Are you on the market for coral to add to your tank, or are you an aquarium newbie searching for great starter species? Either way, both the Frogspwan Coral and the Hammer Coral can be the perfect option for you.
While these corals have a lot in common, they also have a few differences, mainly in their appearance and polyps that might make you choose one over the other when making species selections.
In the article below, we will discuss the care requirements for both corals, showing you the similarities and differences between them in order to give you a better idea of which option would fit into your tank the best.
Is Hammer Easy Coral to Keep in Your Reef Tank?
Hammer is typically considered easy-moderate coral to keep in a reef tank. However, they are not indestructible; Hammers do have specific water temperatures (78°F-79°F) and nutritional requirements and thrive much better in tanks that mimic their natural habitat (western regions of the Indo-Pacific.)
Hammers are a fairly easy coral to work with mainly because they are not big feeders and will typically only require food that is already floating in the tank water and because you won’t have to by a special filter or aquarium to maintain the water conditions very much.
Hammer Coral Growth Rate
With the proper nutrition and environment, Hammer coral can grow to be very large within only a few short months. However, if their needs are not being met, it can take this species years to grow at an ideal pace. Hammer Coral is known to live for quite a long time, 70+ years if taken care of properly.
Water Permieters for Hammer Coral
The water perimeters of the Hammer coral must be followed closely; this species will let you know the instant its conditions are not to its liking.
For anyone looking to keep Hammer Coral in their tanks, the water specifications required for adequate coral growth include:
- Salinity – 1.025
- Lighting – Moderate
- Calcium – 400-450 ppm
- Water flow – Moderate flow
- Alkalinity – 8-11 dkh
- pH – 8.1-8.3
For optimal growth, your Hammer coral will do best near the bottom or middle of the tank. This is also a moderately aggressive species and will reach its tentacles out and sting other coral, so it is best to keep it separated from others in the tank. The only other coral Hammer is kind to be Frogspawn.
Temperatures for Hammer Coral
The ideal temperatures for Hammer Coral is around 78°F-79°, although the aquarium can go as low as 72°F without negatively affecting it. Anything below 72°F will end up having extremely harmful effects on this species. It is critical your water conditions maintain the proper temperature and parameters for this coral to survive.
Is Frogspawn Easy Coral to Keep in Your Reef Tank?
Frogspawn is known for being one of the easiest corals to maintain, making it one of the most popular corals for beginners. These corals aren’t demanding when it comes to nutrition and cleanliness. However, they do require a certain degree of nutrients to thrive well.
Frogspawn isn’t only a popular option for hobbyists but also because of its beautiful array of colors and the way it flows and moves in the water.
If you are considering growing Frogspawn Coral, they do best in 30-gallon tanks. However, there are many owners who utilize tanks between 20-50 gallons and have no trouble with their coral growing to its highest potential.
Frogspawn Coral Growth Rate
Frogspawn coral, on average, will grow to around 10 inches, at its full maturity, with a pretty steady growth rate, and likes a little extra space, so it has room to stretch.
Frogspawn Coral Water Peremters
While Frogspawn Coral is a fairly hardy and versatile species, it requires a specific set of water parameters to thrive and look its best.
For anyone looking to keep Frogspawn Coral in their tanks, the water specifications required for adequate coral growth include:
- pH Range : 8.0 – 8.4
- Salinity: 1.025 or 35 PPT
- Alkalinity: 8 – 12 dKH
- Calcium Level: 350 – 450 PPM
- Flow rate: Moderate
- Lighting: Moderate
Key Differences Between Hammer Coral and Frogspawn Coral
These two types of saltwater coral are very similar, which is what makes them great options to keep in the same tank. Actually, these coral are fairly friendly with one another and tend to do much better together than they do with other species.
Both of these coral species are good for aquarium enthusiasts of all degrees and thrive well in extremely similar habitats, with the main key differences being in their appearance.
Differences in Appearance
Hammer coral come in a variety of colors, including purples, blues, pinks, oranges, browns, oranges, and yellows, with their tips being lighter than the tentacles. Hammer corals also have three identifying shapes of tips, including anchor tips, T-shape tips, and rounded tips.
Frogspawn corals have a bunch of tentacles with different colored tips. These tentacles are usually green, orange, or pink, with tips that contrast with darker or lighter colors.
The Corals Polyps
Although both of these corals are considered Large Polyp Stoney Corals, they do have distinguishing polyps that help define the difference between the two.
Hammer Coral polyps sit on top of a large foot-shaped stem, can get up to two inches in length or more, and have a hammer-shaped top that spins in the water. The Frogspawn Coral polyps look very similar to tadpoles, with the polyps attached to a ball-shaped stem and can be seen laying on their side.
While both the Hammer and Frogspawn corals prefer moderate lighting, Hammer coral can tolerate being placed almost anywhere in the tank, even though high lighting can bleach the tentacles. On the other hand, placing Frogspawn in too much light can actually kill it.
Summing Things Up
If you are looking for coral to put in your tank, both Frogspawns and Hammers are popular options that are attractive and easy to care for. While these two options have a few differences that make it fairly easy to tell them apart, they share more similarities and make great neighbors.