|Stichodactlya gigantea with false percula clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris|
Stichodactyla gigantea, commonly known as the giant carpet anemone, is a species of sea anemone that lives in the Indo-Pacific area. It can be kept in an aquarium but is a very challenging species to keep alive and healthy for more than 3–5 years.
Stichodactyla gigantea has a diameter that is usually no larger than 50 centimetres (1.6 ft) and a maximum of 80 centimetres (2.6 ft). It can appear in a number of colors, commonly brown or greenish and rarely a striking purple or pink, deep blue, or bright green. A healthy S. gigantea will possess tentacles that are extremely sticky to the touch, with firm adherence to surfaces.
S. gigantea resides on shallow seagrass beds or sand flats around 8 centimetres (3.1 in) deep (at low tide). Most anemones are treated as sessile, but the ones inhabited by anemonefish are in fact motile. Zooxanthellae are obligate symbionts within the anemone.
S. gigantea hosts 7 different species of anemonefish
- Amphiprion akindynos (Barrier reef anemonefish)
- A. bicinctus (Two-band anemonefish)
- A. clarkii (Clark's anemonefish)
- A. ocellaris (False clownfish)
- A. percula (Clownfish)
- A. perideraion (Pink skunk anemonefish)
- A. rubrocinctus (Australian anemonefish)
S. gigantea is uncommon in the aquarium trade. Though smaller in size than other carpet anemone species, it is significantly more delicate, and requires a large, mature reef aquarium. Like all sea anemones in captivity that have a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship with anemonefish, S. gigantea requires intense aquarium lighting, impeccable water quality, and stable parameters. It is prone to shipping stress and bacterial infections during transit. Due to these factors, many hobbyists advocate quarantining this anemone and treating with antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin or Septra for a minimum of one week before acclimating it to the main tank.
- Fautin, D. (2010). "Stichodactlya gigantea (Forsskål, 1775)". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2011-12-23.
- Fenner, Robert M. (1998). The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists. Shelburne, VT: Microcosm Ltd.
- "Freshmarine.com: Carpet anemone". Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Fautin, Daphne G.; Allen, Gerald R. (1997). Field Guide to Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones. Western Australian Museum. ISBN 9780730983651. Archived from the original on 14 April 2015.
- Mitchell, Jeremy S. (2003). "Mobility of Stichodactlya gigantea sea anemones and implications for resident false clown anemonefish, Amphiprion ocellaris". Environmental Biology of Fishes. 66: 85–90. doi:10.1023/a:1023286009054.
- Animal-World References: Marine and Reef, 2015. http://animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Giant-Carpet-Anemone Giant Carpet Anemone.
- Protocol for using antibiotics to treat infected anemones. (2014). http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2271385
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