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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for information about using natural sea sponges in the aquarium. I tried to search the forum first, but I couldn't figure out how not to get a ton of "sponge filter" threads in my search.
:icon_ques Are there any known harms the tank? Do I need to prep it for tank use, like removing salt? Do they hold up well, or break down over time? Is there a better material (preferably with a similar texture) I should use instead?
I'd like to use sea sponge to make something like this

I'm thinking of shaping a natural sea sponge and positioning it on top of a piece of wood. This would be under the out flow of an HOB filter. The moss would then grow directly on the sponge. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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I have no idea about natural sponges, but you can use synthetic, is either sold as poret foam for the brand, or open cell/reticulated foam. It's the same stuff then make filters out of and is very durable and relatively easy to shape. Plants will also grow on it, currently I have micro sword and baby tears
 

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You can use a natural sponge in your tank, but there are some things to keep in mind. You need to be sure that it is really clean. I;d recommend soaking it in several changes of water and rinsing it out well each time. The most long lasting are known as wool sponges. Naturally this make them the most expensive.

Sponges can become dirt traps, so you want to use them in a way where you can remove and clean them out from time to time. Over a long period of time sponges will deteriorate and they will need replacement.

VIP Note - We are talking about natural sponges that have been processed to remove all living tissue, leaving only the sponges skeleton behind. We are NOT talking about live sponges you see for keeping in a SW reef system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the answers.
I have no idea about natural sponges, but you can use synthetic, is either sold as poret foam for the brand, or open cell/reticulated foam. It's the same stuff then make filters out of and is very durable and relatively easy to shape. Plants will also grow on it, currently I have micro sword and baby tears
I do actually have some cylinder sponges made of this stuff, I'm just not sure if I'd be able to get enough growth on it to make it mimic the wood.

You can use a natural sponge in your tank, but there are some things to keep in mind. You need to be sure that it is really clean. I;d recommend soaking it in several changes of water and rinsing it out well each time.
Are you talking about before it goes into the tank? Does it leave behind derbies, or is there another way to know it it has been thoroughly cleaned enough?
The most long lasting are known as wool sponges. Naturally this make them the most expensive.
I just looked them up, and it looks like the price will be under $10 which is doable.
Sponges can become dirt traps, so you want to use them in a way where you can remove and clean them out from time to time. Over a long period of time sponges will deteriorate and they will need replacement.
When you say "over time" is that time counted in weeks, months or years?
VIP Note - We are talking about natural sponges that have been processed to remove all living tissue, leaving only the sponges skeleton behind. We are NOT talking about live sponges you see for keeping in a SW reef system.
Yes I am definitely not trying to keep a sw reef sponge alive in this tank. Although I just recently learned that there are freshwater sponges, and they are pretty neat.
 

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Any natural sponge you get from a non-aquarium supplier is going to be cleaned of any tissue that was once living, but you might have some residue left from anything used in the process, so you need to rinse the sponge out well.

It's months before you need to clean out a sponge. Think about how much a sponge filter can pick up even with only minimal flow through it.
 
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