Due to its similar appearance with hammer and anchor shaped tentacles, it is named the Hammer coral or Anchor Coral. Its polyps are visible in green, tan or brown color along with lime green or yellow tips on the ends of its tentacles that glow under actinic lighting and give it an amazing look. Sometimes, the Hammer Coral is misidentified with the species called Torch Coral for having similar branched polyps. Its polyps are generally open and visible during the day, and at night it retracts and hides into its skeletal base. The Hammer Coral mainly gets nutrition through photosynthesis which is done by the entrapped algae, Zooxanthellae that is present in its tissues. It needs a supplement of calcium, strontium and other trace elements into the water for continued good health. The Hammer Coral is moderately difficult to maintain, but if provided with proper water flow and lighting conditions it thrives well. It is semi-aggressive in nature and features nematocysts or sweeper tentacles that extend up to six inches stinging its neighboring corals, therefore it is recommended to keep the Hammer Coral away from the existing corals in the reef tank. Also, make sure if any damage caused by crabs, shrimps or other fishes, it should be immediately attended because it can cause a ?brown jelly? infection which can then spread to other corals. It is very easy and simple to propagate the Hammer Coral that is why it makes a great choice for novice aquarists. It thrives well in a temperature range of 75-84 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.1-8.4. It is best to position the Hammer Coral in a low to moderate water flow area where it has room to expand and grow.
The size listed is when fully open under metal halide lighting.Corals are part of a biological group known as Cnidaria. Most Cnidaria have a mouth, or mouths, that opens into one big body cavity. Due to a lack of a true digestive system, this cavity acts in its place and after the food is broken down the nutrients are then sent through the rest of the body as food. There is also no excretory system; therefore the waste is sent back through the mouth or secreted into the surrounding water.Tentacles of varying size will usually surround the mouth of Cnidaria. Most cnidarias have tentacles with stinging cells that can shoot tiny poison darts into prey or even be used as a defense mechanism. Some corals lack tentacles and instead cover themselves with a thin layer of mucus and use that to collect bacteria and plankton as food. Some corals even use both of these methods. Cnidarias can be either an individual animal or members of a complex colony. These Colony Corals share the food and nutrients taken in by each individual.Corals have tiny living organisms that actually live in their tissue. These are called Zooxanthellae and they are the reason why such strong lighting is needed in the saltwater aquarium. These algae-like creatures provide the coral with oxygen and other nutrients that are produced during photosynthesis. During this process, the Zooxanthellae take up Carbon Dioxide and provide nutrients to the Coral.Corals can use two different types of defense mechanisms. One of which is a sweeper tentacle wherein the coral reaches its tentacles out to try to damage another coral with nematocysts. The other is when the coral releases a minute amount of toxin into the water to poison another coral within certain proximity. Most Corals, especially Hard Corals, should not be placed within reach of another Coral.