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Yellow sponges in marine aquariums: how to identify those that grow spontaneously, nutrition and management of the marine aquarium.
In the article dedicated to sponges in marine aquariums, I told you aboutblue sponges, red sponges, oforange sponges, purple sponges ... In reality, the sponges that we can host in our marine aquarium are very numerous, some even spontaneous which, after purchasing a live rock containing some fragments (even battered!) could proliferate in our aquarium in a completely autonomous way. It is the case ofwhite sponges and yellow sponges… Not only that, I bought a hard coral lps and on its base it carried a sponge never seen before: blue, green and light blue! I know that sponges change color also based on color, it grows very well in my aquarium even if I have not yet been able to identify exactly the species, it is certainly a collospongia. Collospongias, in an aquarium with not too intense lighting, tend to proliferate quickly and colonize a large part of the environment. Different speech is for the yellow spongeswhich can grow spontaneously on our rocky substrate which tend to be minimally invasive and also very useful for the aquarium.
Yellow sponges in the marine aquarium
The one thatappears spontaneousin the salt water tank it is the speciesHalichondria panicea or bread crumb sponge (it tends to crumble if you try to handle it), it belongs to the class of Demospongiae and in nature it manages to colonize different habitats so much that in some areas we can also find it in the Mediterranean. It generally colonizes shallow areas, so it can tolerate light fairly well.
Its surface is characterized by numerous conical protuberances, on each cone you will notice a small hole. Inside the pores, these sponges have small flagella which with rotating movements try to convey water and nutrients inside the pores of the sponge, so as to retain useful metabolites. The water enters from the lateral pores and exits from the largest hole on the cone.
Due to the high temperatures found in the reef aquarium, the speciesHalichondria paniceatends to be yellow. In nature, in reality, its color changes with the seasons, sometimes even the shapes can change according to the colonized habitat and this makes it difficult to identify.
The morphology of theyellow spongeit depends on the colonized habitat, generally in the aquarium it is yellow (not green as it is found in winter in nature, or cream color as it is found in the deeper areas!), it has characteristic "tubular craters" (the cones I was talking about before) and the thickness may vary.
Theyellow spongesexposed near movement pumps or where there is a good current of water, they tend to be thinner and the cones more showy. Thereyellow bread spongeplaced in areas with more moderate currents, it has a greater thickness.
It is a yellow sponge that never reaches a thickness greater than 4 - 5 cm.
Yellow sponge, how the color varies: theHalichondria panicealiving deeper is gray (gray sponge) or cream colored. When it is close to the surface it tends to be green due to symbiotic algae which, however, do not thrive in the reef marine aquarium where they tend to be bright yellow.
Yellow sponge, feeding
Is the yellow sponge invasive? The yellow sponge is not invasive and does not cover the corals, on the contrary, it helps you to keep the aquarium clean. However, it is also true that in a small aquarium you have limited space available and therefore you may wish to occupy the surfaces with other corals or reef organisms.
Like other sponges, they feed on everything they find suspended in the water.
This spontaneous yellow sponge is also known as breaded sponge, it should not be confused with the yellow calcareous sponge which, in the reef aquarium, is very rare and generally a different species is found. The calcareous sponge that we spontaneously find in our aquariums is the white sponge (also from Clathrina).
Let's see a bit of taxonomy:
- Phylum: Porifera or Sponges
- Class: Demospongie
- Subclass: Heteroscleromorpha
- Order: Subertide
- Family: Halichordriidae
- Genus Halichorndria
- Species: Halichondria panicea
The calcareous yellow sponge is the Clathrina canariensis species.
- Phylum: Porifera or Sponges
- Class: Calcarea
- Subclass: Calcinea
- Order: Chondrillida
- Family: Clathrinidae
- Genus: Clathrina canariensis
Given the morphological differences that sponges can assume based on their habitat, identification can be difficult, for some, in fact, Clathrina canariensis is better defined as Artruria canariensis. In addition, there are also taxonomic discrepancies and every year there are those who report new species of calcareous sponges.