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I am interested in finding and keeping freshwater sponges in an aquarium. I know they are filter feeders, so I assume they would need heavy levels of floating algae or other plankton. I found a few posts on here about sponges, but no success stories.

I saw some cold-water freshwater sponges (Spongilla sp.) in upstate NY this summer while on vacation, but didn't attempt to keep them alive. There's a very cool insect that specializes on them (an aquatic lacewing - family Sisyridae), so I was mainly looking for that, and found some. Anyhow, when I got back to Hawaii, I read that there is actually an indigenous warm-water species of freshwater sponge in Hawaii (see the book "Hawaii's Native and Exotic Freshwater Animals"). Have any of the Hawaii folks come across this? I would love to try it in a tank.

I'd also like to find a place to collect Asiatic freshwater clams in Hawaii, to try one or two in a tank. Invertebrates rule!

Thanks
Will
 

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The only sponges I've heard about that were kept for any length of time in aquarium are the sulawesi sponges. And if I remember correctly, they have a symbiotic relationship with a shrimp... I think the whole problem with keeping it in an aquarium was actually being able to keep the SHRIMP alive, which was difficult if you are keeping it far from lake sulawesi.

You'll have to forgive me but I've forgotten where I saw this discussion, or if it was a book, the internet or heard at a local fish store.

I don't know if every sponge relies on a specific cleaner, but that might be worth looking into if you end up finding on of your Hawaiian sponges.
 
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