octo eggs!?!?

KDS

O. bimaculoides
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Hi there. My octopus, who I have had for a month, has laid eggs. I don't know what species the mother is, but the eggs are very tiny. I haven't figured out if they are fertile or not. But if they are, is there any way I could keep them alive once they hatch? My 55gal. just doesn't seem like a very good place to keep track of hundreds of tiny babies. Also, how long until I should expect them to hatch?
Thanks,
KDS
 
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Under Forums, cephalopod care, Octopus care, there is a thread about the care of octopus eggs. You will want to read that. It seems that they are very difficult to care for and keep alive. If they are indeed fertile. Also, sorry to say but because she has laid eggs she will greatly diminish her food intake and most likely die. :angel: She will guard the eggs and blow water over them. If they hatch they will eat a similar diet to baby sea horses. So maybe research the care of baby seahorses to give you an idea. If your eggs do hatch be sure to let us know if you are willing to part with them. I am looking to add an octopus to my tank in august. :biggrin2:There are lots of additional threads about eggs under octopus care. Try the search engine. We are lucky to have such intelligent people using this forum and sharing their knowledge with us.
 
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KDS,

What can you tell us about the mother? How long have you had her? How big is her mantle? How long are her arms? Any photos?

Also, when you say "the eggs are very tiny", do you mean something in the 2-4 mm range or something a bit larger, maybe in the 7-9 mm range? Large-egg babies are much easier to rear than small-egg babies. Large-egg babies will be fully-formed octos as soon as they hatch and will eat pods and mysids. Small-egg babies will be planktonic and require much smaller foods... rotifers and the like perhaps.

You should be able to see tiny black eye-spots form inside the eggs after a few weeks if they are fertile.

Hatch time will depend on species and water temp. Our Varys' (O. mercatoris) eggs took 5-6 weeks with an average water temp of about 75F.
 

KDS

O. bimaculoides
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Thanks for the response. I can't really tell you a lot about the mom. I got her on the first of May. But I only saw the eggs a couple of days ago. I don't have an ID on her and I can't get a picture because she only comes out at night. She doesn't have any eye spots, so that would rule out any of the bimacs. She is about a foot long; her mantle is probably three inches. I have looked in all my books and can't see anything that would narrow it down to a particular species. The eggs are definately in the 2-4 mm range. And my Dad said he could see little black spots on the eggs. My water temp is at 70-72 ( I know it is not stable but I messed up buying the chiller and have to wait for some parts that are on back order). Is that temp ok? As for parting with them I would be more than happy. Just don't count on it. Thanks
KDS
 
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Temperature requirements depend on the species of octopus you have... and since you don't know yours, it's hard to say. Are you sure that you need a chiller? I think non-tropical species like Bimacs generally like low 70s while tropical species like our mercatoris like mid- to high-70s.

If the eggs are 2-4 mm then you have a small-egg species and chances of raising hatchlings are close to nil. Redoc and Octovarium are trying to deal with small eggs right now. You might follow their threads. If you got her in May, then there's a good chance the eggs are fertile.
 

KDS

O. bimaculoides
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Just wondering, about a week ago I put a fiddler crab in the tank. Since my octo was brooding she didn't eat it. Should I remove it along with the hermit crabs to prevent them from bothering the eggs or is it fine to let them stay (as my clean up crew)?
 
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I don't recall anyone here talking about problems with crabs left in the tank with a brooding octopus (somebody correct me if I'm wrong)... most of the time, they are seen as a danger to the eggs and simply shoved away rather than eaten. I don't suppose there is much need for "cleaning up" if your octopus isn't eating, so you could probably tansfer them to another tank if you have one.

Most brooding ocotpuses won't eat, but there have been exceptions. Try a variety of dead food offerings: crab claws, beheaded shrimp, frozen mysis, cyclopeeze, etc. Sometimes the size of the food is critical. And sometimes nothing will work. :roll:
 

Redoc

GPO
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Jan 20, 2008
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I did have a problem with crabs and my first batch of eggs. The mom died two days after finishing laying so their was only me to protect the eggs. As long as Mommy octo is around she will protect the eggs. My current octo is still around and is about the same size as yours ( A.aculeatus ) she will eat the odd crab as long as it can't defend itself ( breaking off it's claws a really horrible thing to do ) I keep my tank around 80 and the eggs hatched in about 3 weeks. when they are almost ready you should be able to see the tiny little guys in their shell.
 

KDS

O. bimaculoides
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I am also wondering how to keep the babies alive once they have hatched. Do I move them to another encloser, leave them in the main tank in a breeder net, if I put them in another tank won't they get sucked up in the filter, etc... I have read different things; one guy said he kept his paralarva in an open filtered (what is an open filtered set up) circular tank and someone else said I should take the filter out completely and use an airstone for circulation. And do I just wait until they start hatching and then scoop them up in a net or should I move the mom, rocks, and eggs into the juvenile encloser and then wait for them to hatch? Sorry for the silly questions but I am a new ceph keeper.
 

Redoc

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I wish I could tell you how to keep them alive but none of us seem to have got it just right yet. I enlarged my intakes to reduce suction and covered that with 75 micron mesh ( such a small mesh was used so I would not suck up their food ) I had a small temperature problem late on day 2 and none made it through day 3. I think we have to make it 30 days or more? When my new eggs hatch I will continue my aculeatus hatchlings thread. I suggest you start one of your own and read as much as you can to decide how to proceed.
 

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