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Magnificent Anemone

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Species group:

Other common names: Bulb Tip Anemone, Purple Base Anemone, Maroon Anemone, Yellow-Tipped Long Tentacle Anemone, Ritteri Anemone

Scientific name: Heteractis magnifica

The basics:
The stunning Magnificent Anemone is, well,…magnificent! Among the largest of the world’s Anemones, it makes a somewhat delicate pet but in careful hands can do very well.

The Magnificent Anemone ranges throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from coastal eastern Africa and the Red Sea to Japan, Polynesia and Australia.

It is found on coral reefs, usually near the reef-top, singly or in large groups.

Appearance / health:
The large, bulbous oral disc and the bases of the tentacles may be green, white, shades of blue or violet, while the upper reaches of the tentacles are tan, pink, orange, red or green. The tentacles are tipped with an iridescent yellowish-green bulb. The Magnificent Anemone may reach 99 cm (39 in) across.

The Magnificent Anemone is extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrate levels in the water, and should only be introduced to a well-cycled aquarium. It requires more food than most, and quickly declines in condition if underfed.

Behavior / temperament:
This beautiful Anemone’s tank-mates must be chosen with care, as it will kill corals, fish, and other Anemones. It acts as a host to 12-15 Clown Fish species and several shrimps and crabs. Individuals of the same species must be widely separated, but clones will be tolerated nearby. Quite mobile, it usually seeks a location high-up in the tank, and near a moderate to fast current.

The Magnificent Anemone should be handled with gloves designed for use in marine aquariums.

Housing:
The Magnificent Anemone requires ample lighting so that the symbiotic algae that provide it with important nutrients can thrive. The water should be well-oxygenated via moderate currents, ammonia and nitrite-free, and in the temperature range of 23.8-27.8 C (75-82 F). Filter intakes must be modified so as to prevent the Anemone’s delicate arms from being injured. A rock or coral base should be provided, as an anchoring site.

The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Salinity: 1.024-1.026; pH: 8.1-8.3; Alkalinity 8-12 dKH; Calcium 400-450; Magnesium: 1,250-1,350.

Diet:
In addition to the nutrients provided by symbiotic algae, Magnificent Anemones require near-daily feedings of clam, shrimp, mussel, scallop, abalone, and/or marine fish. They are notoriously-choosy, but every effort should be made to provide a varied diet. Meals can be placed in the disk (center of arms) via a long-handled tong. Trace elements and iodine should be added as directed by the manufacturer.

Breeding:
Captive breeding is extremely rare. Reproduction in the aquarium is asexual, via fission (“splitting”). Wild individuals reproduce sexually as well.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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