By Bob Goemans
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Family Stichodactylidae

Heteractis crispa

(Ehrenberg, 1834)

Leathery Sea Anemone, Sebae Anemone

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Red Sea to Tuamotu Islands.

Size: 12 inches (30 cm)

Natural Environment: Lives singly in deep coral and rock crevices that protect its body with only its oral disc and tentacles exposed at depths from 10 to 100 feet (3 - 30 m).

General Husbandry: May attach itself to rubble/rock in the aquarium, or embed its foot into the sand bed, which should be at least 4 inches (10 cm) deep, where it attaches its lower foot on the bottom of the aquarium.

Usually has a gray column and its disc and tentacles can be green, gray, or mauve. Often has purple or pink tipped tentacles.

Requires two or three weekly feedings of chopped fish meat, shrimp, mysis, bloodworms, mussels/clam meat, and/or squid.

Generally has a poor record of survivorship in captivity, probably due to poor transportation from its origin, as most perish. Yet if a healthy specimen is found, tends to do well.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Order: Actiniaria

    Family: Stichodactylidae

    Genus: Heteractis

FYI: Reported to host fourteen different Anemonefishes in the wild - A. clarki, A. tricinctus, A. chrysopterus, A. akindynos, A. bicinctus, A. perideraion, A. polymnus, A. percula, A. ephippium, A. latezonatus, A. leucokranos, A. omanenisi, A. melonopus, and A. sandaracinos.

Experience Level: Expert

Diet: Photosynthetic/Carnivore

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: With caution

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: Yes

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Hardiness: Difficult

Calcium (Ca): 380 - 430 mg/l

Alkalinity: 2.5 - 3.0 meq/l,

Phosphate (PO4): <0.05 mg/l

Magnesium (Mg): approx. 1350 mg/l (relate to specific gravity)

Temperature Range: 72 to 79°F (22 - 26°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Lighting: PAR 300 - 450+

Water Movement: WM 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

Iodine/Trace Elements: Monitor/as necessary to maintain quality seawater.

 Heteractis crispa (Leathery Sea Anemone, Sebae Anemone)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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Ocean Nutrition