tank will remain or if I will take it down. <If it IS sponge, and you choose to keep it, be certain NOT to expose it to air, if avoidable....  keep it submerged, even when moving it from tank to tank.> So if this is Cyano will I be able to wait it out a few months? <Probably.  If it is Cyano (I don't really feel that it is), you can try manually removing it 'till the move.> The biological load is as follows. One Dottyback, one Yellow Stripe Maroon Clown, one Algae Blenny and a Blue Hippo Tang. The new tank is for the Tang. <He'll appreciate it, to be sure!> I have included two pictures to help. Thanks you for your time and effort. <Glad to be of service, Tom, and again, thank you for your kind and encouraging words!> Tom
<All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Tunicate Invasion  3/5/07 Hello: <Hi.> You have been very kind in the past in answering my questions and I hope you can help me with this one. Not long after I transferred my very healthy Dwarf Zebra Lionfish from to my 55 gallon display tank, I began to notice white specks on the glass and ornaments. They were accompanied by the things in the photos attached to this email. They look like some kind of parasite but they are not affecting the fish at all. They are though making my tank look terrible as you can see. I keep the water and gravel very clean and I also scrape the glass but these things return. The tank has been up for five years and I never saw these things UNTIL I put the Lion in there. What are they and how do I get rid of them? As always, any help is very much appreciated. Thank you for your time. <These are tunicates, are not directly harmful/parasitic at all. Please see WWM re: for more detail about them.  an overabundance may indicate an underlying nutrient issue though.> Robert Sabbia
<Adam J.>

Mmmm, no. Are Syconoid sponges. RMF

Blue Sponge 1/14/07 Hello, <Hello Ellen> I am so thankful that you guys are here and answering millions of questions. You all are great! <Thank you.> I do have a question about a blue sponge that I purchased several months ago. I placed it on some live rock about the middle of my tank. It was doing well until recently. It is starting to reduce in size and it is starting to spread out onto the live rock. Is this normal or is this sponge dying? Really difficult to say without a pic.  If this sponge is a Haliclona species, I can tell you that they like  strong water movement and a good amount of light as it thrives in direct sunlight in shallow water.  Haliclona are filter feeders taking in dissolved organic matter along with being photosynthetic.> Thanks so much. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ellen

Please I need Help with sponge ID  - 09/03/06 Hi to all I have been reading WWM since January, and I am really grateful for all the info you made available to all. I am currently running a 600 gal system in Caracas, Venezuela Lately I bought the sponges in the attached photos, I tried to find some ID of them in order to determined the right placement in the tank. Theses are sponges collected in our shores (south Caribbean) buy local fishermen. Any clue?? Thanks in advance for your help Claudio Dioguardi Caracas, Venezuela <Mmm, yes... match them up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm Or, as you're so fortunate to live where you are, being able to collect your own organisms, I'd invest in a set of Humann & DeLoach Guides. Bob Fenner>

Re: Please I need Help with sponge ID  9/3/06 > <Mmm, yes... match them up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm > Or, as you're so fortunate to live where you are, being able to collect your > own organisms, I'd invest in a set of Humann & DeLoach Guides. Bob Fenner> > Thanks for your help, I am still a little bit confused about conditions, I placed them in the bottom of my 33 inches deep tank with some slight shadow and medium current. <Mmm, well... a good many sponges aren't easily kept in most aquarium conditions...> I will try to locate the books you suggested, <The Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach works are mainly identification, diver oriented... I would (quickly) look for the Modern Coral Reef Aquarium series by Alf Nilsen and Sven Fossa as the most reliable source of practical aquarium husbandry information. Vol.s 1 and 3 in English editions. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Thanks again

Species ID Hello WWM crew, <Don and Nan> I am new to the hobby and I am having difficulty identifying something growing in my aquarium.  Please see attached photo.  I have these small pinkish blobs growing in a lot of places on the live rock.  Some are growing clear tentacles as shown in the photo.  What are these?  Are they problematic (i.e.. pest)?  They are not growing particularly fast, but they are certainly multiplying.  If it is a problem, how do I deal with it or get rid of it? Thanks for the help... Don Ouimette <Some type of sponge/Poriferan... See WWM re... not harmful... Bob Fenner>

Red Algae or Sponge ID Well Bob, nothing I do with these photos seems to work! Here is my last attempt to send these to you for ID. I am stumped about what they are and really wanted to know. Below is the original message and your invitation to email directly to your address. Jeanne  Hey there Bob and Anthony, et al First, I hope to see you at IMAC again this year. I really enjoyed our pizza lunch with Dick Hilgers! Bob, how did your wife do in the marathon last June? <Mighty fine... her first and she came in and wasn't really tired! Di's trying to enter the New York...> Ah well, on to the question... I've searched WWM and the algae site, but without an actual name it is hard to find things. What is this stuff and is it evil? Thanks, Jeanne <Isn't evil, not an algae... see the "little mouths?" Methinks this is a sponge. No worries. Bob Fenner>

Please help me with sponge ID I have this beige colored branching sponge no more than 1/4 inch long all over the place in my reef tank. It was under control for years but now is quite a pain. Dr. Ron Shimek diagnosed it as a when he tested it and the spicules showed. But he didn't tell me anything else. Can you give me an ID Name of sponge family and how I may rid my tank. Thanks so very much, Jef <Mmm, impossible to tell from a picture... even to the phylum... but if Ron said he looked, this is a sponge... Maybe a Clathria species from gross anatomy (Order, Poecilosclerida Topsent, 1928. Family, Microcionidae Carter,1875. Genus, Clathria), but would need to examine spicules from different parts of the colony... not easy to do... perhaps a good guess could be gotten from examining reference works from the area where this originated... How to control? Nutrient limitation, introduction of probable predators, physical removal... Bob Fenner> 

Lost in Space

Black sponge three months ago we established our reef tank.  attached to one of the pieces of live rock was a black sponge - species we have not been able to identify. <Not easily done> it was doing quite well until a couple of weeks back when it was located to a different area of the tank.  it was a smooth surfaced black sponge that within the past couple of days have begun to look like a pool of black fish eggs (although some of the edges of the sponge are still smooth).   what is your assessment of the state of affairs for the sponge? <Likely nothing to be concerned about, and very likely little practically that you can/could do... are you wanting to modify your water chemistry, attempt nutrifying this colony... and doing all this with the other livestock present?> if it is in ill health any suggestions to cure it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. <I would do "nothing" other than maintain good water quality... consider my options... you could add an area of/for cryptic fauna, an extensive live sump/refugium... these would be of benefit to all... Bob Fenner>

Orange Frilly Sponge Hello again Crew, haven't had to ask a question in quite a while.  My LFS has a sponge for sale.  He didn't know the name of it which lead me to the internet.  I believe I have found the same sponge on saltwaterfish.com.  They call it an "Orange Frilly Sponge".  They do not provide a scientific name, just that it eats plankton.  Here is a link to the page: Saltwaterfish.com -- Orange Frilly Sponge. I don't know if it is photosynthetic or not.  Basically, I don't want to spend money on it and find out later that it's toxic to everything in my tank or to me.  Any info you can give would be appreciated. >>I can't give much info on it, but I can tell you that they almost always don't do well in aquariums. I would avoid it and spend the money on something else! Rich>.

Re: Creature ID - sponge? Dear Crew, <Dawn> After sending the mail below, I think I have located something very similar in the sponge section... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaq2.htm  Not certain how I missed it, it's right there! <Happens to me all the time> The only difference seems to be the color.  The one in my tank (pic attached to original email), is the color of a raspberry.  Any idea what kind of sponge it is? <Not without actually taking a small piece and "melting" away the tissue, examining sclerites... Not easily discerned to species> Thanks again, Dawn Branam <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>  

ID... tough to say 7/13/04 Hello, Very hard to search for these things online. Wondering what this thing is. Suddenly my tank has many of these attached to various things, mostly the glass. They don't move at all. They're very small. Thanks. <its tough to say from the image my friend... just too blurry/low-res. I do realize its quite difficult to photograph items this small though. Taking a shot, let me suggest you do a keyword search with the Google search tool on our home page for our website: plus in "Sycon" or "Syconoid sponge". These are small pillowy Poriferans that commonly flourish in aquaria and look like a little critter or polyp popping up in the recesses of the tank. Anthony>
"Goo" on my Ricordea... spreading sponge 7/6/04 Here's my best shot at a scientific statement regarding a problem with a small piece of live rock / Ricordea...I have "goo"....this stuff started growing underneath my Ricordea, then it slowly began moving to other sections of the small piece of live rock that the Ricordea was purchased with (nine months ago as one mushroom...now about seven), and now it has grown long fingers / branches that attach to anything it touches.  Is this "goo" something I should try to get rid of?  If so, what do you recommend? (Please see attached picture) Thanks, Scott. <it is a healthy, calcareous sponge that can grow to nuisance measures but only so in the presence of adequate nutrients. If it flourishes... its a sign that you may have nutrient export control issues (too much feeding, poor protein skimmer performance, weak water change schedule, etc). It is not photosynthetic and as such is wholly dependant on filter feeding in the system. Control the nutrient and you will control its growth. Anthony>
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