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Algae on Sponge

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marydem View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 30 2010 at 1:06pm
hi...i've looked around on the internet and can't find any info that i can make sense of so, i thought i'd ask here...

i have an orange sponge in my quarantine tank that has algae growing all over it.  some of the info i ran into says there might be a symbiotic relationship between the two.  i was going to cut it off but now i'm not sure.  it looks pretty sickly.  i want to make it happy.  any suggestions?  should i "frag" the parts that don't have algae?  what do i do with the rest?  should i put it to "sleep" by putting it in the freezer (in it's tank water), which is what i've heard is the most humane way to kill things?

i feed it phytoplankton but now i read that it may not be eating that.

i feel like i've failed this animal and should never have bought it because it doesn't look happy.  or, maybe this algae is doing it good and i just don't know enough to know a happy sponge when i see it.  Ouch
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Will Spencer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Will Spencer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 1:20pm
I'm afraid I know very little about sponges, but I do know that the fancy sponges have a pretty poor track record in tanks.  Most of them eventually end up dying.  The ones that seem to do well are the ones that just spring up in your tank off the live rock that you didn't purposely introduce yourself.  I used to have many, many different types and colors of sponge in my tank, but unfortunately I kept a fish that loved to eat them and don't have them anymore. 

I personally would try to remove as much of the algae as possible.  It the sponge looks "sickly" it's probably not helping it, but rather smothering it.  Algae tends to do that to a lot things when it grows on them.  

As for putting the sponge "to sleep", I wouldn't bother with that myself, but chances are good that unless you can find out specifically what that sponge eats and what type of habitat it likes to live in it will waste away to nothing over time.
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marydem View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marydem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 2:23pm
yeah...i've had it for about 6 mos. now and it's progressively looked worse.  what an awful way to learn a lesson.  i cut away the algae.  we'll see if it does any better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 2:38pm
Algae does not have a symbiotic relationship with any types of sponge. Non-photosynthetic Zoanthus polyps will form a relationship with certain species but these are all found at depths of 150+ feet. Sponges need to be kept in low light and high flow, as well as feedings of micro foods several times weekly to survive in an aquarium. Many people find that most types of sponge will slowly wane away over months due to starvation. Those who can feed them what they need have to have large systems to remove the excess nutrients. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions. I have quite a bit of experience with non-photosynthetics and other corals that require micro feedings. 
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGH360 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 2:50pm
Most sponges are non photosynthetic and cannot tolerate high levels of lightning. thats why you find sponges on shaded areas. I have a rock covered with light brown sponge i figured its getting enough nutrients by itself i just add Seachem plus every week to keep it growing. there are some sponges that are photosynthetic they are blue colored
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 2:58pm
There are some that are, but most sponges, even blue ones are non-photosynthetic. 

The only blue sponge I know to be photosynthetic is the blue massive sponge


It does ok in moderate lighting and high flow. Mine has grown from about a 1" long piece to a 4.5" ball
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vadryn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 7:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vadryn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 30 2010 at 7:52pm
I have this sponge that came as a tiny piece < "1 on LR I got with Cabbage and Encrusting.  I honestly didn't even notice is, but it has really grown.  This mass is directly under my MH light and as you can see in the 2nd picture, all the tips of it are lighter in color indicating growth.
 
It's now started to pop up in other areas of the tank (3rd picture) and it's not the least bit afraid of the light.  It took off when I added a 2nd Koralia to the system.  I think I have 40x + flow now.
 
This has had algae on it from time to time.  I don't know if the snails, tangs or crabs take it off, or if it just goes away for some other reason.  The algae hasn't seemed to affect it at all.  I also have a blue sponge that seems to hang in the shadows.  I've been tempted by the cool sponges you can buy, but I figure I should be happy with what I have.  My luck is it wouldn't be happy and die, which would be really unfortunate given I already have good colonies.  I think it looks awesome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2010 at 12:01pm
I call the sponge above, Color Changing Sponge, after the color changing toy cars my sons used to have. It has photosynthetic algae that makes it green or even black. See the pic below of that same sponge growing in a shaded area of one of my tanks.
 
Originally posted by marydem marydem wrote:

hi...i've looked around on the internet and can't find any info that i can make sense of so, i thought i'd ask here...
If you keep coming here to the WMAS to ask your questions, you will find that this is really the first place to come for the correct answers.

I'll be frank with you. I'd give that sponge to capnmorgan/Steve. He may be able to keep it alive. It's just going to continue it's decline in your tank.

Again, frankly speaking, next time you are thinking of buying something, give me a call on the spot or if you have 20 minutes, come here. We can help you see whether it's a good purchase or should have been left in the ocean. Smile




Edited by Mark Peterson - October 31 2010 at 12:04pm
Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
Pay it forward - become a paid WMAS member
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marydem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2010 at 12:36pm
steve...would you be willing to take them (there's actually 2)?  i'll be coming down for the Reef Fest and could meet you at the WMAS booth.
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http://aquariumdoctor.blogspot.com/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2010 at 6:31pm
I would be happy to, my cell # is in my signature just give me a call Saturday and I'll come find you if I'm not at the booth. 
Steve
180G Mixed Reef
130G Waterfall Tank
65G NPS
435-830-8855
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marydem View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marydem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2010 at 6:59pm
will do.
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http://aquariumdoctor.blogspot.com/
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