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FAQs on Carpet Anemone Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Carpet Anemones, Stichodactyla spp., Use in Marine Aquariums by Bob Fenner, Carpet Anemones, big, beautiful and deadly by Mike Maddox, Bubble Tip Anemones, Tropical Atlantic Anemones, Anemones, Colored/Dyed AnemonesCnidarians, Marine Light, & Lighting

Related FAQs: Carpet Anemones 1, Carpet Anemones 2, Carpet Anemone Identification, Carpet Anemone Behavior, Carpet Anemone Compatibility, Carpet Anemone Systems, Carpet Anemone Feeding, Carpet Anemone Disease, Carpet Anemone Reproduction, Anemones in General, Caribbean Anemones, Condylactis, Aiptasia Anemones, Anemones and Clownfishes, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Identification, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding Heteractis malu

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Anemone Success
Doing what it takes to keep Anemones healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Carpet Anemone; stkg., hlth f's         9/4/15
Hi There,
I am so impressed by the information on this site. As I was researching, I came across your archives. So great!
<It is for folks as yourself we have labored to present it>
Anyway, I am a seasoned Aquarist and have a 220 gal reef tank. It is well established and is thriving. The water parameters are perfect. When I was starting with saltwater and did not know what I was doing, I hastily bought a Haddon carpet for too small of a tank that perished. I fell for the species in the meantime and was devastated by the loss.
<Ahh; an almost always result of folks trying Stichodactyla species>
Years have passed and with my 220 gallon, I figured that it was time to try again. I have 2x250 watt metal halide lights and 8x t5 actinics. I researched and spent good money on my lighting. I have a 70 gal sump. The system is great. My newly delivered (to my doorstep) anemone seems to be doing well on day 2, but he is opening his mouth and seems to be expelling waste. A gaping mouth scares me knowing what happened before.... during their acclimation process, is this considered normal?
<Is not normal... would dose a few times over the proscribed iodide-ate supplement; and keep a close eye on it>
Just trying to stay on top of it! Thanks for reading.
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Carpet Anemone      9/5/15

Great. Thank you so much. He expelled quote a bit of waste last night and his mouth is now closed. I will dose today!
<Good and good. BobF>

Re: Carpet Anemone        9/6/15
This is how he looks this morning. Inflated and mouth closed. Do you think that I should try feeding yet?
<Only a bit.... some chopped, meaty item/s, sprayed gently toward it>
It is day 4 in my tank. By the way my clowns have not found him yet.
<Mmm; they may not>
Maybe that is a good thing so he can adjust.
<Welcome. BobF>

yellow carpet; colour, comp.  2/19/10
Are yellow carpet anemone's artificial in color?
<All I've ever encountered were artificially dyed>
are they compatible with my green and red bubble tip anemones?
<No... see WWM re>
thanks always for the great support!
<Your BTA pic attached shows a malingering BGA problem that should be addressed. Bob Fenner> 

Re: re: Carpet/throw rug    11/26/09
here's a picture
<I'm no expert, but this looks like Stichodactyla gigantea to me. Doubtless Bob will correct me if I'm wrong. Cheers, Neale.> <<I do think so. RMF>>

Re: re: Carpet/throw rug  (RMF, anything to add?)<<Yes. Return this animal ASAP. This person's chances of keeping it alive are about zip. RMF>>   11/27/09
Thank you.
<Happy to help.>
I'm very new to this. I got my tank because my fiancé loves it.
<Now, this is the bit the worries me. "Anemone" and "New to this" are not words I like to see in the same sentence. Why? Because anemones have appallingly bad survival records in captivity. Even to so-called "easy" species like Bubble-tip Anemones are delicate, and Carpet Anemones are not just delicate but enormous, heavily polluting, and very likely to kill the fishes and crustaceans kept with them. How can I put this... these are the anemone-equivalents of Great White Sharks. There may be some people for
whom they're an appropriate challenge, but for most people, they're best left at the pet store.>
But its actually a purple carpet I found out. But I'm guessing same species.
<I suspect from your photo it's Stichodactyla gigantea, which as its name suggests, is enormous. We're talking a metre/3.3 feet in diameter. Some (not all) Clownfish species will cohabit, but that's basically it:
everything else is dinner.>
The people at the store said it would attach to the rock.
<No; this is a shallow water species that lives in sandy lagoons. It may climb onto rocks if the lighting isn't strong enough at the bottom, but that's hardly optimal. Needs massive amounts of light as well as very
strong water currents to keep clean. In the wild water currents wash away mucous, detritus and faeces, and without equivalent amounts of water movement these anemones will not do well.>
I'm hoping so.. If not then your probably correct thanks for the help
<These animals are incredibly difficult to keep, and if you have the option, taking it back for a refund or exchange would be very wise indeed.
None of the traded anemones are suitable for beginners, and since farmed Clownfish couldn't care less about anemones, I'd strongly suggest sticking with reliable cnidarians like Mushroom Polyps and Leather Corals, species that have proven themselves as good aquarium residents again and again. If this isn't an option, do make sure you read what Mike and Bob have written about these anemones, and plan accordingly:
Cheers, Neale.>

How can I tell if my anemone is beyond help?    2/2/07 Dear WWM crew, <Jane> Thank you again for the fabulous web site and all the advice you have given me in the past.  My question today is simple, but here is a little background info. <Okay> An LFS had received a blue carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) a week ago.  I do not buy carpet anemones from stores since I do not want to encourage their collection and the likely subsequent death. <I am in agreement with your practice> But I figured there would be no harm in visiting it now and then.  Well, yesterday it was upside down, shriveled up and the mouth was severely gaping (I mean, open about 3").  It was oozing stuff. <Very bad signs...> I pointed it out to them and they were about to toss it out.  I asked them to give it to me so I can try to rescue it (I do know how slim the chances are).  At the time I had estimated it would be dead within 3 hours. Well, I have it at home in a 100 gallon tank all to itself (although it only has 3" of water in it right now).  I can not tell if it is dead or alive.  I have had it for about 16 hours now.  It looks terrible (covered in slime) but there is a small section of the tentacles that still looks alive.  The mouth is still wide open and its surface ("skin") is all cracked and torn.  The whole anemone keeps oozing whitish stuff.  It does smell somewhat bad, but I can not tell if it is the anemone itself or all the goo coming off of it. <All part of the same>   Oh, and last night when I was gently transferring it into the tank, one of my fingers went right through its oral disk.  I am guessing it is a bad sign.  In retrospect, I should not have picked it up with my hands... Also, can a dead anemone still have sticky tentacles? <Yes> I have heard that the Portuguese Man-O-War can sting creatures long after it's dead, but what about anemones?  This one still have slightly sticky tentacles (at least in some places).  It is also bleached (the blue tips are still there, but the brown undertone is all gone). I do not want to give up on it until I KNOW for sure that it is dead. <We are in agreement here as well> But how can I tell, aside from waiting until the whole thing disintegrates all over the tank and spreads its aroma throughout the whole house?   <Mmm, not really, but the reality is that this animal is highly likely dead, or as the line goes in the William Goldman "Princess Bride" movie, mostly dead> I have been praying and doing water changes.  Hope it helps :) Thanks to you all Julia. <I think you have given this situation your "best shot", but this animal is gone. I would siphon it out to waste. Bob Fenner>

Blue Anemone... Is It Real? - 10/02/06 Dyed Anem., Cpt. FAQs f's    Crew- <<CJ>> Just to double check, can blue-colored carpets be 'healthy', or are these always bleached/injected/doomed? <<There are "blue" carpet anemones in the wild>> For example, do the specimens offered for sale @ http://www.gofishdirect.com/commerce.cgi?cart_id=1156027517.18607&product=Anemone&pid=1431&log_pid=yes appear to your eye to be specimens that conscientious hobbyists should avoid? <<Possibly, but more due to the fact these anemones "may" have been rough-handled, they ship poorly, and can be difficult to acclimate to captive systems...but not because it is blue>> Some research published on your site and by others in print have led me to be wary of such vivid specimens, knowing that organisms that host zooxanthellae favor browns, creams, oranges, greens.... such an intense blue makes me think twice. <<Indeed...  As stated, there "are" blue anemones (Bob posted a picture of a wild specimen in Sulawesi not long ago), and it is my experience and belief that most pictures of "vividly" colored corals posted for sale are...shall we say...less than accurate representations.  I'm not saying these particular anemones haven't been dye injected...there's always that chance.  Your best bet is to research the vendor as best you can (query the message boards) to try to determine if they are known for passing dyed or otherwise tainted livestock>> Your thoughts on purchasing afore referenced specimen? <<Hmm'¦how many blue anemones have you seen thriving in hobbyist's tanks?>> As always, I appreciate your opinion, time. Cj <<As always, is a pleasure to share.  EricR>>

Haddoni carpet anemone and clowns - 10/9/05 Hey what's up!!!!  <<Not much.>> This is Miles here and I was wondering if I were to get an Haddoni Carpet Anemone and some clownfish... <<Make sure to read up on these as they have some very special requirements and can get extremely large.>> would a False percula or an True percula be more likely to accept it? <<You have a 50-50 shot with either one. They either will or they won't. I would give the ocellaris (false percula) a slight edge though as they seem to host anything.>> And will I be better off getting a Wild clownfish or a Tank raised clown to get it to host in my anemone? <<Always buy tank raised when possible. Less demand on the reef and less prone to illness.>> And last but not least one more question. Will any of the perculas false or real host in a Haddoni carpet anemone? <<Answered above.>> Thank you very much <<You're welcome>> Miles <<TravisM>>

To Anemone, Or Not To Anemone... 7/11/05 Hi Gang! <Brandon> Question for ya'll. I have recently converted my 125G reef tank to a FOWLR tank. I took the frags I collected and created a separate, smaller tank to house them. The logic behind this move is that much beauty in the ocean lies within the fish. I have about 1/3 of the tank filled with live rock, but wanted many swimming lanes and open sandy areas. My question is this: I am considering heavily adding a beautiful carpet anemone to the 125G tank. I have really nothing in the tank it can sting coral wise, and I have plenty of lighting with 8.5 watts per gallon of 13K and actinic lighting. I also have a mammoth Beckett skimmer and large refugium, further adding water volume to the tank. Have any fish, besides rock skippers like blennies, been known to fall prey to carpets? I'm thinking along the lines of tangs, angels, Basslets, and my mated pair of perculas that I'm sure will love it. Thanks for the thoughts! Brandon <Less than one out of a hundred carpet anemones live a month in captivity... Likely half are doomed from improper extraction, damage enroute from the wild... Are these odds acceptable to you? Bob Fenner>
Re: To Anemone, Or Not To Anemone... 7/12/05
No, I guess they are not. I was not aware that 1% survived. I figured given the proper care, survival would be very long indeed. Thank you for pointing that out to me. <Glad to. Bob Fenner>

Blue Carpet Anemone I am interested in purchasing the blue carpet anemone. The literature I have on it says it is for experts only. I have been experimenting with several different things in my 180 gal. tank and have been quite successful. This anemone is quite expensive and I don't want to try it if the chances are too slim of it surviving. What do you think about it? Although I read through wet web media very often, this is my first time asking a question so please bare with me. If any other information is needed please et me know. <Please send along all of your info, what type and how much lighting, other tank inhabitants, water params...  These guys definitely take some special attention and pristine water conditions.  I would also (if you haven't already) try some of the hardier anemones such as the bubble tip.  Cody>Thanks, Carol & Tom
Blue Carpet Anemone II
Cody, <Hello again!> Thanks for responding so quickly on our question about the blue carpet anemone. The type of lighting we have is 3 - 250 watt metal halide lights which are going to be installed in the next few days. We've just purchased them) We just recently (appx. 1 week ago) set up our 180 gal tank which was transferred from a 150 gal tank. The 150 was a 150 tall, which I hated due to the fact of it being so hard to reach the bottom to clean. Anyway the halide lights are getting installed into the canopy along with a Coralife power compact light, which was our main source of lighting since we started our tank. We were told we could dismantle the Coralife from the outer casing and put that into the canopy too. I'm hoping that will be plenty of light to keep all the varieties of things we want. (what do you think ?) <Should be plenty of light for most things.>As far as what we like and what we already have. We have a leather coral, A Goniopora, some rock mushrooms, xenias, a trumpet coral & we're now experimenting with a blue maxima clam,( although we were told our light source wasn't enough,) we wanted it so we got it anyway! <In the future please hold off on these types of purchases, if you want to be in this hobby 5 years down the road we all have to do what we can to be a conscientious aquarist.>Also we have tiny sun coral,<Make sure you are feeding this guy at least 3 times a week.> some feather dusters, a duster cluster, hammerhead coral, rock flower anemone, and a couple bubble anemones,(1 with a fire clown.)<I would not put these mobile anemones in your tank with sessile corals as it almost always ends with the anemone stinging the corals to death.> The Fish we have are, Yellow, Sailfin, hippo & powder blue tangs,<Watch all these guys closely as you will likely have to remove one or two of these guys in the future.> along with a coral beauty, a wrasse fish 2 small blue damsels.  We have a blood shrimp and the coral bandit shrimp for cleaning as well as lots of snails and hermit crabs. I think that is just about all we have in the tank. As far as what we like I guess there's no 1 certain group of things. It's just what looks cool to us and we like lots of different colors. For the most part the tank is doing great (in our eyes anyway). <Please research before you buy though.>Ya, we've lost a lot of things, mostly fish, due to moving to fast but we didn't care at that point in time. <Eeiiikkkk.  Please don't say you didn't care.  If you don't please realize that because of not caring you will not be able to enjoy these wonderful creatures in the future because the worlds reefs are in danger.>Our tank is not even a year old yet but we believe you learn more from trial & error rather than going by "the book". But now it's becoming a bit of a different story. Whenever things don't survive we feel as if it's because we're doing something wrong. But that doesn't stop us from trying other things.  One thing I'm super confused about is liquid supplements. When you mention pristine water conditions how is one to know exactly what that is? We have Iodine, Snow flakes, Calcium, Cora - Vita & Strontium & Molybdenum. Although all the bottles say to put x amount per gals of water, everyone I've talked to says not to pay attention to what the bottle says but just put 1 cap full in once a week on different days of the week. Now from reading a lot I believe than no one certain way is the only right way, but I can't seem to get the same advice from more than one person. We don't want to put to little in but then again I don't even know what too little or too much is. Any helpful advice on all matters including, lighting, supplements, water conditions etc... would be greatly appreciated.<Please do some reading on our site: www.wetwebmedia.com and then if you still have any questions give me a holler.  Cody>         Carol & Tom

Blue carpet anemones Hello, I have question about blue carpets. A local shop has some but they have brown rings around their mouths. They have had them for about a week now and I was wondering if this was normal and if not would this go away? Or are they on their way out? <possibly yes, but not for the reason that you suspect. The color of the mouth is highly variable and not an indicator of health. An open or gaping mouth would be a bad sign. The brown ring may be more natural than most would think. It is quite possible that this anemone has been color dyed. Happens every day. And the anemones "true colors" are shining through. Brown and green carpets are common and natural. Most others in the trade are dyed. Sebae anemones are also victim to this abhorrent practice. Read more under anemones at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd5of6.htm. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks, Scott

Stichodactyla and clowns I purchased two 1' Ocellaris clowns yesterday.  I've read that carpet ( Stichodactyla gigantea ) anemones are the ones most likely to be a match, but that they are pretty aggressive.  I've got a 100-gallon reef tank with about 150 lbs of live rock.  My other inhabitants are 3 yellow tangs, cleaner wrasse, orange watchman (diamond) goby, longnose hawkfish , cleaner shrimp, Xenia , colt coral, arrow crab, emerald crab, various hermits, and assorted snails. Would you recommend Stichodactyla gigantea or another anemone? <I do not recommend this genus to many aquarists. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm and on to the sections, FAQs on carpet anemones, over to the FAQs on Clownfishes and anemones... Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone Recommendations? I've read the information on your site (it's invaluable--thanks very much!); in fact, I'm in one of the sections right now.  Because of the information on carpet anemones, I was wary of getting one.  I wanted an anemone 1) because I think that they're wonderful creatures and 2) as a "friend" for my clowns.  I was leaning toward carpets because they make the best match with Ocellaris, but I'm thinking that the cons outweigh the pros <You and I are in agreement> (I don't want to jeopardize my corals or other tank inhabitants--or the anemone).  Is there a "safe" anemone that my clowns might hook up with? <Yes. Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Purchasing a Blue Carpet Anemone - 7/21/03 I just have a simple question and I hope that you don't mind answering it for me. <Sorry for the delay. No problem at all> I am thinking about getting a blue carpet anemone for my 30 gal tank. Well, I have lots of feelings on this subject so please hear me out. <First and foremost, regardless of your lighting, size of your tank, and even if it is the only inhabitant in the tank, carpet anemones do not typically do well in the captive environment as it stands. Many, many sources on the "why's we shouldn't" so I think I will avoid delving in to that area other than to say that anemones of this type are not prolific in the wild (because of breeding reproduction habits as well as habitat destruction). Just not a good idea to "TRY" one just to see if you can do it, in my opinion.> I have 35 pounds of live rock in it and am using a 400 gal/hr power filter as well as a 300 gal/hr protein skimmer. <Very good. I like the over spec on the hardware. Well done, my friend> For lighting I am planning on using two 96 watt power compacts. The tank is 3 feet long and 15 3/4 inches tall. and the ph is 8.3 with no detectable levels of ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates. So far I haven't added any livestock to the tank besides what resides in the live rock itself. <Sounds good to me, but I still have strong feelings for leaving wild anemones in the wild. Please look through our website with the keyword "carpet anemone" and see what others have had to say as well as search the web and a few books and articles on the subject. You know my feeling, now establish some thoughts on your own. From the tank perspective, I think it would be on par for success with some sort of anemone. I must say though this would be a great aquarium for some hardy Sarcophytons, Sinularias, hard corals, clams and such. Have you thought about these instead of the carpet anemone? In any case. good luck to you, and thanks for letting me speak on the subject. Please do more research and become knowledgeable on not only the specimen but the overall effect we, as consumers, have on animals that we claim to love and respect. (This goes for me as well) OK -Paul stepping down of his soap box>  Would this be an adequate setup for the blue carpet anemone? <I believe you have a very adequate aquarium for most anything. Just do a little research on the needs and current environmental impact of your specimens.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <thank you for visiting the site and taking the first step in being a Conscientious Marine Aquarist. -Paul>

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