Mertens’ Carpet Anemone
Invert Type: Anemones
Scientific Name: Stichodactyla mertensii
Reef Safe: With Caution
Relative Care: Difficult
Photo Courtesy of: CC BY-SA 2.0, Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons
Mertens’ Carpet Anemone is not as common in the aquarium trade as the other carpet anemones. It is the largest of the carpet anemones, growing up to three feet in diameter. These anemones need a very large, established aquarium with perfect water quality, high flow, and bright lighting. Unlike the Haddon’s and Gigantic carpet anemones which like to bury in sand, Mertens’ anemone likes to attach to rocks and rubble. 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 Mertens’ 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.