Orange tree Sponge


New Member
We purchased an Orange Tree Sponge about 2 weeks ago and I have noticed a filmy white substance that appears to be spreading throughout the sponge starting from the base growing from the base up.... I read another post that lead me to the idea of cutting the sponge, so I cut the bottom part that was getting the filmy white stuff on it. The other part(the healthy side) now appears to have the same filmy white stuff appearing on it again slowing growing from the base.. Another idea I got from these messages was the idea of maybe brushing it off, I didn't brush it off but I picked at it a bit.... under the filmy white substance the sponge appears to still look healthy and the tissue looks fine. I never brushed it off completly since I lack a brush but basically poked off a few bits with my finger to get a better idea of what it is.
My question really is what exactly is it? a calcium deposit? if thats the case its not really appearing on anything else. My rocks are fine and gravel...whatever.. Its just not anywhere else.
I was thinking it may be some sort of salt buildup but after picking at it a little bit it doesn't appear that it could be that. the substance is flakey like and filmy. just doesn't look like salt.
I have a damsel and a small puffer fish that occasionally pick at it... but from the looks of their actions I dont see them doing any harm. just little nibs.
My water levels... Only really test PH, Nitrate, nitrite, amonia and salinity levels. And all those levels are good. Is there something else I should possibly be testing for?
Oh btw. I also add the suggested amount of phytoplankton from a little bottle that I have every other day.
Any ideas?


Active Member
Sounds like dead tissue. And the fish are eating the dead tissue. Did you expose it to air at all? Keep a good flow on it and not to much light.


New Member
Im using a pretty crappy light(the one that came with the tank.) not sure about its specs but im pretty sure its not strong enough to really hurt my sponge. as far as it being exposed to air-Possibility, the wife did it so I cant confirm how it was put in....Of course she says it had no contact.
After picking at it a bit it looks like live good healthy tissue! so im really not thinking its dying tissue.. but im thinking its leading to dying tissue, maybe preventing it from breathing or doing its sponge thing.


I had a orange tree for over a year until hair algae killed it, but anyway. Try putting it in a high flow area, also keep it in a somewhat low light area. The white flesh sounds like it might have hit air, but be careful when it starts growing the new flesh is clear for a day or two until the color comes in. Here is a pic before it died I was mad because when I bought it only had 3 stalks
Fragging a tree sponge


sponges that you'd like to keep always end up dead, but ones that you careless about flourish as nothing could kill them. Enjoy while it lasts. It'd be getting skinny and eventually die because lack of food or algea built up on it. it would last a few months though. it's just my experience with orange tree sponge