Sponges, Sycon

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Brith, 29 Jul 2009.

  1. Brith

    Brith

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    Hi

    I am a research technician at the international institute of marine molecular biology (SARS) in Bergen Norway.
    I am working on a type of these sponges, and I am supposed to grow them in a facility we are working on., which has never been done before. And then I see here all the people that have them in their tanks, so there must be hope for me to :)

    Could anyone answer me on how they have built up there sump, what sand you have and where you got the live rock from.

    Anything would be helpful as I am setting up two tropical tanks (Deep sand bed), aswell as an norwegian cold saltwater tank.

    Cheers

    Brith
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Brith,
    To grow these sponges, simply set up a salt water tank as described in many threads here (there's a link in my thread) add live rock and wait - they will appear on their own in well maintained water conditions.
     
  4. Brith

    Brith Thread Starter

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    live rock

    Well, thats the thing, they appear from nowhere :) so they follow with the live rock. So for the people that have them in their aquariums, where did you get your rock from?
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome Brith

    Live rock is harvested from various oceans (Kenya, Fiji, Indonesia etc.) and sold in most Pet Shops. We have a member that has just recently moved to Norway, I will send him a message and ask him to come onto this thread to help you.
     
  6. Brith

    Brith Thread Starter

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    Thanks

    Thank you very much.
     
  7. crispin

    crispin

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    hello birth, i am from Lillehammer and sorry that I did not see this a little earlier as I have just spend the last week in bergen and could easily come to see you and chat about this. never mind, i travel around norway fairly often and i am sure the chance to meet up will come about.

    unfortuantly i didnt get a chance to go to the aquarium in bergen or alesund which was the plan.


    Sponges do indeed "hitchhike"on LR and appear in tanks, which spomnges they are etc is often unknown by the hobbisit. I have two sponges i am growing in the tank from the very poor LR i got from a shop in Oslo and i dont do much with the sponges at all, they are simply welcome guests. But the key here is the quality of the LR!

    LR in Norway is very expensive and the two occations I have purchased it in norway have been very poor quality from what I was used to in SA. Having said that, there are better pet shops and I have spoken to a number of the importers so we should be able to get you decent quality LR soon.

    As Viper says Lr is harvested from different parts of the world (most LR in Norway seems to come from Indonesia) but the kenyan, malasia, tongan LR etc etc all give different organisms as hitchhikers as these areas all have different populations of organisms attached to them.

    If you would like to PM me in Norwegian i can get my girlfriend to translate as its often easier for you to be able to type in your first language although your english seems very good :)

    Do you have a salt water tank at all? lets start there and help you get going, then move upwards to looking after a specific thing like sponges, fair deal?

    have you joined saltvannsaquarium yet? the norwegian saltwater forum? I am a memmeber but not active as I find MASA far better, but you might find help there too, just google it:)

    So nice to see the vikings taking over masa:)
     
  8. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    May I ask, what is the purpose of studying these creatures ?
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hello Brith, and WELCOME to MASA

    Good advice you've been given, so far :thumbup:

    One "secret" of success with sponges is that you should avoid exposing them to air. Sponges should ALWAYS be kept under water - even when placing a sponge into a tank, you should fully submerge the plastic bag or container with the sponge in it in the tank, and then remove the sponge under water, and the same goes when someone collects a sponge from the ocean (bag it under water...).

    Good water quality is also pretty important, as the sponges are easily over-grown by algae if the water quality is poor. As suggested, do a lot of reading on this website, and you will soon learn what is required to keep a successful marine aquarium, with sponges... (and setting up a deep live sand bed is already a large step in the right direction).

    Good luck with your tanks :)

    Hennie
     
  10. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Welcome to MASA...Brith
     
  11. Brith

    Brith Thread Starter

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    Hi

    Thanks for the replies.

    First i should elaborate what we are working on and why sponges.
    We work on embryonic development and cell to cell communication and there are only a handful of inter-cellular signaling pathways which are found in most organisms.
    We want to look into the evolutionary origin of theses and sponges being the ( as far as we know) one of the earlies branching multicellular animals makes them a good model animal. Meaning they have some of the same pathways as humans and they have not evolved much since.

    As for the sponges, we collect them by diving now, but diving in the middle of the Norwegian winter is no fun. That why we would like to grow a culture of reproducing animals.

    We can grow them up to 3 weeks and then they seem to die off. I do have some growing in a tank, but thats not enough :)


    Crispin, the aquarium in Bergen is quite nice, I really like it, but it is very expensive during the summer, they double the price.
    I do have a budget for my aquariums but i would not mind waiting longer for good quality lr. My facility was supposed to ready by easter, so i have had allot of time to read up on what I want. I am happy its my job to care for the aquariums as i want them to "work" :)

    I am very happy writing in English as my workmates are most international, I also spent 3 years in NZ, and i also brought a kiwi with me form NZ, and he does not speak any Norwegian (yet).


    I am starting up 3 aquariums, one tropical (DSB), one not so tropical tank (DSB?, most likely) and a cold Norwegian flora and fauna tank, a "touch tank" and several smaller tanks with "stuff" in them.(with/without constant flow of water, whit different salinities etc).
    So all i do now is planing how to set it up, and then i will see what i add to it.
    I am going to take my time setting them up as i would not like them to crash :)

    I have joined Forside but I have found this forum better :)

    I think i will go back and read some more about water quality as this seems to be the most important (one off the most important).

    Cheers

    Brith
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Brith - just to let you know - I started a cold / temperate water marine tank, about 2 months ago. The tank is very simple.
    It does not have a sump. I have 2 skimmers on the tank - one hang-on ReefOctopus BH-1000 skimmer, and one modified WeiPro skimmer, inside the tank.
    I have a DSB (Deep sand bed) in the tank, and some live rock...

    We collected an orange sponge here in the Cape Town rock pools (cold atlantic ocean). I run my temperate tank at 19 to 19.5 degrees celsius (using a chiller).

    The sponge have been in my tank now for about 8 weeks, and is actually growing great.

    I don't explicitly feed the sponge, it is just filtering it's food from the water.
    I have about 5 fish in the tank, and I just feed the fish....
     
  13. Brith

    Brith Thread Starter

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    COld /temperate tank

    Then i will have a DSB in my temperate tank. I have also heard as you say you don't need as much equipment for a cold/temperate tank.
    For the cold Norwegian tank i have decided that it need a filter as the Norwegian rock and sand is quite dense.
    There are some people in the area I work that have set up cold tanks which are very beautiful.

    ( I see my job as preparation for my future saltwater tank, as i cant afford it yet, so have to keep my freshwater :) )
     
  14. crispin

    crispin

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    some intresting work you are doing birth :) i have a number of friends whom are marine biologists in norway and used to live in that rainy city you stay in, but moved to sandefjord just to get away from the rain. (For the sa guys, its said that Bergen gets over 300 days of rain a year :()

    i personally would look at having a sump and a dsb on all the different tanks you plan to keep, if for no other reason that its easier to maintain water quality and for what you want to do water quality is of prime importance.

    the cold water norwegian tank is something that I was looking at doing, but i'll ho full blown mixed reef on the first tank i set up in lillehammer and then start aiming at the cold water things. I have heard that some of the best diving is actually in winter in Norway (brrrrr) as the water clarity is crystal clear:)


    im going to oslo on monday to have meetings about bringing in decent LR (direct import and not thru the European distributors that most people use) as this will get the LR to us quicker and cheaper:)
     
  15. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Good idea :)

    Make sure to read the posts in my "Special Guests" forum: Hennie's Corner - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    Hennie
     
  16. Brith

    Brith Thread Starter

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    The rain is something you get used to, or so I believe.
    I dontthink i will have a dsb on my cold water one as im going to go to the "beach" to get sad from there, unless i get some very fine sad and seed it with sand from the wild. The norwegian rock is quite dense so wont do much.

    I thinkwe have alot of very nice kelp forests, and during summer you will find jellyfish (the non-stinging once) grouping at 20-25m.

    Tell me how your meeting went, still a while till I can buy lr but the room is getting there.

    Brith
     
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