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Old 05-06-2015, 08:44 PM   #1
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Can you please help with a coral ID?

I am sure this is as simple as pie, but things are kind of crazy at home now, so I am turning to you...

A dear friend of mine knows that I have moved into salt water and decided to "buy a present". Kind thought, and the LFS just went ahead and sold it to her (although they are holding it for me).

She told me she got me a "lumpy coral thing, but it's pretty" :/ and sent me this pic...

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What is it? What does it need?

I am trying to decide if I should thank her kindly but find something more appropriate...


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Old 05-06-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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Can ID better when it opens up more, looks like it could be a hammer coral. Definitely in that family though.
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
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looks like it could be a hammer a very unhappy hammer
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:27 PM   #4
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Frogspawn, Torch or branching Hammer
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:29 PM   #5
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After talking to her, I think it is a little hammer. Not something I think would be good in my tank.

I feel really bad - she wanted to cheer me up and buy me a present but knows nothing about fish keeping.

I am of two minds now - either see if they will exchange it for something more appropriate, or bring it in and hope for the best. I am definitely leaning towards exchange...


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Old 05-09-2015, 05:44 AM   #6
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The live rock looks brand new. How long has your tank been running? If it's your first saltwater tank, I don't suggest getting corals because you don't know the basics yet. I would go with. FOWLR .


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Old 05-09-2015, 07:32 AM   #7
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Good eye, but as I said in the original post, this isn't in my tank. A friend bought it for me to cheer me up and sent this pic (from the LFS).

I agree that I am not ready for corals yet... I was trying to figure out what it was. She is a dear friend, but very impulsive - she bought it because she thought it was cute. Plus, my tank is only about 10 weeks old - not ready for corals, and I am just about to travel for medical care for my daughter, so adding a coral now would be foolish anyhow.

I still don't know if it is a hammer or frogspawn...


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Old 05-09-2015, 07:50 AM   #8
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Actually, in the interest of "full disclosure", I do have a small Kenya tree in my tank. It was a gift from the LFS. With that said, I think I might pop by the shop that has the coral for me and ask them if I might exchange it for something else.

She paid $30 for it - I may ask if I can trade it for a tuxedo urchin.


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Old 05-09-2015, 08:14 AM   #9
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With corals you have to maintain calcium, alkalinity and magnesium to maintain good health and proper growth. The more corals you add, the more is utilized by the corals and therefore the more you either have to dose or do a water change to maintain the correct parameters. A high quality salt should be used for water changes. Oh and don't forget nitrates and phosphates also should be as low as possible. There might not be enough algae in your aquarium for the urchin but you can always tie down some seaweed on a piece of rock. Make sure your live rock is sturdy enough and bonded because the urchin will squeeze into crevices and knock over your rock pile and possibly fall on a coral or possibly crack your tank.


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Old 05-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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Those are all really good points, thank you.

I know my rock structure is stable, thankfully. When I brought my goby home, I was concerned about him undermining it, but it is locked together and doing well.

While I think corals are awesome, I am still not 100% sold that they are for me. I have peppermint shrimp as part of my cleaner crew, and have heard that they are only "selectively" reef safe, just as they are only selective Aiptasia eaters.

If I do start with corals down the road, I'm more inclined to lean towards Duncans or mushrooms - but before that happens, I'll need to learn a lot more.




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Old 05-09-2015, 06:32 PM   #11
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I've never seen a peppermint shrimp eat a healthy coral. Duncans are at the same level as euphyllia in my experience. What makes you think you cant keep the hammer? How old is your tank and what lighting is over it?
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Old 05-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #12
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I've never seen a peppermint shrimp eat a healthy coral. Duncans are at the same level as euphyllia in my experience. What makes you think you cant keep the hammer? How old is your tank and what lighting is over it?

It is easiest if I answer your questions in reverse order... as the last question will probably answer it all.

My tank is only a bit over 2 months old, and currently, lighting is barely adequate. Single bulb T8 50/50 actinic/10 000k 24". My plan was to upgrade this month, I have it all chosen and sitting in my cart on Amazon - but then life (my 9 year old daughter is being assessed for brain surgery) got in the way. Now, I don't have the time, and need to conserve the money for meals, travel, lodging etc, as the assessment and surgery will be 200 km from home.

As far as the peppermint shrimp, perhaps it is just perceived risk - if they'll eat Aiptasia, who's to say they won't cause grief if it isn't available?

The hammer, aside from the Kenya tree that seems to be thriving on benign neglect in my tank, would bet first coral. To have it coming into the tank at the same time I am leaving, I think would be unkind to the coral and perhaps very detrimental to my tank overall (such as it is for a newbie).




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Old 05-10-2015, 01:47 AM   #13
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Maybe the store would keep it for your for awhile due to your medical situation which takes priority. My lfs coral lady kept my coral for a long time for me. You could ask. Then it will keep growing in the tank and maybe in a couple months you could be ready for it.
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:46 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear of your hardship. I wish you and your daughter the best.
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