Gorgonian and Sponge Care Questions

covers

New member
What is a good frequency for feeding Gorgonians and Sponges?
I was considering once a week?

Does anyone supplement their tank with silica to increase sponge growth?
I have well water with lower but not zero nitrates. How important is it to use RO/DI water to reduce algae?

The sponge that I thought would struggle is a red tree and it is doing great. More worried about how to reduce local algae growth on a yellow ball sponge. All came from Tampa Bay saltwater a month ago.

Running a well established (10 year old) 55 gallon tank with a 15 gallon tank sump with decent amount of live rock.
Running two mangrove plants (years old) in my sump and a top fathom 100 skimmer that I may upgrade. Just added a coil denitrator.
I have a light fish/critter load of one pygmy angel, small yellow goby, damsel, star fish, pistol shrimp, urchin and sea cucumber.

Nitrates have hovered at 20 ppm for a year but are starting to drop with Vodka treatment.
I am trying to reduce diatom and some light hair algae and did not know if the skimmer or a RO/DI was a better short term investment to improve water quality?
 

mrabolli

New member
I havent had much success with large sponges myself. Glad to hear yours do well. Which Gregorians? Photosynthetic or non?

RO/DI is very important. you could buy supermarket bottles that show R/O filtration on the label but it would be a pain to clean out the shelves once a week.

Thought about biopellets instead of the vodka?
 

covers

New member
I tried a large orange sponge years ago and it mostly died off due to tank not being maintained when on vacation. Small live pieces are actually still in the sump. New sponges look healthy especially the red tree sponge.

Tough finding a photo that match the blade Gorgonian I have. Brown with tan props looks a little like the purple version but not as pretty.

I think the Gorgonian is photosynthetic since props are fully out when lights are on. Worried it was not doing well for a while until I realized they shed a layer off when they grow like a snake leaving a thin white leafy layer floating in the water.

I am buying water now at local Walmart from their commercial RO/DI unit for top off and water changes.

Looks like nitrates have dropped from 25 ppm to 2 ppm with Vodka and weekly 15% water changes. Actually picked up some hair algae when nitrates dropped which is odd.

I think I will take your advise on the looking at a bio-pellet reactor once I move to maintenance level.

Any advice on what type of reactor to use?
 

mrabolli

New member
I tried a large orange sponge years ago and it mostly died off due to tank not being maintained when on vacation. Small live pieces are actually still in the sump. New sponges look healthy especially the red tree sponge.

I have a red tree in my nano right now and Im hoping for the best. Nanos are tough b/c theres little room to manuver so I used a ton of super glue trying to attach it. Most of the glue didnt go where intended b/c I ran out of gel and used regular. Some of the glue went right up onto the body of the sponge and stayed. I got some off but left some. I hope it goes well for him. So far hes healthy but its too early to tell. Ive not had luck in the past for very long.

Tough finding a photo that match the blade Gorgonian I have. Brown with tan props looks a little like the purple version but not as pretty.

yeah I have one that is similar. Mines yellowish. Yours should be photosynthetic by the sound of it.

I think the Gorgonian is photosynthetic since props are fully out when lights are on. Worried it was not doing well for a while until I realized they shed a layer off when they grow like a snake leaving a thin white leafy layer floating in the water.

they do shed alot!

I am buying water now at local Walmart from their commercial RO/DI unit for top off and water changes.

awesome. How does that work? you bring your own bottles and they fill them? takes forever to get help with that?


Looks like nitrates have dropped from 25 ppm to 2 ppm with Vodka and weekly 15% water changes. Actually picked up some hair algae when nitrates dropped which is odd.

not really odd. PO4 and NO3 are in a relationship one to another so you stripped the NO3 but not the PO4. a bunch of PO4 then fueled algea. At least thats my basic understanding of the two.

I think I will take your advise on the looking at a bio-pellet reactor once I move to maintenance level.

Any advice on what type of reactor to use?

I really cant make recommendations one over the others. I have BRS (bulk reef supply) GFO and Bio pellet reactors. If you do go with BRS get the individual reactors and not the dual reactor. I think it was $44 or close to it but the pellets were a bit $$. They last a long time though. I was able to get a good fluidized movement with a powerhead but you should mount the water level in the reactor at the same water level as the tank/sump to help the powerhead out. The verdict is still out on mine as it takes a few weeks to create a good bacterial culture on the media. Tank goes cloudy for a few days after install. Keeps the bacteria mats inside the reactor. The strainer at the top and bottom is very fine and people are complaining that they do and will clog from the bacteria. If clogged for a "long time" you can get anaerobic bacteria built up. Ive seen mods that are simple which opens up these screens but Im not sure what happens when the media becomes smaller and smaller. Its an upflow reactor unless you reverse plum it. Saves you from having to dose all the time and keeps the bacterial blooms in the reactor instead of the rocks.
 

DHyslop

New member
Many have noticed rapid growth of small hitchhiker sponges in tanks after starting vinegar dosing. There's some conjecture that sponges might consume the acetate directly from the water in addition to the theoretical bacterial plankton. As far as I know, though, the jury is still out as to how it affects larger show sponges. Randy has a thread deep in the Chemistry forum about keeping a big sponge in his sump long term without supplemental feeding, just big vinegar doses. I don't think he's updated it in a long time, though.
 

covers

New member
Trying to glue sponges down keeping them underwater was hard. I found out that for the tree sponge I trapped it in a small piece of the white egg crate lighting panels and buried the panel in the sand. Still working on the round sponge and the gorogonian that I have trapped between two rocks.
 
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