interesting question sandman12, I was just at a LFS and I was drawn to the hammer coral. It would have been my 1st coral had I bought it. I really wanted to do it, but this board has taught me to do my research first...
Rye nailed the feeding question. And actually, hammers aren't bad beginner corals as long as you have a general idea of what you're doing. they are fairly hardy. Hammers are also good indicators of water quality.
However, flamingkingofhe is right. Polyps and shrooms are much hardier, and are exceptional beginner corals. Especially when compared to the price of a hammer.
Originally posted by RyeBread
They should easily accept both. Phytoplankton will go to almost all corals in the tank, but isn't always necessary. Hammers will gladly take some meaty food too.
I disagree. All Euphyllia spp. will not consume phytoplankton, as they are carnivorous. Phytoplankton would do nothing for them, directly. But, phytoplankton will most likely benifit the coral indirectly. Phytoplankton will be consumed by rock boring clams, feather dusters, bivalves, tunicates, and other life on the rockwork. This will stimulate these invertibrates to produce food, which the hammar will consume. Most corals won't actually consume phytoplankton (please note, I did not say all).
As others have said, It will benifit them to be fed meaty foods, by providing them extra nutrients. It's not a must, but it is what they will feed on in the ocean.