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possible molt problem

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by fartkowski, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. fartkowski

    fartkowski Arachnoemperor

    Hi this morning at about 8am I found my 5" H gigas on her back getting ready to molt.
    At about 1:30 it started to wiggle free.
    The question I have is how long does it normally take for one this size to molt free once it starts.
    Its about 3:20 now and it looks like the body is free but none of the legs.
    Another problem I see is she is in her burrow and it's kinda tight, her legs are not even up yet.
    I was just wondering if It's just me being paranoid, or if there might be problems.
  2. fartkowski

    fartkowski Arachnoemperor

    Also how much longer should I wait before I attempt to help?
  3. penny'smom

    penny'smom Arachnobaron

    These big kids can take several hours. My first smithi would take pretty much all day to finish a molt. She never did it in her hide though, so I am not sure what to tell you about that.
  4. butch4skin

    butch4skin Arachnoprince

    Obligate burrowers always molt in tight spaces, it's their nature. You'd be really suprised how little room they need.
  5. Cocoa-Jin

    Cocoa-Jin Arachnobaron

    The biggest lesson Ive learned from this forum is this...."When in doubt, leave it alone." Patience is a real boring answer but it always seems to be the right one.
  6. PhormictopusMan

    PhormictopusMan Arachnobaron Old Timer

    So, how did it go? Has it completed?
  7. fartkowski

    fartkowski Arachnoemperor


    I waited several hours and she was still making no progress.
    I tried using a soft paintbrush to try to get the skin off but that didn't work.
    So I put her in an ICU in hopes that the high humidity would help but again about 24 hrs later still no progress.
    When I woke up I was sure she would be dead, but she was still trying to get her legs out. she dropped two of them and one palp.
    I figured that there is no hope in getting the skin off.
    As a last ditch effort I thought if I somehow soak the legs it might help. It works for old molts so I gave it a try. I propped her up onto a small cup with her legs soaking in the water. I did this VERY carefully because I knew her abdomen would be soft.
    After a few minutes of soaking, my wife started to work on the skin (she has steady hands). The interesting thing is that the only parts that were tight were the joints. Once past the first joint, the old skin just slid off like nothing.
    She managed to get five of the legs and one palp free. I immeadiatly put her back into the ICU. The legs did look a little deformed, but she was still alive.
    I really don't believe she will make it much longer but it was a learning experiance.
    I was just amazed on how easy the old skin came off after the soak.