Reference - Heteractis Type Anemones, Page 8
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Heteractis Type Anemones


Continued from Page 7....

Heteractis magnifica

One of all hobbyists' favorite anemones. Beautiful in color, often with a red to orange body/stem. Has a large oral disk and a great deal of tentacles. Strong stinger. Be careful when handling this anemone as you may be allergic to the nematocysts excretions. Welts may form where you touched the tentacles.

Has a large body that can, at times, be seen to close up and look like a "ball" with only a few real short tentacles emerging from it. Unfortunately not easy to keep (see earlier in this article what you can do).

This anemone likes to attach to large piece of dead coral but in aquariums often attaches to the glass or acrylic panes and moves to high spots. Can be kept in a particular location by changing the currents inside the tank and doing so until the anemone is satisfied and remains in place. Needs a lot of strong lighting. Should definitely be kept under metal halides, supplemented with actinic lighting, depending on which metal halide is used.

Likes to place itself in a location that is unencumbered by other animals and will keep moving if you place it in one it does not like. Has the strange habit of crawling to the Top, close to the maximum water level of the tank, sometimes even a little higher, and then let itself fall Back to the bottom, only to start doing the same over again. Sometimes falls and remains in an upside down position when it does this and will take its time to turn itself Back over. There is no need for you to do so, the anemone will roll over to a normal position again.

The tentacles are numerous and long and may end in what looks like a rounded bubble. The tip may be colored. The tentacles sting very strongly. Possesses nematocysts and spirocysts. The latter can remain stuck to your hand or finger (just as with carpet anemones).

Allen (1992) reports that these anemones are often found in "clusters" of hundreds of identical clones. No other coral or anemone manages to live or survive in that same area.

H. magnifica can be wide open and flattened out or can modify its body shape to just about any form. Often seen with undulating outer edges/parts. Can go from full extension to full contraction in a very short time. Hard to keep. Looses its color easily, especially the color of the stem or body. See earlier remarks for remedies for both.

As indicated this anemone prefers higher regions of the reef which may explain why it tends to want to move towards the Top of the tank, regardless of where you place it. This habit can be overcome by exercising a lot of patience in modifying tank currents and lighting though. It prefers to adhere to hard rock surfaces that are flat or nearly flat.

Associates with, among others, the following clownfish:

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