babies hatching, help

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#1
Hi,

After finally figuring out what these strange egg shaped items were in my tank, I've noticed that they have started hatching. I turned off the power head in the tank and turned down the flow from the canister filter. The reason I knew 2 of the little guys had hatched is I put some mysis in the tank to feed my seahorses and 2 of them came out and actually grabbed on to some mysis and looked to eat it.

Here is the short version of the story;

I purchased an octopus from a wholesaler around 2 months ago. I brought her home, acclimated her, and turned her loose in the tank. This was at night so I did this and went to bed. I NEVER saw her again.... well, after having an empty tank for 3-4 weeks I decided to put some seahorses in the cube. About a week ago I noticed some strange egg like things floating around the tank. I posted some pics on RC, finally figured out what they were, and this is what I now have.

Here are some pics I was able to get.









help? :smile:
 

OB

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Little octo's! And of the non planctonic variety by the looks of it! There should be a chance of survival, no? Will the experienced octo-breeders please stand up? You've seen them "pounce" Mysids, at least that should be a good sign :grin:

PS: When you nay "NEVER", do you mean not even as sad remains? :shock:
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#3
I'm not sure what you want help with. This time of year Octopus mercatoris are popping up everywhere and the females often lay very soon after settling into a new tank. The eggs are not laid all at once, but over several days, so hatching will continue for at least a while. Since this is a big egg species without a planktonic stage, the juveniles are fairly easy to rear. Your biggest problem will be cannibalism. The second problem is that they are nocturnal and secretive, so it is difficult to tell if any are still alive. They will eat most small crustaceans. Mysids, amphipods and even adult brine shrimp (preferrably with a nutrient dip) seem to work well. Be sure to cut down the flow, reduce light levels , and protect all water intakes with filters to prevent them being sucked up. I find that foam fitted over the intake works very well keeping even the smallest octopuses from entering.

Roy
 

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#4
I havent seen the mother since day one. Each night for weeks I would randomly scount the tank with a blue LED flashlight .. looking for a sign, ANY sign ... nothing .. I did, although noticed a small collection of empty snail shells in the tank .. probably 5-7 shells. I havent noticed any new empty shells in weeks, so I assumed she was dead and added some ponies and a starfish.
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
#5
Brooding O. mercatoris females don't turn off feeding as completely as do many other octopus. They will continue to accept food for at least a couple of weeks. However, they usually will not leave their den to forage once the first eggs are laid. If she isn't already dead, she will die within a week or so of the last eggs hatching. The fact that some of the eggs are floating around loose suggests that her den was disturbed.

Roy
 

Mizu

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#6
ok then
you should check your protein and ammonia levels if you ahve a decaying body in there its going to mess with your chemicals BIG time.
try to find the body and remove it (if the other critters have not already done so)
RIP Moma Octo
also try using a red led when scouting
hear tell that sea critters are less trouble by light in the red specturm.
keep pumping in the food for them and try to get one or two into a breeder net.
best of luck to ya
 

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#7
I have looked EVERWHERE for a den .. Ive seen photos of what it looks like when an octo. lays eggs, and that is nowhere to be found. Whats even stranger is, one day I will see 10+ eggs rolling around the sand bed .. then the next day .. 1 .. maybe 2 eggs .. then 5-8 the next day .. then 1 ... and so on. I do have several smaller bristleworms in the tank, but I wouldnt think they would be eating the eggs.

Like I said, I have (to the best of my ability) searched everywhere for the eggs... and I cannot find anything.
 

OB

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#8
That is weird... There should at least be a body. Remember octopus are able to squeeze through any hole larger than their beaks; you may have to look for the not so obvious locations?
 

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#10
the mystery remains. Before I put the seahorses in I actually rearranged the rocks (few weeks ago) and dug around one last time for the body of the female .. nothing .. the top of the tank is sealed .. no way out .. and there wasnt anything on the floor, either. She was fairly large, her head was about the size of a ping pong ball.

Who knows... :)
 

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#12
Sure, I'll take a few when I get home this afternoon. Its a 37g cube with an XP1 canister filter and a maxijet 600 power head. It has 30lbs +- sand and 40-45lbs of liverock.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#14
Do you have any large empty shells in the tank? A few of our small octis have bred in these. Or as Roy said check under the gravel.

J
 

Korndog

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#15
Well, I found the momma bear last night. I put some frozen baby bloodworms in the tank to see if any more had hatched... when low and behold I see a 3 inch tenticle sticking out of a rock grabbing the food as it floats by. When I put the flashing on her, she retracted back in the hole. This hole is roughly 1/4-1/2 inch in diameter... I really dont know how she got in there, much less how there is room in there for eggs.

Anywho, I got out the blue LED light and shined up in the little hole and there is in fact a big octo up in there. She was moving around quite a bit.

I am curious though, since I never really saw the momma octopus, I dont really know what species it is. When I shined the flashlight on her I saw a white tenticle with blueish/redish spots all over... does this help identify her at all?

I am assuming since she is up in that rock that there are probably a lot more than the 6 eggs I have located actually in that tank. The 2 that have hatched seem to be doing great in the little breeding net I setup. There are 4 other eggs with them that look ready to hatch at any time.
 

OB

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#16
ob said:
Remember octopus are able to squeeze through any hole larger than their beaks; you may have to look for the not so obvious locations?
:grin:
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#19
There are a lot of different theories on this matter - you could wait a week or two after hatching to separate them. On the other hand, if they're going to hide in your live rock, you may never be able to catch them. Some breeders don't see the early cannibalism as a bad thing - you have more hatchlings than you'll be able to take care of.

Here's a way to provide separate quarters for the little guys, based on how the NRCC raised its most recent batch of bimacs: use small plastic containers such as butter tubs, cut off the bottom and attach plastic mesh with hot glue, put fuzzy velcro around the top to prevent escape, and float the tub in your tank (but not directly under lights). This will be a home for one baby octo. It also needs a small piece of perhaps 1/2" of PVC pipe for a den, and of course, food. This method proved very successful.

Nancy
 

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