Red Tree Sponge

(11 customer reviews)


Only 1 left in stock

SKU: 236.8 Category:


Red Tree Sponge, Ptilocaulis sp, are a fairly common sponge from Florida and the Caribbean characterized by their bright red and orange color and tree like shape.  We collect two main species, on of which has rough sides and is found along the reef line, and one that has smooth sides and is found inshore and in the Gulf of Mexico. They inhabit primarily deeper water, and don’t seem to occur in water shallower than about 20″.   Most of the nano ones we sell are the smooth skinned ones from inshore and the Gulf of Mexico,

Sponges are filter feeders, primarily feeding on bacteria and dissolved organics, so they can be a little challenging to keep in some reef tanks.  If not fed regularly with some sort of planktonic food, the will slowly starve to death in most reef tanks, so be prepared to feed them on a regular basis.  Most sponges will have a small amount of substrate attached to their bases which can be superglued or epoxied to a rock so they will stay put in your aquarium.  You can also wedge the sponge into a crack in the rockwork of your tank, but I would not recommend “planting” them in the sand because the base may end up dying.  Contrary to everything you’ll read about sponges, these sponges can be safely removed from the water and exposed to air for brief periods of time without any lasting damages.  We’ve handled thousands of these sponges over the last 30 years and most have been exposed to the air for brief periods of time without any problems, so don’t make a huge deal about not letting the sponge touch the air while you move it from tank to tank or while you mount it on a rock.

The target size for the tree sponges we ship is about >3.5 to 7 inches tall and it will have several branches.  The sponges are wrapped in paper towels and submerged in water for shipping and they generally ship real well and will do well in your tank.

Additional information

Dimensions 1 × 1 × 1 in

11 reviews for Red Tree Sponge

  1. judy

    Nice, as always larger than paid for!

  2. am2055 (verified owner)

    I wanted to wait to review this sponge. I’ve tried keeping sponges before that I purchased elsewhere & initially they looked good but didn’t do well. I’m happy to say that after after more than a month in my tank this sponge is doing very well! When I first put it in it must have been getting too much light because it started to turn white in spots. So I moved it to an area under a ledge & it colored right back up! It’s gorgeous!

  3. Elwood R (verified owner)

    Beautiful specimen for both size and color. Adds a punch of deep red to my aquarium–thanks KP Aquatics!

  4. jvcasuso (verified owner)

    What a great size and color! Really stands out in my seahorse tank and looks to become one of their favorite hitching posts.

  5. Richard Andres

    This sponge is HUGE. You will not find a nicer sponge for this price. The one I got was the size of my hand including my finger with an additional 3” stalk at the bottom. HUGE. I hope it holds up as well as the other sponges I have received in the past.

  6. Cindy E Dailey

    Fantastic color on this! Just got it in and it really brightens the tank.

  7. Branden Tucker

    Great condition, beautiful color …after a month this sponge is still in great health

  8. Lori Walton

    This is the best sponge for color and the size…you guys ROCK!!! Love it I want more!

  9. Jessie Bohnenkamp

    Wow- just got mine in…this is amazing and so… red/orange! Just like a crayon! I was surprised that it was so big. VERY pleased.

  10. Barry McCool

    Great bright red addition and looks very nice. If color is needed, this is it.

  11. Denise Whatley

    If you need COLOR, you can’t beat the size, shape and distinct orange of this sponge. Before adding the tree sponge, my flame scallop (purchased almost 1 year ago from Sea Life) was almost hidden in his cave. The orange of the sponge helps to bring out the bright color in the scallop so that he is now more visible.

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