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does enclosure size affect growth rates?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by SamuraiSid, May 6, 2012.

  1. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    I’ve only been truly enthused with Tarantulas since December of last year, and was hoping to learn the opinions of people far more experienced than myself. I believe, based on my limited experience, and one small blurb about random forum enthusiasts, that enclosure size stunts growth.

    I have three A. avics from the same sac, that I purchased from the same individual. I purchased the first two in Feb. and instantly moved them from the equal sized pill bottles to a small KK and upturned coffee container. Those two have molted in my care once, and one of them is deffinately in pre-molt, and I suspect the other is as well. The third avic is still in the pill bottle, and it is the original size of my first two (both the T and the pill bottle). So after this molt, my first two will be +2 instar from the third, which isn’t showing any signs of an impending molt

    I know temp and feeding schedule could be varying factors between me and the previous owner. Im just looking to get other peoples opinions on the matter in general.
    Thanks:)
     
  2. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    the only reason I THINK enclosure size would affect growth rate is because in a LARGER tank feedings would be "less forced". the t would likely be hunched in a small section while the food is somewhere off in the distance. In a size appropriate container the food is in the ts face so to speak , so it will eat when it wants. tarantulas arent like fish with indeterminate growth. (Some fish will continue to grow based on space available)

    ---------- Post added 05-06-2012 at 10:26 AM ----------

    i believe it is just a variant in sack mates. this topic is briefly discussed in my thread i started here http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?223907-G.-pulchripes-slings

    ---------- Post added 05-06-2012 at 10:28 AM ----------

    also, scroll down and read the thread chris skeleton started... "Enclosure size vs. growth rates"
     
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  3. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    Thanks, Ill have a read through both threads. I could have searched, but opinions and experience change over time.

    Edit: That was some good reading:) and I've heard the whole, "individual T's will grow at varying speeds", but Im still wondering if a too small enclosure plays any significant role in molting rates and overall girth being gained, regardless of other factors. I was also thinking in my specific case maybe I have two boys and a girl... Im reading too much and not spending enoguh time with my T's maybe.... Then again, maybe some more time with the wife is in order, haha

    Maybe I should buy a sac of Lp's and test it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
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  4. Drezno

    Drezno Arachnopeon

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    I don't see why enclosure size would have much to do with growth rate, in and of itself. If a large enclosure is stressing out the tarantula (don't understand why this would be the case, since their natural habitats are obviously way larger than the largest enclosure) or it is eating less because of food evading it inside a larger enclosure, then maybe. Stress, feeding, humidity, and any other factors being held constant, though, I don't see why enclosure size would be a big deal, as is discussed at length in that Chris skeleton thread. As grayzone suggests, I think you may just be observing some genetic variation in maturation rates. Would be interested to hear what other factors inherent in a small enclosure y'all think might encourage or inhibit growth. Definitely do that LP sack test, Sid! Science to the rescue!

    Also, just want to clarify the whole "fish grow based on space available" idea. I am only speaking with certainty about goldfish here, but it's not like they perceive the size of their tank and only grow up to a certain size based on the tank. Their growth is regulated by the levels of certain chemicals (like nitrates) in the water itself. Since nitrates are the final step in the nitrogen cycle that breaks down the fish's waste, usually nitrates will build up relatively quickly in smaller tanks and stunt the growth of the fish. Obviously they don't build up nearly as quickly in a large tank or pond (depending on level of stocking), but you can keep the nitrate levels very low in a small tank through constant water changes, inclusion of live plants, etc, which would allow a fish to grow way beyond what you'd normally think would happen in such a small tank. Basically the key is water quality, not tank size.

    Sorry, that was too much non-tarantula-related info...
     
  5. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    lol.. spendin time with the wifey is ALWAYS a good idea.. plus if shes happy youre more likely able to get a lot more of what you really want.. more ts:roflmao: Also, the Lp sack could be interesting, however even at say 1$ a pop you could likely buy a small used car lol also IF ANY plausible observations were made, it would be isolated to that one instance for that ONE genus/sp.

    while ts in the wild have seemingly infinite boundaries, they often seclude themselves to one small spot. even if they decide to move from one hole in the wall (so to speak) to the next, they still DO "hole up"... Thus being the reason MOST hobbiests use size appropriate housing. Ever notice how your t can be defensive/aggressive in the enclosure, but once theyre out they are significantly more docile? the t considers the enclosure (as a whole) its "hide" .. its where they feel the most at home and comfortable. they dont like being invaded. Put a hungry t in the living room on the floor... place a cricket in the vicinity... see what happens...... place the same t and cricket back in the enclosure. see what happens in the same time frame

    ---------- Post added 05-06-2012 at 12:48 PM ----------

    im willing to bet that ts grow faster in smaller/size appropriate enclosures .. thats all
     
  6. couldnt have said it better myself! Way to nail it grayzone :)
     
  7. Drezno

    Drezno Arachnopeon

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    I guess I just don't feel like there would be much of a difference between a sling holing up in a little pill jar and a sling holing up in a burrow inside a large enclosure. Either way they have a safe hide and an exposed outside area, just like in the wild. I have always had the impression that there are practical reasons for keeping slings in small enclosures (easier to regulate humidity, easier for them to find food if not tong feeding, etc), but there isn't much to it beyond that. Obviously a larger tank is closer to their natural conditions, but I guess you mean that maybe a small enclosure would be more ideal than conditions in the wild? I guess it seems plausible, but I don't know. We will have to await the results of Sid's testing!
     
  8. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    i see what youre saying too but based off MY experiences i just noticed that slings feel safer and are more apt to coming out , eating, drinking, exploring in size appropriate. Ive housed a few diff ts in tanks too big and they remain INVISIBLE, only eat when prey comes across their paths , and TAKE FOREVER to molt lol (im sure this one has nothin to do with the tank, its his maturing molt) ... slings and juvies alike do this... when i house them accordingly they are often more visible , will come out to hunt prey and often are observed to drink. We all know temps and feeding adjust growth rates, so based off MY experiences alone what would you think would grow more:wink: (hypothetical example comin up) the t in large tank eats ONE cricket that wanders to its hide ONCE a week, as to the t in small tank hunts and eats 3x?
     
  9. Drezno

    Drezno Arachnopeon

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    As I said above, I just think that if feeding, stress, etc are held constant there would probably be no effect of enclosure size on growth rate. Sounds like your experience indicates there might be some relationship between enclosure size and feeding frequency, though, so who knows! I think if you tong feed then enclosure size might matter less.
     
  10. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    ^^^ I know its a hypothetical statement, grey, but how about this one? A T in a large tank that eats that exact same volume of crickets as a T that is in a smaller enclosure?

    Everything is just theories, because scientists dont get paid to study pet Tarantulas. How they react in the wild is different than in captivity, I assume. I've heard another theory on G. rosea fasting, and the theory is that a rosie that is given as much food as it wants is more likely to go on a hunger strike than a rosie that is only given a specific amount. So in my head I can coorelate the theory that 'too small' enclosures can affect molting/growing rates... I guess we can continue to discuss this till the cows come home without any actual experimentation being done...

    I like where the convo is heading so far... But Im honestly thinking an Lp sac is the way to go... I have the room, time and money. Im gonna go buy my wife something nice so she will be more accepting of the idea. Maybe buy some Lp's at summers end, and breed'em. Ill let you know how the experiment goes a few years from now;) Maybe Schultzy will give me props in 4th edition, HA!

    ---------- Post added 05-06-2012 at 01:34 PM ----------

    ^sounds plausible to me.

    With every single variable (including the ones we are unaware of;)) exactly the same, I still think enclosure size might play a role in it. If you guys could just start donating your T funds to me, Ill totally do the experiment.


    EDIT: So I just realized while I have read all the other POV's I did disregard them as other's opinions, So I apologize for that, and need to go back and carefully read everything else with a more opened mind. I failed to realise that the other people that believe it might play a factor, may not have controlled what Greyzone is suggesting in regards to enclosure size and the possiblity of the T consuming all prey. Props;)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
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  11. 1hughjazzspider

    1hughjazzspider Arachnoknight

    They're not goldfish in a coy pond. They're not gonna keep growing bigger if you put them in a bigger enclosure.
     
  12. Honestly speaking I believe that the most relevant factors that determine the size of a T are a varied diet (multiple types of insects) and oxygen content in the air!
     
  13. syndicate

    syndicate Arachnoemperor Old Timer

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    Spiders will 100% still molt and grow large in any size container.
    -Chris
     
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  14. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    if that was directed toward ME .. i never said ANYTHING about goldfish.. i said SOME FISH have indeterminate growth rates same with some reptiles/lizards from what ive read
    +1syndicate.. the whole feeding thing was just the only reason i think it COULD.. maybe not max size, but time frame of growth rate will speed up due to increased metabolic rate
     
  15. Shrike

    Shrike Arachnoprince

    That's a good point grayzone. I totally agree with you. However, in the scenario you described, the determining factor governing growth is food availability. Assuming equal availability of food, I personally don't think enclosure size affects growth rate.
     
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  16. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    thanks... i dont know if my overall point was clear enough though.. The spider will grow at the same rate (size differential wise between molts) in a small or large enclosure, it just would likely take LONGER in a larger enclosure. there is NO OTHER reason tank size would affect growth rate that i can think of. I was never tryin to have a debate with people (if it at all seemed that way), this is just all a matter of opinion, and isnt proved either way. I really liked the idea of attempting to find out with an LP sack lol... too bad there couldnt be like 4 or 5 people who could test it then compare results, that way it wouldnt be isolated to just one instance/sacks worth of slings
     
  17. 1hughjazzspider

    1hughjazzspider Arachnoknight


    It wasn't directed towards you or anyone in general really, I was just kind if putting it out there. I pretty much just scanned over everyone's replies and didn't even realize you said anything about fish. My fault homie.
     
  18. grayzone

    grayzone Arachnoking

    all good... lol.. i couldnt be sure if i HAD name dropped certain types of fish or not... i have a hard time typing the thoughts goin into my head at times and everything seems jumbled. DAMN A.D.D. :biggrin: i wish i was better with words
     
  19. 1hughjazzspider

    1hughjazzspider Arachnoknight


    My ADD does the same damn thing. Even gives me a bit of dyslexia at times, but nothing major thankfully.
     
  20. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    I've gotta agree with the consensus that enclosure size isnt an important issue. Im still thinking it might play a role, but maybe that role is miniscule in comparison to the rest of the picture.

    Someone, drezno and syndicate i think, pointed out that T's will molt in cramped containers. I wonder if you placed a sling in a tiny bottle, something that was too cramped for its current size, and everything else controlled, if it would continue to molt at the same rate as other T's? I know T's molt depending on a huge variety of factors, including individual... genetics...? dont know if thats the right word.

    If a T has any say over its molting cycle, and I think I read something saying they do, would it maybe be molt more often than something in a container that was too small and cramped for it? It seems most of the peeps are saying food availability and consumption are the main factors. Can a really really fat sling hold off on a molt if it needed too? Maybe take a 1"DLS sling and place it in a 1" cube container, feeding regularly? I know it would probably be a hasstle trying to feed it and keep it in there, but could it potentially hold off a molt?