• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

New Octopus may have had babies

Mike B

Pygmy Octopus
Aug 26, 2004
I just put a new octopus in my tank this afternoon, it went behind the rocks and start digging in the sand. I saw a couple of really milky looking clouds of some kind of a fluid come out and the tank got very cloudy. I left the house for a couple of hours and when I came home there are a bunch small babies in the tank, but they all only have 5 tentacles. Is this what a baby octopus looks like? Only 5 tentacles?
I thought the only other answer may be star fish that could have been attached to the new octopus somehow because of the 5 tentacles, but they sure look like baby octs!!!
What do I do!!!
Mike B
Seems unlikely it could be hatchling octos because they lay eggs, so unless she had some with her you didn't see as you said she's brand new in the tank and it takes a few weeks to hatch. The milky substance you describe, maybe the octos waste. How big is she? What you describe reminds me of a dwarf I had that hatched out babies. I'll see if I can dig up a shot of the babies. Unfortunately they didn't survive as they are very difficult to rear.
This doesn't sound right - I doubt that they are baby octopus. Octopus don't 'broadcast spawn', as in release eggs and sperm directly into the water for external fertilisation (accounting for the milky coloured water), and development wouldn't occur in that time frame (normally 30+ days).

Do/did you have a starfish, urchin, sea cucumber or brittle starfish in there? I'm not sure (you mention one could have hitch-hiked in with the octopus)? Pentamerous radial symmetry sure sounds echinoderm like, and development in these things can be pretty quick.

Need either a picture or a drawing to solve this one.
Thanks, I think you are right about the brittle stars,that's what the pet shop thought too where I got the octo, but they do have more like tentacles but only five. They must have come in with my new octopus because I have never had a star fish in my tank. I tried to get a picture but my camera wouldn't focus in on them because they are so small.
Case reopened for follow-up investigation.

They were probably in your sandbed and they got stirred up when your octo dug in the sand.You don't have to of had a starfish in there to have those baby brittles(that's what I call them)in your tank.They come out of your live rock or live sand.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.