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New T Owner ; Some Questions

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Druugr, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Druugr

    Druugr Arachnopeon

    Hello! I received my first ever Tarantula sling earlier this week and no matter how much research and videos I watch on the matter I still find myself anxious with a lot of questions and no one to ask so I made my way here.

    I currently have a B. Smithi sling approx. 1 inch in size. It's made itself a little burrow under some cork bark I have pressed up against the side for it's home which is all fine and dandy.

    I've put a water bottle cap with some water on top of light misting once when I set up the enclosure to keep the humidity good and hydrated. Is it a good sign if the enclosure has some light condensation on the sides? Does that signify a good humidity level or too much?

    As far as food goes, it's rump is bigger than the carapace so I'm not sure if it was fed before mail travel or not. I've tried to feed it a pre killed tiny roach about it's size and it's not interested. The roach has been there for only 24 hours left untouched. I've read that it's somewhat normal that slings usually don't eat for awhile as they're adjusting to their new environment but also read that some eat right away. It's also moved the roach carcass several times as every time I check it's in a different spot than last? Is that normal?

    Thank you for reading all this, I'm sure anxiety is common in new tarantula owners and I genuinely appreciate any responses.
  2. BarksandFarts

    BarksandFarts Arachnopeon

    Once again, humidity is irrelevant with Ts as they are unable to get moisture from the air. Smithis should also be kept bone dry sub with a waterdish. If condensation is forming i’d say u dint have enough ventilation. Being a sling, it probably doesnt eat too much and perhaps, ate the roach but not to a noticeable degree. Remove any uneaten food items after 24 hours.


    Also, some pics of your enclosure would help to pinpoint any areas of concern
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2018
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  3. Bree24

    Bree24 Arachnosquire Active Member

    Condensation is too much. Let it dry out a little bit. If your Smithi has a water dish then she shouldn’t need any more moisture, but I would maybe just keep the substrate a little moist on one side of the enclosure until she’s at least 1.5”, just to be on the safe side.

    Her abdomen could be large because she’s going in to premolt. Depending on how much/often her breeders fed her, she could end up fasting for quite a while before she actually molts. Or, possibly, she did eat some and you just can’t tell.

    Put a roach in 2-3 times a week. Remove any leftovers after 24 hours. Only give her pre-kills until you know her molting schedule (and are confident that you can recognize the signs of pre-molt). Keep water bowl full. Enjoy your new baby.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. SuzukiSwift

    SuzukiSwift Arachnoprince Active Member

    First of all, welcome to the hobby! ;)

    You don’t need to mist at all, let the substrate dry out but whenever you fill up the water bowl let it over flow into the substrate a bit.

    All the behaviour sounds very normal, the fact that it’s made a small burrow means it feels at home, good job =)

    Remove the roach and try again in another few days, your sling may still be settling in or just not hungry. If the abdomen is larger than the carapace you needn’t worry, just make sure there is always accessible water in the bowl. Pics of enclosure would be great
    • Like Like x 2
  5. AnObeseHippo

    AnObeseHippo Arachnoknight

    Give it bone dry substrate.
    If it is sitting in the water dish then overflow it a little when you fill it next.

    Simple stuff.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  6. Druugr

    Druugr Arachnopeon

    Thank you so much for the responses!

    I've uploaded some pictures of a side and aerial view of the enclosure I have it in, very light and simple. I've got two drilled holes on each corner of the container for ventilation. The T Sling is underneath the cork bark, it stays under there 24/7 and it's kicked around some substrate to make it more like a burrow.

    Attached Files:

  7. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I would fill that with a lot more substrate.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. BarksandFarts

    BarksandFarts Arachnopeon

    Fill it up with sub up till maybe halfway or just under half. This is to minimise the risk of ur t hurting itself from a fall. Also try to tamp down the sub
  9. SuzukiSwift

    SuzukiSwift Arachnoprince Active Member


    Your set up actually looks good, nice and minimal for a Smithi sling, just need to do a couple of things

    First remove the sling from the enclosure before making your changes and then add more substrate. Fill it up to about half to a little over half the height of that container but make sure it’s packed down (push it down with your hands as you’re filling it so it is firm and not loose)

    Finally add some more ventilation, if I’ve read correctly then you’ve only got one tiny hole on the left and right and you need some more than that so the air doesn’t become stagnant. After you’ve done those things the enclosure will be great :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
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    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  10. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnobaron Active Member

    I would also keep part of the substrate moist since it is still a sling, I would not keep a sling on bone dry substrate.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  11. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    You can also go to roundvents.com and get a 2" vent to put into the lid in he center. On the sides you can make some holes with a soldering iron maybe 3 or 4 on all sides 1 inch from the top. That should give you plenty of ventilation. As an alternative, you could just put in about 6 holes around the lid 1 inch from the edge in a square formation instead of using the vent. Jamie's juvenile enclosures use a 2" round vent in the lid and nothing else.

    Of course, you need a drill and a hole saw to cut out the correct size circle for the vent you want & there is a risk you could destroy the enclosure, but vents are excellent for airflow. I'd get a screened version that is resistant to insect entry. There are many choices on the website.
  12. BarksandFarts

    BarksandFarts Arachnopeon

    Why do u disagree? Slings can get the bulk of moisture from their food. His enclosure alr has condenstion which indicates very low ventilation and in this case, the growth of mould etc imo would be more dangerous to the T. Regular feedings 2-3 times a week.

    If the sling is rly so small its next to impossible to keep any degree of moisture in over long periods of time. Just sharing what I experience tho. Raising almost exclusively 1/3” slings now
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2018
  13. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Just because they can, doesn't mean that's optimal. Technically you could get your moisture from foods if you ate a enough fruit...still, a glass of water might still be nice...lol.
    How are you keeping your slings? Its actually easier with slings....when it dries, add a few drops or water...very easy to maintain.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Many species, this is no exception, are tidy animals. The fact that it's moving garbage around is not surprising.
  15. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    A sling can't drown in a water dish. After all, they can walk up the walls and upside down on the lid if they want to.

    Thimbles used in needle point are small enough to be sized for slings. Do keep in mind that slings don't have the wax coating on the exoskeleton that juveniles and adults have.

    This increases the risk of dehydration by quite a lot. Always check the water dish at least once per day.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Druugr

    Druugr Arachnopeon

    Thank you all for your responses, I appreciate every one of them. As of right now I need to order more substrate because I purchased my sling from Fear Not Tarantulas in a sort of "starting kit" that is supposed to be temporary for the sling for it's first month but I plan on just using it until it gets larger. It came with a certain amount of substrate, so I have to order more quickly to fill it up more.

    As of tonight I tried to feed it again and it didn't take the food.
  17. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    If you have a hardware store close by (such as Home Depot) you can pick up a cubic foot of top soil (approx. 40 lbs) for probably around $2.50 maybe a little more. The cheap stuff shouldn't have any fertilizer or additives which is exactly what you want (read the package to be sure though). Just pour it on in and call it good (add some water for a portion of damp sub). That way you just have to head to the store, rather than wait for shipping. Plus you'll have plenty of sub left over. If you don't have the space/place to put it or don't want to keep so much/don't have personal transportation, Amazon usually has some good bulk deals on coco fiber bricks...
  18. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    I've been using 100% organic chemical free peat because it's more mold resistant them some others.

    Some people who do use top soil end up having to heat it up in the oven for several hours to kill sterilize it.

    The drainage is....meeeehhh, to put it nicely.

    I'm not saying dirt won't work, just that there's better alternatives. One thing to avoid is vermaculite. All my terrestrial Ts absolutely hate walking on it and it literally drives every last one of them up the wall of their enclosure.
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Meh Meh x 1
  19. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    NEVER sterilize substrate...regardless of what kind it is.

    IMO dirt is the best sub there is...and the sub 100% of wild ts live on.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Love Love x 1
  20. SuzukiSwift

    SuzukiSwift Arachnoprince Active Member

    Substrates that incorporate vermiculite are good, I’m assuming you were referring to just 100% vermiculite being bad which is true. I use a mixture of about 50% organic peat moss, 30-40% coco fibre and 10-20% vermiculite. It holds really well for fossorial species and the vermiculite helps retain moisture.

    For species that hate moisture in their sub I use straight dirt or coco fibre, so for OPs Smithi I would probably still stick with coco fibre
    • Agree Agree x 1