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Help!! - New Born Baby Octopi

Will T

Sep 16, 2005
I have had my octopus for over 2 months...she (apparently it is a she), has been hybernating for the past few weeks...not eating much, I thought she was sick till last night...she had thousands of babies!!!

If anyone knows how to take care of these little guys, please reply to this forum or email me directly at:

[email protected]


[email protected]

thanks!! I want to save these little critters!! They are so cute!!

Watch the mom. She'll probably die really soon and you'll have to get her out before she messes up the tank (don't really want to put it that way but tis the truth). That would end any hope at all of you raising these babies (which is still questionable). From limited experience, you need a huge supply of plankton, like I mean the ability to do daily plankton trawls to feed the freshest, livest food to the babies. As a very last resort you could try newly hatched artemia (brine shrimp) but they are NOT nutrious enough to feed over any length of time. This is a serious endeavour and I honestly and truly wish you the best of luck.

The Octopus is a O. bimaculoides. I have them in separate tanks now. Yes, the mother is not looking too well as she has been refusing food for the past few weeks.

I do live near the ocean (right up the street from the beach in Southern Cal), but have no idea how I can catch fresh plankton...any suggestions?

Thanks for the comments...keep 'em coming!!
Thanks, Will, is it? Cool name.

Yeah, I'll walk down the beach this weekend to see what I can scrape up. I am sure I'll find something.

I catch all the Octo food right off the rocks...get lots of kelp out here in CA and the rocks have all these small crabs and muscle growing. Just hope the little critters grow up...they can't eat those small crabs yet, actually, the crabs will eat them.

I have a Leapord shark in my other tank that I caught off the beach. Pretty neat creature.

By the way, where did you get your cuttle fish? Are they more difficult to take care of than Octopus? I am bummed to hear that the mother will die soon. I will need to get something again after she is gone...thinking about cuttle fish.
Just reposted on correct thread


Good luck with the babies! On another thread it was suggested that you use a net to gather live plankton to feed the litttle ones before they all start eating each other. Somebody I spoke to the other night said they've used womens' nylons for this purpose. Not really sure of this one, but an interesting suggestion. I do know that surfers in AUS will stretch these over their exposed skin to guard against box jellies, not sure if the weave would be too large/not strong enough for zooplankton harvesting.
Good Luck with the little guys. You can purchase a plankton net at Acorn Naturalists in Tustin, CA (that's where I got mine) for about $80. I have collected plankton off of piers, jetties in Southern California - you just have to throw the net in, drag it around for awhile and pull it back up - you should be able to see some of the plankton moving in the collection container. You can keep it in the refridgerator for about a day before it all dies.
Wow, that's cool. Yeah, I surf everyday and I am close to a pier...so I don't have any excuse.

I'll see if I can get one of those nets this weekend. Hope the babies last. Alot of them are starting to get weak...you can tell they are settling down on the bottom instead of bobbing around like yesterday.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks for all the advise!! To be honest, I'll feel truly blessed if a few of them make it.
I saw on another thread that there is a place called Octopets. I checked out their website and noticed that they sell egg sacks...thus they must carry food for babies. I called yesterday afternoon close to 5pm and no one was there any more so I left a message. I hope to get a hold of them and give him the babies since he would know more what to do with them!!
Hi Will and :welcome:

As a last resort you could release the babies! I would release them near where Mum was caught (as you know it's octo habitat!) At the aquarium here we release most octo babies (when we have them....we actually try to avoid this!) Two reasons 1) our main display sp is too big to have multiples and 2) The babies are too labour intensive needing constant attention and mega quantities of food!

So If you can't get hold of Jim at Octopets I'd let them go!

Thanks for all the info guys! I went down during the full moon low tide and collected some rocks with kepl on them. They were full of isopods, however, the isopods were larger than the babies and the didn't eat them. So, I took the advice from Jean and let them go before they all died on me!!

Now I am waiting for the mom to either come back to life or wither away...she still has not eaten since the hatching of eggs...I am really concerned. Poor girl.
So Cal here willing to help

Hi Will,

I too live in So Cal, Dana Point to be exact.

I had the same experience as you are having, once many, many years ago. Before the web was what it is today.

I researched and researched and even read in an aquarium magazine that no one had ever kept baby octopi longer than two weeks.

I was able to beat that record, but not by much. One of the babies was a 12-armed mutant too. Darn sure hoped to keep him alive, but alas it wasn't to be.

I now have a theory that I want to explore some day, that perhaps the babies eat the dead mother. Kind of hard to try that out with out a LOT of filtration, and it's just a theory but I want to try it someday.

As far as your current situation, if you are near me, I am willing to try to help in your food collection efforts.

I just found this site and am looking forward to getting back into keeping an octopus again.

Good Luck and let me know if I can help.


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