• LIGHT: MODERATE (100-150 par) is what we find best although this coral seems fairly adaptable. It is important to keep in mind that it is far easier to damage coral with too much lighting so in our opinion when it comes to lighting, less is often more for LPS corals. You can learn more about Lighting and it's overall impact on your reef tank in our article Lighting and your Reef Tank

  • FOOD: We haven't noticed that any specific feeding strategy is required for hammer corals but they would likely benefit from occasional spot feeding. Like most corals they capture nutrients from the water and will do best when supplied a healthy amount of food. Our method is high import, high export. You can learn more about Feeding and Filtration in our article Feeding, Filtration and your Reef Tank.

  • FLOW: MODERATE. Hammer corals benefit from moderate indirect water movement which will be enough to keep the coral clean of any detritus while also causing it's polyps to extend, inflate, and continuously sway back and forth in the water column. Too much flow, especially direct flow, can cause Hammer corals to retract and even cause damage to the coral's tissue or an inability to capture food. You can read more about Flow and its overall impact on your reef tank in our article Flow and your Reef Tank

  • DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED. Hammer corals are really not available in aquaculture varieties due to long term success with keeping them in captivity, their overall slow growth nature, and their susceptibility to coral diseases and infection. Hammer corals are one of the most susceptible to infection and disease. Infection will often present itself as brown jelly disease and can be treated if caught very early with antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin, Amoxycyllin, Chemiclean, Lugol's iodine or a combination of these which would ideally be dosed into a separate tank as treatments of antibiotics into the main display are not advised. Like with all corals, specimens have been seen to do well in captivity when the right combination of Food/Light/Flow and Filtration are achieved. 

  • PRICE: MODERATE-HIGH. Hammer corals are among the most expensive in the hobby due to combination of factors. Desirability, coloration, movement are some of the reasons that these are such sought after corals. Because they are very slow growers, not available in aquaculture and difficult to keep alive over the long term (years) they tend to be even higher in price.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Euphyllia ancora is a species of hard coral in the family Euphylliidae. It is known by several common names, including anchor coral and hammer coral, or less frequently as sausage coral, ridge coral, or bubble honeycomb coral.

  • AGGRESSION: AGGRESSIVE. Hammer corals can be very aggressive and deploy long sweeper tentacles that will sting nearby neighbors. Although they can be kept closely together with their own species, we do not recommend keeping them close to Torches. We recommend providing at least 3-4" space from other types of coral species but as always you should monitor it.

  • NATURAL TEMPERATURE: 82 °F / 28 °C  although most corals can adapt and survive in temps as low as 77 degrees and as high as 84 degrees. You can read more about temperature and how it affects your reef tank in our article Temperature and your Reef Tank.

  • PH: Recommend 8.0-8.4, we tend to run around 8.2-8.3 over 24 hours. You can read more about pH in our article pH and your Reef Tank

  • NITRATE: 5-10, try to keep stable. You can read more about nitrate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • PHOSPHATE: 0.05-0.1, try to keep stable. You can read more about Phosphate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • ALKALINITY: Recommend 8-9 dKh. You can read more about how we maintain our alkalinity in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank

  • CALCIUM: Recommend 400-450. You can read more about how we maintain our calcium in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank

More About Hammer Corals

Classified as a large polyp stony (LPS) coral, Hammer corals (Fimbriaphyllia  ancora, once belonging to the Euphyllia Genus) consist of a hard a calcified base and puffy, tubular polyps. Hammer corals are named for the flat, hammer-shaped tip at the end of each polyp. Fimbriaphyllia paraancora, Branching Hammer corals, are very similar, but the skeletal structure will grow into separate corallites or "heads."  Found in a wide range of green, brown, pink, peach, purple, blue, and creamy beige shades. Hammer corals are very popular in the reef-keeping hobby.

They can be found in a wide variety of conditions, from murky waters filled with debris to waters that are well-lit and crystal clear. Currents should be low to moderate, and turbulent flow rather than a constant stream from one direction is best. The idea is for the flow to be strong enough to get the tentacles moving around a bit and keep detritus from settling on them, but it also should never be so strong that it prevents the polyps from expanding. (You'll know an unhappy Hammer when you see one.) Providing your Hammer coral good waterflow to increase the availability of passing food will contribute to their success. Hammer corals prefer indirect, low to moderate lighting.  We recommend 100-125 PAR. Bear in mind that many corals can be gradually acclimated to lighting beyond their normal range.

Through their symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae, they receive many of their nutrients. Hammers can absorb microparticles of organic matter and nutrients from the water column. Target feeding and adding supplements, such as Calcium, are recommended in tanks that contain Hammer corals.  Monitoring your water levels properly and regularly can make this level of care much easier to attain.

When introducing a new Hammer into your reef tank, please know that they can be aggressive and have a bit of reach advantage. They have sweeper tentacles that will sting neighboring corals.  These sweeper tentacles, ranging in length from 2-10 inches) usually make their appearance at night. Reef Chasers recommends giving your Hammer corals at least 6 inches of space to allow for growth. The good news - Fimbriaphyllia typically get along well together. Consider placing your Hammers and Frogspawn corals in the same area of your reef tank to allow for different types of corals to inhabit other spots.

AncoraCoralCoral care guideEuphylliaEuphyllidaeFimbriaphylliaHammerLpsParaancoraReefReefchaser

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