1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

M balfouri communal with no substrate

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Bibs soriano, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Bibs soriano

    Bibs soriano Arachnopeon

    My friend have 10 communal m balfouri slings that almost 1". He placed it in a glass bottle/container and put a diagonal wood for web anchors and just a sprinkle of coco peat..

    He told me why he do this because he can easily count the slings.

    My question now is.
    Is it okay?
    And if not. What will be the cons?

    Attached Files:

    • Sad Sad x 4
  2. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Award Award x 1
  3. They're a burrowing species. We know this. Keeping an animal in captivity generally means matching its habits as best we can to keep it healthy and reduce stress. So... why outright decide not to do so and keep them more exposed? They're going to hide in their web the majority of the time and be just as hard to spot as with substrate regardless to try to adapt to their sub-standard living conditions, so the reason behind it doesn't even really have much foundation.

    Your friend is depriving them of one of their expected living conditions for his own viewing convenience (and nothing more). They're going to have fewer places to get away from one another (no, M. balfouri communals don't always go swimmingly, and issues don't always surface early on regardless with them) if issues arise regardless, while putting unnecessary additional stress on the group being unable perform their natural behaviours (burrowing, they're making due with what they got, much like a fish does in a barren, empty fish tank). If I have a group of tarantulas together, one of the last things I want to do is make the situation potentially more stressful than it already may be for them and expect consistently positive results.

    It's a big different when making a temporary enclosure for transport, but this is obviously not the case. Animals deprived of their ability to to perform their instinctive behaviours tend to run into issues over time. This is well known. Shy animals (like M. balfouri) tend to display heightened stress levels when lacking sufficient cover. This isn't obscure knowledge and supposition. Want to see a burrowing OW get more defensive? Deprive it of its ability to burrow as it sees fit and easily retreat. It'll certainly web a lot more in response, but that's just it trying to survive as any animal will in a situation and make it's own cover being deprived of what it would normally live in environmentally wise.

    It's not a matter of "can you do it?" in the end. It's a matter of "Should you do it?" To which the answer is no, especially given potential downsides given their reasoning for doing it. There is no benefit to the animals in this instance keeping them deprived of substrate but there are some potentially side-effects of doing so, especially when kept in a group on top of it. I wouldn't recommend it.
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 5
    • Award Award x 1
  4. FishermanSteve

    FishermanSteve Previously username 1331 Old Timer

    I’m guessing this is because he is worried about cannabilism. If that’s the case your friend should just separate them and enjoy them separately. If he is committed to a communal then he has accepted the risks and should definitely add more substrate so that the ts are able to settle in. Just my opinion.
    • Agree Agree x 8
  5. Tuisto

    Tuisto Arachnopeon Active Member

    Please intervene, this is like keeping an avic terrestrially..
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Those poor spiders! Even if your friend does not care about the health and well-being of the spiders themselves, he might consider the monetary value of his investment. M. balfouri are not cheap! To put ten of them together is a significant investment - and in a high-stress environment, with virtually no substrate, there is a much greater chance of cannibalism than if they had the opportunity to burrow properly. Sure - with his high-visibility tank he can more easily count his spiders - and it will get even easier to count them over time, as he has fewer spiders to count.

    On top of that, this is an old world species. They are fast, skittish, defensive, and have a potent venom. In a normal tank, they would simply retreat to their burrow if they felt threatened - such as when he has to open the tank to feed them, remove molts or boluses, refill the water dish, or other routine maintenance. But if they do not have adequate cover, they will be far more likely to bolt - or even to bite - any time the tank is opened! I have witnessed this first-hand with my own balfouri communal, when I rehoused the growing spiders to a larger tank - even though it had deep substrate, multiple pieces of cork bark for them to hide under, and even a few "starter burrows" that I had made for them. It took them a few weeks to dig and web until they had a new retreat that they felt comfortable with - and until then, I had to be extremely careful about opening the tank! (Of course, the downside to having appropriately housed balfouri is that I hardly ever get to see them - but better to enjoy those occasional glimpses than to have them climbing the walls and trying to bolt every time the tank is opened!)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    What the heck???
    Tell your friend to get those spiders out of there asap and house them properly! If he's afraid he'll won't be able to keep a tab on so many slings together he shouldn't have created this 'communal' in the first place.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    They need moisture IN SUBSTRATE. Slings are obviously prone to desiccation and this is a sure fire way to dehydrate them to the point of death curling. Plus these guys are obligate burrowers. Your friend is just being irresponsible.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I agree. Substrate is important. In nature, slings get moisture, and escape heat and predators by burrowing. I imagine it is very stressfull for them to be in an enclosure without substrate!
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Bibs soriano

    Bibs soriano Arachnopeon

    thank you all guys. your all answer is appreciated.. i already told my friend that he is making a big mistake that can cause to the death of his balfs
  11. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    Just wanted to pinpoint the fact that OP is from the Philippines...like I posted earlier in another thread, the Philippine people are an odd bunch when it comes to keeping inverts o_O
  12. Derivative

    Derivative Arachnosquire

    What is up with people trying to keep T's without substrate. I just saw a post about an guy keeping his OBT's without substrate.Is this a new stupid trend or something?
    • Agree Agree x 5
  13. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    I guess they're in the race for the 'how do I piss off my OW spider the most' - race...
    • Funny Funny x 4