Advertisement We have had so many threads lately on Theraphosa, and I find myself repeating the same thing time and time again. This thread will cover most of the common questions, hopefully it should be useful to some of the newer keepers, and may even save a few spiders from neglect. I'll start by going over the basics. Care and husbandry: Theraphosa were famously labelled as "swamp dwellers" in the tarantula keepers guide. This is quite misleading, and inadvertently lead to many common husbandry errors, as well as people obsessing over humidity numbers they do not require. They need moist sub, good ventilation and it's that simple. They aren't anymore difficult to keep, so long as you know what your doing. Once you setup the spider properly your already pretty much in the clear. I prefer using sterilite/rubbermaid tubs for large Theraphosa. When you use glass aquariums, the ventilation ratio is almost always off. You either have too much, or not enough, both of which can be detrimental to your spider long term. Setup: For your custom enclosure. Start by drilling plenty of ventilation holes on the sides of the tub. I usually do three rows on each end. Give the spider plenty of substrate depth, and provide a partially buried hide, as they will take to burrowing...especially younger specimens. Larger individuals may abandon their hides/burrows as they grow, but they should still always have the option. Maintenance: Since these spiders consume so much food, you will have far more waste to clean up after. Spot cleaning is very important, as well as regularly providing the spider with clean drinking water. My specimens foul their water bowls after almost every meal, so stay on top of it or you will come back to something nasty one day. Also, you will need to keep the substrate moist as it dries out. Poor water directly into the sub, and avoid misting...ineffective and will just send hairs airborne. Speaking of hairs, theraphosa have the worst urticating setae in the hobby. Hands off, always use tongs and be vigilant when doing maintenance...they tend to be rather voracious and are definitely prone to mistaking you for food. Growth rates: These are the fastest growing spiders you can get your hands on if kept right and fed often. I always emphasize on feeding theraphosa more then you would almost any other genus. It all goes towards growth. Obviously slow down on feeding with adults, but young growing spiders need as much as they can get. I had my female T.stirmi go from 1.5" to roughly 8" in less then two years time. My smaller unsexed specimen is too young to gauge as of now. Size: Theraphosa are the largest spiders in the hobby, commonly exceeding 9" in legspan. It was said that T.blondi is the largest of the genus, but truth is that T.stirmi get just as large if not larger. T.apophysis have the more slender build, and tend to be more leggy then the aforementioned species. All are stunning in their own right. Identification: Let's start with spiderlings. T.stirmi will have four pink/white tarsi on the four front legs. T.blondi will have no pink/white tarsi on any legs. T.apophysis will have pink/white tarsi on all eight legs. As adults or sub-adults, T.blondi is best distinguished by the heavy presence of setae on the pattella. Whereas it is absent with stirmi. T.apophysis doesn't really look like the other two species, so they are rarely ever confused. They also happen to be the only species within the genus that possess tibial hooks(mature males). I think I covered most of it. Feel free to contribute to this thread. Pictures of any species within the genus are more then welcome.