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How fast do slings grow?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by NavyDT, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. NavyDT

    NavyDT Arachnopeon

    Hello all,
    i know this is a loaded question but how long does it take a Aphonopelma chalodes sling or similar spp. that is 1.5 inches to grow to adult size? i know things such as temp and feeding regime may have an effect but what is a good average time? i am interested in getting my first sling but i am intimidated by the perceived fragility and the distinct possibility it may take 3-5 years until i have an impressive specimen.

    Also, if you were going to get a sling, which size would you prefer? i think trying to keep pinheads in stock might be tough. are there other options for feeding and care? i am looking for the trade off between starting it young, and not worrying about it dieing.

    anyways, any advice is very welcome.

    Very Respectfully,
  2. I have no first hand XP in aphonopelma but I here they rival brachy's and Grammies for the slowest growing. But if you like the species go for it slings are not as hard to care for as you think Stan Shultz just posted a general care guide on a recent thread I'm gonna go try ad find it for you.

    As for feeding, I prefer to just Pre-kill small-to-medium sized crickets the sling will happily scavenge the corpse and leave the leftovers for you to remove :p
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  3. Here is the words of wisdom of Stan that I follow:

    "CAVEATS: Note that the following rules of thumb apply to nearly all tarantulas except a few obligate swamp dwellers, and to the arboreal species, and those are addressed towards the bottom.

    BABY TARANTULAS: Those younger tarantulas with a diagonal leg span (DLS) of about 1.5" (3.8 cm) or less should be kept in a relatively closed container that heavily restricts ventilation. The substrate should be kept slightly damp. All this maintains a constant, elevated (but not excessive) humidity. Do not mist; instead, reread the last few sentences carefully. Do not spend a lot of time, energy, effort, or money on fancy containers. Like humanoid babies, these will outgrow their containers soon, thereby wasting all your finest efforts over and over again.

    SPIDERLINGS TO ADULTS: Those younger tarantulas with a DLS of about 2" (5 cm) and larger should be kept in cages with dry substrate and supplied a water dish with clean water. Keep almost all of these as arid species. (See the exceptions below.)

    TWEENS: Those tarantulas between the aforementioned two sizes should be gradually acclimatized to a dry cage over a period of 2 or 3 molts. Gradually allow the container/cage to dry out, but be very sure to supply a water dish with clean water. You're gradually removing the higher humidity and substituting a water dish as the primary water source. In response, the tarantula develops a thicker, more impervious waxy layer to prevent excessive water loss from its body. All it needs is a little time to adjust.

    Note that many tarantulas from semi-arid and arid places like the American Great Plains and the Kalahari Desert can make this transition much earlier in life than these recommended times. But, it does them no harm to wait a little longer either.

    SWAMP DWELLERS: These are tarantulas like the species of Theraphosa, Ephebopus, Hysterocrates, Megaphobema, and a few others. These do not have the impervious, water retentive exoskeletons of the other tarantulas and require a constant, high humidity. Keep these in "baby" style cages for their entire lives, adjusting for increased size of course.

    Enthusiasts are discovering that wild caught "swampers" will gradually develop a somewhat greater resistance to slightly drier conditions if the transition is done slowly and over an extended period of time. And, those swampers that are bred in captivity fare much better and can tolerate drier cages much better than their wild caught brethren.

    ARBOREALS: Wild caught arboreals (assumed to be adults), particularly members of the genus Avicularia fare poorly when first brought into captivity, partly because of "shipping shock" and partly because of the sudden change in environmental conditions. To combat this, they should be initially set up and cared for as babies for the first few weeks (initial recovery period), then quickly switched to a "Tweens" care regimen (secondary acclimatization period) for the first one or two molts. Thereafter keep them as adult, arid tarantulas but maintain a slightly elevated humidity by slightly restricting ventilation. Always supply them a water dish. (In the middle of the night as they hunt for food they'll pussyfoot down to the water dish and take a sip. And being sound asleep, you'll never, EVER know it happened!)

    Captive bred arboreals (assumed to be babies or very young spiderlings) usually do not suffer the acclimatization problems that the wild caught ones do, but sometimes suffer shipping shock from bad treatment during transportation. When first received they should be kept as babies (see above) for two or three weeks, then they can be quickly changed over to whatever care regimen is appropriate according to the schedule given here, depending on their size and age."
  4. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

    IMO slings are only fragile when compared to their older counterparts... I really dont think you need worry about the possiblity of death. It does happen, but its either in the cards from the beginning, or the owner made some learning opportunities for him/herself.

    Assuming your using crystal clear enclosures, I find I really start to become impressed with a T once it hits the 2.5-3.0" DLS mark. From there its a joy to watch them grow. (actually, I enjoy all my T's, regardless of size).

    I dont pay attention to size as much as price, and on the assumption that you have many slings, every single week you'll find new ones in pre-molt, which is pretty fun:)

    Pinheads are a breeze. I left about 10 females and 2 males in a container for about a week and I have literally hundreds of hatched pinheads 3 weeks later. You can find great articles on building your own cricket breeding boxes, and some of them will tell you how to manage your numbers, so you never run out. If your only going to have the one sling, dont breed, just buy.
    For all my slings I have fed them: Pinheads, small and medium crickets, crushed head adult crickets, adult cricket legs, cut up superworms. I've also heard that fishing maggots work well, just make sure to get all the sawdust off them first. (A quick rince, and put them in a fresh container of oats or bran)
    Just the other day I fed my 2"DLS B. auratum three pinheads that, after putting them in the enclosure, thought they were far too small for him, and would eventually just die. But he went psycho trying to eat them all. It was one of the best feedings ever. EVER!.
  5. NavyDT

    NavyDT Arachnopeon

    Thanks for the advice guys! i really appreciate it and i think this just pushed me to try my first spiderling :D
  6. Bugmom

    Bugmom Arachnolord

    I have an adult A. chalcodes. I really like her, and I've always bought juvie/adult tarantulas, but I've only seen ONE molt from an A. chalcodes cause they just grow that.freaking.slow.

    I just got two spiderlings and I'm really enjoying them. I'm excited to watch them grow, especially the LP. It's just insane to think something smaller than my pinkie nail right now will someday have an 8-10" leg span (and she already has the attitude to go with it!)
  7. Vespula

    Vespula Arachnodemon

    I've got Aphonopelma slings, and they're slow growers. I read a report of them taking around eight years to go from sling to adult-sized. The plus-side to that is that they live a relatively long time.