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Baby Octopus huttoni

Nov 3, 2005
I am the Aquarium Manager of a small aquarium in Picton New Zealand and we just had some baby Octopus huttoni hatch. I think that i will put them into one of my seahorse rearing tanks and feed them enriched artemia and copepods. That is what i feed my seahorse babies with and have had great success, i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on food or tank design for these guys.
Regan :rainbow:
Hi Reagan,

:welcome: I'm from down south at Portobello (have I seen your name on Aquakiwi????)! I would also bung out a plankton net and give them whatever you catch! Larval fish & Mysids are good too. We tend not to recommend artemia for a long term diet (even enriched) as it simply isn't nutritious enough for such high energy critters. Hope you've got no seahorse babies in there cos the octis WILL eat them!!! They tend to be cannibals too.

The copepods will be OK for a while, but the babies will outgrow them pretty quickly. Juvenile shore crabs are a good food as the babies get bigger. They are surprisingly greedy!

Tank design........Steve O recommends cylindrical rather than rectangular and you will need individual hidey holes! With our Midgets we provide lots of cover (even tho' we tend to release offspring) as they have a size based hierarchy and fight a lot!!!!

How many babies are we talking about? If there are lots you may be best to release some!


Hi Jean
We have i think around a thounsand i am going to keep about 300 and let the rest go. I was going to take my baby seahorses out of the tank as they would not last 2 minutes in there with them, they are eating anything that hits the water this time of year. Our seahorse tanks are cylindrical, so they might work out alright. Thanks very much for the advice, i havent had any experiance with ocys breeding before.
Where did you get them from? I ask as I'm looking to keep this species when my tank is up and running next year. I'd be keen for one if you can keep it till the begining of next year :biggrin2: .
Can you post any pics? I have never seen these small octos, - well I have seen very small octos but I thought they were baby p. Condiformis, Jean is there any way to tell the difference?

How's Seahorse World working out? (it sounds like you're from Seahorse World?)
hi Feelers
I will try and get some pics in the next couple of days. I have had 2 Octopus huttoni male and female in our ocy tank for the past 6 months they obviously have done the wild thing at some stage. Seahorse World is going well and slowly improving, I am not sure but i may know you i was a student at canterbury until the end of 2003.
I would love to to give you one or two if they pull through.
Regan Russell
The way to tell is usually by counting suckers on the arms :bonk: Steve may have other ways to tell.

Generally if it doesn't grow bigger than 10-12 cm total length we call it a midget if it does it's P. cordiformis!

Prob is there's a whole complex of midget/pygmy octi's that all look the same! Steve did write a mongraph on it some years ago (it's a NIWA publication) but we get so many of the wee guys that we're not going to sit down an suss out exactly which one it is!!!!!

Good luck wuth the bubs Reagan! ooooops :oops: just noticed you spell your name REGAN!!......sorry)

I would have just missed you - I started in 2004. I had my last exam today!!! :biggrin2:(of 2nd year anyway)

What are these guys personalities like? I know small octos have a tendency to bite. Are they very interactive?
Are they active during the day?

I spose in a tank my size I might be able to keep more than one(80G), although a baby p Condiformis would be cool..... I have heard of someone keeping one in a 90G tank.

The p Con... tank in the napier aquarium was VERY small, with no place to hide, it was basicially a tiny rounded tank againt a pillar. He just had to sit on the wall.

Are there any species thoer than p. Con..... and O huttoni that are likely to be found? I remeber someome in a thread saying NZ has the most diverse squid/octo group, but I'm geussing those are all deep sea?

Hopefully I'll be able to come seahorse world sometime - anything aquatic and I'll love it!!
These guys are resonably active, usually they come out of there homes around 3 oclock had have a run around till the end of the day, especially if there havent been many people around. And yes they do bite. We have housed them in a large round pillar type tank about 1 thousand liters and they love it. I am also amazed by the size crabs they eat, crabs of equal size and a bit larger than them are easily taken. They also get through allot of mussels and snails.
What size mussles do you feed? (I'm starting to think about what food sources I will be using for them. Do they accept frozen food, or does it have to be live?

Can you feed them full size mussles? I was thinking as I can get them easily at the supermarket (live ones)
Feelers said:
Are there any species thoer than p. Con..... and O huttoni that are likely to be found? I remeber someome in a thread saying NZ has the most diverse squid/octo group, but I'm geussing those are all deep sea?

42 species of octopus!! But many are as you say deep water and others are cryptic


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