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In hindsight I should have started this journal a long time ago. Anyways,
many events lead to my starting a planted tank, it started insidiously over years with various little outdoor container ponds and one particular forgotten container pond, overgrown with horsetail reeds. The horsetail reeds overgrown and root bound had made a micro-environment that ,unknown to me, was continuing to support generations of ghost shrimp placed in the original container pond. Years later when I was tearing it down I was stunned to find them. I rescued as many shrimp as possible and intrigued, started a larger container pond, 50 gallons. I was amazed how the addition of pond plants and bog plants made virtually maintenance free pond with crystal clear water and apparently happy shrimp.I added hornwort, mini water lilies and some platys later on.

My planted tank started with a purchase of some red cherry shrimp for my granddaughter. Unfortunately RCS have different needs than say my ghost shrimp. I lost the 5 cherries I had bought, but they left me a gift of 30 teeny shrimplets. I was determined to make sure these kids made it so I read up on cherries, bought a used 4 gallon tank, recruited hornwort from my pond and created a better home for the shrimplets. I am sure any of you reading, can already recognize the patten. So now I have three tanks, and have been so inspired with all the beautiful planted tanks I have seen on this forum. I have a nice collection of beautiful plants.

Although my tanks are a haven for the shrimp(going on generation 3!) and green neon tetras. The tanks are also an area of exploration in miniature and macro photo opps too. Last week, despite the horror stories I've read, I found some beautiful green hydra filter feeding away. Although my shrimplets are at some risk, I am still fascinated finding these elegant creatures. I removed a number of them and I want to see if some school science lab could use them.

Today I was spring cleaning my 50 gallon outdoor pond. Spring cleaning means I thin some of the floating aquatic plants, re-pot the lilies,thin out some of the bog plants and just have a look around to see whats going on.
Well I got a big surprise ! I found some freshwater sponge!! So very cool and geeky, but still cool! I think in the past I would have tossed it out thinking eww, but today I put it in a clear unused betta tank for closer inspection. :cool:
My next thought, if there is enough food for hydra to filter feed, could there be enough to feed a freshwater sponge!! I think I might return one sponge and keep the other and see it would survive in my tank.
Has anyone tried this before? would it take over? There seems to be not much information on the net about keeping freshwater sponges!!
Anyone?
 

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Pics? You can probably keep sponges the same way that you keep them in saltwater: lots of food particles in the water for the sponge to feed on. This is usually stuff like microalgae/phytoplankton. If it's doing well, then don't do anything to it just yet. NEVER remove it all the way from the water, or you risk killing it due to air pockets stuck in the sponge.
 
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