VIDEOS: Propagating and Spawning Mini Maxi Carpet Anemones

29 Jan, 2015

The Mini-Maxi, or Maxi-Mini, Carpet Anemone - Stichodactyla tapetum

The Mini-Maxi, or Maxi-Mini, Carpet Anemone – Stichodactyla tapetum

For years now we have been propagating Mini Maxi anemones (also known as Maxi Mini anemones, and Stichodactyla tapetum). They are easy to propagate by cutting them in half and letting them heal for a month or two. Most aquacultured corals are asexually produced by either by them naturally splitting or by propagation techniques like cutting and remounting.

To asexually propagate The Mini-Maxi, or Maxi-Mini, Carpet Anemone - Stichodactyla tapetum, it's just a quick slice in half, followed by disinfecting bath, and a month of recovery.

To asexually propagate The Mini-Maxi, or Maxi-Mini, Carpet Anemone – Stichodactyla tapetum, it’s just a quick slice in half, followed by disinfecting bath, and a month of recovery.

Sexual reproduction on the other hand is much less common. 

Here at the Tidal Gardens greenhouse spawning does in fact occur. Recently, we observed our mini maxi carpet anemones spawning!

Sexual reproduction in anemones is done by way of broadcast spawning. Broadcast spawning is where the anemones release both sperm and egg into the water column. Fertilized eggs later settle on the substrate and form new anemones.

The gametes filled and clouded this 30 gallon Mini Maxi aquarium.

The gametes filled and clouded this 30 gallon Mini Maxi aquarium.

I believe the main reason coral and anemone spawning is uncommon in most home aquariums is due to the close tie between spawning and the lunar cycles. Anemones rely so much on the moon for sexual reproduction there is no guarantee an egg will come in contact with sperm. If the anemones mistime their release of gametes by as little as 15 minutes, the chance of successful fertilization occurring is greatly minimized. Thus, they use the moon, sunset, and chemical receptors to determine the optimal time to spawn. Most home aquariums do not simulate the phases of the moon (although some newer fixtures are incorporating this feature into their products).

The other reason not too many people see spawning events is that most of the time, hobbyists aren’t looking at their tanks in the middle of the night. On this particular occasion, my friends and I decided to shoot some pictures at night.

If we hadn't been in the greenhouse, we might have never known this spawning event occurred.

If we hadn’t been in the greenhouse, we might have never known this spawning event occurred.

Although it does not appear we got any baby carpet anemones this time, perhaps in the future sexual reproduction of corals and anemones will be a sustainable method of propagation.

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About the author

Than Thein
Than Thein

Than is the owner of Tidal Gardens and Advanced Reef Aquarium. Than's background is a mix of biology, computer science, business, and law. However, the reef aquarium hobby eventually led him away from a suit and tie corner-office job to pursuing his passion growing coral and shooting underwater videos.

1 Comment

  1. February 02, 2015

    Like the propagation video. Have a question. I had a break out of aptasia in my tank I removed the rock but still have aptasia in my sump. Do you have any ideas on how to clean the sump.
    thanks
    Angelo

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