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Old 12-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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Hammer coral Q's

Hey everybody,


Just picked up a really cool hammer coral piece and was wondering if anyone had any advice for keeping it healthy. I have successfully kept a crown leather coral and Recordias (they are spreading like crazy) for about 5 months now so I thought it was time to start adding some variety. I have a yellow tang, black percula clown, goby, dwarf fuzzy lion, cleaner shrimp, and I just introduced a Flame angel.

I figured that as long as I keep my water parameters good I should have no issues but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

75 gallon
SG: bounces between 1.026 and 1.0275
Temp: 78
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:46 PM   #2
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I feed mine mysis shrimp weekly. But that's not a requirement. I just do it when I feed my fish.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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Well bill, that depends. Hammer coral need more light then soft corals as they are Lps. What lo lighting do you have?
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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@fish-guy are you target feeding it or just letting the water column bring it to them?


@sniperhank I have 2 Aqua Illumination LEDs. From what my LFS told me that should be plenty. I'll do a tank pick and you tell me if my positioning is bad.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Those are great lights if I remember correctly. Keep the hammer in the sandbed and move it up in a couple of weeks if needed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:30 PM   #6
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Lighting won't be an issue with those. The main concern imo for hammers (and frogspawn, torches, galaxea and other similar corals) flow is the biggest issue. You'll want to find a happy medium so that the tentacles have a nice flow to them.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrc8858 View Post
Lighting won't be an issue with those. The main concern imo for hammers (and frogspawn, torches, galaxea and other similar corals) flow is the biggest issue. You'll want to find a happy medium so that the tentacles have a nice flow to them.
That's what I a am little worried about. I have two 1400 gph power heads and 4 of the 5 hammers seem to have good movement. The 5th however is on the other side of the rock and I'm a bit worried that its flow is minimal. There is movement however nothing like the others. Should I be worried about this?
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:35 PM   #8
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My frogspawn seems to like the middle of my tank
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #9
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Lighting's definitely not a problem, but if it were mine, I'd have the lights parallel with the tank, not perpendicular.... that's a very noticeable dead spot in the center.

As far as current, I've got 4 powerheads in my tank. The bottom 2 are constant, and the 2 at center level are on a Koralia wave maker alternating every 2 minutes, which my hammer seem to love. They're not in the direct current, but a nice indirect alternating current.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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I found hammer coral to be easy to keep. I never had to target feed and I didn't have to provide bright light. Mine actually preffered more actinic lighting than bright 10-20k.

One thing though, looking at your pic, you have branching hammers that are showing some recession in a good number of the lower branches. Did you dip it before adding by chance? It looks like algae has dug into it pretty good and I would keep an eye out for continued recession. I'd also place it in a more subdued part of the tank as far as lighting and current to allow it to recover from the transition and to get healthy again as well.

If it were mine, I would probably go as far as cutting off the branches that were dead.....but that's just me.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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[QUOTE="Phranque;2231239"]Lighting's definitely not a problem, but if it were mine, I'd have the lights parallel with the tank, not perpendicular.... that's a very noticeable dead spot in the center.



I agree.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #12
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I found hammer coral to be easy to keep. I never had to target feed and I didn't have to provide bright light. Mine actually preffered more actinic lighting than bright 10-20k.

One thing though, looking at your pic, you have branching hammers that are showing some recession in a good number of the lower branches. Did you dip it before adding by chance? It looks like algae has dug into it pretty good and I would keep an eye out for continued recession. I'd also place it in a more subdued part of the tank as far as lighting and current to allow it to recover from the transition and to get healthy again as well.

If it were mine, I would probably go as far as cutting off the branches that were dead.....but that's just me.
Can you explain what you mean by recession? This is my first coral of this kind so any/all advice is welcome. And no I did not do a dip before I put the piece in (I did a drip acclimation for about 1 1/2 hours. Just in case it helps I got this from my LFS and it had been with them for many months (I think almost a year). I say that just because its not like it was just shipped to me and I just threw it in my tank.

Here, I'll upload a better quality pick

Thanks again
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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Now, with a better picture, there are a few heads down on the bottom right that look like they have recessed & died, but a majority of those stalks have been clipped for fragging. If that were mine, I'd just finish the job and frag those remaining pieces & get rid of that big chunk with the algae on it........

You always want to dip your corals.... I use CoralRx. It can help prevent importing parasites into your tank. If you just acclimated it and put it in, watch your tang carefully. I hate to be the tang police, but that is too small of a tank for that, and they are VERY susceptible to ich, which a coral frag can easily bring in.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #14
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Now, with a better picture, there are a few heads down on the bottom right that look like they have recessed & died, but a majority of those stalks have been clipped for fragging. If that were mine, I'd just finish the job and frag those remaining pieces & get rid of that big chunk with the algae on it........

You always want to dip your corals.... I use CoralRx. It can help prevent importing parasites into your tank. If you just acclimated it and put it in, watch your tang carefully. I hate to be the tang police, but that is too small of a tank for that, and they are VERY susceptible to ich, which a coral frag can easily bring in.
I agree. It looks like there are about 4 heads on there. I would cut them and get rid of the big chunky part. Just mount them to your rock. You could put them all near each other to look like a bigger, thicker piece or you could spread them around the tank to fill out the tank.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #15
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I agree. It looks like there are about 4 heads on there. I would cut them and get rid of the big chunky part. Just mount them to your rock. You could put them all near each other to look like a bigger, thicker piece or you could spread them around the tank to fill out the tank.
Or keep the nicest piece for yourself & sell the rest..... make some money back & recoup on the cost of the coral. Hammer grows fast enough that you'll have yourself a nice size colony before too long.........
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:33 PM   #16
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Alright thanks for the ideas. If I choose to cut the heads is there a special tool for that or just a hammer and chisel approach?


And I know the tank is smaller than ideal for the tang. I had a 125 gallon tank split at the seam and the largest size tank at all of the stores around me was this 75. It was an emergency so I just went with it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #17
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Big wire cutters are what I use for branching corals, hammer and chisel for galaxea.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:41 PM   #18
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Alright thanks for the ideas. If I choose to cut the heads is there a special tool for that or just a hammer and chisel approach?

And I know the tank is smaller than ideal for the tang. I had a 125 gallon tank split at the seam and the largest size tank at all of the stores around me was this 75. It was an emergency so I just went with it.
Keep in mind, this is NOT from experience, only from research:
Make sure you cut the skeleton, not tissue. You can use a Dremel if you have one, or a hand saw, or even a wet saw if you have one. I read some people use large snips. Then use some superglue gel to affix them onto some rock. Good luck!!
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:49 PM   #19
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And I know the tank is smaller than ideal for the tang. I had a 125 gallon tank split at the seam and the largest size tank at all of the stores around me was this 75. It was an emergency so I just went with it.
What.... you didn't have that 180 in reserve?!?!?


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Big wire cutters are what I use for branching corals, hammer and chisel for galaxea.
Those work, just make sure they're very clean. I spent the $$ during one of the group buys and picked up one of BRS's stainless frag kits with the small & large bone cutters, and those tools are used for nothing but the tank.
Make your cut as far down the stalk beneath the living head as possible, and, as beengirl stated, use some gel superglue or epoxy to attach to your rock of choice.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:44 AM   #20
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@fish-guy are you target feeding it or just letting the water column bring it to them?

@sniperhank I have 2 Aqua Illumination LEDs. From what my LFS told me that should be plenty. I'll do a tank pick and you tell me if my positioning is bad.
Yes I target feed mine occasionally. And I do agree with what was mentioned before. They seem to prefer 20k lighting.
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