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firemountain
06/06/2015, 03:40 PM
Everyone,

I have a sponge in quarantine that I picked up from a Blue Zoo Aquatics. For feeding I have been giving it TLF Marine snow and live Rotifers that I bought from my LFS.

I have been reading about making my own Phytoplankton and have a few questions.

In looking at the F2 Phyto cultures available from Florida Aqua Farms, the smallest micron size culture they sell is like 2 microns. From what I understand, sponges need a smaller micron size ( like between .5 to 1 micron).

If that is the case, I would like to know if there are any RC members out there who culture their own Phyto. And have good luck with feeding their sponges.

I am new to sponges and growing Phyto..... So any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

noy
06/07/2015, 11:38 AM
Everyone,

I have a sponge in quarantine that I picked up from a Blue Zoo Aquatics. For feeding I have been giving it TLF Marine snow and live Rotifers that I bought from my LFS.

I have been reading about making my own Phytoplankton and have a few questions.

In looking at the F2 Phyto cultures available from Florida Aqua Farms, the smallest micron size culture they sell is like 2 microns. From what I understand, sponges need a smaller micron size ( like between .5 to 1 micron).

If that is the case, I would like to know if there are any RC members out there who culture their own Phyto. And have good luck with feeding their sponges.

I am new to sponges and growing Phyto..... So any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

What kind of sponge is it?
I keep several sponges in different tanks (blue, orange paddle, finger) and been successful so far (cross-fingers) - but I only have had them between 6 months to 1 year. Some of the sponges are actually photosynthetic and thrive in light. I am also familiar with some the academic articles (and an advanced aquarist article) that talk about sponge feeding through collar cells (choanocytes). The studies differ on the maximum size that the collar cells with capture but most peg it at around 1 micron (bacteria sized) and less. There is a really good website on sponge feeding which summarizes several research studies.
http://www.asnailsodyssey.com/LEARNABOUT/SPONGE/sponFeed.php (mod - too much info to summarize in a post - if this is a no-no just lmk i'll delete the link).

I highly suspect that given the size of particle capture that sponges mostly feed on bacteria (vs. phyto). So dosing phyto is probably futile. Some have advocated disturbing the sandbed occasionally to release bacteria in the sandbed - it seems to make sense and doesn't hurt but I just don't think there is scientific studies on that. There is study published in advanced aquarist (Ken S. Feldman, Allison A. Place, Sanjay Joshi, Gary White ) which tries to co-relate carbon dosing and bacteria population in the water column (and bacteria export via skimming). So cardon dosing will help increase bacteria population in the water column assuming sponges are not selective about the type of bacteria it consumes.

I still dose phyto a couple of times a week as a precaution. I also carbon dose in the form of vinegar. Hope that helps!

noy
06/08/2015, 09:36 AM
I went back and read a couple of articles that deal with studies in sponge feeding. Specially, Feeding in a Calcareous Sponge: Particle Uptake by Pseudopodia (Sally P. Leys and Dafne I. Eerkes-Medrano) and In situ grazing on plankton 10 um by the boreal sponge Mycale lingua (Adele J. Pilell, Mark R. Patterson, Jon D. Witman). Both are available online so i won't provide the cites.

The second study examined consumption of different natural foods by a particular species of sponge. The different foods examined were Heterotrophic bacteria, Prochlorococcus (0.6 um), Synechococus-type cyano bacteria, pico-eucaryotes and nano-eucaryotes (3-10 um). Long and short of it was that the sponges captured and consumed these in different rates (not statistically important).

I don't know any studies that suggests collar cells (choanocytes) behaved differntly across different species (could well be). So assuming that - it seems that sponges are capable of feeding of plankton at least up to 10um. So at least for a food size perspective, you are probably OK just grabbing a bottle of commerically produced phyto.

firemountain
06/09/2015, 08:28 PM
Noy....the sponge is called a Orange Laced Sponge (Clathria species).

Here is the link...

http://www.bluezooaquatics.com/productDetail.asp?did=2&pid=2112&cid=264

I had read the advanced aquarist article on sponges, and it was a big help.

With the sponge being in quarantine, I have been able to monitor it in a controlled environment. Downside is that there is no sandbed to stir up. For now...I am gonna buy some Phyto to feed the sponge, and offset that with my Marine snow.

I am interested in trying to do some carbon dosing with some vinegar. Any thoughts on how much to dose on a regular for a 10g tank. Just looking to start out small, and see how that works out. I have a HOB nano skimmer I can setup and install, I just have to be careful that the micro bubbles don't circulate around the tank and get forced toward the sponge, which would probably be detrimental.

pledosophy
06/10/2015, 07:37 AM
In a 10g tank I would start by dosing 1mL of vinegar 1-2x a day. You will have to monitor, but ideally you will want to increase the frequency of doses, not the amount IME. So go from once a day, to 2x a day to 3x a day etc to increase the amounts.

A dosing pump is going to be your friend if your in it for the long haul

HTH

noy
06/10/2015, 11:03 AM
Noy....the sponge is called a Orange Laced Sponge (Clathria species).

Here is the link...

http://www.bluezooaquatics.com/productDetail.asp?did=2&pid=2112&cid=264

I had read the advanced aquarist article on sponges, and it was a big help.

With the sponge being in quarantine, I have been able to monitor it in a controlled environment. Downside is that there is no sandbed to stir up. For now...I am gonna buy some Phyto to feed the sponge, and offset that with my Marine snow.

I am interested in trying to do some carbon dosing with some vinegar. Any thoughts on how much to dose on a regular for a 10g tank. Just looking to start out small, and see how that works out. I have a HOB nano skimmer I can setup and install, I just have to be careful that the micro bubbles don't circulate around the tank and get forced toward the sponge, which would probably be detrimental.

This is my bible on vinegar dosing (10g tanks don't even register on the chart)
http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index.php/current-issue/article/116-vinegar-dosing-methodology-for-the-marine-aquarium

I can't tell you the bacteria produced from carbon dosing will be "eaten" by your sponge but the various studies seem to suggest sponges are not that selective about the bacteria they consume.

If your 10 gallon tank is your qt tank and its freshly setup - it may be weeks before you get any meaningful bacteria buildup. I'm not really sure its that feasible to keep a non-photo sponge in a small 10g nano setup. With that small volume of water the sponge will cycle through the water column and remove all food bacteria fairly quickly. Dosing directly in the tank will occasionally produce unsightly bacterial strings.

I have to admit I don't qt or even dip my sponges. Its a bit of a leap of faith as they go directly into tank. If your intention is to move your sponge into your bigger system - I would do that sooner rather than later and start dosing in your 65g.

gogo7
06/10/2015, 06:20 PM
i'm with noy. anything up to 10 um is fair game. my four gallon vase has quite a few different sponges in it, and once in a while i scrape more sponge off of my glass than i do algae. 20-30 mls nanno duna and-or tetra. and bakers yeast. mix a little with some phyto and drop a few drops into your dt. if you get some small pieces fall off of your sponge, save them. put them somewhere where they might grow. the pieces that break off will end up regenerating.
live phyto is definitely a most for sponges ime.
even if your qt is newish, scrub the front glass. the stuff growing on it will end up passing through your sponge. use a baster to lift stuff into the water column. if your water is crystal clear, your sponge is hungry

firemountain
06/12/2015, 06:12 PM
Update: I began dosing the tank with .5 ml of vinegar, 1x a day for the past few days. No bacterial blooms yet, but I can see the glass starting to get a build up. I picked up Reef Nutritions Phytofeast, and started feeding the sponge daily.

Question: I proceeded to setup my HOB nano skimmer on the side of the tank. As soon as I turned on the skimmer, It produced a lot of micro bubbles. Between my Aquaclear HOB filter and my powerhead, the microbubbles started to fly around the tank and hit the sponge. I then unplugged it.

I know that the sponge cannot be exposed to air and will kill it, but would the in tank micro bubbles be a problem? Something Is telling me the answer is YES, but figured I would ask.

noy
06/13/2015, 06:33 AM
Microbubbles in the tank will harm the sponge based on the same theory about exposure to air. The bubbles get trapped in the canals and you now have an air pocket in your sponge which will cause that area to die over time.

I have exposed more than one sponge to air without any adverse effects. I don't think immediate exposure kills the sponge - its the possibility of trapped air bubbles overtime (I just might try this out with a cheap sponge next time I see one).

A good shake, tap (gentle) and flip should help in getting rid of any trapped air bubbles.

herring_fish
06/13/2015, 09:00 PM
I read a small notation on the GARF website. They were feeding nonphotosynthetic corals by driving large amounts of air bubbles into the water in order to carry proteins to the corals. These air bubbles fill the tank and donít hurt the corals, including the sponges.

http://www.garf.org/lemn02/BAG0BUGS.html

firemountain
06/15/2015, 06:48 AM
I read a small notation on the GARF website. They were feeding nonphotosynthetic corals by driving large amounts of air bubbles into the water in order to carry proteins to the corals. These air bubbles fill the tank and donít hurt the corals, including the sponges.

http://www.garf.org/lemn02/BAG0BUGS.html

Very interesting article! I am big fan of the GARF website....I don't know how I missed it. Thanks!!

I can totally understand that exposing the sponge to air by pulling it out of the water would kill the sponge. But if the microbubbles are shooting past it slow enough where they weren't forced into the matrix if the sponge and just deflect off, then maybe that is what is going on, and that the bubbles are just used as a transport mechanism. I may have to run a few experiments regarding this to see what happens. Nothing ventured...nothing gained.

jmowbray
06/17/2015, 03:34 PM
Do you have a display tank still? Do a water change on the display and put that water into the QT. Therefore, it is seasoned water full or organisms to feed on. Plus when you end up adding it to the display tank it's a simple transfer with little to no acclimation. Also saves on water and salt.

firemountain
06/18/2015, 10:19 PM
Do you have a display tank still? Do a water change on the display and put that water into the QT. Therefore, it is seasoned water full or organisms to feed on. Plus when you end up adding it to the display tank it's a simple transfer with little to no acclimation. Also saves on water and salt.

Yes...still have a DT. Both my DT and my QT are matched in terms of SG and temp, so the acclimation will be minimal. I can definitely use my DT water in the sponge acclimation tank, good idea. The only reason to QT the sponge is to prevent any diseases like crypto that could hitchhike in off the rock attached to the sponge.