By Bob Goemans
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Family Stichodactylidae

Heteractis magnifica

(Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)

Magnifica Anemone, Ritteri Anemone, Purple Base Anemone

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Red Sea to Samoa.

Size: 36 inches (90 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow reef and lagoon areas having very good water movement where it is usually home to hundreds of various clownfishes and often found in large colonies at depths of 3 to 30 feet (1 - 10 m)

General Husbandry: Prefers its base attached to rock in open water where there is good water flow and intense light to stimulate its symbiotic zooxanthellae.

Its column can be blue, brown, green, magenta, red, or white and its tentacles are usually shades of brown, but can also be green, yellow or white depending upon place of origin. When light is insufficient, it may expand to capture as much light as possible. Conversely, when it is too bright, it will retract to reduce the degree of oxygen production by its symbiotic algae. Excessive oxygen can actually damage the anemone tissue structure.

An overabundance of UV produced by some metal halides may damage tissue structure.

Prefers a diet of crustaceans rather than other type meaty foods with five or six monthly feedings recommended.

Should be the first animal in the aquarium and allowed to roam/find its preferred place before adding other fixed location corals, as it will sting anything it comes in contact with.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Order: Actiniaria

    Family: Stichodactylidae

    Genus: Heteractis

FYI: Formerly called Radianthus ritteri

Does fairly well in captivity once established and is reported to host twelve different Anemonefishes in the wild - A. clarki, A. chrysopterus, A. akindynos, A. bicinctus, A. perideraion, A. percula, A. leucokranos, A. omanenisi, A. melonopus, A. nigripes, A. akallopisos, and A. ocellaris.

Second largest sea anemone.

Experience Level: Intermediate

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: 75 - 86°F (24 - 30°C).

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 450+

Water Movement: WM 3

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Heteractis magnifica (Magnifica Anemone, Ritteri Anemone, Purple Base Anemone)
Photo ©
Heteractis crispa Heteractis malu
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