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Old 03-29-2004, 12:26 PM   #1
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Hammer Questions

I just bought a very small branching hammer coral for $15 to see if my tank is capable of sustaining one. I have a couple questions about them.

1) Can a dead branch ever come back to life? Can you break dead ones off without hurting the others?
2) How fast do hammers grow?
3) At what point can you frag them?
4) Do they ever attatch to rocks?
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
1) Can a dead branch ever come back to life? Can you break dead ones off without hurting the others?
First part. No.
Second part. Yes.

Each branch is technicly its own coral. An exact clone of the head that it split off from but totally independant as far as not needing the other to survive. Then splitting make sure you break the skeliton far enough down from the head so as to not damage the head.

Quote:
2) How fast do hammers grow?
Depends on so many conditions its hard to tell you. If you have great lighting and feed the coral phytoplakton and have wonderful water with good calcium levels then it could grow farily quick. How much? I cant say difinitivly it should grow 1" a month or anything liek that. Probably wont grow that fast anyway but I would not be suprised to see a growth rate of upward to 6" a year IF conditions are right.

Realistic growth. Depends on your light, water, feeding, etc

Quote:
3) At what point can you frag them?
When there are distinct heads that you feel you can eaisly break apart from the main coral.

Quote:
4) Do they ever attatch to rocks?
I would say Yes/No on this one. The coral itself wont attach directly to a rock because the only part of the coral thats alife is the head. The rest is bony skeliton/calcium base thats been layed down by the head as it grows. Its possible th ough to stick the base/branch into a rock crevice and over time the coral could start to encrust around the rock. I have a hammer thats been in my 80 for two years thats not attached so like I said if it does it would be a slow process only as a result of the branch getting thicker and evenutally getting jammed inside the rock crevice. You can of course epoxy the branch to the rock.
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:58 PM   #3
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One of my first corals was a green hammer branch with two heads, 6 months later, it now has 7 heads. its only grown about an inch in height though. i also have one that i got at the same time and it only has one head and hasnt grown any more. about 2 months ago i got a gorgous purple and green one with 2 heads and it is already growing a third. moral of the story, it just all depends on the coral and the situation its in.
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Old 03-29-2004, 02:17 PM   #4
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What kind of lighting has everyone found that they like? I have a scroll hammer under (2) 175 m/h and it seems to be retracting. The thing is huge...it started out larger than a volley ball (in his tank), but rarely opens up that much in my tank. He told me when I purchased it from him that it preferred lower lighting, but that goes against everything I know about LPS corals. My LFS told me that the parts that are receding are just parts that arent getting enough light and the coral is adjusting to its new location. Water conditions are ideal, as is water flow.

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Old 03-29-2004, 04:35 PM   #5
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I haven't had mine for long, but I have a branching hammer under 110 watts of PC lighting (55 actinic, 55 10,000K) and it seems to be doing better than it was at the LFS. It is sitting pretty close to the lights, though (rocks are stacked really high), and the tank is a hex, so both bulbs are side-by-side, and it's about 10 inches away from the both of them, so it gets a pretty good dose of light. Not as much as yours, but still not bad.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:33 PM   #6
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I find with most LPS types they do not prefer overly intense lighting. With PC or VHO midway or lower and with MH as low as possible depending on bulb intesity. With 175 watt MH you should be safe with midway but as stated, it may just need an adjustment period.

Most all the LPS I have, branching or otherwise are quite low in the tank. Brains, plates, euphyllia and trumpet are all on or near the substrate with 4x96w PC lighting. The trumpet is actually partially shaded by the ritteri. I have experimented with higher elevations but when placed more than ¬Ĺ way up the tank (24" total tank height), they do not do as well or extend fully. The euphyllia's will also tend to fade in color.

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Old 03-29-2004, 06:24 PM   #7
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As far as an adjustment period..I have had the hammer for almost a year now.

I think I might move it over to my wifes tank. She has p/c lighting, and will be inheriting my 175m/h as soon as my (3) 400m/h lights arrive.

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