[Octopus]: Long time lurker, new octopus owner.

Jan 24, 2018
Modesto, CA
I've lurked on this forum for years, able to find all the answers I needed without having to ask. I used to work at a reef store and when we got a clutch of Dwarf cuttlefish eggs by mistake, I bought some and took them home. I hatched and raised them I'm the refugium of my 120g tank. It was a great experience.

Anyhow, having an octopus is what brought me to the hobby 5 years ago and I quickly was discouraged from getting one. Since then I have had several successful reef tanks, sea horses, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and other creatures but a few weeks ago I took the plunge and modified one of my tanks for an octopus and brought one home.

The tank is a custom built acrylic AIO. It's 5' long, 12" tall and 8" front to back. First filtration chamber is a media basket, second is marine pure balls, third is the heater and tunze skimmer and a maxi jett 600 return. The tank has euro bracing with loop side velcro on the bottom side of the bracing as well as acrylic lids that latch in place.

Lit by a single 48" t5 and the tank has macro algae, zoas and some GSP growing. The tank has been running for about 6 months and previously had a clown and ruby red dragonet, which have been relocated. I have an algae reactor on standby if I need additional nutrient export but right now the algae keeps the water clean.

Now, the critter. He/she was listed as a pacific pygmy octopus but one of the shop managers is known for making things up. The tank next to this guys said "east Asia octopus".... Anyhow, I got him and got him acclimated and let him go to one of the many caves in the live rock. As expected, he is nocturnal, most active just after the lights go out and before they come back on. I added a red glass jar that he likes to hide in (and we get to see him).



As far as I can tell, he looks like a pacific pygmy octopus but that doesn't mean much.
Well, the octopus has been in her tiny cave or about a week and I was getting nervous so I turned her rock over to inspect and I found eggs. I knew she wasn't dead cause she still sends her inspection tentacle out to take the thawed shrimp food offerings but hasn't hunted any hermits in a while.

I have to do some research. Will they lay unfertilized eggs? If they are fertilized (I didn't have her very long), is there any chance of raising them?

I have raised S. Bandensis to maturity before.
There is a high chance that the eggs are fertile. To determine the plausibility of getting any of them to survive, determining if this is a small or large species is the starting point. Can you get a photo of the eggs and can you give a comparison to a standardized object as a size reference? Small, rice size eggs produce pelagic (free swimming plankton dwellers for the first month or so) young where the larger pea size eggs produce benthic (substrate dwelling at or almost at birth). Home aquarists have been able to raise a few of the later but even public aquariums struggle to even get one of the former to survive more than a month (a week is more common in home aquariums).

We currently have two other members expecting hatchlings. @butler is monitoring his large egg O. briareus eggs here and @sensei his small egg O. vlugaris. Additionally, Raising Octopus Hatchlings Links is a collection of experiences, articles and comments tucked away in our Stickies under Octopus Care
I believe it is a pacific pygmy octopus, though still not positive. Mantle is about as big as my thumb. Eggs are slightly larger than a grain of rice.

I'm unable to get a good photo due to the small entrance to her cave.


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Unfortunately, "Pacific pygmy" does not help even as a common name to determine species. However, rice sized eggs will produce pelagic young and there is no real hope for raising them. However, we encourage you to try and to record your observations and efforts. Food seems to be a major part of the problem and there are numerous references to the difficulty and what has been tried in the Raising Octopus Hatchlings Links

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