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I have a bright orange sea sponge that sort of looks like a cactus. It is 6 inches tall, has about 5 or 6 branches, and the edges look sort of spikey. It had some algae growing on it which i brushed off with a small watercolor paintbrush, but now all of the edges are turning a pale tan color. I have it placed with moderate flow, midway in tank at one end. My lighting is T5 high output flourescent, total of 1.5 watts, and i have one actinic blue light. My tank is 80 gals. My question is how do I tell if my sponge is alive, and how do I care for it. I cannot find any information on the internet regarding care, health, feeding, etc. Suggestions would be helpful, and website referrals welcomed.
 

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It sounds like your sponge is dieing. They typically change colors and begin to fall apart. Sponges should probably be reserved for mature systems that are a little on the dirty side.
 

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I agree that you sponge is possibly dying. If this is the case the edges should start turning clear (and probably change color first as EC said). Usually, this is because the sponge has gotten air trapped inside of itself (that is why you aren't supposed to expose them to air as rotties said). I have heard that cutting off the dying parts can sometimes save the sponge but i do not know how true this is.
 
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