View Full Version : Questions about adding a carpet anemone...

06-13-2008, 09:30 PM
Someone I know is shutting her tank down. She is giving me her carpet anemone. I wanted to ask about adding it to my tank. Other than my small GBTA I don't have any experience with anemones. The tank this carpet was in is about 16 inches deep and the lighting was only 130watts of compact fluorescent. My tank is 30 inches deep with 500 watts of metal halide. How should I go about acclimating him? My tank has almost four times the wattage in lights, but it's much deeper. Any thoughts? Also is there anything I should know about carpets? Do they move much? I have my GBTA on a rock of his own so he won't wander around and sting other corals. I was hoping to do something similar with this one.

Thanks for any info.

06-13-2008, 09:35 PM
Sounds like your lighting is fine, I don' think they generally need too much lighting but as long as you don't burn it it should be fine. It should go lower in the tank.

Carpet anemones generally need lots of space and get quite large as they tend not to split, they usually don't get along with other corals.

06-13-2008, 09:50 PM
Yeah, I was thinking my lights would be too much right off the bat. That's what you mean about "burn" it right. I'm not sure if the depth of my tank will be enough of an offset for the higher wattage lighting. I'm also wondering about handling, I've read they have quite a sting compared to bubbletips. Also looking for tips on getting him to attach in the spot I want him (if there is any tips for that)


06-13-2008, 09:56 PM
Mike, I just got a carpet anemone (stichodayctyla Gigantea) a week ago. I've asked for lots of advice, and done as much reading as possible.

From various sources, I've gleaned that intense lighting is preferable. They are shallow water species (at least I know the Giganteas are), and are used to pretty high levels of light. As well, flow is very important. Random, surging, heavy flow.

What type of carpet is it, do you know? Haddoni or Gigantea? This will help you to further identify what it needs (i.e. Haddonis require a sandy substrate, whereas Giganteas often attach to the rock, etc.)

I've also read that carpets should not be placed with other anemones in the same aquarium. I have no personal experience with this, however, so maybe some others can chime in. But the chemical warfare can apparently harm both, and not allow either to flourish.

What color is it?

06-13-2008, 10:10 PM
Do you know what species it is? If not can you post a picture?

Reason I ask is that the "care and feeding requirements" differ species for carpets. Stichodactyla haddoni is largely not too demanding, but grows large (24" not uncommon), is sticky like crazy and can catch and eat fish (as well as any other mobile critter unlucky enough to stumble into the anemone and not be able to pull away). They are hardy of a wider range of lighting. Generally speaking they will stay put in a spot they like but can start to wander if not fed enough.

S. gigantea does not grow as large (typically), and is more of a planktivore than a piscivore (ie., eats things like small shrimp instead of fish), but has a poor survival record in captivity - although generally speaking the losses are poor initial imports and thus acquiring one from a fellow hobbyist would presumably be less risky that way.

FWIW, there are 2 other carpet species occasionally imported - S. helianthus and S. mertensii but these are pretty infrequently seen.

Odds are pretty good that yours is a haddoni.

Generally speaking both gigantea and haddoni will stay near the bottom, wedging their feet into the crevasses between rocks or in some depression. Haddoni will likely attach to the bottom glass (digging its way through sand - in fact they can bury themselves in sand), whereas gigantea will likely attach to rock near the bottom. When smaller, haddoni anemones may climb to higher spots on the the rocks but they generally move down to the bottom as they get bigger.

IME, neither species seems to particularly appreciate being in spots of low flow. Gigantea in particular seems to prefer higher flow and higher light conditions.

06-13-2008, 10:22 PM
I've read they have quite a sting compared to bubbletips. Also looking for tips on getting him to attach in the spot I want him (if there is any tips for that)

Missed these questions, might as well reply again with some more random tidbits.

They don't sting per se in that you don't usually feel yourself being stung like you would from say a bee or something. But haddoni's in particular shoot nematocysts like crazy (they are, after all, fish eaters and thus accustomed to larger prey items). (They're not so much active predators mind you, more like opportunistic. I.e., it's not like seek out fish to eat. But, fish are dumb, sooner or later they will blunder into the anemone and if the anemone is hungry it may try to .. well, eat the fish. This is haddoni though, gigantea is not the same category of aggressiveness.)

So you don't perceive the sting as a sting, you perceive it as stickiness. In the case of haddoni the tentacles are so sticky that if you touch the tentacles, odds are you'll pull them right off when you take your hand back.

The next day your hand is covered in itchy welts and you wonder where they came from. At least I sure did, took me many times before I put 2 and 2 together. ("Oohhhhhh, I touched the carpet yesterday.")

So keep handling to a minimum. Use gloves (disposable ones like what you can get at Home Depot are fine, I find aquarium gloves are too bulky and no good for finessing your way through the tank).

Find a spot where you want it to be, like some small rocks near the bottom that have a crevasse or indentation or cup or bowl like shape, and let it float down towards it. Have your current off for this and low/subdued until you see it's attached to something. (Nothing like having a floating ball of anemone bouncing around your tank..)

Good luck. Please post some pictures (not just for the ID, but just because ... we all like seeing stuff!! And I just dig carpets so I want to see, I want to see. :lol:)

06-14-2008, 12:47 AM
Wow, thanks for the responses guys. From what you've said and what I know about this guy it sounds like a Haddoni. I will find out some more from the person that gave him to me later tonight if I can. He is in a bag in my sump at the moment waiting to see his new home.

Thanks again!

06-15-2008, 01:26 AM
I haven't talked to the girl that gave him to me yet, but here's a pic...He seems to be doing fine so far.


06-15-2008, 02:15 AM
Ooh, very nice haddoni you have there. The variegation pattern (the two tones/colours) in the tentacles is a "distinguishing feature" of the species. :)

06-15-2008, 02:38 AM
I think it's a she! :lol: She's pink :wink:

06-15-2008, 07:12 AM
What should I feed this guy? I think he was being fed prawns but I don't know how often. Can I just buy prawns from Safeway? What are other feeding options?


06-15-2008, 07:15 AM
Prawns will work. When I had mine, I fed it chopped up prawn about 1x per week. If I had some filleted snapper or something like that I would give it about a 1" square.

You could try mysis too and see how it likes it..

I also tried things like mussels and clams but found it would spit it out about 1/2 way digested after a few hours, so I stopped offering it those.