View Full Version : Can I keep a sponge?

11/06/2016, 12:34 PM
I keep finding cheap sponges and they are by far my favorite reef organism to observe, but I understand they are very difficult to keep in Aquaria. I don't want to buy one and only have it last for a year, I want the same sponge as a center piece in my next tank build, and the one after that. I guess what are the keys for success for those of you have kept them for 10+yrs? What have you found to be the best diet, or is a well established reef tank sufficient to feed a small sponge with free-floating organisms?

11/06/2016, 03:32 PM
A LOT depends on the species. The red or orange sponges are fragile. You must, in moving them, try to keep them submerged, and any area that dries out in the air will die. However, I almost always have some sort of sponge, usually yellow, white, or sometimes blue, that grows up unasked. They often avoid the light, although I have a yellow that doesn't seem to care. The volunteer ones, the ones that just turn up, are really quite hardy as long as you keep your ungloved hands off them and are reasonably careful to avoid air-drying them.

11/07/2016, 06:12 AM
I've been wanting to know this too. I'd love to have one. I read you cannot expose it to air as well, but other than that I wonder what makes them hard to keep.

11/07/2016, 11:45 AM
There are photosynthetic blue and purple sponges - Google will show you what they look like. Those are generally easy to keep and will grow. I also have a variety of sponges that have shown up on the rocks on their own.

Most of the large showy red and orange sponges will not survive in reef tanks due to dietary needs.

12/01/2016, 05:47 PM
If you get the purple sponge that plates like a monti, you will most likely have success in a softie tank. I notice a lot of growth when I let the tank start to show nitrates (maybe 5ppm)

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12/06/2016, 05:14 PM
The "yellow and maroon" cultured sponge (Cinachyrella alloclada, often called Yellow Ball Sponge) from Foster & Smith that's regularly offered on Diver's Den is very hardy and easy to keep. I have several large colonies in my Caribbean reef tank.

Other good candidates include red and blue plating sponges (Collospongia spp.), as mentioned.

I feed my sponges daily with Korallen-Zucht Sponge Power and either phyto or other filter-feeder liquids. Even so, I've never had any luck with red or orange tree sponges, so I've given up on them. No matter what I try, they slowly shrink away. They're gorgeous, but very difficult to keep.

12/06/2016, 08:48 PM
I've found that all sponges want very high flow. This is to get more food particles.

12/07/2016, 06:45 AM
I have had a Yellow Ball Sponge in my 120G reef for over two years now. It came as part of the live rock package from Tampa Bay Saltwater.

12/07/2016, 01:17 PM
Do they really stay in a ball shape? If so then it might be a must-have.

12/07/2016, 05:42 PM