Common Name: Carpet Anemone, Gigantea Carpet Anemone
Scientific Name: Stichodactyla Gigantea
Reef Safe: Yes
Flow: Low to Moderate
Care Level: Difficult
Max Size: Around 34 to 36 inches
The gigantean carpet anemone typically will get over 2 feet in diameter, and will frequently get to around 3 feet when kept in ideal conditions. In the wild they can get to well over 3 feet. Their tentacles are the longest of the carpet anemones but much shorter than a long tentacle or bubble tip anemone. The tentacles will be around ¼ to ¾ inches in length. I like to think of it as looking like 1960′s shag carpeting. Typically they will be a brown or sandy color but other less common colors like green, blue, yellow, purple, and pink can also be found. Even harder to find colors include red and a dark blue.
A gigantea carpet anemone has been known to eat varied sizes of fish and invertebrates making them one of the more aggressive eaters when compared to other anemones. For that reason, extreme care should be taken when keeping a gigantea carpet anemone in an aquarium with other anemones. While the gigantea carpet anemone has not been known to move, you should not have to worry about that unless there is something wrong with the water parameters. In general, carpet anemones are the least likely to move.
The gigantea anemone can get to be a little over 34 inches across which is why I would suggest a tank size of no less than 75 gallons for these anemones. However, a larger tank would make it a lot easier for you to maintain stable water parameter which is something the gigantean carpet anemone truly needs. Gigantea carpet anemones are very demanding and require very good and very stable conditions.
Gigantea carpet anemones are among the more common carpet anemones available in the hobby these days. In my experience, gigantea carpet anemones typically like to sink their boot in the substrate and attaching their boot to the bottom pane of glass. For this reason, you would need to place their boot in about 4 inches of sandy substrate. They like moderate flow and high lighting conditions.
As with all anemones, they need to be placed in a stable and matured aquarium. I would only recommend then to hobbyists who are at least somewhat experienced.
Recommended water conditions:
I would refer you to the below article for the typical water conditions that a gigantea anemone will do best in. As a very difficult invertebrate to keep, the gigantea carpet anemone will also need both good and stable water parameters for long term success.
While gigantea anemones can thrive under the correct level of lighting (providing all other requirements are met) they can still benefit from the occasional (or weekly) feeding made up of some meeting foods. You must be careful to offer only high quality foods as anemones (in general) can suffer from bacterial infections when offered poor quality foods. The below link can help you with that as well.
It is not very common for carpet anemones to reproduce in a home aquarium, even when kept in ideal conditions. .
In my opinion, you should not frag anemones as they are invertebrates and not corals. Although you can find information on line posted by people who claim to have successfully fragged anemones, I would encourage you to read through the below link before considering to attempt fragging an anemone.
A Word of Caution
Handle this invertebrate, and all Anemones, with care. They have the ability to sting with their tentacles. These stings can cause skin irritations or serious allergic reactions. Always wear protective rubber gloves when handling anemones
The gigantea anemone has very sticky tentacles as compared to a lot other anemones. They are just about the most sticky of all the anemones in the hobby today. Gigantea anemones can be a very aggressive eater as it will not let go if a fish (or your hand) when/if it came in contact with the tentacles. I would almost be willing to classify these guys as aggressive eaters/predators if it wasn’t not for the fact they typically don’t move.
If you would like clown fish, consider the below list of some the more common clown fish that have been known to readily host in giganteaanemones.
Amphiprion ocellaris, or ocellaris clown fish (all color variations)
Amphiprion clarkia, or clarkie clown fish
Amphiprion sebae, or just sabae clown
Amphiprion Frenatus, or tomato clown
For some more detailed information about anemones in general, I would refer you to the below link