Quite a bit of sponge growth in our tank is unplanned, coming in as a hitchhiker on the rockwork. If you have some, take some time to enjoy its design, its texture. Remember that sponge will not survive out of water, so if you remove the rock from your tank for any time at all, it will die and can cause an ammonia spike in your system.
This Gorgonian species was in a Marineland/Oceanic display at MACNA 17. Need additional information about its care
When I set up a tiny tank years ago, it seemed like the perfect place to put this seahorse - Hippocampus reidi - as it had no competition in there. For more details about the Pico tank, click here. I named him Casper. From ORA, he was tank-raised (aqua-cultured), and readily ate frozen Hikari mysis at least once a day. I had to make sure there were no Aiptasia in the tank that might sting Casper. I also had to be careful not to let the tank get too hot due to the light fixture.
This little guy is in the Jellyfish family - Cladonema jellyfish. Brad mentions: "It is extremely tiny, maybe 1 or 2 mm across, and stuck to my glass (aquarium wall)." I won't go as far as to say it is Reef-safe, but it is interesting none-the-less.
I wish this coral was in my tank. I saw this at the local fish store and it was already sold. It is a Fire Gorgonian, and is a filter feeder. The best way to successfully keep it is to feed often. The LFS was adding Cyclop-eeze to the tank three times a day, and the coral was stunning. Look at these polyps!
Some things grow in completely on their own without any effort on our part. The Live Rock that came with my tank was pretty much devoid of any obvious life, but after about 1.5 years, I suddenly noticed blue sponge growing on a piece of rock. The white kind is quite common, as well as yellow. The only time I see this blue is when the rock anemone contracts and this patch of rockwork becomes visible. As with any sponge, it must remain submerged at all times. If sponge is exposed to air, depending on the species, it will decay and can foul a tank.
I asked my serious saltwater friends what they thought this critter was, and I was told it's very likely a Foramoniferian. It appeared on the walls of my frag system, and seems to be filterfeeding. It doesn't sting anything, and didn't turn into a plague. Just an interesting reef curiousity. As I cleaned the front pane of my tank after these pictures, they came right off. I left some on the lower back wall since they aren't disturbing anything.
Tree Sponges come in various colors. When buying a sponge like this from your LFS, you want to have it bagged while fully submerged. Bring it home and release it in your tank submerged so that it never comes in contact with air whatsoever. Sponges are filter-feeders and need moderate current, and do best if they stay algae-free. They don't rely on lighting; they need nutrients to survive (regular feedings of phytoplankton will help). Large Angel fish feed on sponges, but tree sponges should be safe around dwarf angels.
Dawn found this Red Ball Sponge in her tank. Over a period of three and a half days, it moved from the coral to the nearby rock with the tendrils you see above. It is about the size of a medium raspberry. Reef-safe.
Photo by Dawn Branam
This is a Pencil Urchin. You can add it to your tank if you like, as long as you keep in mind that they can knock things over as they work their way around the rockwork.