40 New Beaks to Feed!

Bio Teacher

Blue Ring
Well, not yet....

Both of my Mercs have laid fertile eggs (very exciting!).
The eggs are now about the size of a large grain of rice, and I can see two dark eye spots in each one.

Currently, the octopi are cohabitating with 4 damsels and one very large long-spined black sea urchin.

Do you think the damsels will eat the baby octos?
Any concerns with the urchin?

If anyone is in my area and would like one when they hatch, just let me know. I'm in Greensboro, NC.



Bio Teacher

Blue Ring
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm not sure how big they'll be when they finally hatch.

I'll probably remove the damsels just to be safe.

I'd love for them to be more day-active, so I want the tank to be a safe and non-threatening environment.

Thanks for the input.


Haliphron Atlanticus
FYI, octopus is not of Latin origin, therefore the correct plural is octopuses and not octopi.

Longspine Urchins are usually not recommended tank companions with octopuses because their sharp spines can easily damage an octopus's sensitive skin. If you would like an urchin in the tank, consider a pencil or pincushion.


Haliphron Atlanticus
Be sure to have lots of live food (mysids, tigger pods,etc.) available before the babies hatch. We lost about 15 babies after hatch because of delays getting live food.

Bio Teacher

Blue Ring
Ship, I'm sure the plural form is an issue that's been heavily debated, especially on this forum.
It would seem that both forms are acceptable regardless of the word's origin (check any dictionary).
The evolution of a language has a lot to due with common usage, and that often trumps the "rules" of a language.

My guess is that 99% of the population has never heard or said the plural form of octopus in their life, so when they hear "octopuses," is just sounds weird and incorrect. I'm not a professional linguist, so I could of course be wrong about all of this =^D

Thanks for the advice about the urchin. I'll probably remove him along with the damsels when the eggs hatch.
I've gotten quite attached to "Big Urn," but oh well.

Chris, I'm hoping my damsels aren't as sadistic as you'd have them be.

Corw, thanks for the info.



Bio Teacher

Blue Ring
gHolland,... I completely missed your post.
That's good advice about the food. I plan on keeping small gut-loaded ghost shrimp. Do you think those will be too large?
I have no idea how big the babies will be when they hatch. Have info on that?
Glad to know someone else has been through this =^D



Staff member
If you did not already watch greg's thread, the video they shot is execellent and will give you some idea about the energy expended to catch live prey:


All but the smallest of shrimp will be too large or too hard to catch. Keeping them in a breeder net for a while so that you can keep food density high might help. NEW (less then 12 hours old) hatch brine COMBINED with Cyclop-eeze worked well with my first brood. I fed shrimp earlier and no brine with the second (captive in-bred) and lost all but two (now down to one). I do no know if the feeding difference was part of the problem. Large ampha/copa pods are also a good option. None of mine have eaten snails or hermits.

Remove the Damsel, the babies would be natural food for any fish that can swallow them. I have never kept anything but a pencil urchin with my Merc or my Hummelincki but skin infections have been reported by Roy Caldwell as a problem with the Blue Rings (also a dwarf species) so I would and do avoid sharp edges of all kinds with the octos.

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