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FAQs on Anemones of the Caribbean/West Atlantic: Stichodactyla helianthus

Related Articles: Anemones of the Tropical West Atlantic, Condylactis Anemones, Anemones, LTAsColored/Dyed Anemones

Related FAQs: Atlantic Anemones 2, Condylactis, Tropical West Atlantic (TWA) Anemone Identification, TWA Anemone Behavior, TWA Anemone Compatibility, TWA Anemone Selection, TWA Anemone Systems, TWA Anemone Feeding, TWA Anemone Disease, TWA Anemone Reproduction,
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Condylactis (see below), Epicystis, Lebrunia, Viatrix, Others/Unknowns,
Anemones, Anemones 2, Clownfishes & Anemones, Anemone Systems, Anemone Lighting, Anemone Reproduction, Anemone Identification, Anemone Compatibility, Anemone Selection, Anemone Behavior, Anemone Health, Anemone Placement, Anemone Feeding

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Anemone ID   2/7/10
<Hi there Zoe>
I bought some live rock yesterday - had quite a deep hollow in one side - I thought there were some mushrooms in there but couldn't really see as they were all shriveled when out of the water. I put the lr into a holding tank and this morning have found 4 anemones?
<Mmm, yes... appear to be Stichodactyla helianthus, the Sun Anemone.>
have moved out of the hollow onto the front. They are all at least 1inch x 1 inch - the tentacles extend less than 1cm - they are quite flat, almost like a mushroom. I have had a look at the ID pages and couldn't see much resembling them. I wondered whether you could ID them for me and suggest whether its a good idea to keep them or not. I have a 500l tank with a 100l sump, 3 x 54w T5s with reflectors (soon to be 4). Lots of soft corals.
<These are very "sting-y"...>
I have attached a picture and hope I have given you enough information.
Thanks for your time
<Please see here on WWM:
and on the Net re their husbandry. Bob Fenner>

Re: Anemone ID, Helianthus  2/13/10
Thank you for time and your reply. I have tried to do some research about the Sun Anemone and can't find too much.
<Not much about as far as I'm aware. This is not a "traded species" of any volume, and is entirely "too stingy" for common use>
Am a little concerned as the information I found states that they will eat small fish (I have a couple of very small fish such as a yellow goby, neon goby, clowns) - does this mean they aren't safe to keep in the tank?
Also some of the other information says that they have a very powerful sting - this has confused me a little because my shrimps often walk over them / stand on them and don't react as if they have been stung.
<These animals are indeed almost immune>
I suppose I just really want some reassurance that my fish will be safe with them rather than me needing to give them away - what are your thoughts?
<I would trade them to someone with a biotopic TWA shallow water habitat.
Thanks again for your time 

Can you ID this anemone (Found in the Florida Keys)  10/21/05 Hi, I found this anemone in the Florida Keys about six months ago. I brought it with a tiny that inhabited in it. The shrimp has disappeared and I was wondering if any clown would go into an Atlantic anemone <Some learn to get along with Condylactis species... but not likely this one... appears to be a Stichodactyla helianthus... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/twaanemones.htm> anyway I would still like to know what I have. It is about 8" in dia. yellow in color 1/2" tentacles that are very sticky. Please help. I have attached a picture. <Bob Fenner>

Atlantic Carpet Anemone Possibly? Hello Robert, I purchased what I thought was a Stichodactyla gigantea. I now believe it is a Stichodactyla helianthus.  <Mmm, an Atlantic Carpet Anemone...> It is yellow in color and the ?base? is very light yellowish tan to white... a real pretty specimen. If I did purchase the helianthus variety, how should I care for it? Placement? Lighting requirements? How can I know for sure it is a helianthus and not a gigantea. <These are very different animals... S. helianthus is pictured, described here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/twaanemones.htm Their tentacles are green, brown... never seen one with a yellow/white base... and this species is much smaller... 4-6 inches in diameter max.> I've read a lot about the care of the carpet anemones but I have never seen any info. about this particular anemone. Any response would be great. <S. gigantea is found here on our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemones.htm Its "face is deeply folded, tentacles much longer... Care for both about the same. Bob Fenner> Terry Teutsch

Stichodactyla helianthus I have read your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist". I have posted to WetWeb, Reef Central and Saltwaterfish.com. I need information specific to this type of carpet anemone so that I can create a microhabitat in which it will thrive AND figure out what to feed it. I got it as a gift and really want to do it justice. <I understand, and agree> Do you know anything about this species? Can you point me in a direction where I can find the info I need? Thanks - Jeanne <You can find what little we have posted on the species by going here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ and posting the scientific name in the search tool at the bottom... This is a shallow (a meter or two generally) tropical West Atlantic species. Easy to care for (relatively for Actinarians). Bob Fenner>

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