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My octopus laid eggs... and they just hatched! What do I do?!


May 23, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
Hi All -

I have a warm water indo-pacific octopus (that's all the LFS was able to tell me about species). About a week after I got it it disappeared into the back of the tank where it laid eggs. From everything I read, I was pretty bummed as I figured it was just going to wither away and die and the eggs would never hatch. But after about 2-3 weeks they did! My tank is filled with tiny octopi! Is there anything I can do to help these little guys survive? I know chances are slim, but I don't even know what to feed them. Any help, knowledge, or advice would be much appreciated!

Sadly, they appear to be hatchlings from a small egg species and all attempts at raising even a small number to adult have been abysmal. Feeding them seems to be the biggest problem. The best attempts have been using live crab zoa (newly hatched crab), not something easily available. Feel free to experiment with any kind of small food, especially any form of crustacean. If you can locate any live tiny crustaceans, you may have a bit of luck for extending their lifespan but two weeks is about the most you are likely to see. I do think multiple feedings a day helps.

Here is a link to a list of journals marked as raising octos from eggs. Unfortunately, any successes have been with large egg species (animals that incubate in the egg longer and hatch more fully developed, usually larger than the hatchlings that are less developed)

Here is a link to my success with a large egg species (almost 10 yrs ago) I don't expect it will help much but it might give you some ideas.
Hi All -

Thanks for the advice. Even spoke with someone from the husbandry department at our major local aquarium. Tried a little bit of everything suggested, but as all the research says, success seems unlikely. Looks like we have a few little guys left from the thousands. Will keep trying until they are all gone... or until I have a new mature octopus. But, sadly, I'm guessing the outcome will be the former.
Speaking to the person from the aquarium, it sounds like it's rare for any hatchlings to survive in well funded aquarium facilities.

That is sadly, still true for small egg species. We have had better success (better is a cautious word since only about 5 from a clutch of roughly 100 are documented with TONMO hobbyists) with some of the dwarf large egg species where professional labs have reported over a 50% success rate.

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