So I wanted to let everyone know that Casper is brooding her eggs. At least I think thats whats going on. about 5 days ago she stopped eating and moved rocks around to make a better cave. Went inside and has not come out. I dont know if the poor water quality started this earlier then i would have thought. Maybe she is older then we thought. I have had her since oct 10 so a little over 6 months. I have no idea if the eggs will be fertile. Heck I dont even know if she has laid eggs but thats what I expect. From what I have read Vulgaris is large egg so if I see them develop I will try and gear up and bread mysis and pods but with as small as she was when i got her I would be shocked to think she mated. I am beating myself up for letting the water quality get bad but whats done is done. I guess there is no reason for the new tank but I will set it up anyway for the next one.
I started to say something when you mentioned the rock moving but held my tongue because of her expected age (and not wanting it to be so). Six months is pushing any viability but not totally out of the question. Sadly, O. vulgaris is small egged and raising them from eggs has been an ongoing challenge for the Europeans with most research occurring in Spain. There are a number of scientific papers referenced in the Cephalopod Eggs and Hatchlings thread with the abstracts posted in the entries if you want a gander at what some of the biologists have tried.
I knew for sure that LittleBit could not have mated and even tried removing the eggs to see if she would stop brooding. She did start coming out for a day or two but then went back to her den for the duration. A few of them ended up outside the den so I watched to see what would happen. One day they were just gone. I put some of the eggs in saltwater container to see how long it took them to disintegrate but often forgot to refresh the evaporated water. After months, they still looked like eggs but I suspect I preserved them with the dried salt. I suspect the serpent star ate the ones that were left outside the den.
Hi Sirreal, been there, the hardest part for me was not knowing whats going on? i had one make a den and i could not see inside which drove me crazy, another laid eggs but they were not fertile. That one was a vulgaris and she lived for about a month after eggs and even ate. So this one might surprise you and hang around for a while. Tom
Thanks Tom. What bothers me is "I think" she is so young. I am not new to keeping octos, Casper is number 14. To my best guess she is maybe 10 months old. Vulgaris have longer life spans then 10 months. I really wonder if this happened because of the water parameters. Maybe it brought it on early. I know there is nothing I can do and yes I am very sad but I am trying to figure it out for future octo keeping so this doesn't happen again.
She has brought a lot of joy to me and others and I believe her quality of life has been very good. Its nice to see Vulgaris showing up in the hobby again. If the water quality was an issue I wont make that mistake again. The 150 will start its cycle this weekend.
LittleBit started brooding after 8 months in the tank (died at 9 tank months) and I don't think she could have been more than 3 months old when I got her (1 month as a pelagic dweller and 2 months benthic). I did notice that she appeared to have an eye infection so, again, a possibility of environmental early brooding. However, with the two O. briareus sibblings I raised from egg, the male well outlived the female and I don't know how much actual data there is on longevity by species by sex. I suspect none since they are so hard to raise with only a tiny percentage surviving.
Thanks D. Funny how the eye infection thing came up with both females. Yet Little Bit stayed small. Well at least we have seen 2 females get the 'What looks like" eye infection and broad right after. I was wondering if it was a male female thing as all my male octos lived longer. Tranny lived quite long and was close to full grown when I got him. I guess this is why its so good to journal. Gives us data for the future
I forgot about the eye infection. Journals are really helpful for both the keeper and seeing commonalities. Our numbers are small and conditions unscientific but anecdotal recordings still have value when no real data exists. They also give written historic examples when trying to make a point to minimize assumed bias.
Agreed. Its not scientific but since almost no one is studying this particular situation journaling is the best we have. Casper will be missed. I will be looking for another. Who knows what I will end up next time. I must admit I will def be looking for another Vulgaris