Creepers is a girl!

Apr 29, 2007
And I found that out when I was going to transfer her to the larger tank.
I partly dismantled the rocks to get to her, and what do I see when I pick up one of the rocks?
strings of tiny white eggs.
I am so completly bummed about this.
She was active and beautifull when I brought her home.
And I know that many of the octo young are planktonic in their early development, and this tank is not capable of supporting that thype of life cycle.

So, Creepers is an expectant mother, and I have a bigger tank that shall remain empty for some time now. lol.
well.. at least it will be well cycled. heh.
How small are the eggs? I ended up with a large egg pygmy and after 8 weeks and a small hatching 5 of 6 are still alive. Good luck with the eggs!
This happens to a lot of people. It's a disappointment and sadness, but this can still be an interesting experience for you. Take good care of her. Continue to offer food - she may or may not take it.

Can you estiimate the size of the eggs?

Nancy;94931 said:
This happens to a lot of people. It's a disappointment and sadness, but this can still be an interesting experience for you. Take good care of her. Continue to offer food - she may or may not take it.

Can you estiimate the size of the eggs?


oh yes, we still offer her food.
I only got a quick look at the eggs because they were on the underside of a rock in a cave that was dug out of the sand by Creepers.
I did not wish to disrupt her too much or cause her too much discomfort, so I quickly replaced the rock.

But in my estimate, the eggs looked about the diameter of say... 16 gague wire? There were an enormous amount of eggs on the strand.

I will be putting my sun corals into another tank for the time being, they are voracious eaters. (please do not mind the spelling... lol)

But the whole system is only a 29 gal bio cube. Definetly not the environ to try and raise octo hatchlings.
Unless I was able to get them into the larger tank without fatality.

At any rate, I will be doing weekly updates for myself with daily water parameters, foods fed, supliments added, temp, etc.
I am also trying to get ahold of a pen camera that I will then coat in plastic. I am going to try placing a red LED in the den, and then placing the flexible pen cam in an area so I can try and document as much of the process as I can.
One of the reasons I love hvaeing "favors" owed me by people in the entertainment industry! :sagrin:

Ok, back to building my refugium!

Oh, and thanks for the kind words and advice. :biggrin2:
dwhatley;94899 said:
How small are the eggs? I ended up with a large egg pygmy and after 8 weeks and a small hatching 5 of 6 are still alive. Good luck with the eggs!

I want to say 16 gague in diameter... I am trying to get some camera equip from people I know so I can try and document as much of this as I can.
there are an enormous amount of eggs hanging on the strand.
was there anything special you did with your tank durring the brooding?

I just got another look at the egg strand this evening.
She is keeping them well oxyginated and clean, thats for sure!
But my initial guestimate of the diameter of the eggs being similar to aprox 16g, is off.
By alot!
The strand had so many eggs I could not even begin to count them.
Aprox 20g in diameterat most, white, and many MANY eggs.
I would hazard to guess in the hundreds.
I am trying to get a good pic of the eggs... but so far, nothing.. I will see what I can do.

Forgive my ignorance (can I claim being female here ... nahh. True but not an excuse). I looked for Neal's plastic thingy with the gauge holes for sizing but he obviously used it last so it is not where it should be :wink: but if my not so spacially inclined memory serves, you went to smaller rather than larger after your second look. Additionally, I am assuming that even 16 gauge is smaller than .5 inch.

If my poor concept of sizing is correct, I am afraid I have sad news :cry: and expect that you have what is known as a small egg species octopus. Raising these little plankton size critters has proven to be all but impossible in an aquarium (both home and professional). Give it a try, of course, and you might try feeding rotifers, some (but NOT solely) new hatch (less than 4 hours hatched) brine and cyclopese (all the same time). You will have problems keeping the water clean enough and enough gentle movement but what the other reasons for failure are I can't say (the ones I mention I am aware of for baby seahorses). As difficult as it would be you might try culling them to a managable size or at least removing 5 or 6 and putting them in their own tank for special attention.

I have kept Trapper alive for 8 weeks beyond hatching (she is a large egg species and likely has other differences as well) with the following regime:

When she refused live crabs dangled on an air tube, I froze the crab the night before, thawed it in cold salt water and offered it on the air line tube.

When she began refusing dead crab on a tube, I offered it by hand.

When she began refusing hand fed crab, I offerred recently killed (immediate) shore shrimp injected with a solution of Tetracycline.

When she began refusing shrimp I started feeding cyclopese and this is where I am now.

The cyclopese is difficult to feed since it is very small and frozen. I put a small block of it in a shell directly in front of her den an let it settle and thaw. It makes a mess in the tank and raises the nitrates (no ammonia or nitrite detected). I cut my recirculating pump off at night (she is nocturnal) and only leave the primary pump on (which does eventually move the cyclopese to the sump) and then allow the secondary recirculating pump to run during the day (I have it on the same timer as the lights - it causes too much movement to attempt feeding the cyclopese).

I cannot say that this series of feeding methods has anything to do with her somewhat extended life (it may be natural) but I am hoping others will try some or parts of the method and report. Basically what I observed is that she regressed in her choice (or ability) of foods back to baby food (not unlike humans:sad: ). I only tried the cyclopese because I noticed her flailing arms everytime I fed the babies (they are in a net breeder in the same tank) and eventually realized she was filter feeding just like the little guys. When I put the cyclopese in the tank she grabs my fingers with two of her arms but I can't get her to take the frozen cube directly.

Good luck and keep posting what you discover.
dwhatley, yeah, I assumed as much.

I have a few seahorse friends that are going to try and help me with things, and another friend of mine is a marine biologist.
So I am hopeing that I MAY be able to have 1 or 2 viable young that make it thru the planktonic beginings.
I am also getting an acrylic tank ready for the release.
It is long and narrow, many dividers, and circulation going thu each portion.
There will only be a single shell in each divider.
and I am HOPEING that a daily feeding of phyto algae, cyclop, roti, and even liquified shellfish will help.
There is also a newer product out that is mostly for seahorses, but my corals and fish love em.
They are de-capsulated cycsts that hatch and provide live brine shrimp. The cycsts are also eaten with gusto.
So, we shall see what happens.
Oh, each divider in the tank will also have a single red LED for lighting.
You never know what can stress an animal out to the point of death, so I am trying to cover all bases.
Well, time to get to work, thanks for the great advice!
I will get some photos up here soon.
Michael Blue;94990 said:
Geoff, thanks for all the information and updates, I wish you the BEST of luck and results in this!!

Thanks Michael!

I think I have a decent design for a rearing tank, long , thin acrylic ank ith dividers. Circulation, individual light for each segment. And I ammaking a "blackout room" for the little guys.There will be one VERY dim blue, and a very dim green LED to provide SOME light in the black out room. On a timer for the day long cycle.
Anyways, this is going to be oneheckof a challange,but we shall see how things go.
I am excited for the chance, and sad at the soon to be lost Creepers.
But hey,maybe she was brought into my life just for this.
Anyways, back to work for me, break time over. lol.

I like the plan and it is great to see that you are willing to put so much effort in the attempt!

I would substitute zoo plankton for the phyto and avoid even the decapped brine as a cycst. Decapping takes most of the shell off (by dissolving it in clorox - not sure if the procedure is the same for the predecap though. I have tried it but with little success and my high tech pie plates work great for hatching and separating with no effort) but there may still be some remaining shell. I would recommend using some live brine but ONLY new hatch for the same reason I recommend live only. The outer shell and the more aged shrimp are much harder to digest (the shrimp start creating a shell) so the octos may pass the food through undigested and starve (a common observation in seahorse fry if the shrimp are not removed between feedings). If we assume similarities with seahorse fry, multiple feedings with a no food time in between seems to give the greatest success. I would minimize the brine since it should be removed between feedings but most of the other food should not have this problem. I am keeping snails in the bottom section of my breeder net as cleanup and you might try some in one of your chambers.

There is also a product called Roti-Feast that my corals do well with but it will pollute a small tank rapidly. I lost all my seahorse fry in 2 hours trying it last month in a 2 gallon tank. In spite of the disaster, with more water and better filtration I still think it may be worth trying because my smaller, cull tank got considerably less and some of the doomed guys lived for over a week.

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