By Bob Goemans
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Family Stichodactylidae

Stichodactyla mertensii

Brandt, 1835

Merten’s Carpet Anemone, Non-Stinging Carpet Anemone

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: East Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and south to Australia and Fiji Islands.

Size: 36 inches (91 cm)

Natural Environment: Lives singly in rock crevices and on coral rubble on and near reef slopes and found at depths between 3 to 65 feet (1 - 20 m).

General Husbandry: Rarely seen in the trade and one of the larger clownfish anemones, sometimes far exceeding 36 inches (91 cm) in diameter, e.g., 60 inches (152 cm).

Requires a large aquarium, often well over 100 gallons, and gentle water movement and strong light.

Column is usually whitish or tan with bumps that are tan, orange or magenta. Oral disc is green, cream or yellowish in color with tentacles tipped in white, yellow or green.

Mostly prefers feedings with fish flesh, not crustacean meat and several feeding per week. Difficult species to maintain.

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: Stichodactyla

FYI: May eat small fishes in the aquarium!

Has non-sticky tentacles.

Reported to host several different Anemonefishes in the wild - A. clarki, A. akindynos, A. chrysopterus, A. chrysogaster, A. allardi, A. ocellaris, A. tricinctus, A. perideraion, A. latifasciatus, A. akallopisis, and A. fuscocaudatus.

Experience Level: Expert

Diet: Photosynthetic/Carnivore

Temperament: Semi-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: Very 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: 74 - 82°F (23 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 400 - 500+

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Stichodactyla mertensii (Merten’s Carpet Anemone, Non-Stinging Carpet Anemone)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by:
Dr Gs Marine Aquaculture