They hatched! What now?!


Feb 8, 2008

I'm the other kid associated with RiverCity Leadership Academy's octopus, Cthulhu. (Finally shedding my "creepy forum lurker" status)

In the past few weeks our darling little flesh eater has drug EVERYTHING into her cave (everything as in: pulled up the turtle grass, a plastic playmobil princess and pirate, plastic pirate sword, drinking straws, brightly colored plastic chain links, live rock rubble, and picked any reasonably sized pebble or shell bit out of the sand, she took the feeding stick too), ceased to eat, became more anti-social than usual and laid eggs.

We noticed the eggs about two weeks ago, and last Tuesday we noticed our sole surviving fish Timmy hovering by the cave and Cthulhu flailing in his general direction and blasting him with water and sand. Timmy was caught and is now living in the sump. Shortly after the first baby was found.

We turned off the overflow, and are running a powerhead in the main tank to keep our corals/live rock happy.

On Wednesday our babies appeared to have disappeared. We found no dead babies stuck to the sponge on the powerhead and so can only assume they're lost in the live rock somewhere. Wednesday we were able to get a specimen container with a hole in the side, coarse sponge in the hole, and a Tom aqualifter pump to keep tank water circulating through the box. We put a teeny bit of sand in the bottom and a wad of chaeto (fluffed up) in the box with the few babies we were able to catch.

Also on Wednesday we started hatching brine shrimp, we've been hatching fresh ones every 24 hours.

Thursday our box babies were no where to be found, the holes in the sponge were about baby sized, so I assume they're lost in the main tank too. (Finer sponges have been purchased.)

Tuesday through Saturday we only noticed a few new babies every day, this morning (Sunday) I got a call from my teacher who had gone to feed them informing me that we had what looks like at least two hundred new babies swimming around in the main tank.

I highly doubt we have room in our itty box for all of them; more boxes to come I suppose...or a more efficent way of keeping them and the live food from getting lost.

At this point, we're kinda panicing. We got into it with no experience with octopi, or even saltwater aquaria. We're getting tons of help from the owner of our LFS, but I guess we need more. Has anyone else had luck with A. Aculeatus babies? How did you do it? What should we be feeding them? What am I forgetting?




Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
If you really do have an aculeatus, the young will be very small and planktonic, so there's little hope of feeding them and getting them to grow (Some octopuses have larger eggs so there's a chance you can raise them becasue they eat larger food.)

Very interesting about the things your octopus dragged into her den, and also that you had a fish living with her and she didn't eat it.

I wish I had better news...



TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Mar 8, 2004
Although Nancy supplied the bottom line, so really you're taking on a near-impossible task.

Mucktopus posted a summary of a professional lab's results at raising vulgaris from eggs here:

which may be of some help if you want to try, but, sad as it is to say, you need to be ready for disappointment: if you raise any of the young, it will be a first for non-professionals on TONMO.

oh, and of course :welcome: to TONMO, and please keep us informed on how it works out!