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[Octopus Eggs]: Legs - O. Mercatoris

DWhatley

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You might try blowing some directly to Legs as well. After Trapper's baby hatched, she would only eat Cyclop-eeze but would come up to the pipette to feed (I have a video of her eating it. I'll locate it on YouTube if you want to watch and have not already seen it).

Keep watching for Legs to blow out more hatchlings. They look jet propelled when they are evicted :biggrin2:. It is likely that you will soon see a batch of them come out all at one time.

You mentioned that the first one seemed to still have a yolk sack. This is never a good sign and means they hatched prematurely so I would not discount trying the net again based upon this. If there are enough, try both leaving some in the tank and some in the net with shells.
 

Britani

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Thanks for the suggestion - we will definitely try the net again if we get more hatchlings. I would love to see the video of Trapper if you are able to locate it.

We decided on one last feeding tonight - we blew some cyclops to Legs and then around where we had previously seen the hatchlings. Before too long one seemed to just appear out of nowhere. I wonder if it came out to eat? Haven't seen the others again today, but hopefully they will get used to this routine and decide to come out when we remove the lid of the tank for feedings.

Question: You mentioned getting a clean up crew - we definitely need to add some, the starfish help, but I don't think they will be able to keep up with us feeding the frozen food. What do you suggest that won't be a threat to the hatchlings? We were talking about snails, hermit crabs, and a red brittle star, but aren't sure if it's safe to have them in the tank while the littles are so small. We took the conch out for now as we were concerned about it bothering Legs, the eggs, or the hatchlings. It hadn't seemed to be a problem before, but last night was crawling on the rocks right at the opening to her den so we removed it just in case.

What would the yolk sack look like if it wasn't fully dissolved? Would it be in the mantle like what we thought we might have seen with hatchling #1?
 

DWhatley

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The yolk sack will look like a yellowish ball held in the arms.

I tend to use snails for algae but they won't help with meaty foods. My favorite for getting to the meaty foods in cracks and appear to be safe even with the hatchlings a serpent or brittle stars (avoid the green as they will eventually become aggressive). Some starfish can be aggressive and trap their prey and the ones that are not meat eaters, won't help. The serpent and brittle stars eat differently and bring food to their mouths (vs bringing their stomach to their food like most meat eating starfish). Crabs are good for cleaning but, again, the safe hatchling safe animals are algae eaters (porcelain, mithrax) and I am not sure how safe hermits (that are very aggressive) would be (I don't use hermits and don't like them but many find them helpful).

Here is the video of Trapper eating Cyclop-eeze after her hatchling hatched:
 

Britani

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04/27/15 - The "triplets" were all out this morning - no idea if these are the same three that we spotted yesterday, or if there are more than three in the tank. We caught one and put it in the breeder net this morning and piped some cyclops to all of them as well as to Legs.

I am going to start looking for a brittle star to help with clean up. I read in a different thread a comment about having a red brittle....does it need to be red or just anything other than green? I have found local stores that have brittles, but they said they are brown, not red. I just want to make sure we're doing our best not to add anything that will cause a problem for any of the octos.

Thanks for your help with all of this!
 

DWhatley

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The green are the only ones I know of that become aggressive (and for years I swore there were two kinds as the little guy I had was docile for years but ultimately had to go in his own tank because he became aggressive). I like the reds (actually a bright orange to brown and orange striped) particularly well because they seem to have a bit more personality, often den with the octopuses and can be brightly colored (some are more brown or look dull at times). Others that I have kept (and currently have) are a brown/black brittle and a harlequin (attractive black and white striped but very shy). Some of the brittles can become quite large and @Nancy is a bit leary of them but I have never seen mine bother anything. You do need to be sure they are fed, they are meat eaters but I have never seen them catch anything live (including shrimp).
 

Britani

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04/28/15 - Counted 5 hatchlings in the tank this morning. Have not seen the one that we put in the net yesterday - I don't know if it escaped or is just hiding well in the shells, but no site of it even after feeding cyclops. Best estimate as of this morning - 7 hatchlings: 1 dead, 1 MIA, 5 alive and well. Legs seems to still be doing well - waves her arms for some cyclops when we are feeding the hatchlings. I will try to go pick up a shrimp for her today.

Question about feeding the hatchlings - how much should we be feeding? We have been feeding 1 cube of cyclops per day, but I have NO IDEA if that is enough, too much, etc. I'm worried about the water quality now that we are feeding frozen food, but also want to make sure there is enough for them to eat well.

I also added another bottle of tigger pods yesterday.
 

DWhatley

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04/28/15 -
Question about feeding the hatchlings - how much should we be feeding? We have been feeding 1 cube of cyclops per day, but I have NO IDEA if that is enough, too much, etc. I'm worried about the water quality now that we are feeding frozen food, but also want to make sure there is enough for them to eat well.
I wish I could give you a good answer but you are doing (and concerned with) is what I did - guess. Keeping the water quality high is a concern and small daily water changes are my best suggestion. If you are using carbon as part of your filtration, you might want to change it out more frequently or at least rinse it in new saltwater more frequently (I keep my carbon in mesh bags, rinsing weekly, swapping the bags each week so that this weeks bag is rinsed and soaks in RO/DI freshwater for a week before reuse. I replace the carbon roughly once every two months. There is no real technical reason for the timing.

They hide really well in the nets so keep watching for little arms :biggrin2:

:thumbsup: So far all sounds like it is going well!
 

Britani

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04/29/15 - Just fed everyone one last time for today - it's amazing to me to watch the hatchlings appear when we begin to add some cyclops. This morning, like yesterday, we counted 5 hatchlings. When we fed them this afternoon we FINALLY saw the one we had put into the net - so that raised the count to 6 live hatchlings. Tonight we counted a 7, so we have split them into two groups: 3 in the net in shells and 4 on their own in the tank. They all seem to be doing well - we have covered the in-take slits for the filter with tulle and tonight it seemed like one was playing a game. It would float back toward the filter then swim away, then float back toward it again, until after a few rounds it tired of that and moved out of the way of the flow of the filter.

Yesterday I added another bottle of tigger pods and we added a harlequin serpent star and a couple of snails. We were pleased to see the hatchlings not be afraid of or bothered by the serpent star. They might be right next to the stars arms as it moves about, but the do not seem to mind each others company.

Legs seems to love for us to feed her some cyclops as well as a live shrimp when we have one. She will take the shrimp right out of our hands and eject the shell when she's finished eating, and she's taken to wrapping her "arms" around the pipette and holding onto it as we feed her the cyclops.

So far this whole experience has been completely fascinating!
 

DWhatley

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Thank you for continuing to record your journey, it brings a huge smile for both your success and for remembering my own experiences with the hatchlings.

The fact that she is still eating is a positive sign for her longevity. It will be interesting to see if my thoughts of low egg rates = longer life holds true (It is so easy to generalize inappropriately with only a very, very few not well documented observations but Trapper lived on for another 12 weeks+ ). You will know her time will be over very soon (within 24~48 hours) when she leaves the den and wonders about the tank somewhat aimlessly. At that point there is a suggestion that a soft surface is more comfortable than the hard rock (guessing at the soft/hard - it could be warmth or even the absence of small clean up predators) and she would likely be happy to sit on your hand HOWEVER she is also likely not to want to leave and bite when you try to put her down (I have at least 4 octopus experiences with this - fortunately, no skin breaks but that may not hold up in the long run - infection is a very, very serious consideration). I am not sure what might be placed in the aquarium that would be equivalent (I have placed dying animals in a breeder net when I have observed bristle worms starting a bit early on their clean-up chores - really wish I did not have them) and if the octo would choose it. There are also good arguments for euthanasia at this point but I choose to try to allow nature to take its course in the most comfortable way I can think to offer. I suspect there is no right or wrong for the animal.
 

Britani

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04/30/15 - This morning we were able to count 13 hatchlings! There seem to be a few who are either a little braver than the others, or more adventurous, or more active...I'm not sure why, but there seem to be a few who come out in the evening hours, but so far our biggest count is first thing in the morning - I'm usually checking and counting early in the 6:00 hour. We were amazed this morning and continue to wonder how many more there might be. Legs is still guarding quite a number of eggs many of which seem to have embryos.

With so many hatchlings we have increased the amount of cyclops we are feeding. For the first several days we only fed one cube, but with this many babies we fed closer to two today. We'll see how that's going at our next water quality check.

We added another bottle of tigger pods tonight as we don't see as many gathering at the corners of the tank near the sand which makes me wonder if they are begging to catch and eat those too?

We will update again when we have more news.
 

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