Hammer Coral Dying-A Real Concern

Hammer corals are quite sensitive. Taking care of them can be frustrating at times.

Even though they make their food, taking care of them needs effort. Moreover, they are often seen dead in the tank. This can be quite saddening, given that you put in so much effort.

Why is your hammer coral dying?

Hammer corals are one of the most sensitive corals out there. Any kind of inconsistency in the aquarium will kill them.

Factors like temperature, lighting, water flow, and salinity are very important for hammer corals. Preventing its death is also easy with some simple maintenance hacks.

Want to know in detail? Dive right into our article to know everything about this issue.

Why is Hammer Coral Dying?

Corals are usually high maintenance. They are intolerant to changes in habitat.

So, it’s better to maintain the tank’s environment similar to the natural habitat.

Hammer corals are found in the deeper areas of the ocean. Hammer corals are moderate in size. Their heads are similar to the head of a hammer. Thus they are named hammers.

They can make their food. The body color of the hammer coral is green. But the heads can be different in color. 

But they cannot tolerate changes in their habitat. Temperature, salinity, lighting, alkalinity, everything should be set to the perfect levels for them to grow. 

So you need to know the natural habitat of hammer corals. Knowing this will help prevent the coral from getting sick or dying.

So, let’s know the reason behind your hammer corals death-


Lighting is a vital factor for hammer coral. They produce their food from the light they take in.

But they are habituated to living in low to medium lighting. Unlike dying candy cane coral, they struggle in low light. 

It’s better to keep the hammer corals in low to moderate lighting.

Algae Attack

Hammer corals aren’t a fan of food. Because they make their food, feeding them wouldn’t be necessary. Algae grow in the leftover food of hammer corals.

After a few days, algae attack the coral.  Since Hammer corals cannot do symbiosis with algae, they get sick and die eventually.

Water Flow

Water flow in the aquarium is a vital issue for hammer corals. However, it can be critical to how water flows work on hammer corals.

Hammer coral needs high water flow at the primitive stage. But you have to lower the water flow when it grows bigger.

You see, the heads of hammer corals are very soft, as well as the body. So, high water flow might break the body, breaking the colony of hammer corals.

 That’s why we recommend you lower the water flow after they start to grow.

Metal Contamination

Sometimes, metal parts get inside due to a lack of maintenance in the aquarium. Metal Contamination is dangerous for corals. Mostly metals like phosphate, silicates, etc., get mixed in the water. 

You can test the level of metal contamination in your aquarium using kits. Here are some of our favorite testing kits for you.

Metal creates a toxic environment for hammer corals. While consuming food, they might intake metals. This results in the death of the corals.

Salinity And Alkalinity Swings

Salinity and alkalinity swings are often reasons for the death of hammer corals. This should be maintained frequently. Otherwise, not only frogspawn corals but also other corals might be harmed.

Now, you know the reasons for the death of hammer corals. To keep them healthy and alive, you’ll have to see how to take care of hammer corals.

Read along to learn all about care tips for hammer corals.

How To Take Care Of Hammer Corals?

Caring tips for hammer corals are not that difficult. Maintaining the lighting, temperature, and other water parameters should be enough.

But whatever you do, be consistent. Sudden changes in the aquarium environment will affect the coral badly. 

There are other factors as well. You have to follow those to keep the coral alive and healthy.

Lighting And Temperature

Maintaining the lighting is quite important. Hammer corals produce all their food and energy through photosynthesis. Light is a vital factor in photosynthesis.

That doesn’t mean the hammer coral needs high lighting.

Their natural habitat is to live slightly deep in the ocean. So, they are habituated to low or moderate lighting. Their lighting setup is similar to frogspawn corals.

Without this lighting setup, frogspawn coral might also die.

Temperature is also a vital issue. Hammer corals are habituated to 26-30 degree centigrade. However, it’s suggested to increase the aquarium’s temperature in the daytime.

Cleanliness Of The Aquarium

Cleaning your aquarium is important because hammer corals cannot tolerate algae attacks.

Or any pest attack. Keeping the tank dirty will result in algae or pest attacks. 

Hammer coral is not an aggressive consumer. So, cleaning out the leftover foods of a hammer coral is necessary. Otherwise, this will result in the growth of algae. 

There are dips in the local aquarium market, which you can use to remove pests. Otherwise, it will cause damage to hammer corals.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the water parameters is significant for hammer corals. This includes testing the water frequently.

Because phosphates are the best enemies of a hammer coral, testing the phosphate level in water is necessary. 

Salinity should be maintained properly. If the salinity rises, it’ll affect the photosynthesis of the corals.

Alkalinity is also an issue. It’s recommended to keep it between 8-12 dkh for frogspawn corals.

Water flow is also included in the water parameters. You should take care of the water flow to prevent the death of corals. High water flow after the growth of the hammer corals might break the heads. 

Also, keeping the water flow high in the primitive stage is recommended. These water parameters should be followed to keep them alive.

Placement Of Hammer Corals In Aquarium

Hammer corals are a bit aggressive towards other corals. They need a bit of space.

They sting other corals. After growing a colony, they make long tentacles to sting other corals.

This is harmful to other corals as well as the hammer coral itself. Stinging other corals might make them sick.

Also, some corals live in symbiosis with algae, whereas hammer corals are anti-algae. So stinging them might transfer the algae from other corals. 

That’s all you need to know to save your corals from dying. Make sure to follow the tips.


Question: Can I bring Hammer coral back from the dead?

Answer: According to some research, you can bring the tentacles and heads to life by cutting the sick parts of the coral.

Question: Do hammer corals need feeding?

Answer: Mostly, hammer corals prepare their food by photosynthesis. If you want to feed them, you can give them brine shrimp.

Question: Why do hammer corals sting other corals?

Answer: No specific reason. They grow new tentacles that are larger than their body. Thus, they sting around other corals beside them. 


By now, you must’ve understood everything about hammer coral dying. 

You should always be careful about the water parameters in the tank. Creating the natural habitat environment for corals is the utmost priority