Surprising New Guests: Pineapple Sponges in reef tank

What are pineapple sponges?

Pineapple sponges, also known as Scypha or Sycon, are small marine animals that can attach to solid objects, such as rocks, shells, and corals. They typically inhabit water that is up to 2 meters deep. Diverse types of plankton can be found in waves of this depth, which serve as their food source. If you found pineapple sponges in reef tank, this is not a big deal!

Pineapple Sponges in reef tank

The water current actually plays an important role in sponge survival. The water current transports food and oxygen while also removing excreted, undigested food and waste. Normally, the water current flows through the sponge.

They can grow to be about 4 inches long, and the surface is usually ‘hairy,’ or at least appears to be hairy. They can usually be identified just by looking at them, but make sure you compare your sponge to all common species to ensure proper identification.

Although this is primarily a colonial sponge, you may on occasion come across solitary specimens. These sponges range in size from about an inch to about three inches in length and have a tubular shape. Organic material and microorganisms are their main sources of nutrition.

As you might expect, pineapple sponges look like the fruit from which they get their name. (Some people call them “Q-tip sponges,” though.) They can grow to 4 inches and have a “hairy” surface. They can usually be identified by sight, but compare your sponge to all common species to be sure. Reproduction is fascinating. Sexual and asexual reproduction occur. Asexuality is budding and regeneration. Budding is when an adult sponge’s base grows a small bud.

Do sponges have negative effects?

Sponges can be found living aplenty in the complex coral reef surroundings. While they can be advantageous, they could also carry certain risks. Some species of sponges can be useful to marine life as they expand on the corals and help keep them together.

Pineapple sponges are safe to have in an aquarium, as they only feed on algae, and thus will not cause any damage to the coral reef. Sponge colonies also have the ability to act as natural water filters, and small creatures are regularly seen in the gaps between the individual sponges. Where possible, pineapple sponges should be left undisturbed in the aquarium.

Sponges rarely sustain in artificial settings, thus even if one is present in the reef, chances are it won’t remain there for long. Different species can have an adverse effect on the reef in various ways. Generally, pineapple sponges are yellow in color, but there are also pink, red and blue varieties, which are not pineapple sponges, and, in spite of their beauty, they cannot co-exist peacefully with other reef dwellers, mainly corals. Subsequently, if a vibrant tube appears in the reef, it is suggested to investigate if it is a pineapple sponge or not.

How to Know if Your Tank Has Pineapple Sponges

Pineapple sponges might or might not be in your reef tank. It depends on how old your aquarium is, where they choose to live, and how hard you look for them (or a combination of the three).

A common place for pineapples to show up is in newly cycled tanks. Why? Mainly because they’re overstocked on healthy nutrients. Sponge silica is excellent for sponges. They require a substantial amount of food, though. The sponge colony at a brand-new aquarium will be treated to a veritable feast.

Another favorite haunt is sumps. Filters usually go here. Extra nutrients are wasted there. Pineapple sponges live where decaying matter accumulates.

Look for shadowy areas too. Algae and diatoms color pineapples, but they don’t need sunlight. Water brings them nutrients. They prefer aquarium dark corners. Hobbyists usually find them in shady areas with average to high water flow.

How to add Pineapple Sponges to reef tank

The biggest benefit of having sponges in your aquarium is the removal of silicates. Silicates are not only used by sponges, but also by diatoms and brown algae to form and create their structures, which help them exist. So, if you want to keep your aquarium from getting diatom or brown algae blooms, adding a sponge will actually help.

These outbreaks now with decorative sponges aside the most common sponge that you’re going to find it is a white sponge if it’s a black sponge you don’t want it you want to stay away from it it’s a coral killer and you don’t want that in your tank so a couple weeks ago I was at my local fish store and I was snooping in their sump and I found a piece of rock that had a white sponge on it and I asked him if I

The key to adding sponges to your aquarium is that they can’t touch the air, so it has to be water-to-water contact. If it touches the air, it’s going to die, so with full discretion, you need to know where you’re getting your sponge from because the possibility of introducing something really bad into your aquarium is very real. Anyway, having pineapple sponges in reef tank is a big deal.

Pineapple sponge removal:

If you have pineapple sponges in reef tank you should not scrape it off because, as discussed earlier in the article, it can regenerate if even a single particle remains.

These sponges actually subsist on the water’s nutrients. Once these nutrients are depleted, the pineapple sponges will perish as well.

Typically, if you have an abundance of sponges, it is because your water is particularly nutrient-rich, but don’t worry, they can regulate themselves. I would not remove them because they are harmless and filter the water.

Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t consume all the nutrients you’ve added for your fish and coral.

Do any fish or other marine animals enjoy eating pineapple sponges?

Pineapple sponges, or Scypha or Sycon, are tiny marine sponges that often attach themselves to hard surfaces like rocks, shells, and corals. Search results indicate that angelfish and nudibranchs are among the few fish species capable of digesting pineapple sponges. Sponge consumption by sea turtles has also been documented.

It’s also mentioned that they’ll spend some of their time perched atop rocks or submerged in puddles. Since pineapple sponges are composed largely of silicate, they tend to lose their vibrant coloration over time. The presence of silicates in the rodi is often the cause of the mysterious appearance in a mature tank.
So, to sum up, angelfish, nudibranchs, and sea turtles are all known to consume pineapple sponges in reef tank.


Pineapple sponges are vilified. Is it justified? Do people grab torches and pitchforks when they see a strange, fuzzy invader? Overreaction? Who’s to blame if colonies go wild? (These sponges only cause problems then)

Hobbyists can avoid panic by first recognizing pineapples. Understanding their tank function follows. Filter-feeders. They’ll decompose after removing extra nutrients. Fixed.
If your aquarium is overfed or dirty, pineapple sponge colonies may block your equipment. The pest isn’t to blame.

What do you think after reading this article? Pineapple sponges in reef tank: stay or go when fuzzy?

Jim Coffey

Jim Coffey is an authoritative blogger specializing in Aquatic Life, Fish Diseases and Parasites, and Aquarium Setup. His insights and expertise offer valuable guidance to both novice and experienced aquarium enthusiasts.
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