You probably need to learn more about Hammer Corals care if you are thinking about growing them in your tank. Hammer corals are beautiful and they are able to create such an effortless beauty and appeal without even having to try so hard. Not to mention that they aren’t difficult to care for. You won’t have to spend extra efforts or energy to maintain them. So, what should you know about these unique and beautiful corals?
Reasons to Love Hammer Corals
Many aquarists and hobbyists think that Hammer Corals can seriously spark up the tank without any complicated or difficult care. Also known as Euphyllia Ancora, Hammer Corals are known for their big polyps and stony exterior construction. They have such flowing and beautiful polyps that are such remarkable to look at. Often times, these polyps are coming in bold colors and hues that add appeal and charm to your fish tank. They can build their own stony skeleton. They are photosynthetic, but they will definitely grow faster (and also better) when fed. They offer easy fragged option for more propagation. If you are new to this, Hammer Corals would be one of the best alternative corals to grow. You won’t have to excessively sweat about it.
Also known as Anchor Coral, this coral needs at least 20 gallons of water tank to accommodate proper growth. One step in proper Hammer Corals care is to make sure that you have the right size of the tank, and you don’t cramp them in a tight and tiny space. This type of coral often comes in various bold colors, and some of the common ones are grey, purple, green, and gold. It is advisable to feed them with target feeding, if you want them to grow fast. But if you want them to grow as the one in the nature, then you don’t need to target feed them. You will also deal with calcium supplementation. Make sure that the calcium level is at least 400 ppm. They need it badly to build their exterior stony skeleton.
In terms of Hammer Corals care level
it is basically moderate. Well, you can expect easy to moderate level. You need to remember that this coral is pretty aggressive. They have aggressive sweeper tentacles with stings that will hurt any neighboring coral. However, they won’t hurt other Euphyllia species, such as Frogspawn or Torch corals. But other species? They will definitely do some damages and aggression.
The Natural Habitat Hammer Corals
This coral is native to Pacific Ocean as well as Indian Ocean. When left and grown in the natural habitat, the colony can grow up to a yard. Most of the colonies would be smaller when grown in saltwater aquarium. It’s a bad thing that natural ranges have decreased dramatically, especially within several decades past. This coral is even listed within endangered species because of this issue.
But it’s a good thing that coral fragging is possible done with this type of coral. It’s even easy to do so, which means that wild collection or wild captive won’t be needed. If you have aquarist friends or you can find such a frag at the local fish store, then it would be great!
Make sure that your water tank has stable water condition. The coral isn’t quite tolerant to major water quality swing, so you need to ensure that you have stable condition. Moreover, this Hammer Coral is quite sensitive to copper. It affects them so much to have any copper level or presence within the water. Moreover, you need to make sure that alkalinity and calcium levels are okay. If the calcium level is too low, it will die. It should be at least 400 ppm.
You can do these things to maintain proper and right calcium level:
- Have yourself a solid and robust calcium test kit
- Use premium salt mix for the tank
- Add supplemental calcium to support the growth. Kalkwasser or 2-part would be the best option
Don’t forget that these corals need space to ensure proper growth. Even if you have other Euphyllia species inside the tank, you still need each coral enough space to grow and expand. You don’t want them to stay cramped together.
It’s a good thing that this coral isn’t picky or fussy when it comes to placement. One thing about proper Hammer Corals care to avoid any extreme. You don’t want to place them in extreme high water flow or extreme brightness. And yet, you don’t want to place them in extreme slow water current or extreme darkness either. High water flow would damage the fleshy and soft polyps, and they may end up with infection. Bright lights will lead to bleaching. Slow water current won’t make the polyps flow and move, while darkness (not enough light) will make the corals starve and wither. They may end up dying from starvation. That’s why it would be wise (and advisable) that you place them in a moderate place. It should have just the moderate water flow and also moderate light (or brightness) intensity.
Being photosynthetic, the corals need the right lighting intensity to grow. The photosynthetic process will help them convert lighting energy to food. In most cases, any LED light should be enough for them. Moreover, they should also get the moderate flow. They should be able to move and sway the polyps, but not too much that they often have to bend over their skeletons. Little flow won’t be able to help them move, but too much flow would tear the polyps or cause the polyps not extending out. So, moderation is the key.
Tank Mates and Compatibility
Hammer Corals have sweeper tentacles, and they aren’t afraid to use those tentacles to attack other corals. Being one of the aggressive coral types, Hammer Corals are notorious for attacking their coral neighbors. With the combination of stinging polyps and sweeper tentacles, the neighboring corals won’t stand a chance. They may suffer from pain and also chemical burn from this Hammer Coral.
However, this coral is gentle and friendly enough toward other Euphyllia species. You can keep Euphyllia species quite close together without having to worry that they may hurt or attack each other. It would be a good idea to keep the same species together within the same tank. However, if you plan on placing other corals in the tank, make sure that they are far separated. You will want to place the Hammer Corals in far away locations from the other types of coral species.
Be advised, though, that you don’t want to mix Hammer Corals with other invertebrates or fish that like to bite or nibble on them, such as butterflyfish. Some aquarists also say that peppermint shrimp is another compatible tank mate. The shrimp likes to eat Aiptasia Anemones that are responsible for issues and problems for the Hammer (as well as other fleshy polyps and corals).
As theory, it would be possible to have Hammer Corals spawn within the tank, but it is somewhat unlikely. But healthy corals would propagate on themselves. You can simply clip, break, saw off, or snap the branches. The part that you break can be traded off to a friend, can be placed in another part of the tank (or even in another tank), or sell to fish stores for extra credit. Keep in mind, fragging is similar to pruning. Pruning keeps the corals shaped properly, healthy, and growing well.
Feeding the Corals
Corals are basically animals, so they need to eat. But Hammer Corals are different from other types of corals because they aren’t the ravenous or active type of eater. If you feed off the corals, their chances to grow would be bigger. You can use Sea Squirt feeder or Julian’s thing to have direct feeding. Simply push the meaty and soft food to the polyps, so they can eat the food particles. But be sure that you won’t put fast fish that can steal the food.
Buying the Hammer Corals
You should be able to find these corals at local fish stores, especially those catering to saltwater aquarium viewer. A frag would cost you around $20 to $40 while a small colony may cost you $75 to $150. If you want other unique or rare color morphs, be ready to send hundreds for them. Be sure to buy corals with fully extended, fat, and big polyps having bright, good, and bold coloration. Don’t go with white or pale colonies. Avoid colonies with (tightly) retracted polyps or having their stringy innards somewhat hanging out. If you can’t find one at your local fish store, you can find them at online stores.
Words of Advice
Although many aquarists claim that Hammer Corals care is pretty straightforward and easy, beginners shouldn’t start with them. You should start with soft bulletproof coral species first and then try Hammer corals if you have succeeded with the previous species. If you succeed in mastering soft corals care, then you can try the stony types and start out with the Hammer corals.
Basically, if you are able to fulfill their needs, you will be rewarded with another unique beauty that truly sparks up the view and look of your tank. They aren’t difficult to care, really, but you need to have a type of experience before you decide to grow this coral. Hopefully, once you find out the proper and correct ways of Hammer Corals care, you can enjoy their beauty in your tank for upcoming years ahead.
Hammer Corals may not be the easiest corals to care for, but it does have its own challenges and benefits. As long as you know how to do it properly for Hammer Corals care, you should be good to go.