Tiny - O. Briareus (Tank Hatched)


O. vulgaris
Oct 19, 2005
Hello All!

First of all I musut apologize for not checking in more. I've been very busy lately; and I intended to journalize my last octopus but sadly it did not turn out that way. This time I fully intend on keeping a detailed journal.

A few months ago I aquired a new octopus named Hal; an O. Briareus. I created a journal entry for her but I cant seem to find it; perhaps it was deleted for inactivity or something of the sort. Hal was a social octopus for about two days; after which she created a den and swiftly retreated to it; never to be seen out in the open again. As you can imagine why; we soon renamed "Hal" to "Hallen". I was very sad I would spend so little time with this octopus, and she was not social at all. She soon laid about a dozen eggs; which I assumed were infertile. However I got a closer look at them as they were developing and discovered there were little octos inside! I knew that the chances of survival were very slim, and just accepting that the hatchlings would die off. I knew nothing of raising octos from eggs and have read it was very difficult; likely because of food source issues? The eggs hatched, and weeks later Hallen died. Since then the tank has been quite lonely and home to a brittle star and two crabs that Hallen never ate. About a month ago, shortly after Hallen passed, I noticed a tiny little octo in my tank; he was so cute and tiny! At that time he was about the size of an anthropod. After that I noticed no activity until the last week; I spotted him again, although now he is much larger.

I'm confident now that he will survive and grow into a very friendly Octopus! I attribute his survival to a very large supply of Crusteceans in the tank. Which has no doubt dwindled since he began eating all of them. Tonight I just spotted him searching rocks and walking around the sandbed looking for food; I even watched him find one!

Sadly it happened so quickly and he retreated back into the rockwork before I could take any pictures.

Right now he is very healthy with all 8 legs :smile: He is about 2 1/2 inches accross from leg to leg.

I'm so excited! I never in the world would have imagined our last octopus would have given us this gift. Although it does sadden me a little that Hallen didnt have a chance to lay her eggs in the wild.

What do you guys think I should get to feed him next? He'll probly be quite happy eating all of the stuff in my tank for a few more weeks. I usualy feed my octos mysis shrimp which I'm sure he'll enjoy as he grows; but I'm not sure what to give him before that to bridge the gap.

PS - Tiny may be a temporary name, as you can imagine he wont be so small forever... And my GF is already calling him Squiggles...
YES!!! Sooo nice to see another tank born survivor, we don't see many!

You might want to scan my journal on Kooah's hatchlings as they were born a year ago and I don't remember timing but if you are seeing Tiny out, try feeding mysis on a pipette. It is a bit of a pain but eventually, you should be able to establish a feeding time. IME, they will not take table shrimp until they are MUCH larger (I think it is too tough) but mysis, shore shrimp (others have had luck with the cheaper freshwater ghost shrimp), lots of pods to hunt and I highly recommend adding Cyclop-eeze to the tank daily (frozen, not dried).

From Kooah's brood, only two survived but both Mama Cass and Tatanka lived a full year. I bred them and they did produce viable eggs but sadly none of the hatchling survived more than a week. Cassy has died but Tatanka is still with me, albeit heavily into senescence, sleeps most of the time, is very weak and only comes out on a rare occasion.

From what we have seen, young octos will not be very interactive. If they do become human friendly, expect to see a drastic change somewhere around 5 months.

We don't remove journals :biggrin2: and you can usually find an animal if you know its name by looking in the List of Our Octopuses 20xx thread at the top of the Octopus Care Forum. I located your missing post and added Hal - O.briareus to your original title to make the journal easier to find :biggrin2:
Thanks for the input!

You know I cant acctually confirm that Tiny is the only survivor; of course I havnt seen more than one Octo at the same time but its possible other hatchlings could have made it... Haha I hope its not the case I dont know what I'd do! ^_^

I've never used Cyclop-eeze before, is it basically just a frozen food? Whenever I see Tiny its only for a few seconds and he retreats back into the rock work quickly. I'm sure at that size he's going to be shy for quite some time; but I'm hopefuly when he gets bigger he will become more social :smile:

Thanks for finding Hal's post. I just figured out that I had created a new username and thats why I couldnt find it...
Cyclop-eeze is a tiny shrimp like animal that is used for young fish (both fresh and saltwater) and corals. It is a mainstay of our feeding routines and we know the octos either eat it (I have pipette fed a post brood female with it and have video of her doing so) or eat the small pods that eat it because we see it in their elimination (at all ages). I raised two generations of O.mercatoris through their juvenile state primarily using Cyclop-eeze and a pipette.

One thing I noted with my brood. Only one octo per tank survived even though I know there were two in Cassy's tank well past the tiny size point (I experimented with all kinds and sizes of tanks but the two that survived were in the two largest). I never saw them attack each other and they did not eat food anywhere near the size of their sibblings but the fact remains that only one per tank survived. CaptFish had the same result with the six hatchling he found in the wild. Supposedly (I have no reason to question it but I have not seen authentication) O.briareus are cannibalistic so this may account for the observations in but the size food they eat suggests otherwise. In much older hatch, where there were no survivors the hatchlings started showing red spot on their mantles and missing arms after a week. The missing arms were likely sibbling attacks and we assumed the red spots were as well (the hatchlings always died after they showed the red spots). Since their blood is not red, I am now inclinded to think the spots were bacterial infection as I saw no similar spots on mine. I saw only one missing arm in the large tank and none in the small tanks where there were only a couple of octos.

Keep trying to offer food with a small stick or pipette, Tiny will learn suppertime if you keep trying.

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