By Bob Goemans
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Family Stichodactylidae

Stichodactyla gigantea

Forsskal, 1775

Gigantic Sea Anemone, Carpet Anemone

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

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

Size: 30 inches (76 cm)

Natural Environment: Lives singly on sandy and coral rubble substrates, hiding most of its body. Found at a depth between 6 to 65 feet (2 - 20 m).

General Husbandry: Does best in deep sandy substrates where it will bury its foot and become attached to the aquarium bottom or some deeply buried rock. Requires swift water movement and high intensity lighting.

Its oral disc is usually tan or pinkish, and rarely seen as a blue as shown in the photo, with its column tan or gray, and if very healthy, tentacles are very sticky.

Requires several feedings per week of chopped shrimp, fish, squid, and/or silversides.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Order: Actiniaria

    Family: Stichodactylidae

    Genus: Stichodactyla

FYI: May eat small fishes in the aquarium!

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.

Delicate, and prone to bacterial infections.

Reported to host several different Anemonefishes in the wild - A. clarki, A. percula, A. perideraion, A. akindynos, A. rubrocinctus, A. bicinctus, and A. ocellaris.

Experience Level: Expert

Diet: Photosynthetic/Carnivore

Temperament: Aggressive

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: No

Fish Safe: With caution

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately 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 - 82°F (22 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 450+

Water Movement: WM 2 - 3

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Stichodactyla gigantea (Gigantic Sea Anemone, Carpet Anemone)
Photo © Bob Goemans
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Ocean Nutrition