A beginner's T question

spider_fan

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Here's the deal. I have read The Tarantula Keeper's Guide and a few other T books cover to cover, browsed many T websites, and asked questions on forums like this one for a while now and I've decided to get into the hobby.

My question is, if price is not a factor, what is a better first T, a G. Rosea or a B. Smithi? I have heard nothing but good things about both of them but I wanted to ask some experienced keepers which would be a better first T. They are both at my local pet shop and I was talking to the employee who seemed very knowledgeable, he said they were both captive bred and the store didn't seem to be violating any common no-no's I've seen in books, for example they didn't have cotton or sponges in the water, the cages were free of cricket carcasses, and they were on pete moss for substrate, so they both look nice and healthy. They are both about 4" and look like females, but I guess you never know until the final molt, and the G. Rosea is $19.99 and the B. Smithi is $69.99. I have $150.00 to saved up to spend on a T so price is a non issue, which would you recomend?
 

Code Monkey

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Neither is exactly what I would call better from a "pet" p.o.v.. Both do fine in barebones housing, both have similar longevity, blah, blah, blah. You may prefer the looks of one or the other, but that's about it from that perspective.

However, if price is not an issue, I say get the B. smithi for one key reason: it is captive bred and the G. rosea is wildcaught. It's always going to be better for the hobby at large to support captive breeding efforts (which inherently increases the cost of the spider) instead of rewarding the fast buck approach of the G. rosea trade.
 

spider_fan

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The employee at the pet store said that both were captive bred though.
 

Talkenlate04

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I highly doubt that....... 99.9% of G Rosea in pet stores are wild caught.
 

Talkenlate04

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Oh and one more thing...... 69 bucks is a great deal...... but use caution. I am willing to bet a small farm that its a male. It would be great luck though if it was a female. !!!!!!!
 

Mushroom Spore

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Why not get both? ;) They're very simple and cheap species to house and maintain--owning multiple Ts is really no more expensive than owning one, you just pay a few more cents a month for crickets.

You're going to want multiple Ts before long anyway, so you may as well. :D

EDIT: And even if one of them does turn out to be male, you could well have years left with it, and then you can either keep it with you till the end or sell him to someone for babymaking. Free slings or a good trade are always nice.
 

Ando55

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Welcome to the hobby! :D As MS said, why not get both? Also if you don't want to get Ts from the pet store you can always get them through mail order. I went ahead and got both of my Ts at a small size to start with (2 inch and .75-1inch). It is all up to you on what you want, great start on the hobby by reading the T's Keeper Guide, the Tarantula Bible in the eyes of many. :D
 
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Libertykeeper

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I agree with both Ando and Mushroom, get both if you can...both T's are reasonable starters....get bit (figuratively);P
 

Code Monkey

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The employee at the pet store said that both were captive bred though.
This is often claimed, but almost never true. G. rosea are even slower growing than B. smithi. Under the right conditions, you can get a smithi from sac to about 2" in about 18-24 months and off to the petstore. It will take you longer than that to get a rosea to a petstore saleable size and, consequently, it would cost at least as much as the B. smithi.
 

spider_fan

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Thanks for the tips everyone, all of a sudden getting both is sounding like an excellent idea.
 

Mc225

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Before you run out and buy...

May I suggest slings from the internet, and if you're getting two get one aboreal. I had also read the books and lurked on here before purchasing back in September. I got little .33" B. boehmei slings first and then some .75" A. avics. I bought multiples of each because I presumed I'd have some loses but all are doing great. (my T's are listed in my profile) Plus if you get slings it doesn't really matter if you get a male cause it'll be around for a while anyway. It's also a great introduction to getting used to housing and rehousing and getting comfortable in general without working with a 4+" spider right from the start. And I think that many people fail to mention watching them grow is the coolest part, in four months more than half of my collection has molted twice already. You would not regret getting an Avic, it is an ideal starter.
 

Ando55

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May I suggest slings from the internet, and if you're getting two get one aboreal. I had also read the books and lurked on here before purchasing back in September. I got little .33" B. boehmei slings first and then some .75" A. avics. I bought multiples of each because I presumed I'd have some loses but all are doing great. (my T's are listed in my profile) Plus if you get slings it doesn't really matter if you get a male cause it'll be around for a while anyway. It's also a great introduction to getting used to housing and rehousing and getting comfortable in general without working with a 4+" spider right from the start. And I think that many people fail to mention watching them grow is the coolest part, in four months more than half of my collection has molted twice already. You would not regret getting an Avic, it is an ideal starter.
I agree, kind of what I was implying in my post, go with internet/mail order and get them small, watching them grow is the best part and you get that warm fuzzy feeling for taking care of them. :D
 

Mushroom Spore

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You would not regret getting an Avic, it is an ideal starter.
I agree, except that the babies are notoriously fragile and prone to dying for the usual reasons (poor humidity/ventilation), or sometimes no reason at all. That's why I'm nervous to get one myself, though I hear they're sturdier as adults.
 

Mc225

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I'd certainly seen a lot of references as to the delicacy of Avics before I got them but I think thats all bs. I mean if theres a problem with them staying alive then theres a problem with the method of keeping them. After reading lots of Avic threads I decided that aside from stagnant air issues people were keeping them to wet. I've gone with tons of ventilation and no extra humidity...room conditions. I have no substrate in with any of them and only mist occasionally, I try instead to use a dropper through vent holes when their webbing structure allows. I also crush the head on all crickets before feeding and hand feed them, meaning I deliver the prey to them via forceps or sliding it into their tube web or w/e.
 

Code Monkey

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I'd certainly seen a lot of references as to the delicacy of Avics before I got them but I think thats all bs. I mean if theres a problem with them staying alive then theres a problem with the method of keeping them. After reading lots of Avic threads I decided that aside from stagnant air issues people were keeping them to wet. I've gone with tons of ventilation and no extra humidity...room conditions. I have no substrate in with any of them and only mist occasionally, I try instead to use a dropper through vent holes when their webbing structure allows. I also crush the head on all crickets before feeding and hand feed them, meaning I deliver the prey to them via forceps or sliding it into their tube web or w/e.
Below 1.5" even I can kill them just by thinking the wrong thoughts, but if you get them past this size and kill them, yes, you're doing something very wrong, usually, as you observe, trying to meet their recommended conditions.
 

Sterlingspider

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So far I've found that tarantulas are a LOT easier to care for then crickets (and a whole lot quieter, nicer smelling, and prettier).

Wherever you get them from, get at least a couple. :)
 
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