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Orange Finger Sponge

Axinella sp.

How to Care for Orange Finger Sponge

written by Dave Burr

Orange Finger Sponges will add a dramatic splash of color to a reef aquarium. Seahorses love to wrap their tails around the branches of these sponges.

Placement: Take the time to mount the Orange Finger Sponge, using glue or putty, towards the bottom of the aquarium where it will receive moderate to high water flow, but only low levels of light (PAR 50 - 250).

Feeding: The Orange Finger Sponge should be target fed foods for filter feeders including marine snow, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. If not properly fed, the body of the Orange Finger Sponge will slowly erode around the edges as it starves. Try creating a storm in your aquarium using a turkey baster to blow jets of water into the areas of the aquarium where detritus collects to stir it up. This practice of "Creating a Storm" will provide the sponge with detritus to feed on and will help your tank run cleaner.

CAUTION: Do not expose sponges to air. Air can become trapped in the matrix of channels, which line the inside of its body blocking food from reaching its cells. This will result in the death of the sponge. When placing the sponge in the aquarium place the shipping bag in the aquarium and cut the bag open underwater. Remove the sponge from the bag underwater and let it fall into the aquarium. Twist the shipping bag closed underwater, and discard the water in the bag. A small amount of shipping water will escape into your aquarium using this method, but the shipping water is completely reef safe.

Care Level: Expert Only
Reef Compatible: Yes
Diet: Filter Feeder
Range: Caribbean
Family: Axinellidae
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates < .10ppm

Water Chemistry: It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.

Dosing: Vivid Aquariums uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.