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Octopus laying eggs?!?

Aug 5, 2005
Hi, My octopus has recently stopped eating, and has made herself a pit in her tank. She moved all the sand and rocks and made her secret hideout and today I saw her move away from it for a min. and saw several strands with eggs covered on them. But the thing is, there isn't a male in the tank, so will the eggs die because they won't be fertilized? I have known she was girl since I got her, but I didn't know they layed eggs like this. The other thing I'm concerned about is whether she will ever eat again. I know that when Octopus have there fry they stop eating to take care of them and die so I don't know what is going to happen considering they can't be fertilized.Or can they? :shock:
There have been cases where the eggs were fertile, even without a male in the tank. I believe the female is able to store the sperm until she has the eggs. You will know in a few days if you see something starting to develop in them.

Continue to offer her food at her den. Some continue eating while others refuse everything. Luck!!!

Some of our octos have continued to eat even after egg laying. They may refuse at first, but accept more as time goes by. Keep offering food, but offer it so that your octo doesn't have to leave the den. You can use a feeding stick or place it where she can reach it.

What Carol said about the eggs is correct - your octo may have encountered a male a long time ago, before she arrived in your tank. On the other hand, some do lay infertile eggs.

Good luck with this.

Will she die if she stops eating? She hasn't eaten in days. Also, I don't know how to raise little octopuses if they hatch. Especially because I don't have a large tank, by any means. It's only a 15 gallon tank, I do have a spare 10 gallon, but I don't know how much help it might me. I know they eat live artemia when hatched, but thats about it. And there are so many, there must be between 300 and 500 eggs, and I don't know the survival rate. Can anyone help me out here?
Hi Brett,

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but if she's not eating she will die (even if the eggs are infertile) If you can get her to feed even a little she will live a little longer (Carol's Ink lived for some time after egg laying). If you get squirtlings, I would expect around 80-90% mortality (perhaps even more, in the wild I believe ~1% survive). Artemia isn't nutritious enough as a base food. To start with tho you can feed newly hatched Artemia (they still have yolk) or enriched Artemia (with selcon or something similar). BUT you will need to get in a good supply of amphipods ASAP. The squirts will eat surprisingly large prey, so mysids are also good. Expect some cannibalism! ......the strong survive! with 3-500 eggs assuming they hatch, you may want to release some (if you can) or farm some out to enthusiastic friends!

You will also need to provide LOTS of hidey holes, PVC tubes etc are good for this.

Hope this helps


Jean is on the money with this one...(as usual) you might want to put in a few pieces of freshly cured live rock too, as they tend to have lots of food sized critters rooming in them.



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