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O. hummelincki eggs

Jul 8, 2016
Brooklyn, New York
Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting so I'll give a quick introduction as well. I am an aquarist at a local AZA aquarium in New Jersey. I've had a deep passion for cephalopods as far back as my memory goes and I've been fortunate enough to care for some of the cephs we house at our aquarium.

Anyway, we recieved our O. hummelincki back on July 6th from Dynasty Marine in Florida and as of today, she has laid her eggs. I was not able to get much info on how long the previous place had her, I was only told "just a few weeks". So I am being quite optimistic and I'm hoping she may be carrying sperm and the eggs could be fertile. I am also under the impression these eggs have not been sucessfully reared in captivity before as well.

I've grown quite fond of the little octopus over the last few weeks and I just feel the need to try and do something for her eggs. If there's nothing that can be done I totally understand but I do not want to give up on her eggs just yet. If anyone can give me any feedback on egg reaering for this species I would be incredibly appreciative as this is the first time I've dealt with octopus eggs and trying to hatch them.

Thank you!!!

P.S - I will try to post some older pictures and videos of her when I get a chance. She really is quite beautiful!
:cuttlehi:@Connor Gibbons,
Your overview of the situation with your O. hummelincki is spot on. To my knowledge, there have only been 3 small egg species (two in Alaska - GPO and one unremembered species - and 1 in Spain - vulgaris - with ANY luck getting small egg octopuses to settlement (I'm not sure if any have ever grown to full maturity). In all three cases, the mortality rate was extreme with only a couple out of 10's of thousands surviving. Food is guessed to be the key and larval crabs part of the answer. I also believe the water in all three cases was flow through ocean vs synthetic.

There may be a current source for crab zoea at Kanaloa Octopus Farm as they are trying to raise O. cyanea and have realized that there is an interest in larval food for other researchers making the small egg attempt. You may want to call them (Hawaii) to discuss any progress. Here is a recent discussion noting their progress.

Here is a 2010 paper that contains a table of some of the foods tried and discusses some of the problems with trying to raise O. vulgaris. Note that artemia (brine shrimp) are mentioned but be aware that the mortality rate at 2 weeks was 100%. Also note that is was thought crab zoea better fit the nutritional requirements but that an abundant supply was not available for the experiment.

Here is one more (2008) paper I found that may be worth reading, Biology of the Planktonic Stages of Benthic Octopuses

Here is a link to a collection of articles on attempts at octopus farming. I have not reviewed them in a while and most will pertain to successes with large egg species or raising animals that have already reached the benthic stage but it might be worth skimming the titles.

Please consider recording the egg progress if you can photograph them as well as the length of time you are successful in keeping the hatchlings alive (sadly, this is usually only a few days).
WOW, I was just going to ask in my years hiatus away from Cephs if anyone had luck rearing small egg pelagic species, like my old girl (O. hummelincki). I tried everything Gibbons, years ago. I woke up one morning, saw them all...turned the filter off ASAP. Tried oyster eggs and other planktonic food, no luck...did very small, careful water change every few days. I was in college at time, even asked Ceph expert Dr. Ron O'Dor who I just met and brought to my schools bio club meeting in CT (I had his cell at the time) he said no scientist have had luck rearing them...YET! There has to be some secret we're missing out on, please let me know what you find and document here. I wish you and your girl octo the best of luck. This is the video the morning I woke up :smile:

PS, the tank was always kept clean (parameters always spot on) disregard the small green algae, have always had tough time with them on live rock wayyy before I had an octo. Also was in process of cycling a 55 g at this time, would of put her in that in 2 more weeks if she didn't have eggs. I had her about 5 months I believe, fully grown when I got her, so I believe she lived a full life (2 years max in wild, I assumed she was caught after a year old at least). My poor girl passed about 3 days after this, not eating as they always do after eggs hatch. You can see her near the end of my video blowing what I believe to be some stragglers out of their eggs in the den.
Hey Everyone,

Sorry for the lack of updates. Work at the aquarium has been hectic the last few weeks but there is good and bad news. Two weeks after I posted here I had plucked some of her eggs to check under a microscope to see if there was any development but I saw nothing. From there I assumed the eggs were infertile and I tried taking care of our little octo the best we could. Yesterday, we moved her to a different holding tank as she had not eaten in three weeks at this point and we wanted to giver her peace and quiet with the little time she had left. We moved her and her favorite rock cave that's been her den, in which she hasn't left in over three weeks and sits inverted over her eggs into a tank that was roughly 2 degrees warmer than her previous tank (79 degrees F).

So whether it was the stress of the move or the increase in temperature, her eggs started hatching at roughly 5pm yesterday. I was never able to get a clear look at the eggs that rested directly behind her so they must have been fertile and wow is there a lot of them. While I don't have an exact number of larvae there has got to be at least three hundred of them if not many more. We are trying to get some crab larvae but is proving very difficult so we are trying a wide variety of food to keep these guys going. If any of you guys have any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated :smile:. I will try and post pics later tonight
My only anecdotal observation/recommendation would be to NOT change the water (the exception would be if you are using sea water) and remove the female as soon as she dies to prevent fouling but the room for experimentation is wide open.
Hey everyone,

So it's been 9 days since our eggs hatched and their numbers have dropped off signinficantly. At this point there seems to be roughly ~20 octopuses left. They still seem to be swimming strong and actively moving. We've been putting both hatch brine and pseudo copepods in their tanks and we're still unsure how much of it they really eat. I'll continue to update sometime in the next few days with hopefully most of our numbers intact. I'd be happy to update anyone on what we've been doing so far and I'm than open to any suggestions you may throw my way. Thanks!

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