Newbie with octopus and eggs

Feelers

Vampyroteuthis
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Joined
Jul 10, 2005
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332
The best thing I'd suggest is feeding lots of pods ect into the tank when they hatch. Perhaps even baby brine shrimp(better than nothing). If you have a plankton net you could go trawling, and empty that into the tank too.
Perhaps someone else has more ideas?
Just make sure you turn off the skimmer when they hatch. There isnt that much hope for them unfortunately given that they will be so small. You never know though. :biggrin2:
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
14
Ok, so now we are pretty sure it is O. rubescens that we are dealing with, "There isnt that much hope for them unfortunately given that they will be so small. You never know though. " by Feelers, is this pretty much the consensus? Has anyone been successfull in this?

Thanks
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
80
Hi Tim,

IMHO, it just isn't feasible to raise "small egg" octopus babies at
home. Small egg species have been raised in artificial environments
but, to my knowledge, the success stories always come from
institutions that are able to devote the necessary time and resources
to the task. I'm pretty sure, for example, that the Seattle Aquarium
has raised GPO's from eggs but I'm also sure that they don't try to
replenish their display animals through captive breeding - it's just
too much work!

Here's some of what you're up against:

1. The eggs will hatch into very small, weakly swimming babies. In a
normal tank these will almost certainly be destroyed, damaged, or
trapped by the whatever water circulation system you use. The normal
way around this is to have a Kriesel tank ready and transfer the
babies to it immediately.

2. Baby octos are proportionally just as hungry as adults (maybe even
more so) but because of their small size they are very limited in what
they can capture at first. You'll have to provide copepods or similar
sized zooplankton for the period that the baby octos remain as free
swimmers. Copepod culture is fairly straight forward but it's also
fairly labor intensive.

3. Assuming they survive the planktonic stage they will quickly
outgrow zooplankton as food and you'll have to be ready with something
slightly larger such as amphipods or small shrimp. These are probably
easier to culture than copepods from a technical standpoint but they
have another set of problems. Because they grow far more slowly than
copepods you'll have to devote a lot of space to amphipod culture in
order to have a sufficient supply during the period that your young
octos are eating them.

4. They will also outgrow amphipods and, from what I've read, O.
rubescens will then move on to small snails or hermits. It isn't
practical to culture or collect this sort of thing but possibly you
could substitute an equivalent size shrimp.

5. At every stage, your baby octos will be more than happy to eat each
other if there isn't other food in sufficient quantities. In fact,
there is a school of thought that says cephs actually prefer other
cephs as food. That boils down to putting a priority on separating the
babies as quickly as possible. Obviously, it wouldn't be possible, let
alone practical, to have a separate space for each of several hundred
babies but you should be aware that you'll be lucky to get one
maturing octo from each enclosure that you do construct.

6. These things are, of course, in addition to the 'normal' problems
of keeping a ceph with their high metabolism and messy eating habits.

A couple of final comments about O. rubescens. First, be careful about
handling these guys - they are biters and their bite can be fairly
serious. Second, they have a reputation for being escape artists, even
compared to other species of octo. Roy Caldwell, who posts here with
the screen name Neogondylactus (sp?) says this may be because O.
rubescens is often found intertidally which indicates it isn't very
concerned about climbing out of the water.

Sorry if this comes across as being too negative but the things I
mentioned are realistic concerns for a prospective octopus nursery.

Discouragingly yours,

Alex
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
14
Thank You for the info Alex, I will not be able to devote that much time and energy, especially if the outcome will likely be the same either way.:cry: For one thing the tank is located in someone elses office. What are some thoughts on valving the pump waaayy down and putting in some live rock and a bunch of copepods and amphipods and letting Nature take its course, We had also added 4 peppermint shrimp( as food for the octopuses) right before the eggs were laid, two of the shrimp are carrying eggs which may provide another food source. Should I be concerned about the Adult shrimp eating the baby octo's?
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
14
I've thought about that but am a good 3 hour drive from Santa Barbara (Palm Springs Area). But that might be an option... Would love to see some make it though, I've even been toying with the idea of putting a good lid on my personal 225 gallon reef tank that has a permanent glass divider at the 1/3 mark. Just not sure that I want to deal with the extra wastes of a messy eating octopus in the same water as the other tank inhabitants.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
14
Well, the tank owner wants to make a go of it and the good news is that I had added a few pieces of live rock and macroalgae to the tank about a week and half ago and now there are all sorts of pods in varying sizes spreading like mad about the tank, would anyone suggest raising the temp in the tank? We are currently holding at 65 F. the parents have stopped eating:frown: and are being very reclusive, one of the peppermint shrimp has taken up residence right next to them.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
14
Here is a quick update and some pics. eggs hatched yesterday and tank is full of babies. As soon as we had the eggs I stopped cleaning the glass and the tank is now loaded with various pods etc. in all sizes babies are now eating well. I have a lot of reef tanks with refugiums and so have access to lots more pods, also about a week ago we had a large hatching of peppermint shrimp in the tank and that's when I slowed the flow waaaay down and have blocked the overflow teeth with pieces of window weatherstripping so that the water just oozes into the overflow and babies don't go over the edge. Just wondering how long we can expect the mom to live? When the dad died he came out of hiding and put on a spectacular display, (was caught on video) Can we expect the same from the mother? My big concern is that with the flow turned down so far if she dies in her lair we may not catch it in time to remove her before she pollutes the tank.(we cannot even see her in her lair, just the occasional arm which by the way she used to push the babies out.) We are crossing our fingers on this :wink:
 

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