Long Tentacle Anemone Metallic Green (Macrodactyla doreensis)

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Long Tentacle Anemone Metallic Green
Macrodactyla doreensis
Long Tentacle Anemone Metallic Green (Macrodactyla doreensis)
Name Long Tentacle Anemone Metallic Green
Name Lat. Macrodactyla doreensis
Family Sea Anemones
Family lat. Actiniidae
Order Sea Anemones
Order lat. Actiniaria
Origin Western Pacific
Diet Autotrophic, carnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Lighting Medium
Current Moderate
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Experts only
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 40-50 cm
Temperature 22-26 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium 400 l
US Units
Size 16"-20"
Temperature 72-79 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium 100 gal

Distribution and habitat

Macrodactyla doreensis have a wide range, extending from Indonesia and Australia to southern Japan and the Marshall Islands. They live on coral reefs in 1-15 m depth, their body is buried in the sand or rubble bottom and only their mouth disc and tentacles protrude.


They need an aquarium with a very deep, sandy substrate to burrow into, and they should be positioned in a not-too-bright spot with moderately strong, alternating currents

Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free substrates should be used as substrate. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. It is recommended that live stones be used to set up the aquarium. The bacteria living in the porous stones act as a biological filter. The lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
calcium content: 420-450 mg/l Nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l
Magnesium content: 1.250-1.350 mg/l phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l

Regular addition of trace elements, especially iodine, is recommended. For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention shall be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


Zooxanthellae, which are unicellular symbiotic algae, live in their tissue and provide them with assimilation products of their photosynthesis (high light requirement). The zooxanthellae promote growth and provide additional food to the plankton and small particles collected from the water current. In addition to the food produced in the aquarium when feeding fish, they must be fed specifically at least once a week with small pieces of fish or shellfish meat, shrimp, krill etc. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and avoids deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

They should not be kept with fish that consider polyps as food (e.g. angelfish or butterflyfish). This symbiotic anemone should be socialized with anemonefish or Periclimenes shrimp. Due to their up to 17 cm long tentacles, a sufficiently large distance to corals must be kept.

Reproduction and breeding

They are separately sexual. Their larvae are part of the plankton for several weeks until they settle in a suitable place. Reproduction by division is also possible. There are no reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


They come in a variety of colors including black, purple, green, brown, pink, and white, with coloration dependent on the symbiotic algae in their tissues.

Keeping them is not unproblematic due to their size and willingness to migrate, as well as their long, highly cnidate tentacles.

The anemonefish species living in symbiosis with it, especially Amphiprion perideraion (Collar Anemonefish) or Amphiprion clarkii (Clark's Anemonefish) are very helpful in the often difficult acclimation.

Healthy animals have a closed oral disc, look "pumped up" and do not float around. Recommended for their growth (zooxanthellae) is supplementing lighting with Actinic light, a short-wave violet-blue light.

Newly introduced animals must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium. If different species are kept together, make sure that fish and invertebrates match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements, as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the ecological needs of all species kept together

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Alex Rinesch

Source: BAENSCH & DEBELIUS (2006): Meerwasser Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch