Marine Invertebrates

Sea Nettles

  • Scientific name: Anemonia sulcata
  • Common name: Sea nettles, Sea nettle, Sea anemone
  • Aquarium size: 400 liters
  • Temperament: Pacific
  • Temperature: 26ºC to 27ºC
  • pH: 8 to 8.3
  • Diet: Carnivores
  • Length: Up to 15 centimeters high


The sea nettles or nettles of the sea, are the common name that in Spain and Andalusia is given to the Anemonia sulcata, a species of common anemone of the family of the Celentereos .

They get their name from nettles, since as we all know, anemones have stinging cells on the edge of their tentacles.

Although in this blog we take care of talking about fish as pets, and in this case anemones as an integral part of a marine aquarium, sea
nettle has become very popular because it is a fishery species that is produced in aquaculture , and that in most cases ends up on the tables of some prestigious restaurants.


Like all sea anemones , the sea nettles are marine animals , although their appearance may seem the story because most of the time anchored on the rocks in the bottom of the sea are passed.

Its body is cylindrical in shape with about 3 centimeters in diameter, and it
can measure up to 15 centimeters high. The most striking thing at first glance are its long tentacles, which move and oscillate with the flow of sea water.
The color of its tentacles is light green, changing to violet at its ends. The column is brown.

They are quite primitive animals, with an end called a pedal disk, which serves to hold onto rocks or even the shells of some animals.

At the other extreme they have the so-called
oral disc through which they ingest their prey, (small fish and shellfish) that they have previously managed to immobilize thanks to their tentacles equipped with stinging cells that paralyze their victims.

Those same tentacles serve as a defensive method, to avoid being attacked by its natural predators.

Through the oral disc, the prey pass into its gastrovascular cavity, which is responsible for all the digestive functions of the animal.

Distribution and habitat

Sea nettles or Anemonia sulcata, are anemones typical of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean , although it is more common to find them in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.

They live near the coast on rocks and stones, in depths that do not exceed 15 meters.
They prefer areas that are not heavily beaten by waves.

Aquarium conditions

Sea anemones are very easy to acclimatize to a marine aquarium , which has a good oxygen saturation and a good presence of carbon dioxide, which favors the appearance of algae that provide part of the nutrients they need, and which provide their coloration. characteristic.

We will provide you with the ideal living conditions if:

  • The aquarium has about 400 liters
  • We maintain a temperature between 26ºC and 27ºC
  • The pH should be between 8 and 8.3
  • The salinity of the water must be kept between 1024 and 1026 g / cm3

It is very important to monitor the density of the water during periodic changes, to avoid strong variations in osmotic pressure, which could lead to the death of the anemones.


Anemones in their natural state consume zooplankton, as well as small minnows and crustaceans that fall between their tentacles.

In the aquarium
we can feed them with pieces of brine shrimp , as well as pieces of mussels, prawns and fish.

Behavior and compatibility

Anemones are the perfect companion for clownfish or damsels , however it is not advisable to introduce species of small fish or crustaceans, which may end up being part of their diet.

There are
some fish, such as butterflies, that have no problem attacking and eating anemones . We will have to decide or butterfly fish or anemones.


Although it seems typical of plants, rather than animals, anemones can reproduce by division.

If we dare to carry out the operation, we must divide the copy in half, so that two totally identical copies are created.

The other way to reproduce sea nettles is by having two specimens of the opposite sex, but it is quite difficult to get in an aquarium.

Photographs of sea nettles

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