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Elephant Ear Sponge
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Acanthella sp.

Elephant Ear Sponge

Quick Stats:   Elephant Ear Sponge

Family: Axinellidae
Range: Indian Ocean
Diet: Omnivore
Tank Set-up: Marine
Reef Compatible: Yes
Tank Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Water Flow: Medium
Light: Low
Temperament: Peaceful
Venomous: No
Care Level: Difficult

The Elephant Ear Sponge and other members of this genus are usually red, orange, or yellow. In the aquarium trade it may be referred to as the Breadcrumb Sponge. It has a trunk-like base and many perforations. It may be found in multiple shapes.

It needs a moderate to strong water current near its location, but be careful to place the sponge slightly out of the path so that it only receives an indirect current. The lighting should be low, and the water quality will need to be kept within pristine parameters.

All Acanthella sponges require very special care to survive in the home aquarium. The most critical concern is that the Acanthella Sponge should never be exposed to the air. If it is, the air becomes trapped in the matrix of channels that line the inside of its body. With air blocking the path for planktonic food to reach its cells, it will starve to death.

The Elephant Ear Sponge Sponge is a filter feeder and will require daily feedings of plankton substitutes and dissolved organic foods.


Photo courtesy of T.F.H. Publications, publishers of the Burgess Atlas.

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