2nd spider newbie looking for help

x101

Arachnopeon
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Sep 12, 2002
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I'm looking into getting a Avicularia versicolor(Antilles Pinktoe) I've read that they are docile and that on a scale of 1-10 on difficulty they are about a 5. I've already ordered a cage that will be more than sufficient. I know I need a heating rock(where I live it gets cold), a water dish of some kind, and a good substrate. I need more advice before I get this T about how I should prepare it's habitat.
 

Devildoll

Arachnoknight
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i've never heard of using a heating rock, but i would advise against it. Possibly use a heating mat if you have to. Heating rocks can even scortch a snake, so i can't imagine a T liking it.

I love A. versi.... but remember as nice as it is and rarely as it bites..... It's fast fast fast!
Especially the slings as they make a game of some sort out of escaping.

Great spider though.
 

ArachnoJoost

Arachnobaron
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Aug 6, 2002
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Great choice!
Seems that you are going to get an adult versicolor, but think about getting a spiderling, it's awesome to see them going through fantastic color changes!
Although I've had some problems with mine (see thread 'mites on versi sling') but this is more an exception I think
good luck!
Joost
 

Devildoll

Arachnoknight
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i currently have a 1.5" sling from kelly swift and it's awsome!

the mite problem isn't species related, so don't worry bout that when buying... just get it from a reputable source.

definatly get at least one versi sling!
 

x101

Arachnopeon
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Sep 12, 2002
Messages
27
Well, I am currently going to college. Where I am it is heated, but I don't know how reliably. So what are the recomended ways of keeping humidity and heat at a semi constant level. I don't want my spider getting to cold in the winter, so how would you suggest?
 

Vayu Son

Avatar of Anansi
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><

wow, how do i say this...

DONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCK
DONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCK
DONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCKDONOTUSEAHEATINGROCK... UNLESS YOU WANT A DEAD SPIDER.

I have never had a real need to increase temperature, but heating mats are one of the ways to go if you do it right, heating lamps dry out the t too much and theres no real way to moderate it, and space heaters in conjunction with a humidifier may be the best.


-V
 

Paul Day

Arachnosquire
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A scale to 1-10...

well I do not believe a 1-10 scale is nessesary for this hobby. There are either spiders that require no effort, little effort, or more then a little effort to maintain :) In fact, it's safe to say there is really no "beginners" tarantula. Unless you count aggression as something an "expert" needs to deal with of course. There are harder-then-usual tarantulas to maintan (like the T. blondi) but if you do your research, you could make that your first T.

Heating rocks are episodes for disaster. Tarantulas do not "bask" like lizards do, and they aren't even rec. for any herps. They should really take them off the market. Buy a plant mister and mist the enclosure well once a day. That should be enough. You do not need to restrict ventilation, it's the primary killer of pinktoes.

As for heat mats, you can go with them. I personally would use a heating fan in conjunction with misting. Versicolor is one of the easiest Avic. to maintain, because it requires slightly drier climates then most Pinktoes.

Pauly
 

Code Monkey

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The point that no one has hammered home in the debate of the various heating devices is that unless you're an eskimo, heating is totally unnecessary in most cases. Most tarantulas, slings included, will do fine at any temp between about 72-90. So, when you say it gets cold in the winter, what exactly do you mean? Even if you're one of them environmentalist nutjobs (j/k) who seems to think that 68 is an acceptable living temperature, for a few months, even that is not going to harm the Ts. They'll just slow down a bit and probably refuse food for the colder period. Now, granted, I wouldn't want to have anybody smaller than 2 inches exposed to sub-70 temps, but that's probably still more paranoia than necessity. Bottom line is that as exothermic creatures, they thrive at any temp that allows their full range of metabolic and enzymatic activities to go on -> higher temps equal a faster rate, lower temps equal a slower rate, but all acceptable temps get the job done.

*****************

As for general advice, keep versicolors well ventilated over a moist substrate for humidity purposes. Since they rarely actually venture onto the substrate, straight vermiculite will do their entire lives if you want, otherwise almost any other moisture holding substrate is acceptable (peat, peat/verm, potting soil, etc.). Height is obviously the most important dimension for the cage, and you should provide some sort of hide out of cork bark or similar material in the cage (if you look in the back ground of my ugly mug shot in this thread: http://www.arachnopets.com/arachnoboards/showthread.php?s=&threadid=606 , you can see a kritter keeper mini that has been adapted for small avicularia along with a cork "jungle gym" for them). If it's a larger specimen (greater than 2.5") it may use a water bowl, otherwise it will probably insist on getting its water from mistings every few days.
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
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LMAO

Originally posted by Code Monkey
Even if you're one of them environmentalist nutjobs (j/k) who seems to think that 68 is an acceptable living temperature, for a few months, even that is not going to harm the Ts.
CM,

I never considered myself an environmentalist nutjob... I guess if the thermostat fits...

Botar
 

x101

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
27
Hmm. All of your comments seem to help. I think I will go with the space heater and misting, since I don't have a humidifier(or the room). I will probably use potting soil for substrate. Anything else you can think of that might be needed. I know that T's don't care if they have plants and things of that such, but it looks nice. I'm very open to suggestions
 

SkyeSpider

Spider Queen
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About plants: I have live plants in with my versicolor. They are *VERY* hard to maintain; much harder than the spider. I'd actually recomend against it, to be honest.

Plastic plants can be nice, though :) I use those in 90% of my tarantula setups.

-Bryan
 

x101

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
27
Originally posted by Code Monkey
Height is obviously the most important dimension for the cage, and you should provide some sort of hide out of cork bark or similar material in the cage
What is this cork bark, how much should I have, and where do I get it or a good substitute?:confused:
 

Paul Day

Arachnosquire
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Cork bark is a big piece of "wood" that you use for your arboreals to climb on. Black Jungle Terrarium supply is just one place you can buy it, but other places include your local pet stores, and other reptile supply stores. There aren't many alternatives to corkbark besides maybe drift wood, other forms of wood may mold or go rotton in a higher humidity enviorment. Anyone else have alternatives to corkbark?

Pauly
 

Immortal_sin

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I use silk plants in mine...I've heard that the real ones are just too difficult, and Bryan just confirmed it ;)
I also use wine corks ( I drink ALOT of wine!) I hot glue them together end on end, and anchor them in the container. They work wonderfully for the arboreals
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
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Originally posted by Immortal_sin
I also use wine corks ( I drink ALOT of wine!) I hot glue them together end on end, and anchor them in the container. They work wonderfully for the arboreals
Well I happen to know you use the 18" high enclosures and you have 17 arboreal T's. With a 1" cork at 18" high times 17 enclosures... hold on, I'm using a calculator... that's 306 bottles of wine... and you've only been keeping T's for a year now!!

Botar

PS - All lies... sorry Immortal sin.
 
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Code Monkey

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Another place you can get cork bark besides pet stores is garden shops that have a developed orchid section - it's also usually cheaper than pet stores have it for.

An alternative that I've seen people use, although I haven't tried, is the black foam PVC insulation you can get for something like $1.89 for a 4 foot section at the hardware store.
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
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Originally posted by Botar

PS - All lies... sorry Immortal sin.
ahahhahaha!!!! maybe not! You should see the bottles all stacked up LOL...and I only have *5* arboreals ;)
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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I often use black corrugated plastic drainage pipe in many T enclosures. It works great, and is a low-cost alternative to cork. A 10 foot section costs around $2 and can be cut up into pieces with a box knife for many, many hides. You can lean pieces in the corner for aboreals.

Wade
 

Gail

Arachnopixie
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http://corkstore.com/cgi-bin/webcar...&OCATS=virgin+cork+bark&DOSEARCH=YES&CODE=148

Here is a link to a page for cork bark - it is much cheaper than buying it at a pet store where they tend to charge an arm and leg for little pieces. That said I am with Wade on the corrugated drain pipe - cheap and works great - it also never gets moldy or wierd 'shrooms growing on it. I actually wander around in our local Home Depot store every now and then, looking at all the different building supplies and hardware stuff - you'd be surprised at how many really cheap things in a hardware store do the exact same things that the expensive stuff in the pet stores do. For instance - the radiating heat lamps they sell for reptiles (silver dome over a bulb) which will cost you $10 to $50 in a petshop can be bought at the hardware store for $3 to $15 dollars.

Gail
 
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