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

New T Owner/New Member

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by LaurentheMortician, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    Advertisement
    Hello! I purchased my first T yesterday, I set up her enclosure yesterday and she seemed to be doing just fine. Today, I attempted to coax her into a cup to take her out to adjust a few things and she spooked me. She is a Zebra Knee and is incredibly fast. I'm not sure how to make her more comfortable.

    I adore tarantulas but I am more used to the ones I handled while working at a museum (much more relaxed). If you have any tips and tricks for anything at all, please send them my way!

    I also just wanted to introduce myself and say hello :)
    -LB
     
  2. JoshDM020

    JoshDM020 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Sudden influx of Arkansans lately.
    Zebra knee (assuming Aphonopelma seemani) are.... borderline unpredictable. Some have been known to be super calm, others have been known to be extremely skittish and mildly defensive. Mine is more of the skittish. Definitely not a species anyone would recommend for handling.
    Theres nothing you can personally do to help the spider feel at home outside of making sure it's enclosure is set up correctly. Please post some pics so we can tell you how pretty your spider is and also make sure its set up properly :happy:
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    I was attempting to take her out to add more substrate and turn her tank around. I set up a small corner of my apartment for her and need to flip her enclosure around for easier opening. I attached a pic of her on her log when she first came home and one of her cute lil butt this morning.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. JoshDM020

    JoshDM020 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Ooohhh yes, this one could use a little work. A correct setup for this spider would have substrate deep enough for it to tunnel down into. For a spider this size, I'd say somewhere in the five to six inch deep range. This has been known to reduce skittishness in some specimens. Also, at least one third of the substrate should kept a little moist. Just a little, though, they dont need mud. Some people dont keep em moist, but it made mine a little happier once i fixed some other problems i had with my setup.
    The gap between the top of the substrate and the lid of the enclosure should be only about 1.5 to 2 times the leg span of the spider (ex. 4 inch spider gets a 6 to 8 inch gap). This keeps them from falling too far if they climb up to the top of the tank and lose their grip.
    I know it can seem like a lot of information and probably pretty frustrating to hear(read?), but its just part of the struggle of the hobby. Pet stores constantly give out bad information. Museums and zoos (some even in our state, believe it or not) have also been known to fail horribly when it comes to meeting the actual requirements of these little guys.
    Oh! Almost forgot, if theres a heat mat or light anywhere on the enclosure, take/turn them off. Not needed and dangerous to the spider most of the time. I hope this helps! If you have any questions, any of us would be happy to answer them!
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  5. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    Oh gosh. I went out and bought her a tiny heating pad after bringing her home. I'm really not sure how to get her out to add more substrate though? I didn't think it was enough and I wish I just added more before putting her in. She startled me and I dropped my paint brush in. I figure we need a bit more time together before I attempt to touch her/let her know I'm close by again.

    It would honestly be helpful if someone could help me the first time but I don't know anyone who would voluntarily come over and take her out for me. I just need to see someone do it to know that it can be done.
     
  6. JoshDM020

    JoshDM020 Arachnoknight Active Member

    What we actually recommend for transfers and stuff is getting a catch cup (preferably clear) and putting it over the spider. Then you slide something (lid, thick paper, etc) under it. Put it aside while you work, and when its time to put it back, place the cup back in the enclosure, slide it off the lid, remove cup from spider. Aaaand thats it.
    Handling is generally not recommended, because its pretty dangerous for the spider just as much as it is for the keeper. If it gets spooked, the spider bolts, jumps, splats and dies. If it bites, you flinch, spider flies, splats, and dies. Spiders dont have the mental capacity for bonding with their owners. So far as the spider is or ever will be concerned, you are big and scary and it will defend itself, even if you have no intention of hurting it.
    More bad information given out by pet stores.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Arachnoprince Active Member

    It also helps to work within a large bin, preferably on a carpeted floor with no clutter or furniture nearby. The extra wall of the bin and the carpeted floor will give you some time to get her into a catch cup if she does escape while you are trying to remove her from the enclosure.

    Another possibility is to work within a bathtub (with the curtain closed) or shower stall. Put a towel in front of the crack under the bathroom door so if it does get out, it's contained within the bathroom.


    I know you don't know anyone who would remove the tarantula for you, but having a second set of eyes (with a second catch cup) never hurts.


    There are some decent rehousing videos on YouTube that can help build your confidence and help you learn techniques to reduce the risk of an escape.





     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    • Like Like x 4
  8. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    Oh! Also- when should I transfer? Day or night? Does it matter? Should I just wait till she’s in a position that I can put a cup over?
     
  9. I find daytime is best -- they're more active at night. Cool temps can also slow them down.
    And whether to wait until you have a clear shot for cupping or feel comfortable cupping her against the enclosure wall/side -- well that depends on your skill level. If new, you probably should wait until she is just sitting on substrate on bottom.

    Good luck -- you have a pretty T!
     
  10. JoshDM020

    JoshDM020 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Day. Night. I dont imagine it would matter much. Theyll be more "sleepy" in the day time, probably.
    If it were mine, i would wait for an easy position. He's one of my most likely to bolt and never see again.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    5,783
    5,463
    1,278
    This cannot be done, no more than one can make Donald Trump intelligent.
     
    • Award x 3
    • Dislike x 2
    • Funny x 2
    • Like x 1
    • Sad x 1
    • Love x 1
    • Lollipop x 1
  12. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    5,783
    5,463
    1,278
    Day time, but honestly it's specimen specific. I have some that are no better during the day or night.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    This made me love this site so much more. Thank you.
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. boina

    boina Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    563
    1,782
    233
    Germany
    Thank you. That made my day. :hilarious:
     
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    Okay so I am going to add more substrate today. She is hiding behind her plant, should i remove the plant and then her? Or her half log? I would like this to cause the least amount of stress for both of us.
     
  16. mack1855

    mack1855 Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    True that.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Sad Sad x 1
  17. JoshDM020

    JoshDM020 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Removing her is going to stress her out any way you do it, until you get her back in. Might as well go all out. If its in the way, get it out of the way. Luckily, it probably hasnt been long enough for her to completely settle in yet, so it wont be too bad.
     
  18. darkness975

    darkness975 a Dream Within a Dream Arachnosupporter

    In time with the proper set up the specimen may be calmer or it may always remain skittish. Hard to say.

    Generally, once they set up shop they tend to be out more and they prefer to retreat when threatened than to stand and fight. Even the infamous OW species usually prefer flight to fight.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnobaron Active Member

    It might be worth mentioning that the very first touch you make with a paintbrush or other prodding tool (while the T is relaxed) often startles them. Also, if they are in feeding mode, even the slightest movement can initiate a feeding response. After a few little taps, they generally don’t freak out quite as much as they did from the first touch.

    I like doing this work in a bath tub. Get some 32 oz tall deli cups. They are a good size, and can easily lay on their sides without you holding them. Should be able to convince the spider into a cup with a little prodding. Remember, slow and easy..... smooth movements:)
     
  20. LaurentheMortician

    LaurentheMortician Arachnopeon

    UPDATE: Violet is seeming to be much more relaxed now. I was able to get her out and add more substrate. Here are some pics of my happy lil T and her corner.
     

    Attached Files: