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[Octopus Eggs]: Trapper's Babies - Tank Raised Mercatoris

DWhatley

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A couple of red light vids

Sistrurus and Medusa continue to interact longer with me and more with each other. Sisty will "play" for almost an hour and I am usually the one to stop (to feed the other three). Medusa does a lot of observing and acts a lot like a shy dog that really wants to be petted but is afraid of people (I pet Sisty on the outside of the tank).

Here are a couple of rather poor quality (and worse when uploaded and converted on photobucket) that show their newest interaction:

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/?action=view&current=SistrurusMedusaGreet.flv

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/?action=view&current=SistrurusMedusaHug.flv

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/...ction=view&current=SistrurusMedusaChillin.flv

And two of Sisty's typical clowning around when I am at the tank (you can see Medusa s l o w l y climbing up the tank on the back right). This was a short bit of play, he will swim and climb most of the time I will sit with him. When he tires he usually sits on the glass and likes to be "petted" (from the outside) which usually bring Medusa closer to the front for attention. I continue to worry that his exuberance is sesenence but he does not seem to act like this unless he has an audience.

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/?action=view&current=SistrurusSwim.flv

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/?action=view&current=SistrurusClimb.flv
 

DWhatley

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No babies yet

Miss Broody: This is the 4th week since Miss Broody has lock herself into her den but still no babies. She will feed a little by sweeping the water and substrate with one arm poking through a tiny opening in her doorway and may be taking some food offerings left in the shell she uses as a door (it may be one of the other two octos taking the shrimp and fiddler claws I offer).

MIA: I may have confused Mia and HideNSeek at times. I know HideNSeek is a male but thought Mia never came to the front of the tank and am unsure about his/her gender. Tonight one of the octopuses was again in the barnacle cluster where Miss Broody has lived ever since being release to the larger tank. I have always thought it was HideNSeek that occassionally takes a room at this inn and that Mia stays solely to the back of the aquarium. However, tonight I noticed that there was an octopus in HideNSeek's usual feeding place AND an octopus in the barnacle. I just checked in on them again and Mia is now in the back of the tank and HideNSeek is still in his normal place so it might be that Mia has been coming up front occassionally for food all along. I did get a reasonable look at two arms while Mia was feeding and could not identify the overly large suckers I see on both Sistrurus and HideNSeek so Mia may be female but there are times when I can't see the identifying sucker on Sisty so I can't be sure.

I have noticed that Miss Broody and her mother both kept a supply of shells outside their dens but they are not the "midden" pile of expended food carcasses often referred to in the "how to find an octopus" literature. The Mercs seem to want their waste well removed from their homes and always jettison the remains as far away as their siphons will carry them. The pile in front of the female den is an assortment of doors that are swapped out from time to time. When a barnacle it too large to be comfortable, the octopuses have hauled in shells to fill the space and leave the shells inside to be used next time they inhabit the den. Either HideNSeek or Mia have decided that an escaped suction cup from one of the breeder nets makes a good door and has moved it to two different den sites.
 

DWhatley

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Miss Broody and HideNSeek's eggs are hatching

Last night (8 months - 1 day since the first of Trapper's young were born) three little octo babies were released to the tank. I caught 2 but one evaded me and the breeder net tipped sideways into the water this afternoon (suction cup failure). I think I see one of the two that were in the net but am not 100% sure (I had forgotten HOW small they are!). Hopefully I will see both in there tonight when I feed. If Miss Broody follows in her mother's footsteps (arm steps just doen't work), I should see more young over the next 3 days. The two that I was able to catch and contain appeared healthy and at least waved their arms at the Cyclop-eze last night. The one that "got away" was very mobile but the tank is not baby safe (shrimp, overflow and a fish I have never been able to catch that was supposed to be food when it was fry) so its fate is not promising. I cleaned down the walls today (and tried, again, to catch the stupid sailfin molly - they eat their own young so it is a valid concern), removing all the white specs (mostly tiny feather dusters) in hopes of seeing the little guys clearly before they are consumed or washed away (I also don't know if the other two octos in the tank would consider them as food). There is a sponge in the overflow and my first batch were able to negotiate it but I would rather not take the chance if I can get to them right away.

I still have never seen an octopus egg :hmm:
 

DWhatley

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So far I have 4 in the net and one known live still roaming the tank. I have not seen the one I missed last night, the roaming one was born this evening. The ones born tonight seem bigger than lasts night's trio but it is hard to tell. I am quite sure one was considerably larger than all the others though (keep in mind that these are tiny critters). For a reference, on the glass they look very much like a white, hungry (not bloated) Georgia tick. Myserable comparison but that's what they look like.
 

DWhatley

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Miss Broody's hatchlings

Miss Broody(mother) and HideNSeek(father) are sibblings from Trapper so these are first generation tank bred and second tank raised and third in the tank.

It has been a loooong week and I have been up until 5:00 AM most mornings monitoring the hatching. I have lost count of the number of babies we have put into the net but I think it is close to 30, assuming some are not escaping and being reincarcerated. There are still 5 loose in the tank that refuse to crawl to a place of capture or are spooked by my capture technique (which makes me suspect escapees :wink:). Sometimes I wonder if I have recaptured numerous babies since they are all but impossible to see in the nets during the daytime and I only see 4 or 5 in each net at night.

Miss Broody seemed to release 4-6 a night for 5-6 nights but, unlike Trapper, I never saw her release even one and I think she would wait until I left before doing so. I found that if I would come up to the computer for an hour, there would be more babies to catch but sitting there watching was fruitless. We are assuming she has finally finished releasing young since there have only been the 5 elusive ones spotted for two nights (well mornings actually). Fortunately, neither the shrimp nor the male octos seem to bother the little ones.

I am feeding both nets Cyclop-eeze but am putting tiny (when I can get them) crabs and shrimp in one net but not in the other.

I am thinking about trying to acclimate a couple to daylight but am not committed to the idea, primarily because of my concern that it may hurt their eyes.
 

simple

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Oct 10, 2007
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if they somehow became diurnal it would be awesome to finally have small octos that require smaller tanks, and are more economic yet still diurnal. Though it is risky, maybe attempt it with only 3-5 of them and see if the results are good or bad, and if good proceed with more.
 

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