Scientific Name: Ptilocaulis sp.
Ease of Care: Difficult
Approximate Arrival Size: Small -- 2" to 3", Medium - 3.5" to 5", Large - 5.5" to 7.5"
Reef Safe: Yes
Finger Sponge, Ptilocaulis sp., is a sponge that adds diversity of shape and texture to the aquascape of the marine tank. Keeping sponges requires a well-established aquarium and some other special provisions in water quality, water flow, and filter feeder supplements. Also known as Tree Sponge, it requires low to moderate light levels. In aquariums with strong lighting, sponges should be avoided or placed in the shadows of rockwork to limit the overall amount of light exposure. Being a filter feeder, the Finger Sponge demands very strong water flow. This is necessary to ensure that the sponge is receiving adequate quantities of water (and, more specifically, the nutrients in the water) to feed it. Sponges need excellent water conditions with low-to-non-existent nitrates and ammonia. Placement is not critical as long as it involves being placed on rock. Live Rock is best. Sponges do not do well in sandy substrates as it can tends to block the pores by which the sponge survives. It is absolutely imperative that no sponge should ever be exposed to oxygen, even in the acclimation transfer process. Oxygen will become entrapped in the fine pores of the sponge. The oxygen will prevent the water flow that carries nutrients throughout the sponge which will, in essence, suffocate the sponge. Supplementing the diet of sponges with preparations such as Marine Snow or Kent Phyto-Plan, or Kent Zoo-Plan will help ensure best health.