About Haddon's Carpet Anemones and its care
Haddon's Carpet Sea Anemone is difficult to keep and care for in the saltwater reef aquarium. However, among the other carpet species such as Stichodactyla gigantea and Stichodactyla mertensii, it is considered as the 'easier' species to care for. Haddon's Carpet Anemone has short and rounded stinging tentacles or nematocysts filled with venom which can cause problem to human if touch with bare hand. They come in various colors such as green, tan, red, and blue, with green and tan being the most frequently sold in shops. They are also a natural host for various species of Clownfish such as Clark's, Sebae, Akindynos Clownfish, Mauritian Anemonefish and Blue Stripe Anemonefish in the wild. They can also serve as host for the Ocellaris and Percula clownfish in a saltwater reef aquarium.
In the wild, Haddon's Carpet Anemones are found in the sandy bottom of the ocean reef. They will normally not attach to a rocky substrate as they prefer sandy substrate. They often attached themselves to the bottom of the aquarium glass so that their body can be completely buried in the sandy substrate. As such, when keeping them in a saltwater reef aquarium, ensure that the tank have a sand substrate of 4" to 6" depth to enable the Haddon's Carpet Anemone to hide under the sand. When first introduce into a new tank, reduce the water flow temporary and try clearing out a small area on the sand substrate where you want them to settle down and stick.
A Carpet serving as host to some clownfish.
Common Name: Haddon's Carpet Anemone, Saddleback or Saddle Carpet Anemone
Scientific Name/binomial name: Stichodactyla haddoni
Size: This is a large creature and can grow up to 3 feet (one meter) in diameter
Temperament: Aggressive. They are predators and will sting and kill anything close to them.
Distribution: Indo-Pacific and Red Sea
pH: 8.3 to 8.4
Specific Gravity: 1.024-1.026
Temperature: 76 to 82 °F (24 to 28 °C)
Light Requirement: High.
Current Flow: medium turbulent flow with good water movement
Compatible with: certain species of clownfish and Periclimenes shrimp (Periclemenes sp.)
Incompatible with: Small fish which will be eaten while corals and other invertebrates will be stung by them. When keeping together in a tank, make sure there are plenty of space (at least a foot) between them and the corals/other anemones. It is best to keep them in a species specific aquarium to prevent them from killing passive fish or being attacked by large or aggressive fish such as puffers and triggerfish.
Diet and Feeding : Haddon's Carpet anemones are voracious eater as they depend more on their hunting ability rather than the zooxanthellae algae for their food. Feeding should be done daily or a few times a week depending on its size. Too much food will led to an increased in growth rate in the saltwater reef aquarium. Fed only with small pieces of seafood such as fresh raw shrimp, fish, clams, oysters and mussels. Feeding might not be needed if they are hosting an anemone fish or shrimp.