Freshwater Sponges of my Wildlife Pond


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The original must have colonized the system years ago as a hitchhiking gemmule attached to drift wood or waterfowl. After discovering it growing I began cultivating them around the system until they began to pop up naturally. This particular species has three distinct growth phases- first spreading out as a free floating gemmule until it attaches onto a surface and begins to encrust it with tissue. Second, they begin building intricate 3d shapes resembling brain coral. Lastly they begin branching out into waving tree shapes in the water column- this entire process taking 5-8 years. As they do not like to be disturbed, the pictures are of the first 2 stages of development, I am not breaking off a 5+ year old sponge I've babied along just for some pictures. Over the years and lots of trial and error, they have grown throughout the pond network and seem to be thriving. The color differences are if they decide to host a symbiotic algae, that can depend on how much light they are getting, the availability of planktonic animals, and water current if you curious. The holes on them also retract and expand slowly to push water through their bodies to filter out their food. I think they definitely add an exotic, marine sort of appearance to the pond and I rather enjoy them!. They do not like fish however, only growing in the first pond and series of streams connecting it to the second. Fish will nibble at them, but more vital is they will eat the slow moving gemmules capsules floating in the water; interrupting a very sensitive point in their life cycle. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
 

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ok Pretty sweet ......... N E X T,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I have got to find some.
 
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ok Pretty sweet ......... N E X T,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I have got to find some.
I hope you can find a breeder! Every winter I tinker with the gemmule spawn, see what makes them happy. Tho trying to raid wild sponges and keep them alive would be very tough, even though they all look different in shape and colour many are the same species, just grown to inhabit that particular spot. So a sponge that grew in one location could be moved to a different spot on the very same river and die, even a few feet from it's original spot would croak. Because their "mouths" and what you could call a "digestive system" of tunnels running through their body, has grown into specific shapes, directions, and angles to allow water to pass through it's body properly. Only gemmules can really be used to grow freshies, as the bundle of cells is protected by a hard coating and can start a baby sponge that will grow to suit the location it attaches to. This is probably how they got in my pond years ago, hitchhiking as a little capsule attached to some beach wood. Not a lot of info on them so sorta having to write the book haha, but eventually I may offer up gemmules for trade or something in the future. I am just honestly not sure if they could survive being shipped in a vial for others to propagate! Experimentation definitely required x3
 
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i have propagated sponges before in the reef . they are very picky about light current and nutrition. but once you get them happy watch out
 
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i have propagated sponges before in the reef . they are very picky about light current and nutrition. but once you get them happy watch out
Saltwater sponges do not have a gemmule life stage, nor are they are an annual like many fresh water sponges. I do understand what you mean, I have had red ball sponges that are borderline invasive in an aquarium setting. They are very different though, treating them like marine sponges will lead to disappointment. For one they are silica based, not calcium carbonate- with some of their closest marine comparisons being various glass sponges (though not related); something that not even public display aquariums have attempted. Please really do your research and please don't harm the wildlife.
 
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You obviously havent seen my pond it's all about wild life . Haven t evicted anyone yet. though they left on their own terms just before they were to be reloacated
 

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