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Tips for those keen on collecting Tarantula Species? - Your approach & things you wished you knew

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Uptick, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Uptick

    Uptick Arachnopeon

    Tarantula keeping, being such an addicting and fun hobby, I'm sure it has turned many hobbyists into collectors without them(you) even realizing.

    As someone new to the hobby, I was wondering if anyone might be willing to give some tips or advice on your personal approach when it comes to collecting? Or perhaps, things you wished you had known at the start of the journey?

    Do you prefer to buy Slings, Juveniles, or Adults?
    What's the ratio of Slings, Juveniles, Adults you like to maintain?

    How do you typically grow your collection?
    Do you buy lots of slings and hope for females? (what happens when you end up with too many males?) or do you simply buy juvenile females?

    Do you find yourself constantly buying or do you try to breed your own and use them to offset the cost of the hobby by either selling or trading with other hobbyists?
  2. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Arachnobaron Active Member

    I buy 3-5 times a year and usually when I buy tarantulas I buy in five each time depending on how much I allow myself to spend.

    I usually by whatever piques my interest, most of the time I will go for the deal that I can't pass up or if one of my dream tarantulas comes up for sale, I will jump on that deal real quick (I actually just finished a transaction to acquire one of the said dream tarantulas (pics to come when they come).

    I haven't tried breeding yet, however, once my 2 male E. Sp. red are ready, my female will be waiting.

    Most slings I have purchased at one time is 5 (E. Sp. yellow).

    Only advice I can give is: do not fight the addiction, just embrace it, as the urge to keep buying tarantulas is too strong to even attempt to hold off.
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  3. Swede Baboon

    Swede Baboon Baboons are life Arachnosupporter

    Things i wish i had known:
    Pretty much everything :oldman:
    Still concider myself a total noob in the hobby.

    But the one thing that stands out is the difference between NW and OW.

    Bought a B.Hamoori day1
    Fell in love (true love. Not that thing that causes feelings between humans) bought a C.Marshalli day 2
    Came home with her and had the funniest rehousing u can think of.
    Shes lean and mean and a true fighting machine :kiss::kiss:

    Day3: ordered Tarantulas guide for beginners :angelic:

    The Love is still real btw :joyful::joyful:
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  4. mack1855

    mack1855 Arachnosquire Arachnosupporter

    Well,think about the time that's involved in caring for the animals.Its one thing to take care of two docile T,s
    another when you get upwards of 20/30.
    I by slings,3/4 at a time.Just seems to make sense,and cheaper,however with some genera,its hard to find slings,i.e.Megaphobema.
    and I'm sure there are others.If I get females,great,if not,great.Males get the same appreciation as females,just that he will have
    a shorter life span,but just as amazing,and valued,(not money wise maybe,but still...).

    And, breeding and selling slings will bring wealth and fame to you.You will be able to retire,and move to Tahiti,and employ many
    lovely young ladies to serve you Mai Tai,s.:hilarious:.
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  5. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    You should know the kind of person you are- what you enjoy what you don't. You should understand when your collection becomes a chore, and not enjoyable.

    Recognize someone always know more than you, and even some that don't, may still have something valuable to contribute to you. I could easily name a few people on this board who have been owning Ts far less than me, but they have wonderful information related to Ts that help me.

    Lastly, understand these animals are dependent upon YOU. So your care, your desire to learn or not learn has an immediate and direct impact on their lives.

    If you end up with a female, a long lived species, are you willing to take care of it for the next 15-30 years??

    Too many people treat animals as disposable, and too many collect exotics like Skittles.

    There's nothing wrong with owning 1, and nothing more.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  6. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Wish I knew how bad online care sheets were.

    No real ratio, just have whatever. Sell excess amles to breeders or keep them for my girls.

    That's the goal, but breeding can be difficult and doesn't work all the time.

    Get about 4 or 5 orders a year of slings.
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  7. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    I don't really think of my tarantulas as a collection -- they're my pets.

    I prefer the eclectic approach. I like to have different types of tarantulas instead of focusing on one genus or lifestyle.

    All of my juvenile and adult enclosures offer good visibility, because I'd rather be able to see (and photograph) my tarantulas than see a bunch of opaque containers.

    I have limited space, so I generally only get one or two a year. I'm glad that I took the time to raise and learn about my tarantulas instead of immediately buying a bunch of slings.

    When I get a tarantula, I intend to be its "forever home" (unless it matures as a male, in which case I'd prefer to get him to a breeder for the good of the hobby).

    I have bought juveniles and slings. If the seller has a juvenile female, I'm happy to pay a premium for that. If not, I don't mind rolling the dice on a sling. (Males are no less fun to raise, and when one matures, I try to find a breeder who wants him, trading for another tarantula or using the proceeds from the sale to buy another tarantula.)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  8. carterxwr

    carterxwr Arachnopeon

    I like to get a good mix of juveniles, slings, and a few sub adult females. I've always got something new and exciting in my collection that way and potential breeding projects to look forward to. When I first got into "collecting" I wish I knew more about efficient housing. Once you have more than 10 adult Ts you can't necessarily have everyone in a nice glass terrarium. This is a small part of the reason that arboreal species hold my interest more than anything else in the hobby, it's a lot more space efficient for me to have nicer enclosures that take up less real estate since they're tall.
  9. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    I started with 2, both sub-adult females. I prefer not to buy slings. I will if the species I seek is unavailable in an older sexed female or that female is too expensive. My determining ratio is if I find a female cheaper than 4 slings, I'll buy the female. If not, I'll wait or buy the slings.

    I also had a habit of just buying the good deal early on. While I acquired some really cool species that I may not have normally thought of getting, I ended up with a few things that made me question, what I was thinking about. I've sold off some of the mistakes, learned to love a few others.

    I also usually buy multiples at a time. Nothing sucks more than 45 bucks for shipping on one tarantula. I'd rather spread it around over multiple tarantulas.
    One thing I would suggest, is maintaining a "want list". What goes on there today doesn't have to stay on there tomorrow. I keep the list manageable, around 10 species. Doesn't mean I won't veer off that list, but it helps keep focus.

    One last thing, whether you just have one or a dozen, it really doesn't take much time to maintain them. Once you pass about 75, it's a real time commitment. Other than that, it's just money, and space.
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  10. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoworm Staff Member

    Don't let the pressure of OW's get to you. It's not an exclusive club, it's a preference. There is nothing that OW's have that can't be found in NW's - color, attitude, lifestyle, size, you name it. With one exception, all of my favorite tarantula species are NW's.
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  11. Leila

    Leila Arachnobaron

    Always keep this in mind: If you buy a bunch of slings, those tiny babies will eventually grow up to be big spiders (depending on the species, obviously. I am not talking about the dwarfs.) Their adult enclosures will take up much more space than their sling counterparts.
    So just make sure you have the room for them when they do grow. :)

    My collection of Ts has maxed out at 10 for the time being. I am content with my variety which consists of: both terrestrials and arboreals, slings, juvies, and 2 adults. I like them all for different reasons.

    But you will figure out what works for you. :) Just take your time, do your research, and enjoy the experience.

    Best wishes. :cat:
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
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  12. darkness975

    darkness975 Dream Reaper Arachnosupporter

    I prefer sub adults and adults. I do have plans to acquire some slings of a couple of species (hopefully) soon.

    @Leila's post is spot on as well. A huge factor, in addition to the time it takes to care for a large collection that was mentioned by others, is space. It is really easy to stockpile a large amount of slings but they will inevitably grow. Give yourself time to grow into having a larger collection.

    This hobby teaches one patience, that is for sure!
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  13. mistertim

    mistertim Arachnobaron

    Agree about the issue of collection size. I've been at it for a couple years now and still only have 13 Ts, because I simply don't believe I have the time to be able to care for 30-40 (or more) of them adequately and I'm currently pretty happy with my variety. Don't let anyone pressure you into anything...whether it is OW Ts, having a big collection, whatever. Anyone who does that or makes you feel bad for not doing x,y,or z isn't worth listening to. This is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby, not a race, competition, or chore.

    As far as slings, adults, juvies...I have a good mix which is what I like. I also have a mix of NW, OW, terrestrial, and arboreal (though I'm more of an arboreal fan TBH); not huge on burrowers. Get whatever suits your tastes, though I would caution against jumping into OWs too quickly, even if it isn't pressure but just your interest them that is propelling you. If they interest you just ease your way into them in steps.
  14. miss moxie

    miss moxie Arachnoprince

    What I wish I knew when I first started? If you buy from reputable sellers who have great packing techniques, it's okay to go for the cheaper shipping option.

    Agreed. Definitely fight the addiction until you're positive this is something you really enjoy and want to do. They aren't bottle caps or stamps. When you get tired of 'collecting' them you can't just put them in the basement to gather dust. When I had a collection of over 40 Ts (half or a little more of that were slings) it took me over an hour to feed, water, and do enclosure maintenance for them all. I'm sure a group of all adults would be easier to maintain, but slings need some more TLC.

    I like to buy juvenile or even adult females if I can find a good price and I really enjoy the species. But there are merits to slings and I certainly get plenty of those. I like watching Avicularia/relative genera grow, along with Pamphobeteus, for example. When I rebuilt my collection I purchased slings of these genera because I know I have fun raising them. There are some slings I just don't enjoy. Mostly the super slow growers, but I have to say when you see the tiny sling finally start to show adult colors YEARS later...you feel pretty accomplished even if it was like pulling teeth up until that point.

    Right now I'm looking at houses to buy (first time home owner, whoa adulting is boring) and when I look at pictures of different houses I'm thinking in my head 'this room would be great for my tarantulas.'
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  15. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoworm Staff Member

    People keep bringing up how it very quickly becomes a chore. Here's some anecdotal evidence for you.

    Me. About a year ago, I started to despise my collection. I fell off of the boards for awhile because it was just another part of the hobby that I felt I had to participate in. I didn't have many slings, but I had enough spiders that it was several hours every week of maintenance. It was exhausting because I am a full-time student and work full-time (60+ hrs/week) as well. The solution? Buy more spiders... contradicting, yes? Well, I started to buy and sell for a profit. Between selling roaches and spiders, I was able to drop to a standard 40 hrs/week and focus more on my collection. I now make nearly as much selling roaches/spiders as I do working my actual job. Find what you love to do and make a profession about it... the saying goes something like that.

    It's easy to say that "one more spider" won't be that much work. As you know, each one takes literally minutes per week to maintain. But when you multiply that by dozens or hundreds, suddenly it becomes daunting. I love where I am in the hobby, I could go on about it for hours. But I would absolutely give the advice of stopping at 10 adult tarantulas. Any more than that becomes a burden.
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  16. awiec

    awiec Arachnoprince

    It depends on your tastes really. Working with plant genetics I'm interested in having species from different parts of the phylogenetic tree of tarantulas, thus I have or had a representative from almost every region of the world (still need one from Oz though). At my peak I was at 50 (not counting a sac from a breeding loan) and it certainly became a chore as graduate school really started to pick up. In my first 4 years I was constantly expanding and buying more but the past year has been very much about reduction and focusing on what genera and aspects of the hobby I truly enjoyed. I'm at 27 now but I could easily reduce it down to 10 with little thought. The current amount doesn't feel much like a chore anymore as most of my spiders are either sub-adults or adults, they don't need to be tended to every week. I am also at the point where I have males maturing every couple of months so I have been dipping my toes into the breeding game. I find a weird sense of adrenaline whenever I send off a male or do my own pairing; you don't know what you're going to get.

    I always preferred slings as I enjoyed the growth and experiencing different stages of life. If you want to gain a lot of experience in a shorter amount of time then get some slings. If you just want something more of a set it and forget it type of pet then a adult or sub-adult is better (or get a Grammostola, I have a 4-5 year old G.pulchripes that hasn't budged past 2 inches yet). Also OW are not the be all end all of the hobby, despite some people treating it that way, NW pretty much have everything OW have but less painful venom and are more visible generally.
  17. RemyZee

    RemyZee Arachnosquire

    Personally, I like getting slings and a couple juveniles and watching them grow and change. It's exciting to see the little (or big) changes with each molt. My T's are my pets, and while I'll always want more, I will also always see them as pets, and treat them as such.

    I'll echo others here and say that space is something to be always congniscent of. (Don't think I spelled that right, lol) And don't listen to the folks who tell you no collection is "complete" without some OW species. Get what YOU want and feel comfortable with.

    Welcome to this extremely addictive and fun hobby!
  18. Walker253

    Walker253 Arachnobaron

    Outside of the extra care and time it may take maintaining large groups of slings, there is a positive. Buying multiples of a single species of slings and raising them, get the one you want and sell the rest to help sustain and grow your collection.
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  19. RemyZee

    RemyZee Arachnosquire

    That's a really good idea.
  20. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnobaron

    I don't really have a method to my madness in acquiring Ts. I get the ones I feel like getting. And sometimes, someone will show me one I had never seen before, and I suddenly want that one as well;)

    Something I certainly learned was that I wish I'd found this forum sooner in my hobby! Would've saved me a ton of headaches. Caresheets kill..... this site is gold!

    Don't overthink it. There is such a thing as too much care with tarantulas. Sometimes, you just need to let them do what they do, and relax. Take all of your animal husbandry instincts and throw them out the window. Spiders are incredibly unique. Over time, you will be conditioned as a keeper, and you will have your own set of instincts for keeping spiders. Comes with time and experience:)

    There are certainly worse things to be addicted to in this world;)
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