I own a small specialty LFS in Spokane, WA. Imagine my surprise when the octopus I ordered arrived today in a deli container rimmed in egg clusters. At first I assumed she laid them in the container while in the bag in transit, but after taking a few pictures, I'm pretty sure they are too far developed for that to be the case. I intend to take pictures every day and I'll try to post them in this thread as time goes on.
I've raised many species of fw fish, including quite a few with a reputation for being difficult, but I'm totally in over my head with these guys. I use a special breeding trap for tiny fry that involves a large tank volume with water flowing slowly through it and out a sponge on the far side. I'm quite sure it would work for these guys, but I had read they turn cannibalistic as they grow and that would severely hamper the effectiveness.
I'm more than happy to read any posts applying to the subject, but when I do a search I get a lot of posts on it happening and not much information on what to feed the fry, development rates, or even what sort of survival % I might expect (other than very low for the small egg species). I do think these are small egg type, with eggs less than a pin head in diameter and about twice that in length. I can already see eyes and mantles in the eggs and I did take some pictures. I feel very uncomfortable just dumping this problem here and expecting people to hand me answers, but I was totally unprepared for the arrival today. I've had octos in the store a few times over the years and I really enjoy them and have great luck keeping them (750 gallon system, big skimmer, 76 degrees). They have always thrived and one I purchased and quarantined for a school system here in town also laid eggs.
I do not know for sure what species the female is. Her mantle is about 3" long, if that. I couldn't tell you her leg length for sure, but it looked short in relation to her mantle size, in comparison to the last one I had that I also didn't know the species for anyway. I will try to get her to come out enough tomorrow to take pictures. She is hiding behind the deli container, watching her eggs, but totally unwilling to be at the front of the tank. I can't say that I'd blame her. I realize she's not going to eat and will be very protective of the eggs, but should I attempt to entice her with food also? I read one report where a female did eat and lived a few more months, but I get the feeling that's far from the norm.
Anyway, here's the pictures. You can click on them for a larger version.
Thank you for any help you can give me and I'll go back to searching threads. I moderate a few boards and it drives me batty when people won't help themselves but I'm worried I'm going to run out of time on my unexpected new project!