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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have what I believe to be an Orange Lettuce sponge. I will try and get a good pic if it sometime today. A few days ago I noticed a small area of the sponge was lighter than the rest. Upon closer inspection, it looks as if something was eating it and it is recessed. Light is able to shine through this area. Over the last few days it has grown and there two other spots within a 1/4 inch of where the first one started. I work nights so I have not been able to sit and watch the tank. Last night I didnt have to go in until 2300 and was able to peak in once in a while with a head lamp that has a red lens cover. I was not able to observe anything on the area except what looked to be some type of pods crawling around that area of the sponge. Could these critters be eating the sponge? I looked online last night and was not able to find anything about natural sponge predators other that some nudibranchs, fish and turtles. So, Obviously it isn't either of the last two and I have not seen anything that resembles a nudi in my tank as of yet.
This is a new sponge that I have had for about a week and a half. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

alright, got a decent pick. You can clearly seen the holes, one of which is all the way through.
 

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sponge

When you purchased your sponge, did the lfs or person tell you that it cant be out of the water and exposed to oxygen-air....
I have a red sponge that was a friend of mine and it started to turn white in very small areas. I fragged it underwater inside the tank...There are a few tiny pieces that i see in the sandbed living.The 2 pieces of sponge are still alive..I have not fed them anything special..I know it s#### to get a new animal in our system and see it start to recede...
One more thing..flow..I would watch your yellow tang..They love to graze and pick at rocks All Day..Goodluck. Wish i could give you more help..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They did and it never came in contact with air. This is definitely being eaten. These are now nearly holes straight through the center of one branch so to speak and smaller than the tangs mouth, well except the initial one has grow quite a bit. Unless the tang is eating it at night, its not the yellow tang. As for feeding, tank gets fed daily and spot fed once a week. Sponge placement is just about center about 5 inches off the sand bed. My MH bulbs are set up on the ends of the tank facing in. Also wanted to add. There is no discoloration in these areas or the rest of the sponge. btw, thanks oceans111. Hope I figure this one out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I have tonight off. So it is tank watching mode all night:2911:. I am not sure if I can get a good pic of the pods crawling on the sponge. I do not think these critters would be eating but, I truly have no clue.
 

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Sponge

Sounds like a fun night of surveillance, hope you nab the sponge eatin critter...hopefully your all set with some donuts, some caffeine and and some binoculars, then you can catch them.. put them in a line up and see if the sponge can pick out the guilty one....good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sounds like a fun night of surveillance, hope you nab the sponge eatin critter...hopefully your all set with some donuts, some caffeine and and some binoculars, then you can catch them.. put them in a line up and see if the sponge can pick out the guilty one....good luck!
Thanks! though, no donuts, no coffee. But, I do have binoculars, a head lamp with red lens cover from my military days. The sponge better be ready for the line up and ID and hopefully a cold one if all goes well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Further investigation under way....but, at this point. It looks as though my Red Leg Hermits are the culprit. There are 3 of them on the sponge, of of which is in the exact area of the holes but, on the top side. This is disturbing, they are supposed to be my cuc!:angry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After watching the tank all of last night. The only critters on the sponge were some pods and a couple Red Leg Hermits. I would check it with the red light ever 10-30 minutes. I will keep an eye on it and those hermits, If I seem them on it tonight. I will deport them to my sump. and then see if any others take there place. Could be just a couple rogue hermits, I hope.
 

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Unfortunately I agree, it's dying. Be sure you get it out before it releases toxins. Sometimes you can tell when touch it. If its all limp and soft feeling it's done. BTW prepare yourself if it's dead or dying the smell will stay with you for days!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unfortunately I agree, it's dying. Be sure you get it out before it releases toxins. Sometimes you can tell when touch it. If its all limp and soft feeling it's done. BTW prepare yourself if it's dead or dying the smell will stay with you for days!!!
This is good to know. As of right now. It is still pretty firm. Though, it has darkened up quite a bit since I originally got it. You say that is will release toxins. How potent is this toxin to the mixed reef inhabitants? I am going to look this up now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Depends on the sponge. I don't know a lot about them. Worth looking into though.
I dont know that much about them myself. There doesn't seem to be an abundance of information on sponges. As for this one, I cut the section off that had the wholes in it. Still keeping a close eye on it.
 

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each cell of a sponge is an individual animal somewhat dependent on the rest of the colony for food. If you have any angels in the tank they would be eating it most likely. If not, then it might have possibly just got a little air bubble in part of it, if one cell dies the ones next to it are unfortunetly very likely to also die or at least be highly stressed from the bad water coming off the dead part. As filter feeders they do require some food and some water movement, can't really so how much is minimum or even preferable though... good luck with it.
 
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