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OMG! Ossie gave birth


Mar 14, 2006
We've been very worried about Ossie the last few weeks. We had figured it was getting near the end of her life but we were trying really hard to get her to be responsive to us.

She had taken to being in her den 95% of the time, only sneaking out after we'd been asleep to get her food. And as far as we could tell, she had gone down to eating once every two-three nights.

This morning I woke up and went to feed the green chromis in Ossie's tank when I saw shapes moving about in the water. Turned on the light and I saw pinkish-purply teeny blobs in the water as well as clear ones.

"Ossie gave birth! Ossie gave birth!" I screamed to get W. out of bed.

We have about 30 baby octopus in our teeny tank. We're expecting this to be the first batch from what we've read here on the boards.

We're panicking (of course) and I'm not sure what we're going to do about it. (The insurance adjuster is supposed to take a look at our damaged condo and hopefully in a few weeks, we'll be able to set up our large tank but still.... we've such limited options right now.

So... ANY advice will be appreciated.

Also, any of you in the Bay Area, California wants to try rearing a couple of baby mercatoris, send me a pm over the next two or three days. Or try emailing me. We're watching the babies turn pink, then translucent right now. Please help us try and save some.

Congratulations! I don't know much about O. mercatoris: do the babies look like tiny but fully-formed adults or are they planktonic larvae?

They are fully formed octopus with mantle, eight legs, two LARGE eyes and I think I can see their brain? Something milky colored inside the mantles. We can count about 10-15 of them but don't know if any are hiding in the rocks or whether another batch would release tonight.

They are SO cute! One keeps swimming in circles (somewhat jerkily but I guess that's due to their propulsion system). Others are exploring the glass where a bunch of copepods are hanging out. Still others are just swimming near the surface, bobbing happily away.

I turned down the airflow so they're not struggling to get about but there's still circulation. We need to be at work today so am hoping Ossie doesn't die while we're out. I know that we have to remove her body immediately since we don't have a filtration system on the tank.

I've also a question about water changes. Before, I was just using a gallon jug and filling it up by submerging it in the tank. However, this way, some of the babies might get sucked in. Any other suggestions on how to do water changes?

Again, I reiterate: Anyone in the Bay Area, California who wants to raise a baby O. Mercatoris, please contact me immediately by PM or email.

If I had a tank ready I would be on my way down there to collect one or two from you, but as it is, I have nothing. :-/

I wish you the best of luck in rearing those babies!

Green with envy!
Sounds fantastic! If I didn't have cuttles now I would take a few.

You might consider buying two or three net breeders that hang inside the tank rim. You could put a few babies in each and have direct supervision on them. The rest will probably disappear into the rockwork and you won't be sure how many, if any, survived.

Righty has some good tips about collecting small crustaceans for ceph food in the bay area, otherwise you could order mysids and 'pods from Sach's.

Ill take a few to play with (Im in san francisco)...My baby cuttle section is free at the moment. When they get larger, my Friend has a large tank that would be available for them.

Ill need to octo proof the cuttle section first...

I would take DHyslop's advise on the breeder net idea. You will need to seal the tops though. Also, are you familiar with collecting pods in the area?
Thanks Paradox! We are right off the 580 fwy so just a hop skip and jump from S.F. I'll IM you my details.

Any other takers?
congradulations on the babies!

If I had more experiance with salt water (this would be my first tank...), I would take some, probably, but I'm too afraid that they would die almost immediatly.
Does anyone know how old they are when they start getting cannible and intolerant of others in the same tank? Ive kept octos before, but never more then 1 at a time nor from a hatchling...
thanks cttlefish...

As for the attempt - first off, Ossie is our first octo and trust us, we've made so many mistakes... but apparently this is a pretty hardy species.

Secondly, these babies are going to die almost guaranteed. We don't have the space to take care of them (they're in a 5.5 gallon tank right now which is why I'm trying like crazy to get them out of here) and we're hoping one survives for ourselves.

In the meantime, anyone who can take a couple of them will probably give them a better show of surviving than we can.

We're also going to try contacting the S.F. aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see if they'd like any.
Paradox said:
I would take DHyslop's advise on the breeder net idea. You will need to seal the tops though. Also, are you familiar with collecting pods in the area?

Perhaps using some hot-melt glue to secure the aluminum brackets to the outer plastic trim in such a way that it would keep the top of the net against the glass lid? I apologize for the tangent, its just an idea I had :smile:

Hmm... or just cut the netting off to create a pocket that can float in the water... or just hot glue the opening to the glass after cutting the netting?

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