freshwater sponge (Spongilla?)

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maaltan

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Sep 11, 2004
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has anybody attempted to grow freshwater sponge in thier aquarium. the Spongilla (genus?) is the only thing ive found so far. sponges sound quite benificial to the tank. I wonder if you could actually replace mechanical filtration with a living sponge in smaller tanks. hmm. the only pics i've found make it look kinda ugly though.

I am going to try to find some more info on this.
 

Veneer

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Dec 20, 2004
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windeindoiel said:
Could you post some links? Freshwater sponges sound cool.
Sponge reefs of Lake Baikal

Malawispongia echinoides, of Lake Malawi

Spongilla lacustris

Various Spongilla spp.

Spongilla sp.

UPDATE ON SPONGES

On another note, there have been some articles in the aquarium mags
recently on marine sponges. Seems the critical issue with sponges is to
never take them out of the water, as to do so causes them to "lose their
prime" (remember they pump water to obtain food - thus the plumbing
terminology) and become air-bound, which kills them, after they release
a bunch of toxins in the process of dying. Essentially, sponges cannot
be exposed to air or placed in a container that is partially full as the
sloshing will do significant damage.

I would hazard a guess that collecting a freshwater sponge and keeping
it under the water, placing it into one of the Kordon breathable bags
with no airspace would allow transport of the sponge without excessive
distress or mortality. I plan to try this approach this spring/summer
and report back. Time for some more cutting edge reseach !!!
From http://fins.actwin.com/nanf/month.9901/msg00328.html.
 

maaltan

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Sep 11, 2004
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hmm .. after researching them some more. I still havn't found much info about them except for a reoccurring theme. Sponges are natures chemical warfare factories. A lot of species emit toxins to not only prevent things from eating them but also to etch the rock so they can stick to them. as well as the rock around them for future expansion. There is one marine variety i saw ..cant remember the name fire sponge maybe... that actually disolve organic matter in the water. blistering skin if you try to clean the tank not to mention what it does to the fish.

I doubt freshwater varieties are that toxic but im not taking any chances until I can find more information.

Also just about all the freshwater sponges i found pictures of are creeping species that just cover and smother everything plants substrate etc. not very attractive. Also it sounds harder to eradicate once you get it started than snails or hair algae.

In fact. Go down to your local clear lake and pull out a rotting piece of wood. if it has a coating of brown slimy stuff thats hard to remove. its probably freshwater sponge.

Other things ive found out. they are colony organisms. each cell has the capability to reconifigure itself to perform any task. sort of like the human stem cell. You can take a sponge and liquify it in a blender. wait a couple of weeks and it will reform itself. Another thing. the cells seem to know who they belong to. take 2 sponges of different species and liquify them and they will reform into the 2 sponges.
 

succaneers

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Oct 11, 2007
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so I am assuming no one has them in their tanks at home?
 

keiferd

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Nov 4, 2003
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Bump, I would like more info on keeping these sponges in an aquarium as well.
 

toddnbecka

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Dec 17, 2004
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Cumberland, MD 21502
I read a long post on another forum some time back concerning fw sponges, which detailed the necessary elements to grow them in an aquarium. Altogether, it simply isn't practical; even though they're simple organisms their requirements are quite complex.
I was going to post a link to the info, but the forum it was on has been discontinued.
 

Crucio

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Jul 14, 2020
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has anybody attempted to grow freshwater sponge in thier aquarium. the Spongilla (genus?) is the only thing ive found so far. sponges sound quite benificial to the tank. I wonder if you could actually replace mechanical filtration with a living sponge in smaller tanks. hmm. the only pics i've found make it look kinda ugly though.

I am going to try to find some more info on this.
I actually came across some spongilla lacustris today on an outing to harvest some native aquatic plants for my tank. I harvested two small pieces of it for my tank. I found it in a local mountain stream in a slow moving area of water attached to a rock. One thing I've noticed is that my crayfish loves to eat off of it. Other than that I haven't noticed the balance of my tank being thrown off.
 
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