Growth id?

mk3guy

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 1, 2024
Messages
20
Reaction score
28
Location
Broward County
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
New to coral, noticed this a couple days ago. At first I just assumed it was the zoa spreading, but now I am not sure. Should I be concerned? It’s not really noticeable when they are open. The last pic is when I noticed it, the other two are this morning.
IMG_0123.jpeg
IMG_0122.jpeg
IMG_0116.jpeg
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
6,900
Reaction score
8,274
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
That's an invasive sponge - since you mentioned your zoas are still opening, and since it doesn't seem to be growing over the polyps, it's most likely harmless:
Yeah, that's definitely a sponge. Most sponges are completely harmless/beneficial, but some can be invasive and/or harmful to corals (thankfully, these are rare).

To tell if a sponge is chemically harmful: if a healthy, established coral starts closing up or looking to be in bad shape on the side closest to the sponge as the sponge grows closer to it, and nothing else has happened (lighting changes, parameter swings, pests, etc.) that could explain it, then the sponge is probably chemically harmful.

Chemically harmful sponges are very rare.

For invasive sponges: unless it shows signs of being chemically harmful or starts actively growing over and smothering a coral's flesh/polyps, it's harmless. These can grow over the skeletons of corals, around the base/stalks of corals, even up into the water column above corals (where they're over the coral but not growing on the flesh or polyps themselves), etc. without harming the coral at all - as long as the coral flesh and polyps can get food, light, and flow, the sponge is harmless.

Invasive sponges are moderately rare.

Invasive and chemically harmful sponges are incredibly rare.
For removal:
I've heard of some good removal success rates with the injection method (described below), but that may be risky with the sponge being on the zoas.
The best way I've heard to control sponge growth at this point is to use a steel straw to scrape and siphon out the sponge you want to remove. Sometimes you can create bad conditions for them and kill them off that way, but that's typically much harder and not always effective.

Some other sponge removal methods:
Other suggestions include exposing the sponge to air (obviously not a guaranteed solution, and definitely not viable for this situation); hydrogen peroxide dipping the sponge (again, not viable here); injecting the sponge with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, boiling water, or air; microbubbles in the display; and a few more. Predation is not usually a good solution for this issue
Basically, if the sponges have enough food and enough trace elements (which for most sponges includes silicates) to meet their needs, then you’ll see their populations booming.

If you can figure out what’s allowing them to thrive in your tank, then you can deal with that root cause and get rid of them.
Some people may suggest scrubbing with a soft toothbrush to try and avoid irritating the zoas.
Also, with regards to zoas and palys in case this is an issue for your tank:
Yeah, if you do scrub it off in a bowl of tank water, since it's growing on palys, you may want to run carbon in the bowl to absorb any toxins.
Any scrubbing with zoas/palys should be done in a very well ventilated area, and you should be aware of the symptoms of palytoxin poisoning just to be safe:
To add, some sponges have incredible regenerative capabilities, so multiple removals may be necessary, and doing what you can to minimize the odds of remaining sponge cells ending up back in your tank is recommended:
I would try the scraping with a steel straw/brushing with a toothbrush and siphoning out for that one in particular - if you can do this is a bowl of saltwater out of the tank (I don't recommend adding the water to the tank after) and rinse with clean saltwater (not from the bowl) afterwards, that would be even better.
I should clarify here - the scraping and siphoning method I refer to literally siphons through the straw as you scrape to try and prevent spreading (this is also why I recommend doing this in a bowl outside of the tank).
 

crazyfishmom

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 29, 2023
Messages
1,733
Reaction score
2,593
Location
North Andover
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
I am experiencing the same issue. Someone on my thread mentioned that high silicates may be to blame; I looked into my RODI and it’s at 2TDS which is not a big deal in my experience but I’m watching this. Just fi hi res is mention it to you as well!
 

Caption This Contest OFFICIAL VOTING POLL! (make a post in this thread and you could win a prize too)

  • "What do you mean?! I am smiling!

  • "Did she really just rejoin the ReefAholics Anonymous group...AGAIN?!"

  • "Take a look at the new Sexy Shrimp!"

  • "I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clownfish? I amuse you?"

  • "Looks like your living room is going through the ugly stage"

  • "Aghhh! Go put on your makeup before feeding me, please!"

  • "You try eating sand and not get constipated!"

  • "Everyone, hide! The landlord is coming!"

  • "He touched the butt!"

  • "They forgot to shut off the RO line and left for work...AGAIN"

  • "Get off my sand!"

  • "What do you mean I can't say that on a family friendly forum?"

  • "My face looking over my bank statement after a reef show..."

  • "Kids, you're grounded! Get back in my mouth!"

  • "When you see a human with a bucket and know somethings is about to go down."


Results are only viewable after voting.
Back
Top