Giant Carpet Anemone
Invert Type: Anemones
Scientific Name: Stichodactyla gigantea
Reef Safe: With Caution
Relative Care: Difficult
Photo Courtesy of: By Anne Hoggett - http://www.gaiaguide.info/HotShot.html?resourceId=u6lO99vf, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45826399
The Giant carpet anemone is very similar to Haddon’s carpet anemone, but it grows much larger, up to two and a half feet in diameter. It also has light spots on the underside of the oral disc and longer, pointed tentacles, while Haddon’s anemone has shorter, beaded tentacles. This species is the natural host of the most common clownfish in home aquariums such as Amphiprion ocellaris, A. percula, A. clarkii, A. perideraion, A. akindynos, A. rubrocinctus, and A. bicinctus. These anemones need a very large, established aquarium with perfect water quality, high flow, and bright lighting. It likes to bury its foot and column in sand and attach to a flat rock or the glass under the sand. Handle this species with gloves, as it has a powerful sting. Very large specimens should be handled with shoulder length gloves since the skin on the underside of your arms is more susceptible. This species is very aggressive, so give a minimum of a foot of space between a fully inflated Giant carpet anemone and any other anemones and corals. Feed at least weekly with chunks of frozen silversides, shrimp, squid, and other meaty foods for large carnivores. A healthy specimen will have a tightly closed mouth and will be very sticky. They tend to be pretty expensive, especially red or blue specimens.