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Tree Sponge
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(Ptilocaulis sp.) Difficult Peaceful Varies" Omnivore (filter feeder) Substrate & Rocks 90 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Dissolved Organic Foods Red, Orange Caribbean Axinellidae Sponges The Tree Sponge of the genus Ptilocaulis is normally red or orange in color and has a shape that is very similar to that of a tree which includes a main trunk with several branches. The Tree Sponge is usually found on lower portions of the reef or located on or near a rock directly in the sandy bottom. In the wild this species is typically found in the lower sandy areas of the reef where it catches planktonic foods from the water currents. The Tree Sponge thrives in areas of the reef where it benefits from strong currents and low lighting levels. This species needs strong indirect water currents near its location in order to provide access to planktonic foods, but care should be taken to not place the sponge directly in the path of a constant water flow so that it only receives a strong indirect current. The Tree Sponge requires only low lighting levels and therefore can be comfortably placed in lower areas of the reef or directly on the substrate. The Tree Sponge requires excellent water quality and should only be attempted in an established reef aquarium All sponges, including the Tree Sponge require some very special care in order to survive in the home aquarium. The most critical concern is that the Tree Sponge should never be exposed to the air, as the air becomes trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body. With air blocking the path for planktonic food to reach its cells, the sponge will basically starve. The Tree Sponge uses cells lining its body to ingest planktonic foods that are floating in the water currents. In the home aquarium the diet of the Tree Sponge should be supplemented with feedings of substitute plankton or other foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. Sponges should never be exposed to air as this will cause air to become trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body, which effectively blocks the path for planktonic food to reach its cells and it will basically starve.
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Red Ball Sponge
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(Dragmacidon lunaecharta) Difficult Peaceful Varies" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 30 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Red, Orange, Yellow Indo-Pacific Axinelidae Sponges The Red Ball Sponge, or as it is often referred to as Red Boring Sponge, and members of this genus are found in a wide variety of colors such as red, yellow, and orange. The Red Ball Sponge requires a strong current and excellent water conditions; therefore, they should only be kept by reef experts with a mature reef system. All sponges, including the Red Ball Sponge will require some very special care to survive in the home aquarium. The most critical concern is that it never be exposed to the air. If it is, air becomes trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body, which effectively blocks the path for planktonic food to reach its cells and it will basically starve. The Red Ball Sponge will require supplemental feeding with liquid plankton and other dissolved organic foods. Strong currents and an established reef aquarium will also be necessary to keep the Red Ball Sponge healthy within the aquarium environment. Sponges should never be exposed to air as this will cause air to become trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body, which effectively blocks the path for planktonic food to reach its cells and it will basically starve. Red Ball Sponge does best with low lighting and medium varied water flow, as it is a filter feeder and takes much of its food from the water column.
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Breadcrumb Sponge
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(Halichondria japonica) Difficult Peaceful Varies" Omnivore Substrate & Rocks 55 gallons Yes 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 None Tan, Orange Indain Ocean Axinellidae Sponges The Breadcrumb Sponge is also commonly refereed to as the Elephant Ear Sponge. The Breadcrumb Sponge and other members of its genus are usually red, orange, or yellow. The Breadcrumb Sponge has a trunk-like base with many perforations, and it shape will vary based on aquarium factors. The Breadcrumb Sponge needs a moderate to strong water current to provide it with filter feeding opportunities, but be careful to place the sponge slightly out of the path so that it only receives an indirect current. The lighting should be low, and the water quality will need to be kept within pristine parameters. All sponges require excellent water quality and should only be kept in reef aquariums, where excellent water quality and stability are assured. All Acanthella sponges require very special care to survive in the home aquarium, with the most critical concern is that the Acanthella Sponge should never be exposed to the air. If it is, the air becomes trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body, and with air blocking the path for planktonic food to reach its cells, it will die. The Breadcrumb Sponge is a filter feeder and will require daily feedings of plankton substitutes and dissolved organic foods. Waterflow, placement and proper placement of dissolved organic foods is very important to the overall health of the Breadcrumb Sponge.
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