The rate of food particle uptake of the tropical sponge Pseudosuberites aff. andrewsi was studied in relation to particle concentrations and particle size. A range of different concentrations of either the marine microalga Dunaliella tertiolecta (~5-8 7m) or the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. (~1 7m) was supplied to the sponges. D. tertiolecta had a pronounced effect on the filtration activity of the sponges: at concentrations higher than approximately 4 2 105 cells/cm3, the filtration rates dropped dramatically. Such a clear effect was not found for Synechococcus sp. The results further showed that the maximal amount of food (when expressed in organic carbon) that can be taken up per cubic centimeter of sponge volume per unit of time should in principle be sufficient to enable growth (irrespective of the food particle type). At the maximal food particle concentration that did not affect the filtration rates, the uptake of organic carbon is already highly in excess of the amount of organic carbon that the sponges need to cope with their respiratory demand. Based on these findings, a series of growth experiments was carried out in which the sponges were subjected to a constant concentration of different types of food particles (Synechococcus sp. and the microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana and Nannochloropsis sp). Although initial growth was sometimes observed, continuous growth at a constant rate could not be obtained. It is concluded that qualitative aspects of feeding rather than quantitative aspects are the key to successful in vivo sponge culture.