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My Blue Ring =)...


Pygmy Octopus
Nov 30, 2002
First I realize the obvious reasons why these creatures seem like terrible pets in the eyes of many. For me however, owning Molly (my female blue ring occy), was the single neatest pet ownership experience I will probably ever have. I used a 6 gallon Eclipse tank tightly sealed and fed her ghost shrimp. She was incredibly active (even in the light, ALWAYS trekking around the tank) for her stay with me and lived a total of FIVE months in my care. She also layed eggs... which I never expected to HATCH, but after about 3 weeks of nothing I had about 20 baby blue rings scooting around the tank. They didn't live long unfortunately (I tried everything imaginable =( ). Molly died soon after, but I bet she's one of the few octopi to ever see her own young =). All in all she made a terrific pet. I guess I got lucky for getting such an active healthy girl, but I will be more than happy to share advice if anyone wants to try one. The only real issue is avoiding those deadly bites lol (made trying to save the little ones much more harrowing=). Anywho I have pics and movies of both Molly and her kids if anyone would like to see, and am always up for chat if anyone wants to IM me with any questions. Has anyone else had a GOOD experience with a blue ring? Tim
That's pretty sensational stuff Tim; captivity for 5 months, then deposited viable eggs that hatched in 3 weeks??

The blue ring (Hapalochlaena spp.) supposedly has a reduced ink sac (the literature says so at any rate); did yours ever ink in the tank (just out of interest), and if so, what colour was that ink?

I don't know a lot about the blue ring, but I'd be interested in approximate dimensions of those eggs, their number, how they were attached to the substratum (singly [individually attached to the ?rock] or in grape-like clusters), and a double check on the 3 week hatching time. For those eggs to have been viable the parent female must have mated and stored sperm for quite some time (unless you had a male in the tank also), but stranger things have happened (I am aware that some cephalopods 'store sperm'). The size of the eggs (greatest dimension) will give me some indication as to whether the larval octopus is pelagic/planktonic or benthic (doing exactly what the adult does, only on a smaller scale); it might help in procuring an appropriate food next time this happens to you.
Yeah Id be very interested in hearing more about the octo. Did your female carry the eggs about with her? I have seen movie clips with females doing this. I think that Tony may be interested if you can send the mpeg to him... email him via his profile on the site!!!


Well she was alone in her tank, which is why I was shocked when the eggs hatched. When she first layed them it looked like one cluster of about 15-20 grains of rice and another of about 10. She did carry them around with her tentacle for a while after laying them (I felt bad for her... thinking they were non-viable since she was all alone in the tank). They never attached to anything though, and I think after a few days got sucked into the filter box... they were SMALL and again, it was an Eclipse 6. I paid it no mind and figured that was the end of it. It was a good 3-4 weeks before I even noticed the little ones and they all hatched at about once it seemed. Some unfortunately were caught in the filter box, but at least 10 were free swimming. It was AWESOME. She paid little attention to them. They were abount the size of a grain of rice but with distinguishable tentacles and eyes. The coolest thing was they CHANGED COLOR just like mom. I never knew they could do that at birth. Anyways, They only lived for a few days =(. I had no way to seperate them or feed them reasonable food (I tried breeders but they were so tiny they EASILY squeezed through the mesh... and an Eclipse 6 left little option), I also tried baby brine and then just an eyedrop of liquid invert food but nothing seemed to interest them in time... o well... I guess the odds are against these little guys in the wild too, so I just tried to let them be as much as possible besides the PICS i took =). Mom never inked the tank. From what I've heard that's one reason blue ring's make slightly better bets (the ink is replaced with VENOM lol). I'll try and mail the movies/pics in today. Hopefully I can share =).
I would like to see the pictures if you can post them.

Also, for very small carnivorous babies, you should try feeding them small copepods if you have a reef tank. If you have a friend who has a sump you will find plenty of food for small fish/cephs/etc.


If any had survived long enough I would have tried that. Unfortunately none lasted longer than 3 days so I didn't have much time to think =(. I sent in 3 pics and 3 movies of mom, and 2 pics and 4 movies of the kids... hope they get posted soon =). Tim
I don't have all the necessary literature at home (funny that), but I do have some info on Hapalochlaena lunulata (fide Boletzky, pp. 561-564 in The Biology of Cephalopods, Eds Nixon, M.; Messenger, J.B. 1977).

It describes the larval Hapalochlaena as very small (ML 2.3mm) at hatching, and to have quite a high number of suckers along the larval arms (10) (high in comparison to Octopus vulgaris [ML 2mm, 3 suckers], Scaeurgus unicirrhus [ML 2mm, 4 suckers], Octopus salutii [ML 3.5mm, 4 or 5 suckers], and Eledone cirrosa [ML 4.5mm, 8 suckers]). It seems that the larval Hapalochlaena settles on the tank glass every now and then, but generally only when it misjudges its' preys position and launches into it, the glass (by mistake). It doesn't really say if the larval Hapalochlaena is planktonic or soon assumes a benthic existence. I'm bound to find more information at work (or there may be something more detailed already online somewhere).

Sounds like the larval size you describe is consistent with what is known for the genus; the high number of arm suckers for such a small and early larval form is very interesting. More digging required.
Baby's on the glass...

Once they post the pic you can see one of the babies clingng to the acrylic on the side of the tank. Only a few of them demonstrated this behavior. I actually scooped one out into a plastic cup to observe... looked lke a translucent copy of mom (little tiny legs, and black eyes about half the size of a period). It was too hard to capture their color changing ability, but it was just as amazing as mom's. I really wish I could have reared at least one (I miss Molly's personality =( ), but I have heard that pygmy young are 1 in a 1000000 to raise. Hope everyone enjoys the pics =). Tim

BTW My favorite pic of Molly is the one of her sitting on my aquarium magnet. She would sit there and watch me watch TV. What a cool pet she was =).
Welcome Tim!

I have been fascinated with your story of Molly and everyone's feedback!

I remember seeing a couple blue rings at our local TFS some years back. They said they were shipped to them in error. Of course, they discouraged me from buying one, especially since I had young kids at the time. Anyway, one escaped into their filter system, all the tanks were linked so they coppered the heck out of the system cause they were afraid of running into it.

I'm jealous you were able to experience what you did!!! Sure sounds like she was a charactor!!!

My girl =)...

Hope everyone likes the pics. Hermin looks like quite the cool octo Carol =). Hopefully I can find another occy here (either another blue ring or possibly a bimac) that will give me another friend like Molly. I might actually try a bimac this time around and see if I can't get it to hand feed (OUT of the question with molly lol). Anywho has anyone found a good place online to order one? Thanx. Tim
Pictures are excellent! I particularly like the dark one, cause when you blow it up Molly's rings shine!!!

Yea, Hermin is a quite a charactor! He came from PA, That Pet Place. We made a special trip out there just for him!

Looking forward to the videos!

Carol :mrgreen:
Molly =)...

I would also like to make a few notes for anyone planning on trying a blue ring what I believe led to my ultimate success:

1) I made the Eclipse 6 FORT KNOX (with electrical waterproof tape and a paperweight on the lid... no need to worry about air though, plenty still gets in =). Avoiding the deadliness is goal #1.

2) I fed her sparingly (one or two ghost shrimp every few days). My hunch is most people aren't able to ignore the adorable begging habits and awesome hunting skills these animals possess and overfeed them to death (A friend of mine's bimac died because of this we think... he was named Jabba lol).

3) I set up this Eclipse SPECIFICALLY for her. Bigger occy's may make this harder, but for the pygmy's I highly reccomend spending the 50-70 bucks and just getting a completely sterile environment. This also makes waste management much easier. I also used a few Lava rocks (caves) and about an inch and a half of LIVE Fiji sand. I also left the water level a little low on purpose to prevent her from getting into the interior filter.

4) I changed the filter agent (the carbon pad) regularly (Every 10 days). This coupled with the feeding regiment and a careful 1 liter change when she was asleep kept the water immaculate despite the absence of a skimmer. At least with pygmy's I do not think you NEED a skimmer (also a safety issue with a blue ring). That and she was alone in the tank... except for a black molly (how Molly got her name) that she never ate (even though I was hoping she might just for some variety lol).

5) I played with her through the acrylic daily (waving my hand and tracing her movements). I think this helped when I came into the room unexpected. I am quite sure that in her latter months she recognized me.

6) Finally. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO. I am glad this site supports my view that these gorgeous creatures can be kept, but I also do not reccomend one to everyone. That is to say, respect them like a loaded gun. I would feel awful if someone heard my story and bought one on impulse only to get bitten... or even worse (a kid/dog =( ).

I hope this helps someone out there willing to try =). I do highly reccomend them as long as you don't get as attached to them as I did =)... I am glad her memory lives on. I miss her.

Thanks for sharing so much Tim! :D

I know that it has already been stated about the Blue Ring species before but I just want to emphasise that they are one of the World's most venemous animals and keeping one should be left to professionals with many years of experience. I would never recomend anyone keeping one as a pet even although they are frequently offered for sale in pet shops.

For some more info on Hapalochlaena Species please see...

http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/bluering1.html by Dr Roy Caldwell
http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/octobite.html by Roland C. Anderson

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