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Kooah's Hatchlings - O.briareus


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
The moon was full yesterday at 2300 GMT (about 7:00 PM EDT) and somewhere after midnight Kooah's eggs started hatching. I have been checking the tank on every trip through the room for the last week so I did notice the first little ones when they appeared. I saw only a couple and was working on how to catch them (they were on the left side of the tank, Kooah is on the right) and failed to pay attention to the other side. I looked over and there was a wall full of little ones. I can see empty egg casing using a flashlight but I don't know if there are still more to come.

These little guys are very fast and the mantle is the size of a merc hatchling. Not the best photos but at least I did get one good shot of one of the hatchlings. :biggrin2: I will take an educated guess (I counted the ones in the photo and added the ones I had captured and added 10 for good measure) that there are about 50 so far.

Kooah's Journal journal


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d can u get a shot in the breeder nets? just so i can compare sizes with the one i took? yours look alot bigger than tucks but it may just be my eyes playing tricks on me...are there any eggs left? the first night mine hatched there were a low amount compared to the second night
I suggest letting a few be cannibalistic, I am sure that is how Legs survived, feeding on her 5 siblings. That sounds horrible, but its one theory that I have.
You are not the first to consider this and Sulley and briefly touched on that with Tuck. At the moment, I am keeping 3 - 4 in each separate chamber. You make a good point about Leg's sibblings but what we saw with Conanny was fatal nipping without consumption. If these follow Conanny's young, they should be OK together for a week before they start killing each other. I will try to monitor them to besure I have one in each container that does not have nip markings. Joe found that the ones with marks died the next day. Once the attacks start coming, I may try to keep only one in each container/net and try to retrieve dead from the main tank as a possible food source.

If I understand correctly these are a "large egg" variety and hatch benthic and would be easier to try to raise than a "small egg" variety which hatch planktonic.
Beats me, the mercatoris (smaller at birth) have been raised by two of us with a second generation living through adulthood. Since my introduction to TONMO, one member was successful with (and the only one who has had a gravid female) bimac. We have had a couple of briareus hatchings but no survival.

d can u get a shot in the breeder nets? just so i can compare sizes with the one i took? yours look alot bigger than tucks but it may just be my eyes playing tricks on me...are there any eggs left? the first night mine hatched there were a low amount compared to the second night
I changed out some of the pictures for slightly better ones but can't really get an in-net shot yet. Comparison with the nets won't help though because these are oversized. If anything, I think Tuck's were larger (or at least longer armed). Unless she has a whole mess tucked up under the rock work, I think this was the mother load. I can see signs of a few more live ones (I think) but I don't expect a huge number more. I could easily be misguessing though.

It was very strange to be trying to suck up the three little guys that first hatched and totally miss the hatching of the other 47 or so. I looked to my right and saw the scene in the photo. Sadly, it was too dark to see into the cave and actually watch a hatching.
CaptFish;156360 said:
Those guys have alot of color! Legs was clear when I caught her. Do they have blue eyes?
I forgot all about the blue eye thing and have been seeing it with out it registering. It is not quite like they have blue eyes but that around the eye shows blue. You can almost see it in the (changed) photos above with the pair of hatchlings on the wall as well as in my new avitar. In the photos it looks grey but it is definitely blue.

I am guestimating 50 by counting the ones in the picture adding the 10 or so that I caught and and an arbitrary few more. During full daylight I see 5 of them in the main tank. One was in the rocks and breathing very heavily, possibly confronting another. The others are kind of chilling on the wall near the sand and moving about from time to time. I have 4 in a footbath with no substrate and no place to hide. It turns on for a few second every 10 or so minutes. I have seen two of the entangle without damage on several occasions and I suspect they can't quite bite each other yet.
I offered, "a come and get it" post on my Atlanta Reef Forum. I am not an active member (and have not joined the club as they meet and hour and a half in no traffic from the house, not crazy about how the forum is run and I can no longer post photos as I have used up my allotment) but do post on occassion looking for others who might be interested in keeping cephs. Because of the expected death rate, I am not being pickey on any interest but I have asked that they join here and post a journal. If there is anyone on TONMO that wants to make the trip (I know they will not ship at this age), anyone is welcomed to the same offer. So far two people have shown an interest and I have pulled 4 for each of them and put them into a very experimental container. Hopefully they will survive the weekend in these small vessels and I won't have to try to get them out of the main tank during dayilght hours.

I will list the people that take me up on the challenge in the TONMOCON section under Minicons.


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i remember trying to catch them it was darn near impossible.....no clue how you caught that many..u must truley be the octo whisperer
Kooah's Hatchlings - O.briareus

These are actually easier to catch than the mercs (they are roughly twice the size). A good turkey baster is part of the secret but it takes practice as well and you need a lot of patience as well as collecting on their timing, not human time. I caught a bunch more tonight and still counted 30 on the glass. I don't think more have hatched yet (if they have, it was not a large hatching and they did not all migrate to the same corner wall as last night) so I am checking the tank every hour or so to see if I will be flooded with more. I put a bunch (I failed to count but more than 10) in Creepy's tank with about half in a net and the other half (give or take) loose. In 3 minutes, I could not find any in the net (white).

I am slowly taking pictures of all the placements and will add them to the picture list. The counter is my experiment station.

-- The second yellow tank on the right is just a 2 gallon acrylic with a large airstone under synthetic rock. I have place a small amount of eggwhite in this tank along with feeding Cyclop-eeze and mysis (the first one is my fiddler tank - as was the second until the hatchlings)

-- The small kresselish betta tanks are temporary holding facilities for the two members of the Atlanta Reef Club that PMed me. They worked for a short time with a small group of baby seahorses so I am hoping they will keep the 4 octos/tank alive and collectable over the long weekend. After they are collected, I may try a single octo in one and three in another (anticipating cannibalism at about 1.5 weeks). I don't expect them to produce a viable candidate though.

-- I did not set up the rolling bottle for these (the odd looking grill in the middle) since they are benthic.

-- The black dish is my wonderful brine shrimp hatchery. It makes new hatch in about 16 hours and is 100% reliable. My eggs (stored in a frig) are probably 4 years old now and I still get excellent hatchings. I will include some of this in the initial offerings but only use new hatch and only for the first two weeks (or until I see them eating).

-- The footbath on the right is something I picked up for the expected pelagic's from Maya as well. I have it on a pulse timer so it bubbles for about 3 seconds and then is off for maybe 5-10 minutes. Since one of them kept going under the ammonia monitor, I added a little LR and some shells but I had planned to just leave it open. At the moment there are 4 in this "tank"

-- The turntable to the far right is something I picked up again for the pelagics and am not using this go round.


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Wow talk about involved. I think I would freak out if an octo of mine brooded babies and I had to take care of them. I'm sure it comes with practice but still, its a lot of work.

Hats off to you, and I pray you have good fortune with the babies.
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