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My g.porteri is always showing signs of stress. Need advice

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by mastahwankah, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    My female g. Porteri that seems to always be extremely stressed. She hasn't eaten in about a year (I understand this can be quite normal. I regret to say that I was grossly misinformed about this species water needs when I got her and I didn't give her a water dish. She was fine for several years. She would eat regularly with the exception of fasting a month or two here and there, and would use her hide, was always sprwaled out and relaxed looking. She molted about a year or so ago (the only molted she's ever had while in my care) and ate for a time after molting. Eventually she went into a death curl(from dehydration). While I was about ready to give up on her and thinking that she was just a male at the end of his life, I did more research and realized I was very wrong to not give her a water dish. I gave her a water dish and she drank for a few days and she got much better. No more death curl, could walk normally and everything. We put her back into a new enclosure we got for her. It was pretty much the same as her last set up, just larger and with a water dish this time. She is still completely refusing food and she is curled (not like a death curl, more like she is trying to cover her eyes with her legs to block light) and she barely moves. This last week it seems she is getting worse, with the constant appearance of being stressed. What can I do to bring her out of this funk?
    PS. I understand she needs more substrate, I'm just reluctant to mess with her set up right now while she is so stressed IMG_20190103_210659.jpg IMG_20190103_101242.jpg IMG_20190103_210659.jpg IMG_20190103_101242.jpg
  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    looks more like a death curl, as the feet are curling in, this is a sign of dehydration....odd though, considering its next to water.
  3. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    I'm inclined to think it's not a death curl, and there's no obvious signs of dehydration anymore. She was in a definite death curl before this and on the verge of death. She had recovered after rehydrating.
    Is there anything else I might be able to do to be sure she's getting proper hydration?
  4. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    How long has she been in that enclosure? Some Ts can take months tk adjust to enclosure changes.

    Don't wait to change the substrate. You won't kill her with stress, so make the enclosure the best it can be NOW then leave her be to adjust to her new home. Rather than waiting for her to settle in now and then messing with everything again.

    Are there any heat sources on/near the enclosure?
  5. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    Are you very sure she's a she? Because she does look rather leggy to me, but that may only be the posture.
  6. Torech Ungol

    Torech Ungol Arachnosquire Active Member

    Both @cold blood and @boina are more experienced than I, so take all of the following with a grain of salt.

    That looks like a very stressed spider to me. The enclosure needs a good amount of work to lessen the stress. It's a bit big for her. The general rule is 2x DLS (Diagonal Leg Span) by 3x DLS, and no more than 1.5x DLS from substrate to ceiling. The hide might be better if it were cork bark, placed in at an angle so she can burrow under it if she wants. What kind of lid do you have? I ask because if that one screen is all the ventilation you have, it might be too stuffy. Make sure the cage isn't in direct sunlight, and maybe place it in a darker room that gets less foot traffic. You'll also want to ensure there aren't any vents or fans blowing into the cage.

    These are all the possible stressors I can think of at the moment. I really think you'll do less harm overall by fixing the substrate depth now, because a stressed spider might be more inclined to climb.
  7. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    It's been probably three months I would say with her being in this new enclosure. That makes sense with the substrate, I'll go ahead and add more

    I'm pretty certain it's a she. Some folks online at least said it is after I posted some photos of her molt. I'm not very good at being able to tell myself, so I'm going off what others have said. FB_IMG_1547307544767.jpg

    So if an anclosure is too high is that something that can actually cause stress? Or is the size you mentioned just good rule of thumb as a minimum to their requirements?
    I can try with a different hide and see what happens, I rarely ever see her leave that corner of the enclosure though so who knows if she'll even use her hide. During about the first year and a half of having her, she would use her hide quite a bit, but after a while she just didn't use it anymore. Anyways, I'll try your advice though just to see.
    She has a mesh screen at the top, so I don't think ventilation is a problem. The room she's in has no windows either so sunlight never gets into the room at all. She is in a somewhat high traffic area though. I have kids who run around all over the house and they might be a bit loud for her

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019
  8. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnodemon Active Member

    It's basically a safety precaution to avoid the chances of a fatal fall if it starts to climb up. It's better safe than sorry if something goes wrong.
  9. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    Ok, ya I figured that. I'll be adding more substrate today. Just wasn't sure if the person who replied earlier was basically saying that too much space can cause stress.

    Also, if anybody can help me confirm if male or female with the molt pictures I posted, that would be hugely appreciated
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019
  10. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnodemon Active Member

    It's a female and mature enough for breeding.
  11. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    Like, no doubt about it?
    Thank you for the help
  12. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    too much space- no.....space w/out enough cage furniture to make them feel safe-- Yes.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  13. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    So I could add maybe some sticks, rocks or other things and it may help her be more comfortable?
  14. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    your answer is in my post.
    • Dislike Dislike x 2
  15. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    Ok. So am I correct in how I interpreted you're post? I'm just trying to make sure I understand clearly here as I'm very concerned for my T and I'm just looking for some help here.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    my answer is the same.
    • Dislike Dislike x 3
  17. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    Ok. Thanks bud
  18. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoangel Active Member

    Yes, but I wouldn't put rocks in there. They could pose a risk in case of a fall. I'd use a bigger piece of cork bark or driftwood and glue some nice big fake leaves to that, not for climbing, but to hide/sit under. ;)

    Somewhat like this:

    20181221_new home.jpg
    • Like Like x 3
    • Helpful Helpful x 2
  19. mastahwankah

    mastahwankah Arachnopeon

    Thank you a ton. This brings a lot more clarity to what I was asking about, rather than a condescending answer of " I mean what I said". I'm working on her enclosure right to now to make it better and I'll post back if it does well for her or not. I just want my T to live a long life, so all the advice goes very appreciated. Thank you thekla.
    • Like Like x 3
  20. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    There's nothing condescending about my post. You mentioned some examples of exactly what I suggested. How is that condescending??
    • Dislike Dislike x 1