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

Newbie with lots of questions! (B. klaasi possibly)

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Mithricat, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Mithricat

    Mithricat Arachnosquire

    Hey everyone, new member here

    I'm a former Arachnophobe, I used to be scared of insects but spiders were a step above anything else. In my university years through various documentaries I became interested in arthropods, my fascination gradually grew into admiration and my fear has all but vanished (except for roaches, they still suck).

    Long story short, I've wanted to get a Tarantula since then and I believe it's time for me to leap into this new hobby. I've been researching a couple of weeks now and arachnoboards has always been one of the best sources I could find.

    I have a few newbie questions that I'd like to ask

    1) A local shop has B. klaasi spiderlings, I wanted a beginners spider that would also make for a nice display species and they recommended this. Your thoughts about it (especially from any people who own B. klaasi)?

    2) The cost for the spiderling is about 20€/24$ for a 2cm or ¾ inch. Do you think I'm getting a fair price? What would be the price for a mature male or female of the species if I decided to start with an adult?

    3) From my research I've managed to gather that this is a species that will stay out in the open, at least when they've matured. I plan on moving the spiderling to a 5 or 10 gallon terrarium (when it's bigger) that I wish to decorate and add top lights. Will the light hurt the tarantula? I can arrange for a timer to simulate the day-night shift but I was worried about the effect of the light to the tarantula's well being.

    4) I have pets. I know NW tarantulas bites are not medically significant for people but what about dogs and cats? I'll do my best to keep them separated but you never know.

    5) I'd really REALLY like to touch my Tarantula every now and then and let it walk on my hand. I know this is a controversial topic in the hobby and I know how dangerous a fall can be for a tarantula but I'd still like to be able to touch it sometimes. Is the B. klaasi a generally handleable species?

    6) Continuing from above, are all of a NW tarantulas' hair urticating or just those on their rump? If I let her walk on my hand will it itch afterwards if she doesn't actively flick?

    7) The shop suggested feeding small cockroaches to the spiderling but I HATE roaches (had several bad experiences with P. americana) and I don't think I'd have the heart to give it a Cricket... What are my alternatives? Can I use mealworms or some other kind of worm/larva instead?

    8) I want to give all my animals a decent life. I want your suggestions on how to improve and enrich the environment to keep the spider happy and healthy.

    9) If I get the spiderling, how soon will I know if it's a male or a female? Plus I've read that as soon as some male tarantulas reach sexual maturity they lose all interest in food and try to get away to find females.

    10) Also I know that at least in some other orders of spiders it's possible to discern the sex of the individual by the shape on the end of the pedipalps, is that also true for tarantulas?

    My limitations are the cold weather we get here (55F/13C in the house is not uncommon) and the fact that I'm traveling a lot so there might be weeks when my spider eats only once or twice. I could solve the former if I use a heating pad (the shop actually recommended I do) but I can't do much about the latter.

    Of course advice and recommendations for other species is also welcome, it's just that we don't have much variety over here.

    Thanks :angelic:
  2. Devin B

    Devin B Arachnobaron

    1.) Ive never had a B. Klassi but I do own 2 ither Brachypelmas and I think they are great beginner tarantulas.

    2.) I don't know how rare these T's are so I have no idea but it seems fair.

    3.)The light will be fine for a tarantula and it should have a hide to retreat to if it doesnt like it.

    4.) New world tarantulas venom is about as "strong" as a bee sting. In other words if a pet gets bit by a tarantula treat it as a bee sting.

    5.) It isnt recommend that you handle your tarantula in any way but Brachypelmas tend to be more docile. If you do choose to handle please do so responsibly.

    6.)if it doesn't flick the hairs you should be fine (educated guess)

    7.)another popular choice is mealworms or superworms (I honestly dont know the difference) although crushing the prey items head is advised for small slings.

    8.) Luckily tarantulas are extremely low maintenance so not a whole lot of enrichment is needed other than proper set up.

    9.)You can determine sex at about an inch big using its molt. Unfortunately this requires the molt to be in very good condition, which can be hard to come by.

    10.) This as true for mature males. Mature males have bulbous pedipals. They dont have them until they reach their final molt.

    Also 55°F is way to cold for a tarantula and heat mats are NOT recommended as they can dehydrate tarantula and lead to death.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. darkness975

    darkness975 the sun grows ever darker Arachnosupporter

    Two key points:

    A mature male will not live long. You can't prevent that.

    Don't feel bad about feeding crickets. They would ea2r your spider if it molted. Don't leave uneaten feeders in with your Tarantula
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. BoyFromLA

    BoyFromLA ‎٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و Arachnosupporter

    I’d really REALLY like to tell you not to touch your tarantula every now and then and let it walk on your hand.

    You know this is a controversial topic in the hobby and you know how dangerous a fall can be for a tarantula so I'd still like to tell you not to touch it sometimes.
    • Agree x 4
    • Like x 2
    • Award x 2
    • Love x 1
    • Lollipop x 1
  5. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    Hey and welcome.

    1) Yes, a great beginner species. It is a slow grower and usually calm. They can be fairly skittish when young though. They grow fairly large and make a very nice display spider.

    2) That seems a reasonable price to me. Prices are much cheaper here in Europe generally. Though adult females sold here fetch a heavy tag of £80.

    3) Terrestrial Ts have pretty bad eyesight. I have had display setups with lighting units that have no effect on the spiders (Brachypelmas).

    4) This is a common question. But one that cant really be answered properly as there hasnt been many reports on it to my knowledge. I can imagine a bite would be bad news in any case, though with a B. klaasi I wouldnt be so worried. As they havent a high potency of venom nor lightning fast speed of OW species.

    5) No comment.

    6) It will itch if they rub off or are kicked on you. You may develope an allergy with continued contact. They only come from the mirror patch on the rear of abdomen (or front legs/pedipalps for Ephebopus)

    7) Mealworms, maggots and waxworms are great for spiderlings.

    8) Keep asking questions like you are doing now. You will learn how to properly care for your spiders. Picking up tips from experienced keepers here alog the way. If you have a question, just ask.

    9) With B. klaasi being a slow grower it will be a while before you are able to determine sex of spider by moult. Maybe when it hits the 2" mark you can do this. Even if male it will take years to reach maturity.

    10) Not for Theraphosidae. Unless upon maturity. Males will have tibial hooks and swollen palps with emboli

    • Like Like x 2
  6. BoyFromLA

    BoyFromLA ‎٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و Arachnosupporter

    I should’ve done that too. Now I feel bad about it.
  7. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoking Active Member

    Yeah, we dont want it to derail. Had enough of those type threads lately.

    The OP introduced properly and asked some decent questions. Deserves to stay on topic ;)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. BoyFromLA

    BoyFromLA ‎٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و Arachnosupporter

    I agree
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Draketeeth

    Draketeeth Arachnoknight

    1) B. klaasi sounds cute! I've never owned one, but I've never heard anything bad either. As a beginner, a sling can be a challenge, so you must be sure you're ready for it. I started with slings, and really enjoyed the experience, but they can grow slowly, so if you haven't got patience and perseverance to look at it, then an older spider might be better for you.

    2) A quick glance around at what's available where I am says that's a good price. If you like that species, then you should strongly consider it. But if you're not sure if that's what you want, I recommend waiting. The market changes all the time, so if there's one you want more that you think would be a good first, then hold out.

    3) Tarantuals seem to prefer it a little darker, but the light won't hurt it. Plenty of folks have put together set-ups with lights.

    4) Can't answer this one well. Don't know enough about pets getting bit.

    5) Tarantulas have different personalities. Some are much more agreeable than others. I enjoyed raising my Brachypelma albopilosum but wouldn't dare stick my hand in with it, particularly after it became a mature male. His personality became VASTLY different and he is very disagreeable. I thought my Grammostola pulchripes was a pretty agreeable soul and never had any worries about it, but when trying to do some maintenance in its cage, it whirled around on me and charged. That never happened before. So holding/touching is such an iffy question. You have to use your best judgement on what's best for the spider and you, and be aware that what's good one day is not good the next.

    6) Just the rump, and it might be itchy! Most of the time it's from direct flicking, but if there are loose hairs in the enclosure, you can get them on you. I picked up hairs off a molt and my hand itched for a bit, but it wasn't horrible.

    7) All of the above. Be advised that some folks smash the heads of feeders to prevent them from burrowing into the substrate and causing you problems later in the spider's enclosure (particularly mealworms/superworms/etc).

    8) research and questions. Then putting what you learn into practice. You're doing good so far.

    9) molt sexing is the easiest and probably the best way, but getting a molt is the hard part. Some spiders hoard the darn things, so you might not know for years what your spider is. However, if you're just in the hobby for fun, does it really matter?

    10) When a male has his final molt he develops emboli on the end of his pedipalps. His palps take on a "boxing glove" look, and depending on the species, may also develop tibial hooks on the front legs.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire

    I think that's a great speices for a beginner. I've read on here quite a few times that mealworms are awesome fore slings, but should not be the sole feeder for adults because it's like junk food. I've never had an adult that was only fed mealies, so I don't know personally if it's that bad or not. I feed my fuzzballs crickets and roaches, mostly. In moderation i feed them mealworms, superworms, and hornworms (these are super cute). Welcome to the hobby!
  11. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Now pretty much any Brachypelma will make a good beginner and be a nice display species. But I would avoid getting a sling, especially a small sling, as your first. Growth rates of Brachypelma are slower to glacial, and when small, its often really slow. They usually pick up the growth a bit once they get over an inch, then they will have a better appetite.

    But a slow growing sling can be a frustrating thing for a new keeper. Id recommend a juvenile, they are much more forgiving and you will see more activity and have an easier time feeding. JMO

    I can't tell you if your prices are good as I am unfamiliar with your market. Here in the states, klassi are pretty rare, and cost prohibitive for a lot of people. They are really gorgeous though.

    That 5-10 gal is probably 5 years off, if yours grows slower, could be much longer than that.

    Light won't hurt a t unless its heating things up...but they generally don't like it (nocturnal). Also, ts have no need for a light cycle.

    Mine are kept in perpetual darkness...the brightest it gets would be like twilight. They grow fast and breed readily.

    NW shouldn't pose a risk...the risk would really be more to the t. A bite can cause issues, like itching or swelling, but as long as there aren't breathing complications, it generally subsides fairly quickly. Do a search, there was just a thread about a cat tagged by a NW....puffed up, but ultimately the cat was fine.

    Size of your dog or cat will also play a role...if you have Pomeranians or something....maybe...if you have 70lb shepards, probably not.

    Urticating hairs are located in different places with different species (or genera), but all ts with urticating hairs can pass them easily when being handled....you are in contact after all.
    They can be fed just about anything (don't feed wild caught). Meal worms and super worms work, as do wax worms and even earthworms. Just crush heads before feeding so they don't burrow away....break earthworms into bite size pieces.
    Start with re-thinking #5...at least long term...I get once or twice.

    A spider doesn't need much enrichment...they like to be left alone to do their own thing. Just keep things simple with your set up and you should do fine....any questions, just ask, lots of people here to help.;)
    Its gonna be a while for a Brachy sling. Generally by 2.5-3" you can figure it out if you are diligent with your molt sexing....if you are willing to use a microscope, you can sex a molt even sooner.

    Most MMs lose interest in food eventually....many eat the first few meals with gusto, then eat about monthly.

    Keeping MMs hydrated is more important than feeding regularly.
    Nope, the only time a male's parts are there is after maturity, otherwise a females palps look just like an immature males palps.

    There are some species (not too many) that do exhibit sexual dimorphism...and these can be easily sexed, often even at smaller sizes.

    Ahh, another person without a furnace or insulated home...lol.:woot::hilarious:

    There are ways to heat them, but there are more ways not to heat them. Avoid direct heat, like a lamp or a heat pad directly in contact with the enclosure.

    Most of us use a space heater to heat the room. If this isn't an option (and its not always an option), you could create a micro climate with a heat pad. You would do this by heating a larger enclosure with the pad, and placing the t enclosure within that heated one. Some here have made really nice set ups like this and heat by wrapping the pad around a beaker of water within the larger enclosure....either way, its turning that direct heat source into a safer, secondary heat source...and its economical....more than heating an entire room for a single t anyway.

    As for feeding, ts don't need much in terms of food, and if you offer larger prey items, you can even feed once a month. But most feed juvies and adults once a week or once every 2 weeks (some feed monthly). There will be times where it goes several months at a time without any interest in food, its totally natural. I'd worry more about keeping them from freezing...lol. :D

    Really though, they don't require much heat, now a sling isn't as resistant to cold.....but in general, if your temps are over 70F, you should be good with most NW species...certainly all the beginner type ones. Adults can even handle nights cooler than 70....and temps can get to 90 without issue as well.

    Also don't follow humidity numbers or get roped into buying a hygrometer at the pet store.
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Award Award x 1
  12. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    • Funny Funny x 2
  13. Mithricat

    Mithricat Arachnosquire

    Thank you everyone, I am now the proud owner of a 2cm B. klaasi sling :shame:

    I only got it an hour ago and I've let it calm down in the dark. It's still in its original tube, I haven't rehoused it yet. I've got a faunarium, a cork bark hideout and coconut fiber substrate which I'm currently soaking as per the instructions on the box. Also a 5watt heating pad because it's the middle of the winter and it can get pretty cold at night even inside.

    Also worth mentioning, when I got it its abdomen was REALLY big and shiny and it had a large black spot on its back, I think it will molt very soon!!!

    Should I give it food/water under this condition or should I avoid it for a while? If it is about to molt should I keep the humidity high to aid it in molting?
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Lokee85

    Lokee85 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Don't worry about humidity, as long as you dampen (do not soak!) a corner of the enclosure every week or so (let it dry out in between then moisten a different corner when it gets dry) and provide a water dish, your sling will do fine.

    It definitely sounds like it's in premolt to me, but you can post pics of your spider and the set up as well and someone could let you know for sure (plus, pics of new additions never get old!)

    With the cocofiber you have soaking, make sure you squeeze out excess water before using it, and you could even dry it out a bit in the oven and let it cool down before using it. You just don't want your arid species in swampy conditions. Also, let the substrate dry out completely before you begin dampening any corners.

    Congratulations on your new little friend! They are amazing creatures, for sure! :)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Lokee85

    Lokee85 Arachnoknight Active Member

    Also, if your sling is as fat as you say, it could most likely make it to and through it's next molt without incident. You could leave it for a few days before attempting to feed so the T can settle in to it's new environment. Chances are, it might molt. If not, there's no harm offering prekilled prey even if it's in premolt. If it doesn't eat within 24 hrs, simply remove the prey item.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Its too small for such a thing...it will walk right out....not only that, but a larger enclosure with a small terrestrial will induce excessive hiding...which will make monitoring and feeding much more complicated. I have found that they actually grow 3-5 times slower when kept in over sized enclosures (I experimented with over 150 NW specimens to come to this conclusion).

    House it in a simple condiment cup for now, just some damp sub...keep it simple and set yourself up for success. This makes the sling easily monitored.
    Just don't led a pad touch a sling enclosure.
    Sounds like pre-molt..I wouldn't try to feed, just wait for the impending molt....it may come in days, it may take months.
    Good advice. The term humidity doesn't belong in this hobby IMO, its a carry over from the unrelated reptile world. When you see a t needs humidity, what it really means is that it needs damp substrate, its that simple.

    No t on the planet requires number specific humidity levels...hygrometers cause a lot more problems than they could ever solve...do not use one.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  17. Mithricat

    Mithricat Arachnosquire

    Thank you

    The faunarium is really small, I did my research before buying and pretty much everyone said to keep it small and rehouse as needed. I avoided using a deli cup because if the enclosure looks good then it's easier for other people in the household to accept the spider (apparently there are people who don't like spiders out there :p).

    The heating pad is not touching the side of the enclosure but it's pretty close (maybe 2mm away), I will only run it overnight when the temperatures drop.

    Last night it came out of hiding and actually roamed around a bit. It's not skittish like I feared, no signs of burrowing either.

    A surprisingly interesting side-effect which I hadn't considered is how interesting taking care of the feeders is. As I mentioned in the first post I really hated roaches but the shop gave me 20-30 Blatta lateralis roaches for free and those guys are fun. I think I'll go buy some Blaptica dubia today as well for breeding purposes and because they look so great up close, much more than B. lateralis do.

    Pics below:

    IMG_20180108_230341~01.jpg IMG_20180108_225221.jpg

    The substrate is deeper on the other side and shallow on this side because I didn't want to bury the cork. Sorry for the image quality, they were taken in a dark room with flash on.

    You can see his/her abdomen is extremely plump, I'd say about 5-6 times larger than the thorax segment and the back where the dark spot is is very shiny.
  18. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    Wow! That's a pretty fat booty! :D Don't rush with the dubias, I don't think you'll need them right now. Those lateralis should be plenty for the moment.

    Personally, I wouldn't feed that sling at least for a week or two. If it hasn't moulted by then, you could try and feed it again. But I'm also pretty new in the hobby. Someone else might give you better advise. :)
  19. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

  20. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire

    Hahahaaaa!! Atleast you know it's not a picky eater!