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The Jade Spider Universal Care Sheet!!! (READ ME before asking care questions!)

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by GartenSpinnen, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have been noticing a lot of the same care questions, over and over again on the boards. Most of it is common knowledge easily obtained from a search, however, sometimes people look for species specific care because they think of tarantulas along the same lines as reptiles. There is no need for this, i have been keeping tarantulas for years with the same setups and have had exceptional results.

    The idea for a lot of us keeping tarantulas is that they are 'easy' pets, but this is often blurred when people make the care of them way more complicated than it should be. So in this thread i will show you all how i keep my stuff. I have had very little problems through the years keeping stuff in this way. Hopefully this helps new keepers in some way, and prevents a lot of threads on the same questions from popping up so often.

    Housing Tarantulas

    Slings- I house my larger arboreal slings in tall cereal containers. They can be found at any grocery store for pretty cheap. I prefer the ones with the screw on tops instead of the snap on tops because i feel that they are more 'secure', but mainly it is just a personal preference. I make sure to drill many holes in lid, and many holes around the top of the sides of these containers. Ventilation is a must! I then put around 1"-2" of coco fiber or peat substrate in the bottom, add some cork bark, and then some fake plants. That's it. Done.


    For smaller arboreal tarantulas, i use tall vials or deli containers like you see at the store with potato salad in them. Same basic concept only smaller. I decrease ventilation by only putting a few air holes in the top of the deli/vial.


    For larger terrestrial slings, i used to use a lot of kritter keeper type enclosures. I am moving away from these now because i think they are ugly and insecure as all hell. I have started using the 'lock and lock' type enclosures and i am very happy with them. I drill lots of holes in the lid, and then some holes in the sides of the containers. I fill the containers with coco fiber or peat substrate usually at a depth of 3" or so, throw in a piece of cork bark, a water dish, and thats it. Done.


    For smaller terrestrial slings, same basic concept but i use small deli cups or vials, and i do not use a hide. I just fill half of the container with substrate, and that's it. Usually i put a couple small holes in the top for ventilation. Nothing hard to do here.... Done.


    For obligate burrowing slings that are larger, i use a cereal container like i use for arboreal above. When i drill holes for ventilation, i drill many small holes in the lid, then a few around the very bottom of the container. I fill all the way up to under 2" of the top of the container, and put in a water dish. That's it. Done.


    For smaller obligate burrowers, i use tall vials but fill them up almost to the rim of the vial with substrate. A few small air holes in the top. Done.


    Adults- Adult housing is pretty straight forward. Same basic concept, just larger and you can be more 'fancy' about it if you choose. I use Exo-Terra type enclosures, or 5.5 gal enclosures up on their sides for arboreal tarantulas. For terrestrials i use large KK's, lock and lock enclosures, or 2.5-5.5 gallon terrariums depending on what size they are. For obligate burrowers usually i end up just getting the largest cereal containers i can find, and using the same methods talked about above.

    (Here is a quick glance on how some of my stuff is currently housed.)

    Humidity and Temperature

    Screw the 70%/80%/50% humidity crap. There is 2 types of tarantulas- tropical and desert. For tropical species, mist once or twice a week and keep a full large water dish in with them at all times. For desert species, do not mist, and only keep a full large water dish in with them at all times. That is how i monitor humidity...

    For temperature, as long as your house does not drop below 70, or go above 90... your fine. If your house does get below 70... get a ceramic room heater, or get a reptile heat lamp and put it in the general vicinity of the collection just to keep the temp a bit higher. If it goes above 90 for extended periods of time, get a fan or an AC unit or something to cool the room a bit, and take extra caution that they have water at all times.

    (A single heat bulb in a closet setup like i am currently using for some of my stuff is enough to adequately keep them warm if the proper equipment is used.)


    Slings- Use smaller prey items that are about the body length of the tarantula you are feeding. If the tarantula does not eat the prey within a couple hours, take it out, try again next week (unless its showing signs of premolt, then just wait until after it molts). Acceptable prey items are small crickets, roaches, etc. and if you cannot find small enough prey, just cut up larger prey into small chunks and drop it in. They will eat it.

    Adults- I feed mine real good once every other week. I usually feed them a very large roach, or several adult crickets. Like the slings, if they do not eat it within a couple hours, take the prey out and try again on the next feeding. And before i get asked, NO it does NOT cause your tarantula to starve or be harmed in any way to feed them every other week.


    Slings- If the vial or deli that they are in will fit in the larger enclosure they are going into, then just open the vial, drop it in the larger container, and let them come out on their own accordance. When they come out, reach in with tongs and pull out the vial.

    Adults- I usually just lay an open container in front of the specimen i am trying to get, and gently nudge them softly with the tongs. Generally if this is done right they will just walk right into the container. Put the lid on. Place in new enclosure. Pull lid off. Let them come out when they feel like it, and then just snag the rehousing container with tongs afterward.

    I think that is it? Hope it helps some n00bs :).

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
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  2. xhexdx

    xhexdx ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Now I'm going to have to go and add this thread to mine!

  3. Atreyuhero4

    Atreyuhero4 Arachnobaron

    What did you blur out? lol
  4. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Well if i told you, it would kinda defeat the purpose wouldn't it? {D
  5. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Almost forgot-

    Tools of the tarantula keeper


    (From left to right)

    Spray bottle- For misting cages.
    Tongs- For getting prey remains, rehousing, etc.
    Tape measure- This type comes in handy for measuring specimens.
    Flashlight- I think this one is obvious enough?
    High proof liquor- For the 'of age' keepers who keep OW species. If an accident happens, you may be glad you kept this around ;P
  6. nexen

    nexen Arachnoknight

    Looks like a human head to me. Creepy.
  7. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    LOL! No it is not a human head, it is specimens that i would not like to disclose that i have :}
  8. awsome thread jade! now to make it a sticky!....also i bet i can guess whats in the blurr!haha but if you dont want to disclose it ill keep my mouth zipped
    • Like Like x 1
  9. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    ??? How would you know? Your free to guess? I haven't told anybody about them, so unless your psychic.... ??
  10. UrbanJungles

    UrbanJungles Arachnoprince

    Looks like a baby chimp in there to me...shame on you.
  11. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    CRAP! I am busted! :wall:
  12. matthias

    matthias Arachnobaron

    ok what the heck is it then?
  13. D-back

    D-back Arachnoknight

    Nice enclosures:) .........I hope that alkohol is for external disinfection only...;)
  14. MelGibson

    MelGibson Arachnosquire

    i think that you wnat us to ask about it. other wise you would of just moved it and took another pic. :rolleyes:
  15. rochin

    rochin Arachnosquire Old Timer

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap: a bottle of everlcear always comes handy man!!! thats the way to go man!! 95% alcohol!!! yea!! cool thread!!
  16. D-back

    D-back Arachnoknight

    I'm serious! .....DO NOT drink alkohol after an OW T bite!!!.............................but it looks great in that picture...{D
  17. kurto

    kurto Arachnopeon

    Why not to drink alk after a bite?

    And @ jadespider1985
    Nice i like it. It very good for some new in the thinks.
  18. D-back

    D-back Arachnoknight

    The majority of the toxins in our body is detoxicated by our liver. I suppose, the toxins in the spider's venom are not an exception. Alcohol is also detoxicated by the liver. The detoxication is done by some enzymes. If the toxins and the alcohol are detoxicated by the same enzyme, a.) it is possible that the amount of the enzyme is not sufficient to detoxicate both of the substances at the same time = the toxins will be in our body longer at a higher level ..b.) alkohol (acute ingestion, not chronical abuse) can inhibit the synthesis and function of some liver enzymes = lower enzyme activity = higher level of the toxins for longer time. I know one person, who went to a doctor after a pokie bite. The doctor did some liver tests and the markers of liver damage were 10 times above normal levels. The detoxication of alcohol is stress for our liver. I don't want to cause more damage than the toxins alone...I would wait with the alcohol at least a month. :) ... just to give time for the liver to regenerate...
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  19. Arachnobrian

    Arachnobrian Arachnoangel Old Timer

    The tools mentioned are good but some are missing,

    12" tweezers are handy, but 12" locking hemostats are better.

    I keep a variety of items used as prods (more for crickets), bamboo skewers work great for this.

    Funnels - I have a 500ml pop bottle cut to create a transfer funnel for juvi's, a 2L pop bottle funnel is used to transfer the big ones.

    Paint brush - For prodding stubborn spiders.
  20. ph0bia

    ph0bia Arachnobaron

    The wonderful thing about enzymes is they usually do only one or two jobs each. Tarantula venom and alcohol are two very different chemicals, and thus enzymes with vastly different 'active sites' are required. Drinking alcohol after a T bite will have no adverse effects, except the usual if you're a lightweight. ;)

    That said, washing the bite wound with alcohol might be a good idea. Will sting like hell, mind, in which case swigging some might help numb things a little. =P

    As for the paintbrush, I just use the 12" tweezers to prod. But the coke bottle is a brilliant one.

    Throw a party and empty a 2l coke bottle. About 6-8" below the cap, cut it off (keep the cap). You now have a little 'bell' that you can place over the spider, then when they climb the side you can carefully lift them to the new enclosure. Hold it by the lid. =)