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O. bimaculoides
Oct 9, 2007
I found eggs hanging on live rock today. Maybe someone here can help me? I have 2 damselfish in the tank, as Alexandra used to hunt them. I looked up pictures of fish eggs on google, and I am afraid that theese are in fact octopus eggs. How old/large does an octopus have to be to lay eggs? Pearl is very small, and I have had her for about a month. The eggs are a very small cluster, and seem to have small black spots in the center. And if theese are octopus eggs, what do I do to protect them? Other than get rid of the damsels?
If you get rid of the damsels, Pearl will take care of her eggs. It doesn't mattter how large an octopus is, but whether it's an adult.

But the big question for now is, now large are the eggs, and how many of them?

The eggs are tiny, the size of a ball point pen tip. There are probobly 300-500...This is just a guess. The whole cluster is maybe the size of a quarter.
You need to get rid of the damsels... Since you can see black dots, they are probably fertile. Stock up on live plankton, copepods and cyclopeeze. Good luck, but don't feel bad if the babies don't make it, it is very hard to raise octopus.
If eyespots have formed in the embryos, they are probably at least 10 days old and will hatch in another couple of weeks. From the description, this sounds like a small egg species. I don't know of any amateur aquarist who has successfully reared small egged species. They will probably die in 2 to 3 days. The mother will follow fairly quickly.

I'm not trying to be pessimistic - just realistic. At this point you must decide if it is worth more to you to maintain the tank as is with the fish or remove them so that you can watch the brooding and hatching process.

Honstly the damsels were food, so it will not hurt my feelings to get rid of them. The eggs could be 10 days old. Today was the first day that I have turned on the bright light. The octopus dying will hurt my feelings, but is part of the game. I will try to let them hatch. Is there anything that I need to know to keep the eggs/babies safe? It might sound dumb, but will my filter suck them in?
...but then the larvae all get stuck in the foam and die rather than the filter.

I'm going to have to agree with Dr. Roy that there really isn't a way for you to do this. A kreisel aquarium is probably the way a professional would try.
If you have a large enough fish bowl, preferably larger than 10 L, you can create a makeshift kreisel by placing an airstone on one side of the bowl. The air will then circulate the water throughout the bowl and the larvae, if indeed planktonic, will drift in the water. Be sure not to have the airstone on too high as this may cause the larvae to needlessly bump into the walls of the tank or expend too much energy when eating.

You should still be able to move the eggs without retarding the development process, if you do it very carefully, and soon. The female does not need to care for the eggs in order for them to develop properly.

Just another thought if you are unable to screen off your tank properly. (Why not just buy some fine mesh or a net with fine mesh and screen off the filter with that)

I will try in a bowl, I have a large one, with a good airstone. The damsels are gone, wow they were hard to catch! While moving some live rock pearl reached out and touched me, then to my surprize she tried to pull me under her web to bite! It was quite an amusing match! She enjoyed the ride on my hand swirling to the water and is watching me now as if I am food! She also tried to steal the net! And I did a water change while I was at it. During this I cleaned out all the shells that were food. She wrestled me and won, she got to keep a couple!
If the eggs do hatch in the bowl, then why not try feeding them cyclopeeze or if you are really adventurous, hatch out your own nauplii. The size of the larvae will tell you what type of food to use but anything plankton-like.


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