FAQs on Sponge Identification
Related Articles: Sponges in Marine
Related FAQs: Sponge ID
1, Sponge ID 2, Sponge ID 3, Sponge ID 4, Sponge
ID 5, Sponge ID 6, Sponge ID 7, Sponge ID
8, Sponge ID 9, Sponge ID 10, Sponge ID 10, Sponge ID 11, Sponge ID 12, Sponge ID 13, Sponge ID 14, Sponge ID 15, Sponge ID 16, Sponge ID 18,
Sponge ID 19, Sponge
ID 20, Sponge ID 21, & Sponges 1, Sponges
2, Sponges 3, Sponge Selection, Sponge Compatibility, Sponge Systems, Sponge Feeding, Sponge Disease, Sponge Reproduction,
White Growth 6/14/13
<... 3 megs in pix... what is our limit?>
I am trying to identify this white growth in my nano reef. Any clues?
<Almost assuredly a Poriferan. See WWM re their ID. Bob Fenner>
Stuff Growing On Rock 12/4/12
New to the marine hobby, I have no clue what this is growing out of my
rock. It's a white cotton like button with a hole in the middle.
It's popping out in several places. As you can see here, off the
rock between a polyp.
The rock is Manado. I set up the tank with it and cured it for two
Could it be sponge? Bad? Or cool?
<Likely is a sponge, and not a worry. BobF>
ID me please 9/19/12
Once again, I seek your expert opinion. These little critters are
growing all over my live rocks. They are small, less than dime size, are
not smooth and have appeared over the last few months. Some are sticking
between two different rocks. Any ideas what they are and if they are
safe for my reef?
<Syconoid sponges... not problematical. Bob Fenner>
White translucent tube like growths 7/4/2012
<Hi RA, Mich here.>
Great job you do for the community, thanks.
<On behalf of Bob and the volunteers here, you're welcome!>
I have multiple translucent tube like growths appearing all over my
<Mostly in dark places I presume...>
They are sticky and soft. Water quality is good, 30% water change twice
a week with the addition of supplements and LED lights (that may
actually be too strong!) They come off with a good brushing. What do you
think they are.
<Looks like sponge growth to me. If it were my aquarium I would
let them grow as opposed to brushing them off. They are beneficial
Re: White translucent tube like growths 7/10/12
Thanks for the reply. They do grow very rapidly and tend to overgrow the
live rock they are on. I have to believe this reduces the filtration
benefits of the live rock? Which is better to have?
<Is more beneficial IMO, and great as a bioindicator>
Thanks again for the effort/service you provide to the hobbyist.
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>
Two ID's requested, please 6/28/12
Hi wonderful experts!
I am always running into unexpected critters in my tanks.
<Wonderful freebies, well most of the time...>
Usually "Reef Invertebrates" helps me to identify them, but these two have
<I'll see what I can do.>
The first is a worm-like thing living in the midst of a small colony of
star polyps. I apologize for the poor picture, but I tried like crazy,
and this is the best I can do. I'll try to describe it. You
can tell the size from context. It is curled in a small spiral, an
obviously soft worm encased in a hard tube (except for its head).
The color, not done justice in this photo, is a brilliant orange, almost
Day-Glo. It has two prominent, long, thin antennae. It also
has a short tube-like orifice that convulses rhythmically. I am
almost certain that it is pumping water in (or out) through the visible
orifice on its head, and pumping it out (or in) via some other orifice
whose location I cannot see. Enough of the head extends from the
end of the tube to allow it to continually 'look around' itself, almost
as if it's searching for something, although I cannot see anything that
looks like eyes.
<Likely a worm from Family Serpulidae. Not a cause for concern, unless
you are a copepod or bacteria.>
I found the other when I removed a pump for cleaning. I laid them
on a 3x5 card so that you can see their size via the ruled lines on the
card. I have not seen them anywhere else in the tank, but there
were many of them on and near the pump. They are very soft-bodied,
with no features such as antennae, eyes or mouth that I could see.
<These are Syconoid sponges, commonly called Pineapple or Q-tip sponges.
They are harmless filter feeders that live in low light/high flow areas.
Check the inside of your skimmer and under rocks- you will find more.>
Any thoughts on IDing these things would be appreciated. Thanks!
Tunicates? Sponges? Invasion
These started showing up weeks ago in the 20g sump (return section only)
of a 65g DT that is currently fish and inverts.
More recently, as per the 2 DT photos, they have begun implanting
themselves in the rock first having attached to the glass (in a similar
fashion as shown in the sump photos).
I thought they might have been sponges, but they do not grow any larger
in size - roughly from 2mm up to about 5-7mm in size.
I'm concerned because they are spreading and I have no clue how to stop
Can you please help ID them?
<Syconoid sponges. Harmless filter feeders usually found in low light
and high flow areas. Numbers are controlled by available food and there
population will rise and fall accordingly. They will not grow larger
than what you see now.>
Re: Tunicates? Sponges? Invasion 6/1/12
Thanks, Jordan. Very helpful, but don't these guys compete for food
with more beneficial life, e.g., copepods, amphipods, including coral
(should I add any)?
<The amount of nutrients these consume is truly insignificant. They are
harmless in every sense of the word.>
ID Help Please: Poriferan – 5/22/12
<Hey there, Lynn here this morning.>
Any chance of helping me ID this please?? Is it a sponge or hard coral
<It’s a sponge/Poriferan. Please see the following link for more
<You’re welcome! Take care, Lynn Z>
Re: ID Help Please: Poriferan – 5/22/12
Thanks ever so much! :-)
<You’re very welcome!>
Would you know, from the picture, which family/genus it belongs to?
<Not with any certainty, no. Offhand it resembles a species of
Clathrina (family Clathrinidae) but there are an awful lot of sponges out
there and they can vary to surprising degree. The best means of
identification is actually through examination of the skeletal
parts/spicules under a microscope. Please see the following link for
an example of a Clathrina species:
<You’re most welcome! Take care, Lynn Z>
sponge on zoa colony? 1/27/12
Hi, I found this white sponge looking specimen on my zoa colony.
I was wondering if anybody could ID it and if it was harmful to
my Zoas and anything in the tank?
<Mmm, have seen and photographed this variety/species a few
times, but can't find on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongesii.htm
and the linked files above. Doesn't appear to be
mal-affecting your Zoanthids of other near-life. I would leave
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Worms? Possible Poriferan -- 9/20/11
<Hey Jeremiah! Lynn here again.>
My last email today, promise. =)
<No worries, it's been fun.>
Saw this on my glass and am unable to find an ID online. Please
<I don't think it's a worm. It may instead be a
harmless Poriferan/sponge of some sort (Bob, what do you
<<Looks likely to be an algal growth of some sort.
At any rate, you can scrape it off the glass and remove if
desired. Please see the FAQ titled 'Worm ID... maybe a
Poriferan 10/29/07' at the following link for comparison:
<It was a pleasure!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>
Identification: Poriferans - 9/20/11
<Hi Kelly, Lynn here today.>
Can you please assist in the identification of the attached
<I'll sure try.>
I am unsure if these are Tunicates?
<They appear to be another form of harmless, filter-feeding
organism known as a Poriferan/sponge. Tunicates
tend to appear more gelatinous and less fibrous.>
They are on the live rock in my seahorse tank and are multiplying
in number (which I hope is a sign of a healthy tank).
<Yep, no worries. These sponges tend to reside in out of the
way/more protected areas of the tank (e.g., tucked underneath
overhangs, rock crevices, behind rockwork at the back, etc.).
Please see the following link for more information/photos:
<Take care, Lynn Z>
Saltwater Aquarium Mystery Critter
This appeared a couple weeks ago in my 14 gallon Biocube on the
It first looked like some slime and over the past 2 weeks or so
it seems to have gotten thicker and looks like tiny eggs have
developed inside. Do you have any suggestions as to what this
<Zee spongee! Mmm, actually a sponge... not to worry. Bob
Frag sponges 6/4/11
Could one of you brilliant individuals please tell me what the
white things are on my frag in the attached photo? I have been
Googling but haven't come up with much besides potentially
sponges. They almost look like the ends of a Q Tip.
<These are indeed (Syconoid) Sponges... you can cut them away
if you'd like, but they're not harmful, toxic. Many
instances of these recorded on WWM under "Sponge ID
FAQs". Bob Fenner>
Re-sized images to identify 5/29/11
<Will send to him>
Thanks for your help! I found a site to re-size the pictures!
They are attached.
<These are all remnants/types of sponge... Poriferans. Bob
|re: Re-sized images to identify
Thank you for identifying! That was very helpful!
<Certainly welcome. Their growth is a good indication of
healthful conditions in your system... Much more re on WWM.
Re Upgraded Tank, starting to get an interest in
Corals, am scared of making the wrong decisions! Also a quick
question on water storage./Now ID 4/15/2011- 4/24/2011-
Hi James (all)
If its no trouble, I have another query or two for you.
1: I have started to notice some err oh what's the right
word? cavities, bubbles, gaps? in my Deep Sand
Bed, are these the "beneficial bacteria" and
filter feeders I've been hearing about appear in DSB's or
are they something more sinister (img1.jpg). They seem to
contract at night time.
I give the gravel a surface vacuum every week, and a more
intensive vacuum one a fortnight. Are these a result of me not
doing it enough ?
<Appears to be trails from critters sifting through the sand
and number 2 is : These err things (cant even begin to think
where to start looking for an ident!) came on 2 pieces of live
rock I acquired recently, they are a kinda greenish/grey color ..
and look like rubber.
Any ideas what they are ?
And do I need to remove them? Or are they harmless? (img2.jpg and
<Picture not resolved enough to see much detail but I'm
guessing a sponge of some type and no need to
remove. What say you, Bob?><<I am not a sponge, but
Thank you so much for your help on easing me into this hobby so
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgraded Tank, Now Sponge ID & Algae ID
4/15/2011- 4/24/2011- 5/6/2011
Thank you James!
I've included another picture of the (blob?) hopefully
sharper if it helps with identification.(pic1.jpg)
<Is a sponge.>
Also I've noticed recently some (what I think) is macro
algae growth happening on the backside of the rocks in my
I actually quite like it! but am worried if it has the
capacity to overtake everything, you thoughts? Is it
beneficial (reducing micro algae perhaps?)
or is it going to become a nightmare ?
any idea on the type?
<I believe what you have is Neomeris annulata and not
unusual to find on new live rock. Not harmful and likely
won't be around long. See here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm>
doesn't seem to be growing too fast so far.
Once again many thanks for the help thus far.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>