Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > Invert and Plant Forums > Other Invertebrates
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 12/09/2018, 12:08 PM   #1
philbo32
Registered Member
 
philbo32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 306
The sponge tank

Just some pics of my 4 year old tank and it is sponge dominated.

FTS


Left FTS


Middle FTS


Right FTS


Finger sponge (spot the filefish)


Brown boring sponge


Yellow boring sponge


Finger sponge


Plating Purple sponge from above


Plating Purple sponge growing all over Tunze wave maker



__________________
Occupation: Marine and freshwater biologist/Aquatic researcher
Interests: Aquatic microbial biology, reef keeping and snorkelling

Current Tank Info: 700L reef system, Deltec Skimmer, GHL CPU, GHL mitras, full weather simulator, 2x tunze wavemakers
philbo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/09/2018, 10:52 PM   #2
Michael Hoaster
Registered Member
 
Michael Hoaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,765
Great tank! That plating purple sponge is huge! It's structure and orientation suggest it is photosynthetic. Are you doing anything special for your sponges?


__________________
As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon
Michael Hoaster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12/10/2018, 05:57 AM   #3
pagojoe
Team RC Member
 
pagojoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Conroe, TX
Posts: 2,743
Nice!


pagojoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/13/2018, 03:23 PM   #4
philbo32
Registered Member
 
philbo32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hoaster View Post
Great tank! That plating purple sponge is huge! It's structure and orientation suggest it is photosynthetic. Are you doing anything special for your sponges?
Thank you.

My set up uses a remote deep rubble bed which is dosed a few mLs of distilled malt vinegar every couple of hours via a peristaltic pump, water from the main system slowly flows through it which provides bacteria to feed the filter feeders. I check on the colour and smell of the rubble to assess whether to increase or decrease the amount of carbon to dose.

I use a protein skimmer to aerate the water, the skimmate is allowed to overflow back via a tube in the bottom of the skimmer cup into the final compartment of my sump prior to where it is pumped into the display so that plankton goes straight to where the majority of the sponges are in my system. Skimmate is mainly made up of algae and bacteria which I think are more beneficial in the system than out.

I use two reactors one with GFO and the other houes Activated carbon which I do not replace very regularly as I use it for bacterial growth.

I have recently added drift wood from a local beach to the main tank, and an older more rotten piece to the sump which is now covered in amphipods and copepods feeding on the bacteria and fungi associated with the wood. I have also seen new worms and I am hoping for some shipworm to add to the diversity.

The water is also filtered by land plants; a mangrove and samphire (AKA sea asparagus). I have just ordered some sea arrowgrass (AKA sea coriander) seeds and I will be adding another planter to the left side of the tank. I can't grow any seaweed in the main tank because the tangs and filefish eat it all... So I am having to make do with growing plants out the top of the tank instead. The added benefit is that I can eat the samphire with my pan fried salmon for breakfast.

The plan is to try and get some more sponges which means searching coral frag rocks in my LFS looking for any signs of sponges buying the coral but mainly to cultivate the sponge. The coral frag is just an added bonus lol.
Plus I may invest in some more live rock for sponges but that is a bit hit and miss that I will get anything interesting.

I have not had a lot of luck buying sponges online. I prefer to buy them when they are small and shop bought so that I can get them into my system as soon as possible. This seems to be key to reducing transport stress. As soon as they are stressed, they just seem to bleach and disintegrate.

The tank is slowly changing into a salt marsh/lagoon tank.

The sump is crammed full of tube worms, vermentid snails, small trochus snails, loads of starfish, very few and small aiptasia anemones, small sponge colonies, and masses of pods. I did have a very large limpet population up until about a year ago; around the same time a few species of starfish got into the system and now I have thousands of starfish and no limpets...

The fish get pellets and flake food every morning.
They also get two seaweed sheets (mix of red, brown or green) plus four cubes of frozen food every 1-3 days.

The tank is always evolving, its good to keep seeing new species appearing and thriving.

In the main display there are three tangs, one indonesian firefish, one fireball angel, a pair of filefish, a pair of pyjama wrasse, a royal gramma, a pistol shrimp, and a couple of porcelain crabs, a large number of different species of snails and starfish (which all came from live rock). One night, a few months ago my wife and I counted over 300 starfish on the front glass.


__________________
Occupation: Marine and freshwater biologist/Aquatic researcher
Interests: Aquatic microbial biology, reef keeping and snorkelling

Current Tank Info: 700L reef system, Deltec Skimmer, GHL CPU, GHL mitras, full weather simulator, 2x tunze wavemakers

Last edited by philbo32; 12/13/2018 at 03:30 PM.
philbo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/13/2018, 03:26 PM   #5
philbo32
Registered Member
 
philbo32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by pagojoe View Post
Nice!
Thank you!


__________________
Occupation: Marine and freshwater biologist/Aquatic researcher
Interests: Aquatic microbial biology, reef keeping and snorkelling

Current Tank Info: 700L reef system, Deltec Skimmer, GHL CPU, GHL mitras, full weather simulator, 2x tunze wavemakers
philbo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/14/2018, 07:40 PM   #6
cksss
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 140
Wow this is mindblowing!

Seems like the bacteria are more important than anything else to ensure the success with the sponge. Do you change water to make up the lost of nutrients or dose anything else such as silica for the sponge?

I've started carbon dosing recently in hope that my current sponge will do better than my not so good past records But i cannot imagine overflowing the skimmate back into the tank

Amazing setup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by philbo32 View Post
Thank you.

My set up uses a remote deep rubble bed which is dosed a few mLs of distilled malt vinegar every couple of hours via a peristaltic pump, water from the main system slowly flows through it which provides bacteria to feed the filter feeders. I check on the colour and smell of the rubble to assess whether to increase or decrease the amount of carbon to dose.

I use a protein skimmer to aerate the water, the skimmate is allowed to overflow back via a tube in the bottom of the skimmer cup into the final compartment of my sump prior to where it is pumped into the display so that plankton goes straight to where the majority of the sponges are in my system. Skimmate is mainly made up of algae and bacteria which I think are more beneficial in the system than out.

I use two reactors one with GFO and the other houes Activated carbon which I do not replace very regularly as I use it for bacterial growth.

I have recently added drift wood from a local beach to the main tank, and an older more rotten piece to the sump which is now covered in amphipods and copepods feeding on the bacteria and fungi associated with the wood. I have also seen new worms and I am hoping for some shipworm to add to the diversity.

The water is also filtered by land plants; a mangrove and samphire (AKA sea asparagus). I have just ordered some sea arrowgrass (AKA sea coriander) seeds and I will be adding another planter to the left side of the tank. I can't grow any seaweed in the main tank because the tangs and filefish eat it all... So I am having to make do with growing plants out the top of the tank instead. The added benefit is that I can eat the samphire with my pan fried salmon for breakfast.

The plan is to try and get some more sponges which means searching coral frag rocks in my LFS looking for any signs of sponges buying the coral but mainly to cultivate the sponge. The coral frag is just an added bonus lol.
Plus I may invest in some more live rock for sponges but that is a bit hit and miss that I will get anything interesting.

I have not had a lot of luck buying sponges online. I prefer to buy them when they are small and shop bought so that I can get them into my system as soon as possible. This seems to be key to reducing transport stress. As soon as they are stressed, they just seem to bleach and disintegrate.

The tank is slowly changing into a salt marsh/lagoon tank.

The sump is crammed full of tube worms, vermentid snails, small trochus snails, loads of starfish, very few and small aiptasia anemones, small sponge colonies, and masses of pods. I did have a very large limpet population up until about a year ago; around the same time a few species of starfish got into the system and now I have thousands of starfish and no limpets...

The fish get pellets and flake food every morning.
They also get two seaweed sheets (mix of red, brown or green) plus four cubes of frozen food every 1-3 days.

The tank is always evolving, its good to keep seeing new species appearing and thriving.

In the main display there are three tangs, one indonesian firefish, one fireball angel, a pair of filefish, a pair of pyjama wrasse, a royal gramma, a pistol shrimp, and a couple of porcelain crabs, a large number of different species of snails and starfish (which all came from live rock). One night, a few months ago my wife and I counted over 300 starfish on the front glass.



cksss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/15/2018, 11:14 AM   #7
philbo32
Registered Member
 
philbo32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by cksss View Post
Wow this is mindblowing!

Seems like the bacteria are more important than anything else to ensure the success with the sponge. Do you change water to make up the lost of nutrients or dose anything else such as silica for the sponge?

I've started carbon dosing recently in hope that my current sponge will do better than my not so good past records But i cannot imagine overflowing the skimmate back into the tank

Amazing setup!
Thank you!

I occasionally do water changes but not that often. I am pretty sure that the sponges that I currently have are calcareous spicule types not silica, as I do not currently dose silica. I have done in the past to try to increase diatom numbers. I occasionally dose iodine and iron for my plants and corals.
With future sponges I will definitely try dosing silica again.


__________________
Occupation: Marine and freshwater biologist/Aquatic researcher
Interests: Aquatic microbial biology, reef keeping and snorkelling

Current Tank Info: 700L reef system, Deltec Skimmer, GHL CPU, GHL mitras, full weather simulator, 2x tunze wavemakers
philbo32 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02/08/2019, 12:12 AM   #8
velvetelvis
Registered Member
 
velvetelvis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 1,746
Love it! My current tank is dominated by softies (gorgonians, pink nephthea, sympodium, and lots of blue ridge) and photosynthetic sponges. It's nice to see a thriving tank set up much the same way.

Have you experienced any problems with allelopathy? I've read varying opinions on the safety of sponges in reef tanks. I'm running carbon just in case.


__________________
The sea is as near as we come to another world.
--Anne Stevenson

Current Tank Info: 50G US native blackwater swamp biotope. 50G Indonesian reef biotope.
velvetelvis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 AM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2019 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.