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Carpet Anemone: Mini Red - Small - Stichodactyla sp.
This is the natural color of this beautiful carpet anemone. The Red Carpet Saddle Anemone is one of the rarest anemones available and they are snapped up when they become available. Stichodactyla mertensii, or Merten's Carpet Anemone, is the rarest of the carpet anemones, and is seldom seen in the ornamental aquatics trade. Merten's carpet anemone is the only species of the large carpet anemones that is naturally found attached to rocky substrates, usually in deeper water than Stichodactyla haddoni and Stichodactyla gigantea, and can be identified by it's flattened, 'rock-hugging' appearance, short tentacles, verrucae (small finger like projections) on its small pedal disc, and is the only species that has a naturally occurring white (non-bleached) color variation. Merten's carpet anemone occurs in the red color morph, as well as green, tan, and purple.
Carpet anemones need a large, stable, and established marine aquarium. mertensii carpet anemones should not be subjected to parameter changes in their environment, as they will not be tolerated and will result in the death of the anemone. Water parameters and temperature should remain rock steady at all times in order for long term success to be had. Do not simply put together a new marine system and expect success! A 125 gallon or larger aquarium is highly recommended, and preferably one that has been running six months at the bare minimum.
Diet and Feeding: Carpet anemones are voracious eaters, and all species should be fed weekly to bi-weekly, depending upon the health and size of the animal and the lighting conditions in the aquarium. Carpet anemones should be fed raw, minced meaty seafood items (shrimp, shellfish, fish, and krill to name a few, attained from your local grocery store), chopped to about 5 mm in size. Anemones do not have the capacity to "think" and will grab and attempt to ingest any meaty item that is fed to them, but do not mistake this as a reason to feed large pieces or whole animals (shrimp, fish), which will usually be regurgitated later and can possibly injure the animal internally. A healthy animal should be fed approximately once weekly, preferably with food soaked in a vitamin supplement and Selcon. More frequent feedings will result in an increased growth rate.