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I'm new and have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by william98, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. william98

    william98 Arachnopeon

    So I really want to get into the hobby of keeping T's. But I want to do my share of research so I know what I'm in for. So if a few people can offer their opinions it would be a huge help.

    So first question: I'm completely new and want to buy a Brachypelma Smithi ( Mexican Red Knee ) but what size should I start with?

    Second question: Is that a good species to start with? I chose it because I read they are calm by nature, and personally I find them beautiful.

    Getting answers for these questions and future ones I can think of in the future are going to determine if I start purchasing T's. But I'm pretty sure I am already! :)
  2. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord Active Member

    Hello and welcome to the hobby/the boards!

    As a begginer I would recommend starting with a juvenile or an adult, probably something around 3+ inches. A female will live a long time, a male chances are will live only a few years past maturity

    Brachypelma smithi(now hamorii just fyi, somewhat recent revision) is a fine choice for a starter. Some may flick hairs, and each individual has a different personality, but they’re a hardy species that will do well for you.

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
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  3. ccTroi

    ccTroi Arachnoknight

    1. 3” or bigger
    2. That’s a good species to start with. Others that come to mind are Brachypelma albopilosum and Grammostola pulchripes.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. william98

    william98 Arachnopeon

    Thank you so much for the advice!! I will admit I've been obsessing over this decision for the past 2 or so months. So I know a couple things, but just book smarts, I've never even got to hold a T. But I do want a female. And I have another question: Will a seller have a better chance at sexing it as a female when the T is 3+ inches over one that is still a small sling?
  5. Mini8leggedfreak

    Mini8leggedfreak Arachnosquire Active Member

    A starter T kinda depends on what you’re looking for and what you’re comfortable with.
    The Hamorii is a good choice but I believe that most are skittish and kick hair until they are around 3”. Not saying all of them are but mine was. I’d recommend a curly hair (brachypelma albopolosum) not sure about spelling.
    Mine are growing like weeds.
    I’m sure you know about avicularia avicularia if you’re wanting an airboreal. Or I’d recommend the versicolor also, they are very nice.

    For the size of the T, everything I’ve ever had I’ve gotten when it was a sling. I don’t know why people say slings are so hard to care for. I’d only get a bigger one if you don’t wanna wait for it to grow.
    Also just a last suggestion if you can get a euathlus parvulus or sp. red they are great T’s to own. Very friendly, mostly.
  6. Garth Vader

    Garth Vader Arachnohipster Arachnosupporter

    B. hamorii could be a good one to start with. Just keep in mind they grow slowly.

    Yes, you will be more likely to determine the sex of a T the larger they are. Getting a mature female is going to cost a lot more than getting a sling, so that is something to keep in mind. Also, even if you end up with a male they will live for quite a few years if you get it from a sling.

    A beginner can definitely keep slings or you can get an adult. I did both when I started keeping Ts and have enjoyed both. I definitely paid a pretty penny for my MF Euathlus sp 'red' and my MF Grammastola pulchripes. Slings can be more fragile and some of the species are slow growers so that is something to keep in mind. That said, they molt more frequently than mature specimens. I have found it very rewarding to see my slings grow.

    There are a lot of great starter Ts out there, many in genus Brachypelma, Grammastola, Aphonopelma. (My first T was Aphonopelma anax- I love this T and this genus is awesome and the prices are great in the US. Definitely an underrated genus, IMO).
    Search around a bit on here and you can find some more information on starter Ts or check out these videos:

    Once you decide what you are getting, you can come on here and we will help you get the enclosure and care set up correctly.

    My guess is that you will end up with more than 1 T, so just pick one and start it out and soon enough you will get more. It's what has happened with most of us!
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  7. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Excellent beginner species, very fond of them myself. B.hamorii(former smithi) is most likely the species your after. B.smithi(former annitha) is less common and more pricey. Both would make for fine starter spiders though, care is identical.
    You can definitely find sexed females at that size, sometimes even smaller. Avoid handling if you can, it needlessly puts your spider at risk. These are animals to keep and observe, not play with.

    Welcome to the boards.
  8. PetrZ

    PetrZ Arachnopeon

    Buy small slings, the size which eats micro crickets. If you buy bigger one, you will lose great time when you see as yout T grows. You will have nice times when giving small crickets, when watching many molts, rehausing... And after all you can be proud that you have grown so nice animal. If you want to be sure, buy 4-5 unsexed sling, grow them to juvenile, keep female and sell the rest. Growing is very very easy. First day you can have some doubts, but after one week you will be ok and you will enjoy it. Also, keeping only one is boring, you will be dissapointed soon. All you will do is throwing small cricket every fourth day, maybe, add a bit of watter, and it is all...

    And which species? Buy what you like, if you made a research, you know whether you want terrestrial or arboreal, also you know what kind of enclosure you prefer, so I would buy the T you like, I would buy a sling, and the rest will come, I would see no problem...
    So, use your brain and remember that caring too much is worse than not enough :)
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  9. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    People recommend against slings NOT because they are difficult. But because they grow slower, don't always eat as reliably (most beginner type slings anyway), and hide away...they molt more, but this also means a lot more inactive pre-molt behavior....which is a t either sealed away, or just sitting there for days or months......Most new people get frustrated because you really need a lot of patience and it could take years before you even start to see those adult colors you purchased the t to see. But there's absolutely nothing wrong at all with starting with a sling if you like...its always the cheapest alternative and it is fun, but I recommend getting a few if you go this route, and not just one.

    Now keep in mind, getting a juvie, would be a small slice of their lives if female, and even if male could still take many years to mature.....In fact, I think males are actually a more valuable t for beginners. Because they mature faster, you can see, and more importantly, learn from watching a t go through life and mature in less time...plus having a MM (mature male) is something valuable for every keeper to recognize. A B. hamorri juvie male won't be likely to mature all that quick, could still be 3-5 years and if you keep it, another 2 years...that's the lifespan of many large dogs....so its not like a male's life is the flash in the pan existence many would lead you to believe...at least not with slower growing species like you would want to start out with. Another advantage, as if you later decide the hobby isn't for you, you aren't stuck with your female until you retire.

    Now you get that male to mature...aside from the aforementioned learning experiences, you now can trade that one t, for several slings...breeders love to trade for MMs....so this one purchase, could help you basically expand for free down the road if you really love the hobby. MMs are valuable, and every one presents its owner with an excellent opportunity not only to expand, but to make new connections within the hobby. And buying a juvie male would be significantly cheaper than a female.

    Good luck, you have made an educated choice on your first species...the community here is always there to help if questions arise along the way, never be afraid to ask questions.
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  10. william98

    william98 Arachnopeon

    I thank you all for the help! I will continue researching until I learn everything I can. But I have another question: I don't know if this is against a policy, so if it is let me know and ignore the question! Where do y'all buy your T's? I've looked at a couple websites but it always seems odd to me to buy critters off of the internet.
  11. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member


    The classifieds here are full of reliable sellers. And its a rule here that every seller must have a corresponding review page...which allows buyers to buy with confidence.


    Buying online gives more selection and better prices...most of us buy all our ts online and consider buying at a pet store for example...actually a lot more shady.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    Note: our policy doesn't allow links to ads, store Web sites, or dealers outside of the classified sections, though members are welcome to PM you with individual recommendations.

    Just to expand on what @cold blood posted:

    If you are truly averse to shipping, your options are limited to whatever local pet stores and dealers may be in your area. I would also recommend checking out local exotic pet shows in your area, as they often have at least one or two vendors with tarantulas. (I rarely leave Repticon without a tarantula or two.)

    If that doesn't work, you'll have to bite the bullet and pay for shipping. It is often possible to find shipping that is lower than $35. (Additionally, ordering more than one tarantula from the same seller makes shipping more economical per tarantula.)

    Note: you can't post replies in the Classifieds section. Contact the seller by sending a private message or using whatever contact method is specified in the thread or on the reviews page.

    If you are looking for a particular species, search Classifieds for the scientific name. The genus name is often abbreviated to the first initial, so if you are not finding results with the binomial, such as Brachypelma hamorii, try just the species name, such as hamorii. (Be aware that there are some species that share the same species name but belong to different genera, so check the genus before ordering.)

    Whether you're buying from someone here or another Web site, you should read reviews here before ordering. (When you're reading a classified ad, you can quickly find the seller's review page by clicking the user name and then clicking "Reviews & Reports Page.") Don't forget to post a review after the transaction is complete.

    Google is another way to find red flags, but I would disregard positive reviews on any site where the company being reviewed has editorial control (for example, on the company's Web site or on a Facebook page owned or moderated by the company).

    Note: Many people recommend against buying tarantulas from stores that primarily deal in reptiles, as they often don't know what they are doing, and it's anyone's guess whether you will receive the species and gender you ordered.
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  13. Nightshady

    Nightshady Dislike Harvester

    You’ve already gotten some awesome advice, so take my limited experience FWIW.

    I’ve bought all slings except for one juvenile, and I’m really glad I did. I’ve very much enjoyed seeing them grow, as many slings change a lot with each molt. You also get to feed slings more frequently which is cool. You also get the experience of many molts, as well as re-housing.

    Just my 2 cents. Welcome to the hobby!
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  14. D Sherlod

    D Sherlod Arachnoknight

    When, I was first researching getting my first tarantula, I read that a ot of newbies loose interest early because they get a young adult tarantula and it just sits there. The keeper gets bored. The article suggested starting with a sling of a faster growing species. This gave the the keeper the chance to experience tarantulas and look forward to all the changes.
    I went with a Lasiodora parahybana sling and have constantly been amazed.
    32 tarantulas later. Mixture of NW, OW, terestial, aboreal and fossorials and my interest and desire continues to grow.
    Good luck and enjoy your new addiction.
    If anyone tells you its a hobbie,,,, They Lied,,,,It's an ADDICTION..:)
    • Like Like x 4
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  15. william98

    william98 Arachnopeon

    I look forward to this journey. And I have been told by a few people that you can never have just one T. Thanks again for the advice and tips!
    • Like Like x 2
  16. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Arachnobaron Active Member

    What those few people told you is very true. Some members have 80+ tarantulas (I will soon have 30)
  17. Nightshady

    Nightshady Dislike Harvester

    I said I was only getting ONE tarantula. That was about 5 months ago. Now I have six. I’m seriously stopping though. No more. Unless I find an E. Sp yellow of course. :D
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  18. Swoop

    Swoop Arachnosquire

    The best deals are on craigslist (sometimes the worst are too lol).

    The best variety is on the classifieds of this forum.

    Online vendors run the gamut from great to terrible. Many will have reviews here on the forum, many will not. If they don't have reviews, ask lots of questions because they probably won't know important things like the difference between a mature and sub-adult male.
  19. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    It's Brachypelma hamorii (ex smithi) now, Brachypelma smithi (ex annitha) is a bit more rare/expensive.

    I'd recommend getting a juvenile female (around 2-3 inches, they can be reliably sexed at this size so don't worry about that), that way you'll still get to watch it grow but you won't have to deal with keeping a tiny sling (which can seem daunting for new keepers).

    Yes, they are a great beginner species, just be aware that individual temperaments can vary (just because a species is considered "docile" doesn't mean that's what you'll get) and can change at any time, I have one that became downright nasty after her second moult in my care.

    The majority of people on this forum discourage handling, the tarantula gets nothing out of it and you risk injuring/killing a T if you drop it by accident or it bites you and you instinctively fling it across the room etc.

    That's correct, I'm currently at 44 tarantulas, I think I was in double figures within the first 6 months :hilarious:
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  20. PetrZ

    PetrZ Arachnopeon

    Yes, you are right. This is why I wrote that one is boring and he should buy 4-5 at least. And colors? Some slings are alrady colorfull, my Harpactira pulchripes looks like small adult, some are interesting by hanging colors. Caribena versicolor or Chromaropelmas are every molt different :) And patience is one of the basic things in keeping tarantula´s, is not right?
    • Like Like x 2