HELP!! Octopus laid eggs!!

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by giar, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Hello All,

    I am fairly new to all of this so please bare with me if my terminology in incorrect. My Indo-Pacific Red Octopus just laid a bunch of egg sacs. What do I do?

    Sincerely, Giar
     
  2. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Are the eggs large or small?
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    What size eggs, are they the size of a Pea or a grain of rice? Do you have pictures of the octopus? Indo Pacific makes me think its an Adopus.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    ... but red makes me think Macropus. Unfortunately, either way they would be small eggs (there may be a couple in the Macropus complex that are not but the comment was not clear on the specific species and for sure (ie thought to be).

    That be said, the drill goes like this:

    - IF the animal was captured not more than 4 months ago, the eggs may well be fertile. Watch for two black dot on the eggs in a week or two. The small eggs seem to hatch much more quickly than the large egg and can hatch in as little as two week (8-10 weeks seems to be normal for the larger egg species where 2-6 weeks is what we see for the small egg). Tank temperature has been shown to impact time of hatching.

    - Unfortunately, if it is a small egg species, you are pretty much out of luck if you would like to try to raise a couple. Even the large, ocean water aquariums can't find the success key. The hatchlings live in the water column for roughly a month before they settle and become benthic. Getting them from palegic to benthic has proven painful (most studies are done on the Mediteranean vulgaris in hopes of raising them for food). Other members in you situation take the challenge of how many days can you keep them alive. One member reported 21 days and the next was around 11, most are 2-3.

    - Feel free to experiment with the hachlings with any foods you can think of. The standard fare has not worked so any experiement is acceptable. Unfortunately, there is not much guidance but look in the raising Octopuses from Eggs subforum, paying attention to any of the threads "stuck" to the top and highlighted in green.

    - I am assuming you know that your female will only survive as long as the eggs need her for hatching (or would have if they are not fertile). It seems that females laying and caring for fewer eggs live a little longer than those with large broods but that is poorly observed antecdotal timing (not being a scientist, I can get away with seems like somewhat safely :wink:).

    - If you can get your camera to focus on the eggs, taking pictures every few days makes an interesting album.

    Best of luck and if you choose to attempt to beat our record, please journal :grin:
     
  5. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Hello,

    The eggs are rice size. The octo was introduced about 2 months ago. The Octo stopped eating a few days ago so I was worried about it. I decided to move some rocks around to check on her when i noticed the sacks. I want to take pictures, but i'm afraid of disturbing and stressing her out anymore then i did earlier. I've at In the tank I have a few feeder damsels, and a large decorator crab. Should I try and remove them? She is currently in a 100 gal tank with live rock and #0 live sand. If the eggs hatch what should I do? What shall I feed them?

    Sorry for the questions i'm a octopus newbie. Thanks everyone for your help!

    Sincerely,
    giar
     

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  6. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Cool octo!! I believe D was right with suggesting macropus. damsels are never a good idea, they can cause harm and stress for the octo. and will certainly eat babies when they hatch. The crab should not be an issue. Being that they are small eggs there is not much you can do. As far as feeding try whatever the smallest live food you can get your hand on.
     
  7. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    I heard artemis is bad? What other live foods do you guys suggest and any suggestions as to where to purchase them from? Will I stress out the Mom if I move the rocks around in order to remove the damsels? I've been doing a 15% water change every 5 days should I continue to do so? Again i'm sorry for all the questions. I just want these octopi to have a chance.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't recall any Macropus hatchlings. Beldar did brood but we never saw young but she had been in the tank longer than we think the sperm stays viable. If they do hatch please do your darndest to get a few pictures. The easiest way will be to catch one (turkey baster or cup recommended) and put it in a clear shallow container with tank water. Photograph with a dime under the container and/or a ruler.

    I have only had one batch of palegic hatchlings and they were squid that died within two days. They reminded me of fleas (they are that tiny) and were about the same size as my infertile O. vulgaris eggs from LittleBit (that are still sitting in saltwater and still have not deteriorated :roll:). Do some reading in the thread I mentioned for some ideas.
     
  9. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    I will definitely document everything I can. I've breed tons of fish but i'm very excited about this. I will do my best not to disappoint. Any suggestions on food? Is artemis a really a bad source? I feed my corals artemis. there are mysis in Lake Tahoe, but I have no idea on how to catch them.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have had zero success raising the initially palegic animals so I can't tell you no but they don't keep cuttles alive and it is probably the most tried food in the universe. It may even be that we need to add something to the water (I even had egg white in one of my nurseries for the albumin, something one of our grad students thought might be missing). We really don't know that they starve to death, we just know they die and in great numbers quickly. Far too fast to suggest cannibalism as the culprit though it is likely it occurs later.

    With the large egg O. briareus, I set up a counter with everything I could think of (large egg are not easy, just not impossible), including a footbath (the black dish in the photo is a brine hatchery). The two that survived (out of 5 that I think should have) were two that were in the large tanks. Both had spent time in the filter sock. Neal set up a mini filter sock arrangement for me when we expected hatchlings again but the eggs were not fertile and Cassy and Tanks offspring only lived a couple of days.

    If you have a couple of buckets or small tanks (notice the conglomeration on the counter) go ahead and try any idea that comes to mind. You will only have a couple of days so don't dally once they hatch. The longer successes with the small egg octos have been in the primary tanks. We have no real clue why though. Keep in mind they won't live a day with the fish in the tank.

    The ONE food that we know has had limited success - and I do mean limited - 4 out of over 10,000 vulgaris in one cast (the 4 did settle but did not live to full adults) and only a very few of an Alaskan species that I am not familiar with. If you can find anything that approaches hatchling crabs (if you find some frozen (or other crustacean) or as part of something (not dried), please let me know), crab zoea was part of the diet in both cases and thought to be a contributing factor. I froze some crab eggs when I last was able to get berried crabs but have not used them.
     
  11. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Hello D,

    If you are willing to part with some crab eggs . I would be glad to purchase some from you if the eggs end up being fertile. I would also be glad to send you a baby assuming the rarity of some surviving if that interests you. I willbe photographing and posting pics tomorrow when i remove the damsels. Please let me know.


    Sincerely, Giar.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thank you for the thought and I hope you make me eat my words BUT please go at this as a project for learning and not for raising a tank generation animal. I would love another Macropus as the two I have had were very personable (as long as you played with them at 3:00 AM :roll:) but I won't hold my breath :wink:

    What I have is a thimble's worth of frozen eggs that I took from newly dead, fed or dying females. These are not hatch zoea but the closest I was going to get. I would be willing to send them but they would not keep if they thawed. I do have a hefty smaller cooler that came with some frozen fish food and probably some ice packs but the cost of overnight even with the post office is steep (and may not be available in Gainesville - we have very limited overnight service with the USPS because most everything goes directly to Atlanta and then to us). The box would weigh more than the eggs :grin:. Let me see how much it would cost to send them but I am thinking it is not workable (we are having excessive heat and it is not even August). We used to have a place for dry ice that might have faired better but it has been closed for several years.

    Watch for eyes on the eggs. If you don't have one, even a dollar store ($2 now I think and $5 at the grocery :grin:) 2x or 5x magnifying glass (anything stronger won't focus) is helpful. I have several and have used them to increase my camera's vision into the tanks (I don't have a macro lens and the macro setting does not often focus in the tanks).

    On thing you can try, is to get a pair (two to a net only or you will only end up with two and maybe only one - Hannibal was removed and place by himself in another tank after one such trial) of peppermint shrimp (you can try others but I have only experimented with the peps) and keep them in a breeding net (easier said than done, they can exit if it is not covered) and overfeed them in the net. Peps (and most if not all) shrimp are hermaphrodites so any pair can create offspring but a pair is required. This seems to induce mating and spawning more frequently than just loose in the tank (they will eat the octo hatchlings but are fine for anything as big as they are and they are very helpful to keep aiptasia under control). They won't produce enough to feed as a primary food but may help. Unfortunately the hatchling shrimp don't live long but my pipe fish and mandarin loved them.

    If you are adventurous, turn over a few rocks (putting them back in the same orientation) and look for any kind of invert that might have eggs. If you are near the ocean, look for crabs. Check in with any mom and pop restaurants that serve lobster or crab and see if they would keep any they remove (preferably raw but we are on an adventure). In freshwater the only thing I can think of would be crayfish and I am not sure of their spawning season. Commercially, I have seen Oyster eggs (they come in what looks like a face cream jar). I have never tried them but it is on my list to locate when I have viable eggs again (neither of the two I have now will so it will be awhile).

    Think about how you are going to keep the dead food suspended to look like live. These are pelagic hatchlings so anything dangerous should be kept close to the bottom and shielded from drawing in the fleas. :grin: Numerous air stones might provide the current you need without being problematic.
     
  13. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Haha 3 am. That's no joke! I completely understand were you're coming from when you say "Learning project". I do have a diamond loupe so I will be looking out for the "Eye dots" I will post pictures as things progress. I was thinking of putting a bunch of turbo snails in the tank. They always seem to be laying eggs on the glass. The LFS carries Oyster eggs, Arctipods, Mysis, Rotifers, and a few other items. I was also considering acclimating ghost shrimp to salt and harvesting their eggs. Another option was driving to a chinese market and asking for female crabs. Heh, It'll be a meal for all of us! I'm gonna wait a few days then update her status. Damsels have been all removed. Here's the best picture i could get!
     

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  14. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    GREAT find (I save the seller's store in my favorites). Expensive but I think it is a must try when I next have hatchlings! You might also write them if they can provide the smallest possible foods (and ask for suggestions). The mention cuttles so they have some idea of the market and their rating is extra high so I suspect good customer support.

    I am excited to see that my suggestions have you thinking creatively!

    It looks like you have a good view of a lot of the eggs so I am holding you to your promise to take pictures. I suggest trying to set a schedule of taking pictures every two to three days and only keeping one or two of them each session so that in the end you have a series. I did this with both Kooah and Mama Cass and found I would see things in the pictures that I missed with the eye. The embryos will flip twice during their maturation (assuming all octo embryos follow this pattern - as far as I know it has not been determined why they do this). The second flip (returning to the original positon) should imminent hatching. I was able to catch pictures of some of the eggs in one orientation and the others flipped (started photographing daily at this point) with Mama Cass (here is a photo in Kooah's Raising Octos from Eggs journal. Her own journal has week to week photos individually posted). Setting a photo schedule also helps make the waiting time less like watching paint dry :grin:
     
  16. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Here is a photo from today. Unfortunately I do not see any black dots in the eggs yet. She's been trying to move rocks in order to cover the exposed photo area. \She'll move in order for me to snap a quick shot, then quickly returns.
     

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  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Giar,
    Please introduce yourself to Octo.. on his Raising Octos from eggs thread . He is going to attempt Abdopus hatchlings simultaneous to your attempt so note comparison may help both of you (and the rest of us :grin:).

    I was surprised the eggs were out in the open. I have several videos of animals securing their dens to keep the eggs well hidden. The most extreme case was with Kooah and I never would have believed she could move that rock through the tube. The funniest was Maya as she planted a "tree" outside her den.
     
  18. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    My Abdopus keeps so many shells in front of her den you cant see into it at all. I have to add a crab in the tank so she leaves then shine a flashlight in, then get a 3 second look before she gives you the eye and blocks it all up.
     
  19. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Thanks D!
    My order from ebay arrived today! Looks good.

    Hello Octo!

    My girl is trying to rearrange the live rocks. She swims away allowing me to photograph her for about 10 secs. As you can see in the photo, the rocks are placed against the glass which I cover with a black shirt. I think it keeps her from being frightened. Octo do you have any pictures of the eggs? Do they look anything like the ones in my photo? I'm just trying to figure out if they're fertile.
     
  20. giar

    giar Cuttlefish Supporter

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    D,

    Maya's Video is amazing! Today she pulled in more rock trying to prevent me from my occasional peek. She usually completely covers the eggs but when i move the shirt it she takes off for a few secs. I think once she realizes its me she returns.
     

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