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Raising Octo Babies-Links Please?


Dec 2, 2002
Hi all. I've recently started working at an lfs who has a dwarf octo (sorry....no idea what species but the link below will take you to some pics I snapped tonight). This octo laid eggs last weekend (between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon). Can you all provide me some info links regarding (1) average gestation period and (2) how to go about hatching and raising the babies (Colin?). I know this may not be possible without the name of the octo but I'm hoping to at least get my boss a basic tank set up, etc. to give rearing the young a whirl. Thanks in advance!!

Hi Annick, nice to see you posting at last :P

Well those are small eggs... the octo looks a bit like something from the vulgaris group but cant tell for sure.. nice octo though, what size is she?

The incubation of the eggs may be as long as a couple of months but the bad news is that it is really difficult to rear these small egg buggers.

I know of two worthwhile WWW sites one by Jimbo (cephJedi) and one by James Wood.....


You could still try but it will be tricky, need LOTS of copepods!

Hey Colin...I knew I'd have a reason to post here sooner or later :smile: Have printed the report by Jim Nieberding but can't seem to access the 2nd pdf link you provided...might be a security issue as I'm at my work computer. The octo is very small...thought the "Solo" cup in one of the pictures could be used for scale? Thanks for the info Colin. I'll keep you updated!!
I'm sorry to report that all eggs have become bristleworm fodder :frown: Anyone know what kind of behavior to expect from mother now that she no longer has eggs to protect? Thanks in advance!
Hi Annick
sorry to say that senescence will kick in within a week or two, that means she'll be a lot paler, wonder aimlesly about the tank and 'act weird' before dying, but it happens quite quick.

Bloody bristleworms!!! :x

Hope all is well otherwise :smile:
Hey Colin. Sorry for the delayed reply but since losing the job at the lfs, I have had no reasons to visit this site except to read articles, catch up on the b.b. information and such. So, no hopes for the momma you say? :frown: Poor dear. She still isn't eating so it's not looking good. I will keep you updated as to her condition/health as often as I can, however, not having access to the lfs the way I used to, I might not be able to get a "play by play" as to the octo mother's well being. Ah nature, she can be so damned cruel.

Otherwise, as you know, besides the general seasonal blah's caused by the non-stop snow bombardement we've experienced, all is well. Thanks again Colin for helping me out!!! Hope all is going well in your neck of the woods. Drop me a line soon and let me know how things are going!! :smile: Have a great weekend!

I just had some of my Octo Vulgaris eggs hatch two days ago. Gestation was about 60 days. On the first day the little guys were at the surface of the tank. There were about 20 of them. They are translucent and about the size of a grain of rice. They are exhibiting color changing flashes. As of today, I can't see the newborns but I assume they are in the string algae I allowed to develop over the past 2 months. I also have a large number of viable eggs yet to hatch.

I have read that these fry are hard to raise so I have tried to create an environment conducive to their needs by:

1. Isolating them from pumps, filters, possible predators, and strong currents.

2. Adding brine shrimp eggs to the aquarium sequentially to create a brine population at different levels of maturity. This is to support my current population of copepods that aready exist.

3. Letting the isolated Aquarium section naturally progress with out cleaning (maintaining good filtration though).

4. Lowering light levels

Hopefully this will allow some of the fry to mature.

I'll keep you updated as to my success.
I noticed the bristleworm sitting there next to your octo- (an O. mercatoris, no doubt in my mind.) and I wondered if the mom would be diligent enough to fend it off. I'm sorry for your loss- raising babies can be a fun experience (did you read colin's link to my page? :wink: )

Eharries, Octopus vulgaris is a member of the small-egged octo group and lays eggs numbering in the hundreds. It's hatchlings are pelagic and almost microscopic and darn near un-rearable even in careful lab situations. Your babies sound like textbook large-egged octopus inklings, perhaps bimaculoides, briareus or mercatoris. If you have a photo of the adult, we might be able to narrow it down. Either way, good luck- I hope they grow out!

Cheers, Jim

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