Euphyllia is a genus of hard stony corals that are native to the Indo-Pacific region of the world and are classified as Large Polyp Stony or LPS corals. There are a number of species, most of which are primarily seen in marine aquariums- Hammer Corals, Torches, Frogspawn, Grape, and Bubble. Many of these species are available as wild or aquacultured. These types of coral prefer meaty food such as shrimp or other chopped up predator blend foods as well as phytoplankton and brine shrimp. While they can add movement to a reef tank and are popular because of their look and bright colors, they are considered more of an advanced coral as they are sensitive to water parameters. These corals have sweeper tentacles which will come out at night, so make sure the tank has enough space so they can be placed away from other corals. If they are unhappy they can pull their flesh a majority of the way into their stony base, which is something that is seen after dipping the coral and adding it to the tank. Make sure to cautiously drip acclimate, placing the line away from the coral itself. The acclimation process will allow the coral to slowly become accustomed to their new environment.
Wall Hammer Coral (Euphyllia ancora)is one of 2 types of Hammer corals. The Wall Hammer or Anchor coral is characterized by serpentine skeletal structure and hammer shaped polyps. They are native to the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea, but they can also be purchased as aquacultured specimens that are available in a variety of green and purple color variations. At night, or if it is upset, it can pull its polyps almost all the way into its skeletal structure. These corals are aggressive and will sting other corals that are in its proximity, so it is important to research the compatibility prior to placing them near other corals. They prefer moderate lighting and water flow that is somewhere in the middle as they need flow, but too much will tear their hammer shaped heads apart. When it comes to diet, they will filter the water, but they can also be fed brine shrimp, phytoplankton, or even commercially available coral foods. Prior to adding them to a reef tank, make sure to dip to reduce the risk of introducing any unwanted parasites. They can be drip acclimated, but use caution and don’t let the drips land on top of the corals. As with all corals it is important to test water quality parameters on a regular basis, especially alkalinity, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and nitrates.
Branching Hammer Coral (Euphyllia parancora)are one of two types of Anchor or Hammer corals. They differ from the Wall Hammer Coral in that their skeletal structure is, as their name suggests, branching like tree limbs.They are native to the Indo-Pacific, but they can be aquacultured and come in a variety of colors such as green, purple, and occasionally gold. Their ideal location is somewhere where they will get moderate flow and light. During the nighttime or if they are agitated, these LPS corals will pull their polyps into their skeletal structures, only extending them again when conditions are more ideal. From their base they will grow out and up, which is important to be mindful of when it comes to their placement as they have stinging tentacles that can damage nearby corals. These corals are photosynthetic, but they will also consume prepared foods like brine shrimp or premixed coral food. Before adding them to a reef tank or aquarium, make sure to drip acclimate and dip them to reduce the risk of parasite introduction. Trace elements and minerals are important in the formation and growth so make sure to stay on top of water quality testing.
Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens)or sometimes called Trumpet or Pom Pom Coral, these large polyp stony corals are native to the Pacific Ocean, some coming from Indonesia and some from Australia. The two types can be differentiated in a few ways. Indo Torches typically have significantly more gold color variants, such as NY Knicks, Holy Grail, and Dragon Soul, whereas the Aussie Torches are only commonly seen in green and gold. Another way they are different is in their arms. The Indonesian Torches’ are long and skinny, while the ones from Australia are shorter and wider. When selecting a place for them in a reef tank, keep in mind that they prefer both moderate lighting and flow. One thing the Aussie and Indo Torches have in common is they don’t get along together, so make sure if these two varieties are going in a tank together they are spaced far apart. They have sweeper tentacles that are extended at night so make sure and allow some space between them and other corals as well. They contain zooxanthallae that provide them with nutrients, but they can also be fed with phytoplankton, brine shrimp, or commercial coral foods. These LPS coral are sensitive to water phosphate, so regular water testing is key. Just as important as water testing is making sure to dip torches before introducing them into a tank. Dipping and allowing them to be slowly acclimated to a tank is an important part of their success in a reef tank.
Frogspawn (Euphyllia divisa)are a type of LPS coral that are native to the Pacific Ocean around Australia and Tonga, and they can sometimes be purchased as aquacultured specimens. A similar species, Octospawn, typically have paler colors and they have dots all along the length of their stalk, whereas the Frogspawn have brighter, bolder colors and a singular dot at the end of their stalk. Both of these corals prefer to be placed in areas with moderate to high light, and moderate flow. As they grow they can take up a 6-10 inch footprint, so make sure to give them space to grow. Another reason to give them space is because they are aggressive and have stinging sweeper tentacles that can damage nearby corals. They will eat a variety of meaty foods including brine shrimp, squid, and fish, as well as commercially made coral foods. Like all Euphyllia they are sensitive to water, so make sure to test the water parameters regularly and dose accordingly. Prior to adding these colorful corals to any tank, they should be handled cautiously, dipped and slowly drip acclimated.