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Old 07/16/2012, 09:28 PM   #1
Finsky
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Taking care of a Stichodactyla gigantea

At the request of a fellow reefcentral participant, I decided to start this thread of my Stichodactyla gigantea which I obtained from Petco several months ago. They had kept it a while and I had hesitated and done alot of research before finally moving my third green bubble tip from the right end of my tank to join two green and two red rose on the left end of the tank where it still resides doing much better in it new position at the top of three green bubble tips.

The Stichodactyla gigantea was sticking very well to a piece of live rock and the bottom of the tank in its small little plastic box 14"x14". I watched Petco "aquarium expert" as he called himself, as he gentling removed the anemone under my watchful gaze so that I was sure it would not be torn or injured.

When I took it home I had my place for it on the right side of the tank where I can let it grow to it's maximum size. I had read that it could attach to some smooth rock and I had a small 4" to 5" "hole" in the middle of the live rock which went straight down to a smooth rock surface. I had turned off the two Hydor 8's at 3,250 gph each before placing the anemone in what I hoped would be its new home. After acclimation, I gently cupped it in my hand at the edge of the aquarium and quickly put it in the water where I could guide it by loosely cupping it in my right hand while guiding it down towards the open "hole" being careful to not let it get stuck to my hand. The bottom of it's pedestal made it 50% of the way on the bottom and half on the bottom side of the "hole" before stick in place. I waiting maybe 30 minutes before turning the Hydor 8's on one at a time with the second one turned on about 15 minutes after I could see the Stichodactyla gigantea was staying put with one circulating pump running. It stayed this way for a few weeks before it moved it's entire foot straight down on the flat rock "bottom". I put "hole" and "bottom" in quotes as the hole is made up of different large rocks and the bottom shoots off and down to the left of the flat smooth bottom which is about five inches down from the top edges of rock.

I started feeding it razor clam after a few days with approximately a 1/2" piece. I gently placed the clam in the middle of the anemone with my 18" plastic tongs and it methodically wrapped its outer edge inward to surround the piece of clam. I have been feeding it razor clam and silverside once per week since. I have increased the size of the feeding a little bit at a time as it has grown.

I do have one brown tang, two yellow tangs, two blue tangs, two six line wrasses, one female bird wrasse, one female dusky wrasse, one three inch moon wrasse, three zebra dart fish, two starry blennies, a breeding pair of Tomato clownfish, a black mouth damsel, two four striped damself, two yellow tail damsels, two blue damsels, one azure damsel along with three brain corals, one orange montiopora carpricornous, various mushrooms, some palythoa polyps, and two patches of zooanthid polyps, as well as one deresa clam I put in my 60" five foot 125 tank I obtained for $300 used with the stand it came with. I also now have a Polka Dot Damsel who backs in half way into the tentacles and has a territory around and over the . The Tomatos have no interest what so every towards the True Carpet and prefer lay their eggs and sleep in their five homes, the five bubble tips.

I go into all this detail to give an idea that I consider my tank a piece of ocean with anemones, corals, and fish which affects how I feed my tank and its inhabitants.

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I feed a 1/4 measuring cup partially filled with freeze dried mysis and brine shrimp, red and green algae sheets cut up with scissors to flake size sprinkled on top. I then put a a few Ocean Nutrition One and Two pellets with a sprinkly of Ocean Nutrition One and Two flakes on top. I soak this with Vita-Chem Marine formula. The Vita-Chem dose is one drop per gallon or one capful per 50 gallons per week. I try to soak these three weekly boadcast feedings with about two thirds of a capful of Vita-Chem and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes while I feed my 65 high amazone tank in the upstairs loft.

I then return to the living room to feed the saltwater tank. First I turn off the two Rena XP4 canisters and the Aqua-Medic tuboflotor multi-1000 protein skimmer. Then I dip the measure cup until it is filled to the top with tank water. I wait until this loosens the vitamin food mixture and then I dump it in the right end of the tank where my "saltwater community tank" inhabitants are swarming for the feeding frenzy. It takes them about 15 minutes to clean up and get their "fill" with some food falling into the anemones and various polyps and brain corals. The Vita-Chem will cloud the water slightly and starts to clear in 15 minutes.

This is when I feed my liquid food from Kent Marine. I think the Microvert is the best liquid food for anemones of the four types of liquid food I feed the tank. I also feed Kent Marine Phytoplex. Chromoplex, and Zooplex for the polyps, corals and mushrooms and I hope it helps the anmones although I could not say for sure.

On some mornings, usually Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, I will feed a very small amount of flake food and/or freeze dried mysis shrimp which can be consumed in two to three minutes.

I keep my pH from 8.2 to 8.4 per a Pinpoint pH Monitor as I dose with Seachem Reef Carbonate on a regular basis. My tap water treated with Seachem Prime has alot of bi-carbonate alkalinity and after some emailing with Seachem about drop pH after water changes this was the possible dianosis and Reef Carbonate has been working well for my tank and its inhabitants. I keep the water is temperature between 80 to 84 degrees with two 300 watt Visi-Therm heaters. I keep the salinity at 35 ppt with daily manual top off using a Pinpoint Salinity Monitor. The lighting is a 60" Marineland Pro Lighting System with two 150 watt 14,000K metal halides bulbs and four 54 watt T-5 actinics. I have the actinics come on at 11:00 am and the halides at 11:30 am. The halides go off at 7:30 pm and the actinics go off at 8:00. The five one watt LED nightlights come on at 8:02 pm and go out at 10:00 pm.

I change 15 to 18 gallons of water per week.

The Aquarium


The Left Half







The Right Half


True Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) with it's Polka Dot Damsel












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Last edited by Finsky; 07/16/2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Photos
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Old 07/16/2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Beautiful gigantea anemone Finsky!
How big is it now and how big was it when you first got it?
It looks in the pictures like it might have some pinkish color on the inner tentacles...is that the case in real life or is that just the way the lighting has it looking?

Its interesting to see how the brown paly's immediately to the left of the gigantea are shriveling up and shying away...

Nick


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Old 07/16/2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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Nick, thank you very much.

When I brought it home it was around five or six inches and is now eight to ten inches.

What I really like are the characteristic folds in the out edes of the giantea anemone.

It really does rule it's habitat and I was pleasantly surprised that the paly's shrank in its wake!

I am willing to let it run over my mushrooms and some of my palys as they are migrating on the left end of their coverage over the live rock. I do not want to move the live rock with the mushrooms and I do not know whether I can move them otherwise.

It is green now with the night lights on so I have to get back to you on the coloring tomorrow when the halides come.

Tom


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Last edited by Finsky; 07/16/2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: grammar and info
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Old 07/17/2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Nick, you are correct in that the anemone's colors are the same in the pictures as they are in reality looking in the front glass.

The tentacles are 1" to 1 1/2" with very light army green on the top quarter and the bottom three quarters are colored with a deep flesh color which is very close to pinkish tan. The oral disk and mouth are the same fleshy color almost transluscent. It is a very solid lighter colored anemone rather than a dull tan. I really like the fuzzy appearance of gigantea's tentacles which are very close together unlike my bubble tips and they are in constant motion with the current.

Tom


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Old 10/31/2012, 09:36 PM   #5
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It is almost November and the Stichodactyla gigantea is around 14" and eating weekly feedings of silversides and twice weekly feeding of Kent Marine Phytoplex, Zooplex, Chromoplex, and Microvert along with Vita-Chem dosing of food three times per week which treats all the tanks inhabitants.

I found a second Polka Dot Damsel at the same local fish store that gave me the first one. I paid the owner for the second one as it was simlar in size to the first one and now they are the best of friends.

In addition, my 2 1/2" Clarkii Clownfish made his way from his first home in the tank which was a cave he lived in for four to five months on the left side of the tank before being "allowed" by the female Tomato Clownfish to inhabitat the True Carpet Anemone on the right side. She has little to no interest in the True Carpet which now hosts three fish.

I recently added a five inch Pink Face Wrasse and a 5 1/2" Banana Wrasse to the tank from Drs. Foster and Smith which are swimming and eating very well. They get along with the male and female Bird Wrasse and everybody else in the tank.

I added two four inch Blue Throat Triggers (Xanthichthys auromarginatus), a male and a female, from That Pet Place out of Lancaster, PA last Friday. I saw one the next morning although they both have been hiding since. I have talked with their fishroom and they said that if they do not show for feeding time tomorrow, then I should start to worry. Initially I had considered a Humu Picasso Trigger or a Humu Rectangle Triggerfish. I still think they are hiding as my pH was at 8.4 tonight which tells me everything is fine.

I did test for nitrates last night after a 20 gallon water change and they registered 20 ppm which is much better than the 40 ppm that I had for a long time with two Rena XP4 Canisters on the tank. I moved one to my 36"L 65 gallon high discuss tank to help the two Hagen Aquaclear 70s with four Koralia Evolution 750s for circulation higher in the tank. That is another story.


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Last edited by Finsky; 10/31/2012 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old 10/31/2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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Very nice.
Update picture of the Gigantea please.


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Old 10/31/2012, 11:39 PM   #7
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It is nightime so you will see the Clarkii clown sticking its head out to see what's going on at this late hour. Another friend of Stichodactyla gigantea, one of the two Polka Dot Damsels is constantly near the anemone or in it just like it fellow Polka Dot. A Yellow Hawaiian Tang peeks out from under the protein skimmer pump to see what is going on at this late hour!

The Stichodactyla gigantea had a full meal of silversides on Sunday.

Enjoy!








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Old 11/03/2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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Beautiful anemone--congratulations on your success.

With your experience you probably already know this, but I'd keep a close eye on your fish. With three large, aggressive damselfish species (domino, clarkii, tomato), you may be sitting on top of a powder keg if they begin competing for territory. Just be very watchful--and best of continued luck with that gig.


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Old 11/03/2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Velvetelvis:

It is a very, very qualified question regarding the compatibility issue of damselfish and any species compatability is a field of study of which I have a major interest.

I consider my tank to be on the aggressive side of sem-aggressive.

I will give you some insight regarding my observations of the pair of Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) also called the Bridled clownfish, Red clownfish, or Tomato anemonefish, over the past six and a half years which you know are one of the most aggressive species of clown fish know to man other than possibly the Maroon Clownfish of which I have no direct experience.

The female killed previous attempts at introducing "smaller" species of clownfish and damselfish and I then ordered a 2 1/2 inch Clarkii about four months ago. I do not know why, she stayed in a cave between the left glass and the live rock on the left end of the tank with five bubble tip anemones where the Tomtato clowns live and breed.

When I feed Mrs. Clarkii would reach out and eat food floating by although she was constantly chased back into the cave by the female Tomato clownfish. This went on for three months with Mrs. Clarkii living with her head sticking out of a cave and then gradually at nighttime she would veture out to the upper left back corner of the tank and swim around there while Mr. and Mrs. Tomato clownfish where sleeping peacefully in there tank.

As a side note, I had received a "free" 2 1/2" Domino Damsel fish from the LFS as the owner told me a custome had brought it in saying it was a trouble maker. It fit right in to my tank and as I had read they will take to a True Carpet Anemone I had high hopes.
My hopes were fulfilled rather quickly as this Domino started gradually acclimating itself to the anemone and then fully entering it. I then purchase a second Domino brought back to the same LFS about the same size as the first. They get along famously.

Getting back to the Mrs. Clarkii, one month ago I found her in the middle of the True Carpet Anemone where she still resides today and is getting along famously with the two large Dominos.

Mrs. Tomato never did have much interest towards the True Carpet although she defintely did check it out at first. This may have helped the "let's everybody just get along" goal of my tank.

You can read more at my blog: aquariumspeciescare at blogspot dot com. and my post on Wikipedia regarding Clarkii Anemone fish.

Regards,

Tom


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Old 11/16/2012, 11:43 AM   #10
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Why is everyone keeping there gigantea aneomone tanks at 80 to 84
Can all anemones be kept at this temperature
Including Mertens,RBTA,Ritteri,Malu
If so whats the reason on high temp


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Old 11/17/2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg 45 View Post
Why is everyone keeping there gigantea aneomone tanks at 80 to 84
Can all anemones be kept at this temperature
Including Mertens,RBTA,Ritteri,Malu
If so whats the reason on high temp
From what I understand is that they are found in shallow tidal pools, typically 6ft or shallower, where the water level frequent changes and they are exposed to water temperature fluctuations in small pools and also varying salinity. the tide goes down and the small pools heat up faster as they are "isolated" from the rest of the ocean temporarily until the tide rises again. I think I read that some where


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Old 11/17/2012, 04:40 PM   #12
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The average coral reef temperature is 82, so 80-84 is nothing outside what merten's, RBTAs, magnificas and malus would encounter in nature. In fact, it would be pretty typical for many, I expect.


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Old 11/18/2012, 07:47 AM   #13
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My target temp for my gig (and everything else in the tank) is about 80. I don't stress over 78 to 82. Any higher or lower, and I intervene to bring the temp back to the 80 degree rang.


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Old 11/18/2012, 07:59 AM   #14
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Going to give it a try and see if there is any difference
thanks for the help


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Old 11/18/2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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My Gigantea tanks temp set at 84 degree. It is a digital temp controller that is accurate. Only time it is below 83 is when I change water. I use un-heated water and it can drop the tank down to the upper 70's for up to 1 hr before the heater brought it back to 84 degree.


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Old 12/02/2012, 01:22 AM   #16
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Howdy folks.

Gigantea is about 16 to 18" in size as of now.

At 11:59 pm Pacific Time, I just checked my front right and left upper corners temperature with my Checktemp Pocket Thermometer and I got a reading of 83.7 F. The halides went out at 7:30 pm (run them for 8 hours) and the 216 watts of actinics went out at 8:00 pm (run them for 9 hours).

As I have a Yellow Hawaiian Tang, a Gold Rim Tang, and a Regal Tang, I like to keep my temperature a bit on the high end to prevent ich. My bubble tips and gigantean seem to like this temperature as well.

Just added a three inch Humu Picasso Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus) and a brown 4" Arothron Dog Face Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) from the Drs Foster and Smith one week ago. Mr. Picasso swims around the tank now along with Mr. Blue Throat Triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus) who made an entrance into the tank a month ago. Mr. Picasso swims with my four inch male Blue Throat Trigger and Mr. Dog has taken to swimming around the tank as well after one week.

The entrance of Mr. or Mrs.? Picasso and Mr. or Mrs.? Dog Face seems to have lessened the aggression between Mr. Pinkface and Mr. Banana. The only thing I would like to add is one or two Clarkii's to mate up with the lonenly Mrs. Clarkii. I did see a larger Clarkii at Petco although it is always a risk with the two Four Stripes which gave my Mr. Dog a one or two day nudging although not too much aggression and none observable now.

Anyways, I really like Mr. Dog and already have plans to move them into larger digs down the road as they grow. I am thinking of an Aqueon 72.5"L x 25.5"D x 25.7"H 180 gallon tank with Black Wooden Stand.

Before the larger tank I would like to add a sump and overflow box.

I have been thinking of adding an Eshopps Reef Sump - (RS-300, CD-32901)
RS-300 36" x 14" x 16" H 35 25" x 13" 225-300 gallons 7" rectangular (x2)
with an EShopps 1800 Overflow Box (PF-1800, CD-32889) which I can then move onto the larger tank.

Any thoughts on sumps for these fellows?


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Last edited by Finsky; 12/02/2012 at 01:27 AM. Reason: grammer and spelling correction
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Old 12/02/2012, 06:23 AM   #17
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The real secret to keeping a S. gigantea is getting a healthy one to begin with. Other than that, they seem to be really hardy after established.


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Old 12/02/2012, 02:17 PM   #18
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Healthy Specimen

I do agree that it is ideal to start with a "completely" healthy aquatic specimen of any species be it salt, brackish, or fresh (I also have a 36"L X 18"D X 25"H 65 gallon high discuss tank with five 2" Blue Diamonds, four 2" Baby Blue Pandas, five schools of Tetras, three Bushy Nose Plecos, one Gold Nugget Pleco, and eight Cory Cats).

Back to the initial health of the True Carpet Anemone.

When I saw the 6" to 8" True Carpet (Stichodactyla gigantea) in the small plastic box at the local Petco, it looked a bit stressed although not washed out in color. It was of course stressed from shipping and the lack of normal habitat in the Petco "viewing" aquarium.

I prepared a place for it specifically in the middle of the live rocks with a "hole" about six inches around and six inches deep with a flat rock bottom that veered off to the side back and down where it had the entire right side of my tank to itself. I also had a good deal of current going on with the experience I had with the bubble tips.

What I am getting at is the habitat in the home aquarium where we keep our specimens is "almost" as important as starting out with a "healthy" specimen.

The specimen will get to a normal healthy state even though it may have been stressed from shipping or storing in a wholesalers and/or retailers facilities as long as our aquariums have a place where the current, light, temperature, and feeding is to giganteas' liking.

I have read that once they are "established" in an aquarists tank they can be "relatively easy" to maintain in good health. I think this goes for any species.

Please see photos of my Stichodactyla gigantea this morning in a "feed me" mode. I have not fed silver sides in since last Saturday with only liquid food twice since then which works well.














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Old 12/28/2012, 07:25 PM   #19
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I have changed my temperature from 78 degrees in the morning to 80 degree in the evening after the lights have been on all day long. I think it is better for my fish as well as my two Red Rose Bubble Tips and three Green Bubble Tips on the left side and my True Carpet on the right side.

Updated nighttime pictures with the Clarkii which is hosted along with a pair of Domino Damsels which will at times venture into the tentacles although since the Clarkii took up residence they hover around the edges keeping a friendly eye on Mrs. Clarkii's residence as well as their own.




















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Old 06/26/2013, 09:20 PM   #20
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True Carpet Anemone has been in residence for one year and still doing well on the right side of the tank with the four red rose Bubble Tip Anemones and one green Bubble Tip anemone on the left side of the tank.

Feeding is usually silversides weekly with occasional Kent Marine Microvert and Vita-Chem liquid food on a monthly basis.

Also feed the fish different flakes, Ocean Nutrition One and Two and Prime Reef Flakes, as well as San Francisco Bay Freeze Dried Mysis Shrimp with canister and protein skimmer off and just the two Hydor Magnum 8s blowing the food around which the anemones can catch.

Also feed frozen krill at least twice a week to fish.

Need to get some Selcon to soak my Freeze Dried Krill before feeding the "tank".

Drives my triggers, puffers, and tangs wild.


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Old 06/27/2013, 07:25 AM   #21
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Glad to hear it is still doing well... I hope to have a yearly update on our two next year! Congrats on your Gig and I wish you continued success!


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Old 08/18/2013, 07:16 PM   #22
Finsky
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I recently purchased a two pound block of octopus from the local fish store. My Starry Puffer, triggers, and all other fish turned their noses up.

Well, the Stichodactyla gigantea and four red and one green bubble tip anemones just love octopus. Looks like I didn't waste my purchase of four pounds of $4.99/lb octopus.













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Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef - 250 lbs of live rock, Rena XP4, two Hydor Koralia 3250s, Aqua-Medic Tuboflotor multi 1000 skimmer - Two 60" Marineland Reef Capable LEDs - 8 1/2 years
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Old 08/18/2013, 07:35 PM   #23
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great to see that shaggy thing still doing well!


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Old 12/07/2013, 02:14 PM   #24
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Stichodactyla gigantea still doing well at 18 months.

More pictures are coming soon.


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Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef - 250 lbs of live rock, Rena XP4, two Hydor Koralia 3250s, Aqua-Medic Tuboflotor multi 1000 skimmer - Two 60" Marineland Reef Capable LEDs - 8 1/2 years
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Old 12/07/2013, 06:14 PM   #25
OrionN
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Now that I have a few gigantea-year (number of Gigantea X number of years they are under one care) experience, my opinion is that caring for Gigantea is no big deal. They are, IMO, medium in term of difficult of care. I think Magnifica is harder to keep happy.

Try to care for a sick one is another mater. Getting a healthy one right out of the bag is rare. I think that was why they did not survive well without help.


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Current Tank Info: Reboot 320 anemones (none yet) reef. Angels: Yellow Chest Regal(2). Copperband But. Tangs: Yellow, Purple. Wrasse: Labouti & Lubbock Fairry, Yellowfin Flasher, Dragonet: Green Mandarin Hitchhiker Blennies (2)
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