The Hammer coral is a Euphyllia. They have a hard calcified base and soft polyps that are available in a good variety of colours. Their name comes from the shapes of the tentacles, they have a hammer shape at the very ends of them.

Hammer Coral under Blue Lights
Hammer Coral under Blue Lights

These are slow growing, aggressive corals, and care should be taken when placing them in your tank. They have sweeper tentacles that will come out at night to feed and create warfare with neighbouring corals, these will harm other corals. They can be placed with other euphyllia such as other hammers or frogspawns, but they should not be placed with Torch Corals. The Torches will sting Hammers & Frogspawns.

As with most Euphyllia, they require low to moderate flow to thrive, care should be taken not to provide too much flow as their large fleshy polyps are prone to ripping in high flow environments. You may find you have to re-arrange your powerheads to ensure you have optimum flow for these corals.

Coral Facts & Care Requirements

Hammer Coral Colour Variety
Hammer Coral Colour Variety
  • Common Name: Hammer coral
  • Family: Euphylliidae
  • Origin: Australia
  • Category: LPS
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Known Predators: Flat worms
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Lighting: Medium
  • Water flow: Medium – High
  • Placement: Middle – Bottom
  • Feeding Requirement: None, but they can eat meaty foods so feeding should be encouraged
  • Colours: Purple, Yellow, Green, Gold
  • Growth Speed: Slow – Medium
  • Water Parameters: Standard saltwater parameters should see this coral thrive, though you should ensure you have a calcium reading of around 400ppm to ensure there is enough calcium within the water to enable it to grow its calcified skeleton.

Disease & Pests

Care should be taken when adding these corals to your tanks. There is a particular flat worm that has a taste for these corals, ensure you dip your coral thoroughly and check visually before adding it to your tank.

Polyp Bailout
Polyp Bailout

Hammers can be prone to bacterial infections. These infections can occur if one of the fleshy polyps is ripped, for this reason all handling of these corals should be done carefully and considerately. If a bacterial infection does occur, the polyps will start to retract and eventually turn brown/melt away leaving you with just an empty, calcified base.

Wall Hammer Vs. Branching Hammer

Hammer corals grow in two different formations, walling & branching. Branching hammers grow individual heads, in a branch like formation, where as wall hammers grow as one long head that slowly gets wider.

Branching hammers are considered easier to keep in an aquarium, this is because if you do have an issue with one of the heads of the polyps, it is possible to save the remaining heads. If you have issues with a wall hammer, it is very likely you will lose the entire coral.