Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Live Sponges in the Home Aquarium

Natural Habitat

Indo-Pacific, Atlantic

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity


Tank Requirements

Provide moderate to high water flow.


Filter-feeder; phytoplankton and zooplankton; requires additional feedings to thrive. DO NOT EXPOSE A SPONGE TO AIR AT ANY TIME. Exposure to air or excessive algae growth can block pores and lead to starvation.


Community, Reef, and Invert Safe. Do not keep with angels, tangs, parrotfish, "spongivores" (organisms that eat sponges), or grazing reef fish.

Species Overview

Sponges are simple organisms with complex identities. They are comprised of calcium carbonate or silica spicules that can vary between species or between individuals. Most sponges are very difficult to identify by scientific name since the size, shape and color of sponges is highly variable. Most sponges in the aquarium trade are only identified by common name as a result since the spicules usually need to be examined under a microscope by a specialist to determine their accurate identify.

Sponges are filter feeders. They feed by drawing water through their pores and retaining any microscopic food particles and passing the water through their bodies. Sponges are almost constantly feeding and filtering water and as such need a near constant supply of food to survive in an aquarium. Lighting is unimportant for most sponges but high light can cause algae to grow on the colony and can prevent the sponge from feeding. Water flow should be moderate to high to bring food to the colony and carry waste away.

Sponges should never be exposed to air while handling, transporting or acclimating. Even brief contact can cause air to get trapped in the sponge's pores which can lead to starvation or decomposition of the colony. The sponge should be place in a high flow area of the aquarium but not where air bubbles may be forced into it.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

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Invertebrate Food
Wave Maker
Reef Epoxy
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