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New to tarantulas

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Peavey91, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Peavey91

    Peavey91 Arachnopeon

    What's upppppp!!!!!
    I'm not new to husbandry and know what it ultimately takes to care for a pet properly. I've had fish tanks since I was 7 ranging from Salt water reef tanks to co2 injected high tech planted tanks. I've bred everything from dwarf shrimp like black king Kong, to guppies, to dwarf cichlids.

    But I wanted to get into something else and I seen petco selling slings, I know i know don't buy from petco. But I also don't have 200 to spend for a sling or spider Ling from private breeders. So off to petco I shall go. I'm thinking about getting a red rump, a pink toe, I forget the other one I was thinking about getting. But my questions are these.

    Arboreal or terrestrial? Tropical or arrid? Borrower? What would be some of the best options for a first time tsrantula. And in that respect I'm a naturalist. I love to provide the most natural environment for my pets as possible hence the reef tanks and planted tanks. Biotopes if you will. What type of plants coincide with the spider you recommend from the same region and are readily available.

    Thank you guys!!!!!
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  2. Kayis

    Kayis Arachnopeon

    For a first T I would suggest getting a terrestrial. Anything Brachypelma that petco has to offer would suffice. I don't do "naturalistic" enclosures so someone else can give that advice since i'm assuming you're looking to add real plants? Have fun with that....my T's bulldoze anything and everything in their enclosures lol.
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  3. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoblank Staff Member

    Whaaa...? o_O What dealers are you looking at? Private breeders/sellers are always cheaper than retail.

    As for your questions, that's largely up to you. Here is a video on common starter tarantulas, but there are other great ones as well. I really wouldn't recommend having a live plant in with your tarantula unless you have experience in it (dart frogs would be a great example). The problems of mold growth, pests, stagnant air, soil choice, and humidity can all kill a tarantula. From what you've said, you have no experience in terrestrial vivariums. As I'm sure you can imagine, the problems of plant life in an aquatic setting are wholly different than in a terrestrial setting. Of course, up to you, but that may be one too many learning curves. If you insist on it, then look at an arid species paired with a succulent plant that requires very little water. You can get an adult female A. chalcodes for under $100.
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  4. Kayis

    Kayis Arachnopeon

    Yeah i'd like to add while I prefer you don't pick one up at petco....your choice and I do understand it's a lot cheaper since you won't have to pay shipping costs.
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  5. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Some beginner slings from private breeders and vendors cost 5$, what has made you think you need 200$ ??????????o_Oo_Oo_Oo_O:wideyed::wideyed::wideyed::wideyed:

    Almost all your husbandry experience is useless with Ts. Ts aren't fish and vice versa. As they are radically different animals with radically different requirements. Even my reptile husbandry experience is virtually useless w/Ts too. About the ONLY thing that WILL be useful is your attention to detail.

    Also, while not impossible to set up planted vivaria for Ts, they generally pull up plants and conduct their own landscaping regularly. So that idea, while up to you, should be thrown out the window, UNLESS you enjoy micromanaging and redoing your setups regularly. Most T owners don't, but you MIGHT! You're a glutton for punishment if you do hahaha.

    Considering you have never owned a T. Get an arid terrestrial, and not an arboreal, esp a Pink Toe. Most first time Pink Toe owners end up with dead slings because the Avic genus has a narrow window of THRIVING, and is not forgiving of husbandry errors. Most kill their Avics w/out even knowing it.

    A great species to start with G. pulchripes, or an E. sp. Red.
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  6. draiko

    draiko Arachnosquire

    What??!! No way!!

    I dont have anything else constructive to add except that Ive never paid more at a breeder than a petshop. Breeders are always cheaper. Have fun!
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  7. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Glad that was helpful!
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  8. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Moderator Staff Member

    For slings, the shipping often costs more than the spider. Ordering online becomes more economical (factoring in shipping costs) when you're ordering more than one tarantula (or a larger tarantula).

    If you're averse to shipping costs, try looking for a reputable seller that lives within a reasonable driving distance. (Craigslist can also be an option, but finding a good deal there is pretty hit-and-miss, and many "unsexed" juveniles may be male.) If you can't find one, exotic pet shows (like Repticon) can be a great way to find deals on tarantulas.

    If Petco is truly your only option, be aware that the tarantulas may not be labeled correctly. (The "Tarantula Hut" enclosures should be replaced with something more appropriate.)

    An arid terrestrial species is generally best for your first tarantula. @EulersK has several good suggestions in his video. Any reasonably priced species from Aphonopelma, Grammostola, Euathlus, or Brachypelma is generally a great first tarantula.

    A juvenile (2" or bigger) is often hardier than a sling, but sling care is not rocket science, and if you have the patience to wait for it to grow, it can be an option for beginners.

    As others have mentioned, it is often difficult to create an enclosure that is good for both live plants and tarantulas. (Most plants need sunlight, which you don't want in a tarantula enclosure due to the greenhouse effect making it too hot.) I would stick with realistic-looking fake plants for now and experiment later when you have some more tarantula experience under your belt.
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  9. Peavey91

    Peavey91 Arachnopeon

    One thing I have failed to mention is I used to keep scorpions and breed them as well.

    As far as maintaining plants go i have a pretty good idea of how to keep the t. From digging them up or re arranging them. Keeping humidity, moisture, tank clean is no problem for me, having kept reptiles such as chameleons, which if not cared for properly can die almost instantly, that aspect of a tropical terrarium is no issue I have. I actually prefer tropical to arrid. But what makes pink toes as sling to juvis harder to care for?
  10. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoblank Staff Member

    See, all of that was much more valuable information than you keeping aquatics! If you prefer tropical, look into an adult female T. stirmi. They get nice and large, they tend to not excavate (meaning they'll leave your plants alone), and they require higher humidity. You can pick up adult females for $100-$150 here in the States. Do not fall for L. parahybana's being tropical spiders - that's a myth perpetuated by the internet. They're inexpensive and a good beginner tarantula, but they aren't tropical.

    I'm sure it goes without saying that you'll need a cleanup crew in your tank if you plan on doing this. I've got P. scaber and springtails (of unknown species) in with my T. stirmi, and it works like a charm.

    As for the last question... Viper already answered it.
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  11. Peavey91

    Peavey91 Arachnopeon

    If not going arboreal what terrestrial species would be good in a tropical environment and are relatively small. Keep in mind I am set in stone on raising from a sling
  12. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoblank Staff Member

    A. seemanni would be a good choice, but they burrow and therefore will absolutely dig up your plants. They max out at roughly 4-5", but they are slow growing. They're also a bit of a pet hole.

    P. cancerides would be my pick, but they do get fairly large at 6-7". They also grow very slowly once they hit the 3" stage, but they're a joy. Always hungry and gorgeous. They are very bitey little things, be prepared for that.

    M. robustom is a great species, and grows at a medium rate. They max out at 5-6". It's another burrower, but it's not a pet hole at all. It will also dig up your plants.

    P. sazimai might be another one to look into, but it's not a very humid species. They need light humidity. Another burrower.

    H. gigas is another big one at 6-7" (they're quite leggy, so that number is misleading), but they're probably the most humid on this list. They actually can fish for their prey - there are videos of them crawling under water looking for food. Again, also very defensive. With your skillset, you might be able to have a small pond in there with fish for it to hunt. The killed fish will smell terrible though, keep that in mind.

    N. chromatus or N. coloratovillosus both get to be 5-6" and require it mildly humid. Again, defensive.

    C. fimbriatus can be a burrower or heavy webber depending on the setup, and max out at 4". This is an advanced species, and a bite from an adult female will send you to the hospital. Do this one at your own discretion. Very defensive once they settle into their home - they will chase down threats, and they're the fastest on this list.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  13. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    i dont really think OWs are a good choice for a first time spider? o_O
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  14. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Mine wasn't as well a complete pet hole, until recently, when she decided to dig, and dig, and dig (she's digging even now) like someone that continue to walk the unfinished stairs of Inferno. Bye baby :-/

    * the joy of not being a 'substrate Scrooge' :-s
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  15. Peavey91

    Peavey91 Arachnopeon

    The red rump I was almost set on but I've heard towards full maturity they get quite aggressive. I was almost set on a rose hair but I wanted to keep a more humid tank, more on the top side ofor 70 to 80 percent humidity. I don't necessarily want a pet hole either the challenge of keeping an avic. Avic. Or versicolor from sling into adulthood kinda strikes a light bulb on in my head......
  16. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoblank Staff Member

    Agreed, but he's not a greenhorn with exotic pets. And he's also not a kid. This is the rare instance where I wouldn't be violently against someone getting an OW as their first tarantula. I wouldn't encourage that he get an OW as a first tarantula, but it's an option so long as he respects the animal.

    M. robustom's burrowing is only matched by Ceratogyrus :cigar:
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  17. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoblank Staff Member

    Red rump = B. vagans

    B. vagans is a semi-arid species. A humid tank would kill that spider. Most Avics aren't as humid as you're describing, either. There are plenty of vivariums out there with Avics - if you ditched the super high humidity thing, you'd be able to do it.

    Note that I don't believe Petco sells any species that are meeting your criteria...
  18. Peavey91

    Peavey91 Arachnopeon

    I know they don't but I'm getting ideas, which is what I wanted. Petco is limited on what they have. But also I know I'm not just buying a pet but saying an animal from neglectance from ignorant parents buying for there children because it's a wow factor or someone thinking it's just a game to watch them prey on food. I've been around plenty of exotic animals in my life, even how short it may be, while my entire focus was on aquatic species, I've always had an interest in tarantulas because of there nature and the way there body actually functions is amazing.
  19. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Avicularia are not challenging. ive had no issues once i learned how to set up their cage. mind you, they are best kept dry. check out Nhandu chromatus, A geniculata, Ephobopus are very nice too. Pamphobeteus, Phormictopus are also wetter species.
    plants can be done, and the results can look amazing, but they are more work than what its worth IMO. maybe one day though.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  20. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Arachnolord Arachnosupporter

    You are going to have a rough time finding a beginner's T that will also be compatible with live plants and keep the plants alive. Even most expert T keepers shy away from this due to all of the complications that must be handled.

    I suggest you get an arid species first so that you can understand the T husbandry first. Then move up to ones that will be compatible with live plants after you have some experience.

    Here is my thoughts on the Humid species where I am familiar.

    The problem on m. robustum is that it is skittish and will struggle if you are having to do husbandry adjustments to get past the learning curve. It was suggested to me that I not rehouse mine more than once so that it doesn't stress the T badly. Otherwise they do well in a moist environment so a live plant would work with them.

    H. Gigas would be a great T for you one of these days but not now. It is an OW (Old World) tarantula. You need to own NW (New World) T's for a while before you get something with highly potent venom.

    Neoholothele incei is a T that needs humidity. It needs moisture so it would work with plants, but likely will eventually cover your plant with so much web that the plant will struggle to get light.
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