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Advice for first communal!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Niko77, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Niko77

    Niko77 Arachnopeon

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    After wanting a communal set up for so long I finally got 11 P Regalis slings today. I was told that M Balfouri were easier to keep communally but they seem more aggressive than pokies and they’re rather flighty too.

    I’ve set them up in a small enclosure so they are close together and they’re currently all huddled up under the piece of bark I’ve put inside. They have a water dish and slightly moist coco fibre sub.

    My main question is; how would I go about feeding them, I know I need to feed them more often than usual to ensure no cannibalism takes place due to hunger but do I introduce 11 micro crickets into the enclosure all at once or do I drop them in one by one so I can see them all catch one. I’m mainly concerned about them confusing eachother for food during a feeding frenzy and eating eachother.

    Any advice is highly appreciated I’d love to know what behaviour to look for if I need to separate them and if I need to make any special adjustments to the enclosure.

    Thanks! :)
     

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  2. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    They aren't communal spiders, slings can be raised together with some success until they reach a certain size...but they will cannibalize eventually. Communal would imply they get along in the long term.

    My advice would be to keep them separate and cut your losses before they start.
     
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  3. Niko77

    Niko77 Arachnopeon

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    Around what size should I separate them? Won’t they be okay together for a few months or a year while they’re still small?
     
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  4. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    Possibly, I would definitely make sure to separate before they reach the 3'' mark, regalis do alright together when small...others like ornata are known to cannibalize at second instar.

    Some specimens will also grow faster then the others...resulting in them out competing each other for food and space. These are known as "food hogs" and they should be separated and housed alone on if you notice any.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

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    i'm no expert but it seems like a terrible idea to me to start your first communal with a BUNCH of sorta communal tolerant species with venom made from Satan's blood instead of the tried and true M. balfouri and maybe a smaller number.

    From what i have read M. balfouri are pretty calm for an old world.

    I don't know your overall T experience but rehousung a pokie communal isn't what i would want to learn with. Just my two cents.
     
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  6. Scarabyte

    Scarabyte Arachnosquire

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    I've heard great success with Poecilotheria regalis communals, but you will have to separate eventually
     
  7. Hellblazer

    Hellblazer Arachnosquire

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    I don't understand the point of communals. If people enjoy it, great, but personally I think it would just make maintenance and rehousing a huge pain.
     
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  8. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

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    i have heard the claim (from Tom Moran) that the M. balfouri he kept in a communal seemed to eat and grow much better/faster than the ones he kept solo.

    Mostly though i think people like the 'cool factor' of it.
     
  9. Darktiger432

    Darktiger432 Arachnopeon

    My m. Balfori is quite calm and will just go to his hide when I open his enclosure. I heard they are good with communal because they have to share hole in their natural habitat.
     
  10. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoprince Active Member

    Watch this and then think again about a M. balfouri communal: :)



    I have no experience with communals, but if I wanted to try it out, I'd definitely go with M. balfouri. This looks so amazing and rewarding. :woot:
     
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  11. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    And Pokies aren't flighty to you?? They are a skittish genus, and no Poki is communal. They do not live this way in the wild at all. This has never been observed according to a scientist I know who has seen them in the wild. I don't get why human animals want to put exotic animals together in a communal. Ts aren't social animals.

    If you want social arthropods get ants.

    Now is good.
     
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  12. Darktiger432

    Darktiger432 Arachnopeon

    Thank you
    That was amazing
     
  13. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    You've taken that advice to 'put them in a small enclosure' a little bit too literally. That enclosure is too small. If the enclosure is too small they will start cannibalizing because of competition for space. The other problem is that you will need to rehouse after every molt - and if cannibalism occurs it usually occurs after a rehouse when the spiders try to establish themselves in a new environment, so you should put them in an enclosure where they can stay for at least a few instars. Just don't give them more than one hiding place. Rehousing will also get very interesting - trust me, I've done it. Bath tub or shower stall is a must.

    P. regalis are not the very best Pokies for a communal, either. They can be kept together as slings, so yes, you can keep them communal for about 6 to 9 months - Pokies grow fast. The main problem you will encounter is that the weaker ones won't thrive. In nature that's how selection works. You will have one or a few runts that may or may not make it.

    You should NOT ever only put 11 prey items in there, ever. The stronger slings will get two or three and the weaker ones will starve (see above). I'd put in at least two to 5 more prey items then you have slings, depending on the size of the prey. Also, larger prey items are better to discourage food hogging by the stronger spiders.

    Communals may work, but they require more thought and attention than just putting 11 spiders together and it doesn't really sound as if you know what you are doing...
     
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  14. I also flinched when I saw 11 haha.

    I would've gone with 11 M. Balfouri's that would've been epic to witness.
    Best of luck with this experiment.
     
  15. Dillon Nickell

    Dillon Nickell Arachnopeon

    Definitely check out all of Tom Moran’s stuff on YouTube. He’s starting a P. Metallica communal. Someone posted his Balfouri video earlier.
     
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  16. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    Another YouTube person passing along BAD and WRONG information to people. Poki's are not communal animals at all. Throwing spiders in a tank doesn't make them communal, that concept is archaic and stupid.

    I'll trust the words of an arachnologist over a hobbyist any day on such issues.
     
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  17. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoprince

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    I kind of want to see what happens to this communal though. If it fails we can always point to it as a reason why it shouldn't be attempted again.
     
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  18. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    I completely agree.
     
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  19. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    No, why? That's a 'myth', a legend... actually the opposite is a great verity: ordinary routine maintenance is more easier, this way.

    Try to imagine the average keeper "scared/intimidated" by his brand new 'OBT'. Now try to imagine said keeper with a communal 'OBT' set up (Why not? Seems that those days everyone is an arachnologist and a spider-pioneer, after all).

    In this last case, bit of solace at least because said keeper will act, doing his maintenance, like the historical English dental school always suggested and acted: everything gone, in just one blow. Including that intimidating feeling :)
     
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  20. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic

    M balfouri is a rare exception that does better in a communal setting. Most others meet tolerate it barely. As soon as you can set up enclosures, even emergency ones in totally transparent deli cups if necessary, separate them.

    You can pick and choose the ones you want to keep once they are sexed and sell the rest to recoup your investment. You can't do that with 1 fat differ and the rest all dead.

    Better safe then sorry.